The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA): a post-launch summary

  • Nicolas ThomasEmail author
  • Hauke Hussmann
  • Luisa M. Lara
Original Paper


We provide a brief description of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter experiment for the joint ESA-JAXA mission to Mercury, BepiColombo. The text describes the main elements of the instrument and discusses several of the problems encountered during the instrument development. The actions taken to mitigate the issues are also described and the resulting performance of the instrument as determined by combining ground test data with models of Mercury and the spacecraft orbit is presented. The instrument has met the requirements set in 2005 and should provide a solid data set for the global study of the topography and internal structure of Mercury.


BepiColombo BELA Laser altimeter 



BELA is a joint Swiss–German project with the participation of Spain. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Swiss Space Office via ESA’s PRODEX programme, the German Aerospace Center’s Space Administration, the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, and the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.


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Copyright information

© CEAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Research and Planetology DivisionUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.German Aerospace CenterInstitute of Planetary Research, Planetary GeodesyBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Instituto de Astrofísica de AndalucíaGranadaSpain

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