Enabling & Support

Swiss contributions on-board the ExoMars rover

08/03/2016 466 views 0 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Operations

ExoMars 2018 - The ExoMars rover


An accurate visual and spectral characterisation of the surface of Mars is fundamental to establish the geological context at the sites that the Rover will visit. 

This can be complemented by electromagnetic and neutron subsurface investigations, which will further contribute to understand the depositional environment (e.g. sedimentary, volcanic, Aeolic). Knowledge of the geological history of past water environments constitutes a necessary step in the search for traces of past or present signatures of life on Mars.

Data from the novel suite of instruments on-board the ExoMars rover will help scientists to conduct a step-by-step exploration of Mars, beginning at panoramic (metre) scales and progressively converging to smaller (sub-millimetre) studies, concluding with the molecular identification of organic compounds.

A significant number of investigators from all over Switzerland contributed to the scientific and technological development of the ExoMars rover. In the comparison tables below you can find a listing of instruments which are part of the suite of instruments on-board the ExoMars rover. Contributions from Switzerland are written in bold letters. 

The Panoramic Camera
  • To perform digital terrain mapping of Mars.
  • Principal Investigator: Andrew John Coates, MSSL/University College London, London, UK
  • Co-Principal Investigator (High Resolution Camera): Ralf Jaumann, DLR/IPF, Berlin, DE
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Wide Angle Cameras): Jean-Luc Josset, Institute for Space Exploration, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
ISEM - Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars
  • To assess the mineralogical composition of surface targets. With PanCam, contribute to the selection of suitable samples for further analysis by the other instruments.
  • Principal Investigator: Oleg Korablev, Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, Russia
CLUPI - Close - UP Imager
  • A camera system to acquire high-resolution colour close-up images of rocks, outcrops, drill fines and drill core samples.
  • Principal Investigator: Jean-Luc Josset, Space Exploration Institute, Neuchâtel, CH
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Frances Westall, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, Orléans, FR 
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Beda Hofmann, Natural History Museum, Bern, CH
WISDOM - Water Ice and Subsurface Deposit Observation On Mars
  • A ground-penetrating radar to characterise the stratigraphy under the rover. WISDOM will be used with Adron, which can provide information on subsurface water content, to decide where to collect subsurface samples for analysis.
  • Principal Investigator: Valérie Ciarletti, LATMOS, FR
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Svein-Erik Hamran, FFI, NO
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dirk Plettemeier, TU-Dresden, DE
  • To search for subsurface water and hydrated minerals. Adron will be used in combination with WISDOM to study the subsurface beneath the rover and to search for suitable areas for drilling and sample collection.
  • Principal Investigator: Igor Mitrofanov, Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, Russia.
Ma_MISS - Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies
  • Located inside the drill, Ma_MISS will contribute to the study of the Martian mineralogy and rock formation.
  • Principal Investigator: Maria Cristina De Sanctis, IASF, INAF, IT
  • A visible plus infrared imaging spectrometer for mineralogy studies on Martian samples.
  • Principal Investigator: Jean-Pierre Bibring, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, FR
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Frances Westall, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, Orléans, FR
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Nicolas Thomas, University of Bern, CH
RLS - Raman Spectrometer
  • To establish mineralogical composition and identify organic pigments.
  • Principal Investigator: Fernando Rull Perez, Centro de Astrobiología, Unidad Asociada (CSIC-UVA), ES
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Sylvestre Maurice, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique - Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (LAOMP), FR
MOMAMars Organic Molecule Analyser
  • MOMA will target biomarkers to answer questions related to the potential origin, evolution and distribution of life on Mars.
  • Principal Investigator: Fred Goesmann, MPI for Solar System Research, Lindau, DE
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Francois Raulin, University of Paris 12 and 7, Paris, FR

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