July 5, 2016


Carmen-2CARMEN (CARacterization and Modeling of ENvironment) is an instrument concept dedicated to space environment measurement: orbital debris, high and low energy particles, etc.

CARMEN-3 is the name of this instrument aboard JASON-3 satellite (MEO 1336 km, 66°). For this five-year mission, CARMEN-3 is composed of ICARE-NG module and an additional sensor AMBRE. ICARE-NG is a dedicated instrument to study the influence of space radiation and their effects on electronic components. AMBRE is a type of sensor which is able to detect low level ions and electrons.

CNES is the instrument project superintendent and entrusted to EREMS company the ICARE-NG and AMBRE flight model development and manufacturing.

Mission Objectives

Exemple de mesures d'environnement radiatifThe CARMEN-3 instrument has particular mission objectives as well as objectives related to the satellite:

  • Scientific objectives for ICARE-NG: to allow the measurement of charged particles fluxes and the effects of these particles fluxes on under test electronic components.
  • Scientific objectives for AMBRE: to allow the measurement of low energy charged particles fluxes responsible for electrostatic discharges.
  • Mission objectives for CARMEN-3 associated with JASON-3: to allow the local radiative environment characterization and the evaluation of the potential drifts of the equipment in particular due to radiation from South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), and to participate in the data cross calibration with the LPT instrument in the frame of JRE (Join Radiation Experiment).

Example of Results


The ICARE-NG/CARMEN-3 instrument is composed of data acquisition unit (SPECTRE) for the set of three radiation detectors and the component test bed (EXPERIENCE Module or MEX). The ICARE-NG instrument performs also power supply for the additional sensor AMBRE (located out of the satellite) and its TM/TC interface.

CARMEN-3 functional description
CARMEN-3 functional description

The radiation detectors on ICARE-NG are made of silicon fully depleted solid state detectors used in single and coincident mode. The SPECTRE unit performs the radiation spectra measurement on various energy ranges. The on-board measurements consist in accumulating energy loss spectra in the junctions over a programmable accumulation period.

The reference levels of the discriminators, the gain of the amplifiers and the accumulation time are programmable and provide a possible on-board tuning optimization The reference values are preset before launch.

In addition to the on-board acquisition, the SPECTRE unit carries out the functions of power distribution and communication interface via a 1553 bus. It also includes an interface of TM/TC to control the sensor AMBRE.

The objective of the EXPERIENCE module is to measure the flight event rates and the parametric drifts of an advanced electronic component set. This module is slave of the SPECTRE unit of which it depends for power and data exchanges.


 EREMSThe main characteristics of the CARMEN-3 instrument are the following:

Dimensions200 x 122 x 112 mm
Mass2.8 kg
Power Consumption
(according to operating mode)
4.5 W to 13 W
Telemetry flow420 bits/s
Data Volume4.32 Mb/day
Dimensions206 x 142 x 134 mm
Mass2.5 kg
Power Consumption
(according to operating mode)
Included in ICARE-NG consumption
Telemetry flow300 bits/s
Data Volume3.09 Mb/day

CARMEN-3 instrument main characteristics

Mission objectives CARMEN-3 / JASON-3
Environment Energies ICARE-NG
To measure particles fluxes:
- high energy electrons
- high energy protons

To measure particles fluxes:
- low energy electrons
- low energy protons


Fast counter ~3E5 cps/s
1.6 – 3.6 MeV
27 - 292 MeV

few eV – 30 keV
few eV – 30 keV
Effect on the EEE Components ICARE-NG
- Dosimetry PMOS and OSL

- Dose effects
- Non-destructive single events
- Destructive single events (protected)


~ 5 10-1 rad

Key parameters derive
some ev/ day, dated with 1s margin
some ev/ week, dated with 1s margin

CARMEN-3 mission performances

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