Planetary Hyperspectral Imagery, from remote characterizations down to microscopic in situ analysis
Dr Jean-Pierre Bibring, Professor of Physics, University of Paris, Orsay, France, and Astrophysicist at IAS, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay
Since the pioneering "ISM" hyperspectral imager which acquired image-cubes of both Mars and Phobos on board the Soviet Phobos 2 mission in 1989, a variety of such instrument, operating primarily in the visible and the near infrared, have been flown on planetary orbiters, to remotely characterize their surface and atmosphere. We shall review some of the major achievements reached in deciphering the processes that paved the history of planets and satellites ; they modify in depth our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system, in particular with respect to the question of life emergence. Recently, ultra-miniaturized hyperspectral microscopes are being developed, enabling the in situ analysis of planetary and small bodies surfaces, down the grain scale.
The technical improvements required will be presented, both in the area of detection and illumination ; the huge scientific potential of these instruments will be discussed, in the framework of on-going space missions, towards Mars, asteroids and comets.
Principal Investigator, OMEGA, Mars Express
Masters Degree in Physics and PhD in Astrophysics, University of Paris, Orsay, 1978. Since then Jean-Pierre has taught physics and astrophysics at all university levels, in addition to co-ordinating space research programmes.
His current responsibilities as well as his work on Mars Express include: Lead Scientist of the Rosetta Lander (ESA Rosetta mission); Principal Investigator of the CIVA investigations (panoramic and microscopic spectral imaging) on board the Rosetta Lander; and Co-Investigator of several other experiments on Solar System exploration missions, such as ESA's Venus Express, NASA/ESA Cassini/Huygens and NASA MRO.