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17

It's fundamentally impossible to measure gravity from an object that is in freefall. This is the first principle of general relativity. What accelerometers will give you is accelerations (linear or rotational) induced by thrusters, atmosperic drag, reaction wheels, etc. vibrations from rotating solar panels, crew-induced forces, etc. The only thing you ...


16

Cassini's INMS, the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer, is an in situ instrument that measures the neutral and plasma gas composition of what it ingests. It was intended for the measurement of Titan's atmosphere, Saturn's magnetosphere plasma, ring composition, and in fact the composition of icy satellite effluents. Here is a good presentation on the basics of ...


16

EPIC (PDF) is a Cassegrain type reflector telescope so there's the fixed hyperbolic secondary mirror in the middle of the telescopes light path / focal plane. While that could be removed during post-processing and combining multiple exposures focusing at slightly different angles of the telescope itself (or shifting of the sensor on the focal plane, depends ...


14

This is the Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU). Specifically, the ball is the Wide Langmuir Probe. picture from here The FPMU was installed by ISS crewmembers, during an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), on the starboard (Sl) truss of the ISS in early August 2006. The system is based on past USU/SDL space instruments and incorporates a ...


12

From russian wikipedia: Another instrument helped to the pilot to decide when to start manual operation to return to Earth - it was a small globe with a clock mechanism, which shows the (calculated, not measured) current location over Earth. It followed the craft position as calculated with the mechanical computer inside, following parameters initially ...


11

Red because of the color of the planet - we need to be able to see the most red detail, as that's what most of the planet is colored. Blue-green because we don't really need to see blue and green individually. If it's not red, it's enough to know that it's blue or green. Now, the near-infrared sensor. Why? It turns out that information on mineral groups ...


11

The instrumentation will be completely different. The 2020 SDT report covers in detail the science objectives and types of instrumentation needed to meet those objectives. In short, the instrumentation will be focused on in situ microscopic observations and sample collection and caching for possible return to Earth. Curiosity on the other hand is focusing ...


9

The material depended on the mission but was usually quartz, and the stability is insane. The development of Ultra-Stable Oscillators (USOs) is ongoing (see here and here). NASA/the ESA have used things like quartz and rubidium depending on the mission (see the abstract) . Crystal oscillators are preferred because they are "...easier to qualify for deep ...


8

There is no minimum for cockpit instrumentation, as spacecraft can be completely automated and/or controlled from the ground. For practical purposes, the minimum craft controls would be: a translational and rotational controller; in theory, these could be combined. a fuel gage a two-way radio life support controls Flow Rate (either a dial or an on/off ...


8

Surveyor measured the rate of descent with radar by using Doppler shift. From the book Planetary Landers and Entry Probes: The surveyor lander used a pulsed radar to generate an altitude reference at 100 km, a separate RADVS (Radar Altimeter and Doppler Velocity Sensor) turned on, using a four beam frequency modulated continuous wave technique (Figure 5....


8

Talking about Jupiter, there was the Galileo Probe, also referred to as Jupiter Atmosphere Probe, which was dropped into the atmosphere of Jupiter in 1995. Its data is still the only data measured in situ on any gas giant. There are profiles for wind speed, temperature and pressure, besides other parameters, up to a depth of about 160 km (compared to ...


8

The Juno probe will be doing some of this for Jupiter's atmosphere. Due to the extreme densities involved it will be doing so from orbit; not by entering into it. From Wikipedia Scientific objectives Image of Jupiter aurora in UV by the Hubble Space Telescope. Bright streaks and dots are caused by magnetic flux tubes connecting Jupiter to its ...


8

First, ignore what Wikipedia claims about attitude indicators. It shows a diagram of the inside of an airplane attitude indicator. I am not inlining this image because -- although some airplanes may use such an indicator -- it is completely wrong about spacecraft attitude indicators. Let's look at what is displayed on a spacecraft attitude indicator. The ...


7

The best way to measure gravity from a spacecraft is not by using an instrument on a spacecraft, but using a pair of instruments on two spacecraft. The best example of this is Grail spacecraft. What they did in essence was to orbit around the Moon such that they had a more or less constant distance between the two. As an area of higher gravity passed, then ...


7

Not really, but by being really careful one can get a reasonably close approximation. There are a number of cameras on board, with different wavelengths. The ones that cover visible or near visible wavelenths are (Source): RALPH "Blue" channel 400-550 nm. RALPH "RED" channel- 540-700 nm. RALPH "Pan" (Clear filter)- 450-1000 nm LORRI- 350-850 nm Okay, so ...


7

Actually, there is a visible light camera/telescope onboard. From a page on Juno by Lockheed Martin that built it: Junocam: An education and public outreach visible-light camera provides first pictures of Jupiter’s poles (Malin Space Science Systems). Going through Juno Telecommunications Design and Performance documentation (PDF) to find more ...


7

Yes. The list you cited includes a link to JunoCam, which is planned to return a relatively limited number of images. It's described as: A visible light camera/telescope, included in the payload to facilitate education and public outreach. It will operate for only seven orbits around Jupiter because of the planet's damaging radiation and magnetic ...


7

Spacecraft use a star tracker to find their orientation (attitude). Here's a random example: Dimensions and Mass: Camera 120 by 120 by 33 mm, 1.0 kg (note: optics protrude 58 mm inside baffle) Processor 245 by 165 by 29 mm, 1.2 kg Baffle Examples: 30º (sun exclusion), Ø234 by 346 mm, 800 g 45º (sun exclusion), Ø167 by 203 mm, 470 g 60º (...


7

Many questions! How effective are different types of radar in space over large distances. Is radar significantly different outside of the atmosphere of Earth? The only difference between a radar inside the atmosphere and in space is the lack of air to dim the signal. Instead, a usually small angular size of the target, caused by the large distances. ...


7

You don't need a laser to do this. The technique you describe is known as spectroscopy, and it can use any light source, including light from the planet's star. This is a common technique for studying Earth's atmosphere from space, and to study stars and planets from Earth. This even works on planets in other solar systems. In a few years, an ESA mission ...


6

China's Chang'e 1 (CE-1) and Chang'e 2 (CE-2) lunar orbiters were both equipped with multi-channel microwave radiometers, measuring thermal emissions from the lunar surface and near-surface down to 30 meters of depth. Similarly, Chinese Yutu rover from the Chang'e 3 mission is equipped with a GPR that also operates in microwave frequencies. NASA, to my ...


6

LISA (long PDF) uses interferometry. This is a method that allows very accurate measurement of the difference between two lengths. Basically, a laser beam is split. Each half of the beam travels a different path. A small difference in path lengths causes a phase difference between the beams. Both beams are combined in a heterodyne detector, which produces an ...


6

I've used a stock GoPro on a high altitude balloon that made it to 40 km, it recorded the whole way up and down (on external power). So depending on your mass and financial budget you could use this camera. At the altitude you're working at the most likely problem you'll have would be the camera over heating due to the lack of air reducing its ability to ...


5

Two things here: The main physical processes JWST is concerned about take place in the Infrared, and JWST is not a Earth observatory It will have the NIRCam that can reach slightly into the visible spectrum, but this will definitely not be used to make photos of Earth. All of its science instruments will absolutely have to point away from Earth (also Sun ...


5

Concise version from the pre-flyby media teleconference announcement: Cassini scientists are hopeful the flyby will provide insights into how much hydrothermal activity is occurring within Enceladus, and how this hot-water chemistry might impact the ocean’s potential habitability for simple forms of life. If the spacecraft’s ion and neutral mass ...


4

The basic problem with using radar in space is range. When you send out a radar pulse, the amount of power that returns to the transmitter is proportional to 1/range4. So double the distance means power drops to 1/16. On Earth, that's not a big problem. To detect objects in the atmosphere (e.g. aircraft), you can build a transmitter powerful enough to ...


4

At the moment the only way to retrieve payload from the ISS is via the SpaceX Dragon capsule. Previously the Space Shuttle admirably served this role, with the ability to take large and heavy payloads back, up to 32,000lbs (center of gravity/balance limits greatly limit this in practice). Dragon can return 5,000 lbs of payload, so significantly less. (...


4

Each instrument on Mars, or any other planet, has strengths and weaknesses. Used together, you get a whole picture. HiRISE can take visible and near visible images, in very high resolution. There's a lot that can be learned from this that is harder to learn with poorer resolution. Visible images will allow you to see real objects, and in particular, how ...


4

A recent analysis of Voyager 2's flybys of Uranus and Neptune found that the weather layers on both planets are at most 1000km thick. This was done by modeling how density variations in the atmosphere would affect the spacecrafts trajectory by minutely varying the planets gravitational field. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/207909201.html


4

Ok - after a bit more research, I figured out what the readouts in question are: the attitude "ball", along with readouts 2, 6 and 7, are part of a spacecraft-specific instrument called Flight Director Attitude Indicator (or FDAI): The readouts 2, 6 and 7 are, respectively, Roll value and rate, Pitch value and rate and Yaw value and rate, with red bands ...


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