A camera designed and built at the Center of Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern will be launched with the ExoMars space orbiter next Monday 14 March and start its journey to Mars. The instrument will obtain stereo images of the surface in colour at a resolution of better than 5 m.
CaSSIS (Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System) has been developed by a team led by the University of Bern. It is scheduled to be launched on a PROTON rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:31 (CET) on Monday 14 March 2016. It will be carried by the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). The launch will send the spacecraft towards an encounter with Mars in October 2016.
The ExoMars orbiter with CaSSIS on board is being encapsulated into the rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome (Kazakhstan).
ESA / B. Bethge
CaSSIS is a high resolution imaging system designed to complement the data acquired by the other payload on TGO and other Mars orbiters while also enhancing our knowledge of the surface of Mars. The camera is a cooperation between the University of Bern, the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, and the Space Research Center in Warsaw with the support of local industries and funded by the Swiss Space Office (SSO), the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Polish Space Agency (POLSA). The instrument will obtain stereo images of the surface in colour at a resolution of better than 5 m.
Observing dynamics on Mars
It is now known that Mars is more dynamic than previously thought. Of particular interest to the 25-strong science team from 9 countries (incl. US and Russia) is the chance CaSSIS offers to study changes that occur over the day and over the Martian seasons. Further studies of recently discovered liquid water on the surface will be one of the main aims.
«CaSSIS is the best system we could build with the available resources», says the leader of the science team, Nicolas Thomas of the Center of Space and Habitability (CSH). «It was a real challenge completing the instrument in time. But we have done a lot of tests remotely from Bern, with CaSSIS on the spacecraft in Baikonur and it really seems to be good to go. The launcher now has to do its part.»
The first signals from the ExoMars spacecraft are expected 9 hours after launch at 19:28 CET. «That is going to be a long wait», says Thomas who will be a guest of ESA at the launch in Baikonur. «I will definitely need a drop of vodka at some point», he jokes.
The first switch-on of CaSSIS is planned for mid-April when the Uni Bern team will see if their instrument performs as expected. «That will also be a nervous time», said Thomas. «But whatever happens, the Swiss engineering team did a fantastic job and showed how to build a high precision space instrument in an unbelievably short time.»
Nathalie Matter | Universität Bern
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences