Juno is a NASA mission to the gas giant Jupiter that was launched in 2011 and entered a Jovian orbit in July 2016. The mission duration at Jupiter is only about 20 months (until February 2018), since Juno makes 37 low polar orbits that lead the spacecraft partly through an intense radiation environment. The overarching goal of Juno is to understand Jupiter’s origin and evolution.
The spacecraft consists primarily of a hexagonal central body with a high-gain antenna for data transmission to Earth. Three large solar panels provide energy to power the spacecraft and the scientific instruments. Juno is a spinning spacecraft and the first mission to Jupiter using solar panels. Another key scientific focus is Jupiter’s polar magnetosphere which is uncharted territory.
The Juno Waves instrument, mainly built by the University of Iowa, will investigate the auroral acceleration region and measure radio and plasma waves. IWF scientists and engineers worked on the antenna calibration of the Waves instrument.