July 13, 2016

Spicam Instrument

(SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars)

Spicam Sensor unit
(IR & UV channels)

Spicam is a two-channel spectrometer:

  • Spicam-UV: UV spectrometer (118 - 320 nm) for nadir and limb viewing, and determination of the atmosphere's vertical profile by solar and stellar occultation. This channel enable to quantifies the presence of H2O, O3 and aerosols. It also studies the vertical profil of the atmosphere and ionosphere's temperatures.
  • Spicam-IR: infrared spectrometer (1.1 - 1.7 µm) for nadir sounding and solar occultation of H2O.
  • DPU (Data Processing Unit): this electronic unit allows the interface of the two channels with the satellite.

Spicam has a specific window for solar occultations, different from the one used for the viewing and the stellar occultations.

The Spicam instrument is the result of a collaboration:

  • SA - Service d'Aéronomie (France): instrument prime contractor,
  • IASB - Institut d'Aéronomie Spatiale de Belgique (Belgium): mechanic production,
  • IKI - Russian Institute of space research (Russia): development of the IR spectrometer (subcontracting).

The charts below summarize the main characteristics of the UV and IR channels:

TelescopeOff-axis paraboloidal mirror
Field of view1 ° x 3.16 °
GratingHolographic, Concave
DetectorCCD Thomson TH 7863 (384x288 pixels)
+ Hamamatsu light amplifier
Detector size8.8 x 6.6 mm²
Pixel size23 x 23 µm²
Range118 - 320 nm
Spectral resolution0.55 nm
Main characteristics ofSpicam UV channel
TelescopeLens type, Ø 30 mm
Instantaneous field of view1 °
DetectorHamamatsu InGaAs Photodiode
Detector size1 mm²
Pixel size1 mm²
Range1.1 - 1.7 µm
Spectral resolution1 nm
Main characteristics of Spicam IR channel

The main resources required by Spicam are presented below:

Measured on the Flight Model
MassUV + IR channels4.14 kg
DPU0.711 kg
PowerDPU2 W
IR channel8 W
UV channel15 W

(1 orbit)
STAR25 Mbits/s
NADIR15 Mbit/s
Spicam Ressources