Miniaturised payload for planetary exploration
The large distances to other planets and the request for a widest possible variety of in-situ and remote sensing instruments require the development of miniaturised payloads for planetary exploration.
The payload suite developed for ESA’s mole consists of three units:
- The densitometer measures the density of the surrounding regolith via Compton scattering of X-rays emitted by a Cs source.
- The tiltmeter and forward motion sensor allows a precise determination of the mole depth and position during penetration.
- The planetary thermal gradient is measured by thermal couples attached to the tether. An additional heater allows for active temperature measurements in order to determine the thermal properties of the regolith.
Last Update: 15 March 2012