Results from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC)
on Mars Express through the nominal mission
Technical University and German Aerospace Center (DLR)
ESA's Mars Express has successfully completed its nominal mission of one Martian year, with the onboard High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) having covered about 25% of the surface. HRSC is a push-broom scanning instrument with nine CCD line detectors mounted in parallel on a focal plane. Its unique feature is the ability to obtain near-simultaneous imaging data at high resolution, with along-track triple stereo, four colors and five different phase angles, under near-identical observing conditions. The HRSC spatial resolution is 10 m/pixel from the nominal periapsis altitude of 250 km, with an image swath of 53 km. Using three- dimensional point determination it is possible to derive Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) with a grid size of up to 50 m and a height accuracy of a single pixel with up to 10 m, thus enabling us to carry out detailed quantitative analyses of the surface structure. The HRSC instrument is intended to map the morphology, topography, structure, and geologic context of the surface as well as atmospheric phenomena. Also, image data of Phobos and Deimos, the two Martian satellites have been obtained. The instrument has made significant contributions to the study of the evolution of volcanism and the role of water and ice throughout the Martian history.
* Professor at the Technical University Berlin and Head of the Planetary Geodesy Section of the German Aerospace Center Institute of Planetary Research