Revealing Mars' deep interior: Future geodesy missions using radio links between landers, orbiters, and the Earth
Dehant, V × Le Maistre, S Rivoldini, A Yseboodt, M Rosenblatt, P Van Hoolst, Tim Mitrovic, M Karatekin, O Marty, J. C Chicarro, A #
Planetary and Space Science vol:59 issue:10 pages:1069-1081
In the frame of a comparison between Earth, Venus, and Mars, a vision on future geodesy missions to Mars is discussed with particular focus on furthering our understanding of the interior, rotation, and orientation of this terrestrial planet. We explain how radioscience instruments can be used to observe the rotation and orientation and therewith to study the deep interior of Mars and its global atmosphere dynamics. Transponders in X-band and Ka-band are proposed with radio links between a lander or a rover and an orbiter around Mars and/or directly to the Earth. The radio budget links are studied in the frame of possible mission constraints and simulations are performed, which show that important information on the interior of Mars can be obtained from the radioscience data. From the observation of Mars' orientation in space and of tidal effects on a spacecraft orbiting around Mars we show that it is possible for instance to constrain the dimension and composition of the core, the percentage of light element within the core, and to determine the presence of a pressure-induced mineral-phase transition at the bottom of the mantle. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.