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Proceedings Paper

MERTIS on BepiColombo: seeing Mercury in a new light
Author(s): Jorn Helbert; Harald Hiesinger; Mario D'Amore; Ingo Walter; Gisbert Peter; Thomas Säuberlich; Gabriele Arnold; Alessandro Maturilli; Piero D'Incecco
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Paper Abstract

The MErcury Radiometer and Thermal infrared Imaging Spectrometer (MERTIS) is part of the payload of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter spacecraft of the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission. MERTIS’s scientific goals are to infer rockforming minerals, to map surface composition, and to study surface temperature variations on Mercury. To achieve these science goals MERTIS combines a imaging spectrometer covering the wavelength range from 7-14 microns with a radiometer covering the wavelength range from 7-40 microns. MERTIS will map the whole surface of Mercury with a spatial resolution of 500m for the spectrometer channel and 2km for the radiometer channel. The MERTIS instrument had been proposed long before the NASA MESSENGER mission provided us with new insights into the innermost of the terrestrial planets. The discoveries of the MESSENGER fundamentally changed our view of Mercury. It revealed a surface that has been reshaped by volcanism over large parts of geological history. Volatile elements like sulfur have been detected with unexpectedly high abundances of up to 4%. MESSENGER imagined structures that are most likely formed by pyroclastic eruptions in recent geologic history. Among the most exciting discoveries of MESSENGER are hollows – bright irregularly shaped depressions that show sign of ongoing loss of material. Despite all this new results the MERTIS dataset remains unique and is now more important than ever. None of the instruments on the NASA MESSENGER mission covers the same spectral range or provides a measurement of the surface temperature. The MERTIS will complement the results of MESSENGER. MERTIS will for example be able to provide spatially resolved compositional information on the hollows and pyroclastic deposits – both among the most exciting discoveries by the MESSENGER mission for which the NASA mission can not provide compositional information.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8867, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXI, 886705 (19 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023972
Show Author Affiliations
Jorn Helbert, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Harald Hiesinger, Westfälische Wilhelms-Univ. Münster (Germany)
Mario D'Amore, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Ingo Walter, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Gisbert Peter, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Thomas Säuberlich, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Gabriele Arnold, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Alessandro Maturilli, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Piero D'Incecco, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8867:
Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXI
Marija Strojnik Scholl; Gonzalo Páez, Editor(s)

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