Featured Image (Credits ISRO)

Friday, January 4, 2013

ISRO Mars Mission

ISRO mars mission


Mars orbiter payloads: (information collected from paper abstracts available on the internet)

1. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)  
MENCA (Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser) is based on the technique of quadrupole mass spectrometry and it operates in the mass range of 1-300 amu. The scientific objective of MENCA is to explore the Martian exospheric neutral density and composition at an altitude of ~500 km and above from the surface of Mars and to examine its radial, diurnal, and seasonal variations. The low inclination of the proposed orbit will provide an opportunity to encounter Phobos, one of the two natural satellites of the Mars, on few occasions. This will enable us to estimate the upper limits of the neutral density distribution around it. The study of Martian exosphere is important for understanding the escape rate of of Martian atmosphere and its impact on Mars’ climate change.

2. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
Measurement of atmospheric deuterium to hydrogen abundance ratio (D/H) is vital to examine the escape process of water in the current atmosphere and also understand the loss process of water in the evolutionary history of a planet. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) is a miniaturized ultraviolet photometer primarily designed for D/H measurement of the upper atmosphere of Mars. LAP will measure the present day D/H ratio that will be compared with the original D/H ratio estimated from observing pristine comets and asteroids. The comparison will tell us how much hydrogen and therefore water has been lost over the life time of the planet.

3. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
It is designed to measure methane in the Martian atmosphere with ppb accuracy and map its sources. It is based on Fabry Perot (FP) etalon filters that work on the principle of multiple beam interferometry.

4. Thermal infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS)
It is a grating based spectrometer that uses un-cooled micro-bolometer array as detectors. TIS will measure thermal emissions from mars surface.

5. Mars Color Camera (MCC)
It is designed to work in the visible range (0.4 micron- 0.7 micron) and is optimized to work from a highly elliptical orbit 500 x 80,000 km. 

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