EnVisionM4 logo

Is EnVision technically feasible?

What is the heritage EnVision will draw from to keep risk and cost down?

Although EnVision is an ambitious planetary exploration mission, it was always designed with a low risk design approach. Venus Radar missions of Venera (1983) and Magellan (1989) programs yielded great results but the past 20 years have seen SAR technology significantly improve and evolve. Today, order of magnitude improvements and new measurement possibilities are feasible within a much smaller mission architecture.
First and foremost, this feasibility rests on the unique European operational experience jointly developed with the incredibly successful Venus Express spacecraft and the latest Earth Observation satellites:

Figure 1 : Sentinel-1 in orbit (left) NovaSAR from SSTL (centre) proposed EnVision radar electronic box and 1 of 3 antenna panels (right) Credit ESA, SSTL and Airbus Defence and Space respectively.

A long program of modelling and design work in concert with industry partners has optimised the radar to meet the challenging Venus science requirements within stringent mass, power and environmental constraints:

Central frequency

3200 MHz ± 100 MHz (9.4 cm), 25 MHz bandwidth

Antenna type

5.5m x 0.6m fixed phased array with 24 phase centres


dual channel, HH, HV, VV, VH, selectable


< -20 dB

Operating modes

Stereo, interferometric, multipolar, passive emissivity


130 kg phased array, 11 kg central electronics

DC Power

820 W peak phased array, 45 W central electronics

Industry partners are currently investigating particular design trades to further strengthen the proposed engineering design.
EnVision is a unique opportunity for UK and Europe to confirm its leadership in Venus exploration as well as showcase to the world the potential of its Earth Observation technologies.

Related questions:
Previous Venus Missions, is this the first exploration of Venus?
Is the Timing right? EnVision as an enabler of future exploration
What world-wide firsts will EnVision accomplish during its mission?
What are the next milestones?