Browsing by Subject "BepiColombo"

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  • Mangano, V.; Dósa, Melinda; Fränz, Markus; Milillo, Anna; Oliveira, Joana S.; Lee, Yeon Joo; McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Grassi, Davide; Heyner, Daniel; Kozyrev, Alexander S.; Peron, Roberto; Helbert, Jörn; Besse, Sebastien; de la Fuente, Sara; Montagnon, Elsa; Zender, Joe; Volwerk, Martin; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Slavin, James; Krüger, Harald; Maturilli, Alessandro; Cornet, Thomas; Iwai, Kazumasa; Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Lucente, Marco; Massetti, Stefano; Schmidt, Carl A.; Dong, Chuanfei; Quarati, Francesco; Hirai, Takayuki; Varsani, Ali; Belyaev, Denis; Zhong, Jun; Kilpua, Emilia; Jackson, Bernard V.; Odstrcil, Dusan; Plaschke, Ferdinand; Vainio, Rami; Jarvinen, Riku; Lambrov Ivanovski, Stavro; Madár, Ákos; Erdős, Géza; Plainaki, Christina; Alberti, Tommaso; Aizawa, Sae; Benkhoff, Johannes; Murakami, Go; Quemerais, Eric; Hiesinger, Harald; Mitrofanov, Igor G.; Iess, Luciano; Santoli, Francesco; Orsini, Stefano; Lichtenegger, Herbert; Laky, Gunther; Barabash, Stas; Moissl, Richard; Huovelin, J.; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Saito, Yoshifumi; Kobayashi, Masanori; Baumjohann, Wolfgang (2021)
    The dual spacecraft mission BepiColombo is the first joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to explore the planet Mercury. BepiColombo was launched from Kourou (French Guiana) on October 20th, 2018, in its packed configuration including two spacecraft, a transfer module, and a sunshield. BepiColombo cruise trajectory is a long journey into the inner heliosphere, and it includes one flyby of the Earth (in April 2020), two of Venus (in October 2020 and August 2021), and six of Mercury (starting from 2021), before orbit insertion in December 2025. A big part of the mission instruments will be fully operational during the mission cruise phase, allowing unprecedented investigation of the different environments that will encounter during the 7-years long cruise. The present paper reviews all the planetary flybys and some interesting cruise configurations. Additional scientific research that will emerge in the coming years is also discussed, including the instruments that can contribute.
  • Benkhoff, J.; Murakami, G.; Baumjohann, W.; Besse, S.; Bunce, E.; Casale, M.; Cremosese, G.; Glassmeier, K. -H.; Hayakawa, JAXA; Heyner, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Huovelin, J.; Hussmann, H.; Iafolla, V.; Iess, L.; Kasaba, Y.; Kobayashi, M.; Milillo, A.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Montagnon, E.; Novara, M.; Orsini, S.; Quemerais, E.; Reininghaus, U.; Saito, Y.; Santoli, F.; Stramaccioni, D.; Sutherland, O.; Thomas, N.; Yoshikawa, I.; Zender, J. (2021)
    BepiColombo is a joint mission between the European Space Agency, ESA, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, to perform a comprehensive exploration of Mercury. Launched on 20th October 2018 from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the spacecraft is now en route to Mercury. Two orbiters have been sent to Mercury and will be put into dedicated, polar orbits around the planet to study the planet and its environment. One orbiter, Mio, is provided by JAXA, and one orbiter, MPO, is provided by ESA. The scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide detailed information necessary to understand the origin and evolution of the planet itself and its surrounding environment. Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, the only terrestrial planet besides Earth with a self-sustained magnetic field, and the smallest planet in our Solar System. It is a key planet for understanding the evolutionary history of our Solar System and therefore also for the question of how the Earth and our Planetary System were formed. The scientific objectives focus on a global characterization ofMercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere. In addition, instrumentation onboard BepiColombo will be used to test Einstein's theory of general relativity. Major effort was put into optimizing the scientific return of the mission by defining a payload such that individual measurements can be interrelated and complement each other.
  • Milillo, A.; Fujimoto, M.; Murakami, G.; Benkhoff, J.; Zender, J.; Aizawa, S.; Dosa, M.; Griton, L.; Heyner, D.; Ho, G.; Imber, S. M.; Jia, Yan; Karlsson, T.; Killen, R. M.; Laurenza, M.; Lindsay, S. T.; McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Mura, A.; Raines, J. M.; Rothery, D. A.; Andre, N.; Baumjohann, W.; Berezhnoy, A.; Bourdin, P. A.; Bunce, E. J.; Califano, F.; Deca, J.; de la Fuente, S.; Dong, C.; Grava, C.; Fatemi, S.; Henri, P.; Ivanovski, S. L.; Jackson, B. V.; James, M.; Kallio, E.; Kasaba, Y.; Kilpua, E.; Kobayashi, M.; Langlais, B.; Leblanc, F.; Lhotka, C.; Mangano, V.; Martindale, A.; Massetti, S.; Masters, A.; Morooka, M.; Narita, Y.; Oliveira, J. S.; Odstrcil, D.; Orsini, S.; Pelizzo, M. G.; Plainaki, C.; Plaschke, F.; Sahraoui, Afaf; Seki, K.; Slavin, J. A.; Vainio, R.; Wurz, P.; Barabash, S.; Carr, C. M.; Delcourt, D.; Glassmeier, K. -H.; Grande, M.; Hirahara, M.; Huovelin, J.; Korablev, O.; Kojima, H.; Lichtenegger, H.; Livi, S.; Matsuoka, A.; Moissl, R.; Moncuquet, M.; Muinonen, K.; Quemerais, E.; Saito, Y.; Yagitani, S.; Yoshikawa, I.; Wahlund, J. -E. (2020)
    The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission will provide simultaneous measurements from two spacecraft, offering an unprecedented opportunity to investigate magnetospheric and exospheric dynamics at Mercury as well as their interactions with the solar wind, radiation, and interplanetary dust. Many scientific instruments onboard the two spacecraft will be completely, or partially devoted to study the near-space environment of Mercury as well as the complex processes that govern it. Many issues remain unsolved even after the MESSENGER mission that ended in 2015. The specific orbits of the two spacecraft, MPO and Mio, and the comprehensive scientific payload allow a wider range of scientific questions to be addressed than those that could be achieved by the individual instruments acting alone, or by previous missions. These joint observations are of key importance because many phenomena in Mercury's environment are highly temporally and spatially variable. Examples of possible coordinated observations are described in this article, analysing the required geometrical conditions, pointing, resolutions and operation timing of different BepiColombo instruments sensors.
  • Rothery, David A.; Massironi, Matteo; Alemanno, Giulia; Barraud, Oceane; Besse, Sebastien; Bott, Nicolas; Brunetto, Rosario; Bunce, Emma; Byrne, Paul; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carli, Cristian; Charlier, Bernard; Cornet, Thomas; Cremonese, Gabriele; D'Amore, Mario; De Sanctis, M. Cristina; Doressoundiram, Alain; Ferranti, Luigi; Filacchione, Gianrico; Galluzzi, Valentina; Giacomini, Lorenza; Grande, Manuel; Guzzetta, Laura G.; Helbert, Joern; Heyner, Daniel; Hiesinger, Harald; Hussmann, Hauke; Hyodo, Ryuku; Kohout, Tomas; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Lucchetti, Alice; Malakhov, Alexey; Malliband, Christopher; Mancinelli, Paolo; Martikainen, Julia; Martindale, Adrian; Maturilli, Alessandro; Milillo, Anna; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Morlok, Andreas; Muinonen, Karri; Namur, Olivier; Owens, Alan; Nittler, Larry R.; Oliveira, Joana S.; Palumbo, Pasquale; Pajola, Maurizio; Pegg, David L.; Penttilä, Antti; Politi, Romolo; Quarati, Francesco; Re, Cristina; Sanin, Anton; Schulz, Rita; Stangarone, Claudia; Stojic, Aleksandra; Tretiyakov, Vladislav; Vaisanen, Timo; Varatharajan, Indhu; Weber, Iris; Wright, Jack; Wurz, Peter; Zambon, Francesca (2020)
    BepiColombo has a larger and in many ways more capable suite of instruments relevant for determination of the topographic, physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of Mercury's surface than the suite carried by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft. Moreover, BepiColombo's data rate is substantially higher. This equips it to confirm, elaborate upon, and go beyond many of MESSENGER's remarkable achievements. Furthermore, the geometry of BepiColombo's orbital science campaign, beginning in 2026, will enable it to make uniformly resolved observations of both northern and southern hemispheres. This will offer more detailed and complete imaging and topographic mapping, element mapping with better sensitivity and improved spatial resolution, and totally new mineralogical mapping. We discuss MESSENGER data in the context of preparing for BepiColombo, and describe the contributions that we expect BepiColombo to make towards increased knowledge and understanding of Mercury's surface and its composition. Much current work, including analysis of analogue materials, is directed towards better preparing ourselves to understand what BepiColombo might reveal. Some of MESSENGER's more remarkable observations were obtained under unique or extreme conditions. BepiColombo should be able to confirm the validity of these observations and reveal the extent to which they are representative of the planet as a whole. It will also make new observations to clarify geological processes governing and reflecting crustal origin and evolution. We anticipate that the insights gained into Mercury's geological history and its current space weathering environment will enable us to better understand the relationships of surface chemistry, morphologies and structures with the composition of crustal types, including the nature and mobility of volatile species. This will enable estimation of the composition of the mantle from which the crust was derived, and lead to tighter constraints on models for Mercury's origin including the nature and original heliocentric distance of the material from which it formed.
  • Cremonese, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Capria, M. T.; Doressoundiram, A.; Palumbo, P.; Vincendon, M.; Massironi, M.; Debei, S.; Zusi, M.; Altieri, F.; Amoroso, M.; Aroldi, G.; Baroni, M.; Barucci, A.; Bellucci, G.; Benkhoff, J.; Besse, S.; Bettanini, C.; Blecka, M.; Borrelli, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Carli, C.; Carlier, Elodie; Cerroni, P.; Cicchetti, A.; Colangeli, L.; Dami, M.; Da Deppo, V.; Della Corte; De Sanctis, M. C.; Erard, S.; Esposito, F.; Fantinel, D.; Ferranti, L.; Ferri, F.; Veltroni, I. Ficai; Filacchione, G.; Flamini, E.; Forlani, G.; Fornasier, S.; Forni, O.; Fulchignoni, M.; Galluzzi, Lorenzo; Gwinner, K.; Ip, W.; Jorda, L.; Langevin, Y.; Lara, L.; Leblanc, F.; Leyrat, C.; Li, Y.; Marchi, S.; Marinangeli, L.; Marzari, F.; Epifani, E. Mazzotta; Mendillom, M.; Mennella, A.; Mugnuolo, R.; Muinonen, K.; Naletto, G.; Noschese, R.; Palomba, E.; Paolinetti, R.; Perna, D.; Piccioni, G.; Politi, R.; Poulet, F.; Ragazzoni, R.; Re, C.; Rossi, M.; Rotundi, A.; Salemi, G.; Sgavetti, M.; Simioni, E.; Thomas, N.; Tommasi, L.; Turella, A.; Van Hoolst, T.; Wilson, L.; Zambon, F.; Aboudan, A.; Barraud, O.; Bott, N.; Borin, P.; Colombatti, G.; El Yazidi, M.; Ferrari, S.; Flahaut, J.; Giacomini, L.; Guzzetta, L.; Lucchetti, A.; Martellato, E.; Pajola, M.; Slemer, A.; Tognon, G.; Turrini, D. (2020)
    The SIMBIO-SYS (Spectrometer and Imaging for MPO BepiColombo Integrated Observatory SYStem) is a complex instrument suite part of the scientific payload of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter for the BepiColombo mission, the last of the cornerstone missions of the European Space Agency (ESA) Horizon + science program. The SIMBIO-SYS instrument will provide all the science imaging capability of the BepiColombo MPO spacecraft. It consists of three channels: the STereo imaging Channel (STC), with a broad spectral band in the 400-950 nm range and medium spatial resolution (at best 58 m/px), that will provide Digital Terrain Model of the entire surface of the planet with an accuracy better than 80 m; the High Resolution Imaging Channel (HRIC), with broad spectral bands in the 400-900 nm range and high spatial resolution (at best 6 m/px), that will provide high-resolution images of about 20% of the surface, and the Visible and near-Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging channel (VIHI), with high spectral resolution (6 nm at finest) in the 400-2000 nm range and spatial resolution reaching 120 m/px, it will provide global coverage at 480 m/px with the spectral information, assuming the first orbit around Mercury with periherm at 480 km from the surface. SIMBIO-SYS will provide high-resolution images, the Digital Terrain Model of the entire surface, and the surface composition using a wide spectral range, as for instance detecting sulphides or material derived by sulphur and carbon oxidation, at resolutions and coverage higher than the MESSENGER mission with a full co-alignment of the three channels. All the data that will be acquired will allow to cover a wide range of scientific objectives, from the surface processes and cartography up to the internal structure, contributing to the libration experiment, and the surface-exosphere interaction. The global 3D and spectral mapping will allow to study the morphology and the composition of any surface feature. In this work, we describe the on-ground calibrations and the results obtained, providing an important overview of the instrument performances. The calibrations have been performed at channel and at system levels, utilizing specific setup in most of the cases realized for SIMBIO-SYS. In the case of the stereo camera (STC), it has been necessary to have a validation of the new stereo concept adopted, based on the push-frame. This work describes also the results of the Near-Earth Commissioning Phase performed few weeks after the Launch (20 October 2018). According to the calibration results and the first commissioning the three channels are working very well.
  • Huovelin, J.; Vainio, R.; Kilpua, E.; Lehtolainen, A.; Korpela, S.; Esko, E.; Muinonen, K.; Bunce, E.; Martindale, A.; Grande, M.; Andersson, H.; Nenonen, S.; Lehti, J.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vihavainen, T.; Saari, J.; Peltonen, J.; Valtonen, E.; Talvioja, M.; Portin, P.; Narendranath, S.; Järvinen, R.; Okada, T.; Milillo, A.; Laurenza, M.; Heino, E.; Oleynik, P. (2020)
    The Solar Intensity X-ray and particle Spectrometer (SIXS) on the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter ("Bepi") measures the direct solar X-rays, energetic protons, and electrons that bombard, and interact with, the Hermean surface. The interactions result in X-ray fluorescence and scattering, and particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), i.e. "glow" of the surface in X-rays. Simultaneous monitoring of the incident and emitted radiation enables derivation of the abundances of some chemical elements and scattering properties of the outermost surface layer of the planet, and it may reveal other sources of X-ray emission, due to, for example, weak aurora-like phenomena in Mercury's exosphere. Mapping of the Hermean X-ray emission is the main task of the MIXS instrument onboard BepiColombo. SIXS data will also be used for investigations of the solar X-ray corona and solar energetic particles (SEP), both in the cruise phase and the passes of the Earth, Venus and Mercury before the arrival at Mercury's orbit, and the final science phase at Mercury's orbit. These observations provide the first-ever opportunity for in-situ measurements of the propagation of SEPs, their interactions with the interplanetary magnetic field, and space weather phenomena in multiple locations throughout the inner solar system far away from the Earth, and more extensively at Mercury's orbit. In this paper we describe the scientific objectives, design and calibrations, operational principles, and scientific performance of the final SIXS instrument launched to the mission to planet Mercury onboard BepiColombo. We also provide the first analysis results of science observations with SIXS, that were made during the Near-Earth Commissioning Phase and early cruise phase operations in 2018-19, including the background X-ray sky observations and "first light" observations of the Sun with the SIXS X-ray detection system (SIXS-X), and in-situ energetic electron and proton observations with the SIXS Particle detection system (SIXS-P).