Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More on New Frontiers Venus SAGE Proposal

Thanks for Bruce Moomaw for these two links:



There would be a single lander that would touch down on the flanks of a volcano, Mielikki Mons, which an infrared spectrometer on the Venus Express spacecraft has identified as a possible location of fresh lava flow.

The craft would make measurements during the descent with "temperature, pressure, dynamics and wind speed hardware, a tunable laser spectrometer to measure stable isotope ratios and a neutral mass spectrometer to measure gases."  Cameras would take descent and landed images.  A robotic arm would scrape aside the top layers of soil while a "a neutron-activated gamma ray spectrometer and a third spectrometer [presumably a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer ("LIBS")] would measure soil chemistry.

See http://futureplanets.blogspot.com/search?q=raman  for more on the possible surface composition instruments.


Bruce Moomaw said...

Larry Esposito has now confirmed to me that the additional laser-enabled surface analysis instrument on SAGE is a combined LIBS/Ramsn spectrometer, capable of both elemental analyses (like the neutron-activation spectrometer) and mineralogy analyses (extremely important for Venus). He is, however, unwilling as yet to release any more information on the lander.

Bruce Moomaw said...

Make that "a LIBS/Raman spectrometer".