Descent imager/spectral radiometer (DISR) instrument aboard the Huygens probe of Titan

Martin G. Tomasko, Lyn R. Doose, Peter H. Smith, C. Fellows, B. Rizk, C. See, M. Bushroe, E. McFarlane, E. Wegryn, E. Frans, R. Clark, M. Prout, S. Clapp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Huygen's probe of the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan includes one optical instrument sensitive to the wavelengths of solar radiation. The goals of this investigation fall into four broad areas: 1) the measurement of the profile of solar heating to support an improved understanding of the thermal balance of Titan and the role of the greenhouse effect in maintaining Titan's temperature structure; 2) the measurement of the size, vertical distribution, and optical properties of the aerosol and cloud particles in Titan's atmosphere to support studies of the origin, chemistry, life cycles, and role in the radiation balance of Titan played by these particles; 3) the composition of the atmosphere, particularly the vertical profile of the mixing ratio of methane, a condensable constituent in Titan's atmosphere; and 4) the physical state, composition, topography, and physical processes at work in determining the nature of the surface of Titan and its interaction with Titan's atmosphere. In order to accomplish these objectives, the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) instrument makes extensive use of fiber optics to bring the light from several different sets of foreoptics to a silicon CCD detector, to a pair of InGaAs linear array detectors, and to three silicon photometers. Together these detectors permit DISR to make panoramic images of the clouds and surface of Titan, to measure the spectrum of upward and downward streaming sunlight from 350 to 1700 nm at a resolving power of about 200, to measure the reflection spectrum of ≥ 3000 locations on the surface, to measure the brightness and polarization of the solar aureole between 4 and 30 degrees from the sun at 500 and 935 nm, to separate the direct and diffuse downward solar flux at each wavelength measured, and to measure the continuous reflection spectrum of the ground between 850 and 1600 nm using an onboard lamp in the last 100 m of the descent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsLinda Horn
Pages64-74
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
EventCassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian Systems - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: Aug 5 1996Aug 6 1996

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume2803

Other

OtherCassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian Systems
CityDenver, CO, USA
Period8/5/968/6/96

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Tomasko, M. G., Doose, L. R., Smith, P. H., Fellows, C., Rizk, B., See, C., Bushroe, M., McFarlane, E., Wegryn, E., Frans, E., Clark, R., Prout, M., & Clapp, S. (1996). Descent imager/spectral radiometer (DISR) instrument aboard the Huygens probe of Titan. In L. Horn (Ed.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (pp. 64-74). (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 2803).