37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 57 Moon, Mercury and Venus
Poster, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[57.02] VIHI: the Visible and Infrared Hyperspectral Imager channel of the SIMBIO-SYS instrument for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury

F. Capaccioni, M.C. De Sanctis, G. Piccioni (IASF-INAF), E. Flamini (ASI), S. Debei (CISAS), SIMBIO-SYS International Team

SIMBIO-SYS (Spectrometers and Imagers for MPO BepiColombo Integrated Observatory SYStem) is the remote sensing instruments suite onboard the ESA's cornerstone BepiColombo. BepiColombo has been selected in the fall 2000 and it is presently planned for a launch in April 2012. It will reach Mercury after a 4 years trip and will orbit the planet for 1 year plus 1 year of extended mission. SIMBIO-SYS is a system integrating a STereoscopic imaging Channel (STC), a High spatial Resolution Imaging Channel (HRIC) and a Visual and Infrared Hyper-spectral Imager channel (VIHI). The spectrometer is based on a proven architecture, making use of a reflecting telescope and a grating spectrometer in Littrow configuration which give a spatial sampling of 0.25mrad and a spectral resolution of 6.25nm in the range 400-2000nm. The 256 pixels in the spatial direction give a FOV of 64mrad which coupled with the S/C motion will provide the global coverage of the planet surface in the first 6months of operations around Mercury. VIHI shall have many specific scientific tasks: a) Global mapping of the surface of the planet in terms of mineralogic composition with a spatial resolution better than 400m: this mapping will allow to determine the correlations between the morphological, geological and compositional structures on Mercury; b) Mineralogic characterization of the Mercury surface with high space resolution (max achievable 100m for about 5-10% of the surface): high spatial resolution could show small scale heterogeneities of the surface, illustrating variations in spectral reflectance that can be related to different chemical composition of the material; c) Detailed investigation of the boundary zone between different terrains: Imaging spectroscopy allows the mineralogic composition of the geologic units boundaries to be determined through the spectral analysis of the region; d) Local analysis of small scale features (craters, scarps, lava flows, ejecta), relating the observed morphology to spectral characteristics: such analysis will give information on the processes that have been dominant in planet history: tectonism, volcanism and cratering; e) Probe Mercury stratigraphy through craters: mineralogic characterization of the different layers. Correlation of the mineralogic composition of the ejecta blankets of craters of different ages. As these materials are probing the crust at different depths, depending on the size of the crater, and at different times, depending on the crater ages, such observation will allow a survey of the evolution of crustal material through time. This work is supported by an Italian Space Agency contract.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: fabrizio.capaccioni@rm.iasf.cnr.it

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.