Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aurora - UK Prepares for a Return to Mars

13.06.2006
The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council [PPARC] has today announced an investment of £1.7 million in R&D to enable UK scientists and engineers to develop key instrumentation and technologies for the European Space Agency’s [ESA] ExoMars mission. ExoMars, the first mission in ESA’s Aurora programme of planetary exploration and slated for launch in 2011, will explore the Red Planet with a suite of sophisticated instruments and seek clues to the existence of past or present life.

ExoMars will explore the Martian surface with a mobile rover and a stationary science module.

ExoMars will:

• search for traces of past and present life at, and near, the Martian surface
• characterise Martian geochemistry and water distribution at various locations
• increase knowledge of the Mars environment and geophysics
• identify potential hazards before landing other robotic spacecraft, or – in the longer term – humans

PPARC’s investment is focussed on instruments and technology in which the UK has a proven and recognised track record, building on the heritage from Beagle 2 technology and missions such as Mars Express and Huygens. The 9 funding awards will develop areas which the UK considers to be critical, enabling academia and industry to develop flight-ready technology in time for the ExoMars mission.

The awards are for:

• the Rover to explore the surface
• Life Marker Chip to search for organic materials
• Panoramic Camera to map the planet in 3D
• X-ray Diffractometer to study the geology of Mars
• Microseismometer to search for Marsquakes
• The Atmospheric Experiment Package to develop the wind sensor element
• UV-VIS spectrometer to look at the radiation that reaches Mars
• Entry, Descent and Landing systems technology to safely deliver the spacecraft to the surface

• Fluid Inertial Simulation – to model parachute behaviour on Mars

More details on each of these and wider UK work is available in the accompanying information pack.

Professor Keith Mason, CEO of PPARC said “Mars Express has, and still is, delivering outstanding science from orbit around the Red Planet. It has revealed some amazing facts about Mars and even more amazing images – but we have unfinished business on the surface. To really understand the mysteries of Mars we need ground-truth data and ExoMars will deliver that with the rover and base station”.

Mason added,” The UK is already the second largest financial contributor to the Aurora programme in Europe – confirmation that we intend to be a major player. This latest PPARC funding will position our scientists and engineers to win leading roles in instruments and technology in the first mission, ExoMars”.

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pparc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy
22.11.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

nachricht Nano-watch has steady hands
22.11.2017 | University of Vienna

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>