31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 8. Science and Technology of Future Space Missions Posters
Poster Group I, Monday-Wednesday, October 11, 1999, , Kursaal Center

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[8.12] The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on the Mars Climate Orbiter

M.C. Malin, M.A. Caplinger (Malin Space Science Systems), J.F. Bell III, P.C. Thomas (Cornell University), W. Calvin (U.S.Geological Survey), R.T. Clancy (Space Science Institute), R.M. Haberle (NASA Ames Research Center), P.B. James (University of Toledo), S.W. Lee (LASP, University of Colorado)

The Mars Color Imager, or MARCI experiment on the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) consists of two cameras with unique optics and identical focal plane assemblies (FPA), Data Acquisition System (DAS) electronics, and power supplies. Each camera is characterized by small physical size (~6 X 6 X 12 cm, including baffle, and < 500 gm), low power requirements (< 2.5 W, including power supply losses), and high science performance (1000 X 1000 pixel, low noise). The Wide Angle (WA) camera will have the capability to map Mars in five visible and two ultraviolet spectral bands at a resolution of 7.2 km/pixel under the worst case downlink data rate. Under better downlink conditions, the WA will provide kilometer-scale global maps of atmospheric phenomena such as clouds, hazes, dust storms, and the polar hood. Limb observations will provide additional detail on atmospheric structure at 1/3 scale-height resolution. The Medium Angle (MA) camera is designed to study selected areas of Mars at regional scale. Its 6 FOV, which covers 40 km at 40 m/pixel, will permit all locations on the planet except the poles to be accessible for image acquisitions every two mapping cycles (roughly 52 sols). Seven spectral channels between 425 nm and 1000 nm provide the ability to discriminate both atmospheric and surface features on the basis of composition. The primary science objectives of MARCI are to: 1) observe Martian atmospheric processes at synoptic and meso-scales, 2) study details of the interaction of the atmosphere with the surface at a variety of scales in both space and time, and 3) examine surface features characteristic of the evolution of the Martian climate over time. MARCI will directly address two of the three high level goals of the Mars Surveyor Program: Climate and Resources. Life, the third goal, will be addressed indirectly through the environmental factors associated with the other two goals.


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