Tech

ESA’s MARSIS gets a software upgrade 19 years after launch, Mars Exploration claims to be more efficient


The lower and ionosphere sound generators (MARSIS) aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft are set to receive a major software upgrade aimed at enhancing its capabilities. . Mars Express was ESA’s first mission to Mars, launched on June 2, 2003 and it ran Windows 98. It was equipped with the MARSIS engine that detected signs of liquid water on the Red Planet. Operated by the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Italy, MARSIS sends low-frequency radio waves toward the planet using a 40-meter antenna. While most of these waves are reflected back from the Martian surface, some can penetrate and be reflected from the boundaries between layers and disparate materials such as rock, water, and ice.

The reflected signals were then studied by scientists, who were able to map the planet’s structure below the surface using them. It allowed them to study the thickness, composition and other properties of materials present several kilometers below the planet’s surface.

Now, scientists are preparing to upgrade MARSIS’s software to make it more efficient in exploring the planet and its moon. Phobos and send back details.

“After decades of successful science and a clear understanding of Marswe wanted to push the performance of the instrument past some necessary limits when the mission began,” speak) Andrea Cicchetti, MARSIS Executive Vice President and Operations Manager at INAF, who directed the development of the upgrade.

The upgrade will improve the signal reception and on-board processing speed of MARSIS so that it can send better quality and increase the amount of data to The earth. Andrea shared that they had previously used a sophisticated technique to study the features of Mars and Phobos. However, it is used to store high-resolution data and uses the device’s built-in memory.

“By removing data that we don’t need, the new software allows us to turn on MARSIS for 5 times longer and explore a much larger area with each pass,” adds Andrea. The new software will allow scientists to better analyze some regions of Mars’ south pole from where they’ve seen signs of liquid water through low-resolution data.

“It’s really like having a brand new instrument on board Mars Express almost 20 years after its launch,” he added.

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