Mars Express instruments
Posted: May 28, 2003
MARSIS (Sub-Surface Sounding Radar/Altimeter)
"We should be able to measure the thickness of sand deposits in dune areas, or determine whether there are layers of sediment sitting on top of other material," says Giovanni Picardi, MARSIS Principal Investigator (PI) from Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.
MARSIS will also study the ionosphere, as this electrically-charged region of the upper atmosphere will reflect some radio waves.
The HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera)
"As the 2 meter resolution image is nested in a 10 meter resolution swath, we will know precisely where we are looking. The 2 meter resolution channel will allow us to just pick out the Beagle 2 lander on the surface," says Gerhard Neukum, HRSC Principal Investigator (PI) from the Institut fur Weltraumsensorik und Planetenerkundung, Berlin, Germany.
OMEGA (Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer)
"We want to know the iron content of the surface, the water content of the rocks and clay minerals and the abundance of non-silicate materials such as carbonates and nitrates," says Jean-Pierre Bibring, OMEGA PI from the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France.
SPICAM (Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer)
"Over the lifetime of the mission, we should be able to build up measurements of ozone and water vapour over the total surface of the planet for the different seasons," says Jean-Loup Bertaux, SPICAM PI from the Service d'Aeronomie du CNRS, Verrieres-le-Buisson, France.
PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer)
"We hope to get many, many measurements so that by taking the average of thousands we'll be able to see minor species," says Vittorio Formisano, PFS PI from Istituto Fisica Spazio Interplanetario, Rome, Italy.
ASPERA (Energetic Neutral Atoms Analyser)
"We will be able to see this plasma escaping the planet and so estimate how much atmosphere has been lost over billions of years," says Rickard Lundin, ASPERA PI from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, Sweden.
MaRS (Mars Radio Science Experiment)
"Variations in the gravitational field of Mars will cause slight changes in the speed of the spacecraft relative to the ground station, which can be measured with an accuracy of less than one tenth the speed of a snail at full pace," says Martin Patzold, MaRS PI from Koln University, Germany.
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