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Sounding the interior of Titan's lakes by using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

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8 Author(s)
Bampasidis, G. ; Nat. & Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens, Athens, Greece ; Solomonidou, A. ; Bratsolis, E. ; Kyriakopoulos, K.
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The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrumentation on board the Cassini orbiter has identified large hydrocarbon liquid deposits on the surface of Titan [e.g. 1], distributed mainly around its northern polar regions. Recent studies [2] suggest that the rims of these structures display seasonal changes, where the lakes appear to be shrinking. However, the precise depth, evolution and composition of these lake-like features are still unknown. The physical and chemical characteristics of the Titan lakes will be one of the major objectives of a future space mission to Titan [e.g. 3, 4]. We propose here the application of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) as part of a science surface properties package aboard a future Lake Lander. MEMS devices offer a low cost and reduced size of instrumentation in order to accomplish the 3-D sounding of the liquid deposit and detect the presence of any biomarkers in a broader area.

Published in:

Space Technology (ICST), 2011 2nd International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Sept. 2011