The imager for Mars Pathfinder experiment

Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
By: , and 



The imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), a stereoscopic, multispectral camera, is described in terms of its capabilities for studying the Martian environment. The camera's two eyes, separated by 15.0 cm, provide the camera with range‐finding ability. Each eye illuminates half of a single CCD detector with a field of view of 14.4×14.0° and has 12 selectable filters. The ƒ/18 optics have a large depth of field, and no focussing mechanism is required; a mechanical shutter is avoided by using the frame transfer capability of the 512×512 CCD. The resolving power of the camera, 0.98 mrad/pixel, is approximately the same as the Viking Lander cameras; however, the signal‐to‐noise ratio for IMP greatly exceeds Viking, approaching 350. This feature along with the stable calibration of the filters between 440 and 1000 nm distinguishes IMP from Viking. Specially designed targets are positioned on the Lander; they provide information on the magnetic properties of wind‐blown dust, measure the wind vectors, and provide radiometric standard reflectors for calibration. Also, eight low‐transmission filters are included for imaging the Sun directly at multiple wavelengths, giving IMP the ability to measure dust opacity and potentially the water vapor content. Several experiments beyond the requisite color panorama are described in detail: contour mapping of the local terrain, multispectral imaging of the surrounding rock and soil to study local mineralogy, viewing of three wind socks, measuring atmospheric opacity and water vapor content, and estimating the magnetic properties of wind‐blown dust. This paper is intended to serve as a guide to understanding the scientific integrity of the IMP data that will be returned from Mars starting on July 4, 1997.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The imager for Mars Pathfinder experiment
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
DOI 10.1029/96JE03568
Volume 102
Issue E2
Year Published 1997
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 23 p.
First page 4003
Last page 4025
Other Geospatial Mars
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