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PRODEX Programme - introduction

PRODEX Programme - introduction

Under the responsibility of the Director of Science, and within the Future Missions Department, the PRODEX Office (SCI-FE) is responsible for implementing the PRODEX Programme.

PRODEX is an optional Programme of ESA devoted to the development of science experiments. The PRODEX budget results from a direct subscription of the Participating States that is generally renewed at the ESA Council meetings at Ministerial level. Fifteen Member States are participating in PRODEX in 2017, with an annual budget in the range of 50-60 Million Euros. PRODEX activities are decided by the Delegations of the Participating States and are implemented by the PRODEX Office (SCI-FE) with a guaranteed financial return to each contributing country.

PRODEX participating states. Credit: ESA

PRODEX activities can broadly address space science instrumentation and science ground exploitation, and are implemented through dedicated contracts with scientific institutes and industrial companies in the funding country. The largest set of activities is related to the science programme and represents the direct contributions of Member States to the science missions. PRODEX also supports many other ESA programmes featuring scientific experiments (such as Earth Observation, Robotic Exploration, and the International Space Station) as well as national contributions to missions led by international partners such NASA, Roscosmos, and JAXA.


The PRODEX Office is led by the Head of Office, who is supported by the PRODEX System Manager (who can act as deputy) and by the Technical Officers in charge of implementing PRODEX contracts with institutes and/or industry.

PRODEX benefits from relevant administrative and technical support across ESA, in particular from the Future Missions Department (SCI-F, providing payload specific expertise); the Science Management Support Office (SCI-M, providing support from Project Controllers and for invoice processing); the Directorate of Industry, Procurement and Legal services (D/IPL, providing support from Contract and Legal Officers); and the ESA Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC, providing technical expertise in the various engineering fields such as structures, thermal, electrical/electromagnetic, optics, detectors, components, product assurance, etc.)

During the regular implementation of a PRODEX activity, the nominal point of contact is the Technical Officer.

For any programmatic matter, please contact the PRODEX Office by e-mail:

The PRODEX Office will efficiently process your request and respond as appropriate. This applies, for example, to questions from institutes or industry on intended activities or procedures, and to Delegation requests, for example, to do with new proposals, Letters of Endorsements, etc.

PRODEX Projects – some examples

Since its inception in 1986 PRODEX has been implementing projects in almost all of ESA's science missions.

Recently PRODEX has implemented and monitored scientific hardware development contracts for the BepiColombo mission, the Solar Orbiter mission, and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

In 2017, the STIX (Spectrometer/Telescope for imaging X-rays) instrument (Switzerland) and EUI (Extreme Ultraviolet Imager) instrument (Belgium) were delivered to Solar Orbiter.

Part of the Solar Orbiter Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX). Credit: PSI Solar Orbiter's Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) optial bench assembly during vibration testing at the Centre Spatial de Liège. Credit: CSL

Subsystems have been developed for Solar Orbiter's RPW (Radio and Plasma Waves instrument) by Czech Republic;  STIX by Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Ireland; and for SWA (Solar Wind plasma Analyser) by Czech Republic.

Development activities are currently under way for scientific payloads of the JUICE mission, the PLATO mission, for Exploration, and for Microgravity.

PRODEX supports data processing activities in all of the above domains.

Last Update: 10 November 2020
24-Feb-2024 03:31 UT

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