04/06/2020 15:00:00
Astrophysics Webinar
MS Teams App

BepiColombo: science and technology for the exploration of Mercury

SPEAKERS: Dr. F. De Marchi, Dr. C. Magnafico, Dr. V. Mangano, Dr. C. Re

Join the Webinar from browser or MS Teams App at https://bit.ly/2TEAJhD

ABSTRACT: The 20th October 2018, BepiColombo mission was launched by
Ariane 5 Rocket from the French Guiana launch site. BepiColombo is a
joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan
Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that will observe Mercury, one of
the less visited planet of the solar system, still covered by open
scientific questions. The mission wants to answer them by using two
observing modules, placed into two different orbits. The first one, on
a small eccentricity orbit, closer to the planet, is the Mercury
Planetary Orbiter (MPO). It is devoted to the study of the planet. The
other one, with a bigger semi-major orbital axis and bigger
eccentricity, is the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO or, as by
tradition renamed just before the launch by JAXA, Mio) aimed to
measure the magnetosphere. The cruise phase will last 7 years, with 9
fly-by, one to the Earth, two to Venus and six to Mercury itself. The
two modules will fly in a composite unique stack with the help of a
dedicated third module equipped with an ion engine: the Mercury
Transfer Module or MTM.The MPO, the European designed module, will
host four italian payloads. They are: SERENA (a suite of four sensors
to study the Mercury exosphere and its interaction with the surface,
the magnetosphere and solar wind); SIMBIO-SYS (a suite of three
optical payloads that will observe the surface in 2D and 3D plus its
spectral composition); KaT (a transponder to allow precise
measurements of distance and radial velocity between the probe and the
Earth ground stations); ISA (an accelerometer that will be used to
subtract the non-gravitational contribution, mostly due to the solar
radiation pressure, from the dynamical model. The joint use of this
instrument and the KaT will allow precise estimations of the gravity
field of Mercury and some tests of the general relativity.). Bep-it!,
the Italian outreach group for the BepiColombo mission, will conduct
the talk with a focus on the scientific targets, the on-board new
technologies with a special care to the Italian payloads.
Poster of the event is available at https://bit.ly/2yx7NAE