July 13, 2016


7 Instruments, 110 kg


Payload and sub-system assembly scheme
  • HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera): a colour stereoscopic camera with a 10 m/pixel resolution with an additional channel (Super Resolution Channel) with a 2.3 m/pixel resolution (at the periapsis 250 km). The HRSC images will offer, after interpretation, lots of information about the history of the planet's evolution as well as its present morphology. Its total mass is 19.6 kg. The HRSC instrument Principal investigator is: Prof. Gerhard Neukum, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany

  • OMEGA (Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité): an imaging spectrometer operating in the visible and near-infrared domain. OMEGA will provide information about the mineralogical composition of the surface of Mars with a medium resolution (300 m) and a global cover with a few kilometres resolution. This instrument constitutes a major element of the French instrumental participation to Mars Express supported by CNES. The OMEGA instrument Principal investigator is: Prof. Jean-Pierre Bibring, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France

  • PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer): an infrared spectrometer optimized for the study of the atmosphere. Its domain ranges from 1.2 µm to 5 µm in the near-infrared and from 5 µm to 45 µm in the far infrared. The spectral resolution is of 2 cm-¹. The spatial resolution is of 10 km/pixel in the near-infrared and of 20 km/pixel in the far infrared (at the altitude of 300 km). Its main scientific objective is the long term study of the temperature in the low layers of the atmosphere, the measurement of the variations of minor components of the Martian atmosphere, the determination of the deuterium/hydrogen isotopic ratio, the study of the optical properties of the aerosols (dust, ice cloud), the study of the radiative budget of the atmosphere and the influence of aerosols, and the study of the global atmospheric circulation. The PFS instrument Principal investigator is: Dr Vittorio Formisano, Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, Rome, Italy

  • MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding): a sounding multifrequency synthetic aperture radar which includes a deployable antenna (2 dipoles of 20 m) coupled to a monopole deployable antenna (7 m) to separate the underground reflection. It operates at frequencies varying from 1.3 to 5.5 MHz with an instantaneous bandwidth of 1 MHz. Its main scientific objective is to map the ice distribution in the subsurface and to identify water reservoirs presence down to the depth of 3 to 4 km. The mass of the instrument is 17 kg. The antenna deployment, operation with potential risks, was successfully done in three phases: first boom on 10 May, second boom on 14 June, and third boom on 17 June 2005. The MARSIS instrument Principal investigator is: Prof. Giovanni Picardi, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy

  • SPICAM (SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars): is constituted of two spectrometers, one operating in ultraviolet, the other in infrared. SPICAM is expected to study the vertical repartition of the oxygen, dusts and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It constitutes a major element of the French instrumental participation to Mars Express supported by CNES. The SPICAM instrument Principal investigator is: Dr Jean-Loup Bertaux, Service d'Aéronomie, Verrières-le-Buisson, France

  • ASPERA 3 (Analyzer of Space Plasmas and EneRgetic Atoms): is an instrument mainly designed to study the interactions between the solar wind and the Martian atmosphere. Using ENA technique (Energetic Neutral Atom imaging) it will "visualize" the inert and ionized gas concentrations around Mars. This information should enable a better understanding of the solar wind's impact on the Martian atmosphere's evolution and especially on the mechanism of atmosphere erosion process in the interplanetary medium. A French scientific team supported by CNES participated in the development of this instrument. The ASPERA 3 instrument Principal investigator is: Dr Rickard Lundin, Swedish Institute of Space Science, Kiruna, Sweden

  • MaRS (Mars Express orbiter Radio Science): it is not strictly speaking an instrument. This experiment uses the radio communication system of the satellite just before it passes behind the planet (occultation technique), so that the radio waves pass through the atmosphere of Mars and are thus affected by it. The analysis of those radio signals according to their frequency provides information on the temperature and atmospheric pressure profiles and on the electronic characteristics of the ionosphere. Thanks to MaRS, the surface's dielectric properties and the planet's gravity field will also be determined. The MaRS instrument Principal investigator is: Dr Martin Pätzold, University of Cologne, Germany