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Planetary Emissivity Laboratory – studying the hot surfaces of Venus and Mercury

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Jörn Helbert

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

DLR Institute of Planetary Research
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

The Planetary Emissivity Laboratory at DLR in Berlin has a long standing expertise in providing spectral data of planetary analog materials. Based on this experience we decided 6 years ago to embark on a new adventure by extending our laboratory capabilities to support missions to Venus and Mercury. This was driven by mainly by the fact that DLR is providing the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal infrared Imaging Spectrometer (MERTIS) for the ESA BepiColombo mission to Mercury.Both planets - Mercury and Venus - exhibit surface temperatures up to 500°C and this extreme temperature range affects the spectral characteristics and the properties of the surface minerals. First test data obtained in support of the NASA MESSENGER misson to Mercury highlighted quickly the need for high temperature measurements. The measurements are currently supporting not only the meaningful interpretation of the remote sensing data from MESSENGER but also from VenusExpress and Spitzer - and help us prepare for BepiColombo.The talk will not only show some new and exciting results, but also report about the challenges encountered in the last 6 years and our approach to mitigating them. Finally we will take a look ahead to BepiColombo.