Thursday, August 14, 2014

Comet Infrared and Visible Analyzer

It is "imperative not to ask Philae in the shade" . Or, again because of its shape, a very large part of its surface is! The light of the Sun is in fact vital for this little robot , powered by solar panels. It is "expected to land roughly at the equator and in the morning for 6 hours of sunshine after landing" . But that's not all. Surface roughness is also important. It should not be that arises on land where the mountains are likely to hide, it "could create communication problems between the two devices " . Indeed, the data are relayed by Rosetta Philae and it is important that both are visual as long as possible even if the module has a mass memory . During its operating cycle, it is "important to empty it regularly, because waiting a passage of the probe, waste energy for nothing" .

Scientists still have no clear idea of its life. That is why from its landing, "a scientific program will begin with the realization of a complete panorama, 360, the landing site" . One, it will not in stereo as 60 °. Its imager, the CIVA (instrument Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser ) includes seven cameras, the stereo pair. Analysis of the panorama depend subsequent operations.

The small Philae resembles a cube with four faces mounted on three feet. Three sides support the solar panels while the fourth contains the scientific instruments. It is very important that the solar panels are directed towards the Sun. If it does not, "Philae has the ability to turn on itself and correct its base" . However, these maneuvers will be carried out in cases of extreme necessity. Indeed, "no one wants to take the risk of something going wrong during a maneuver" . So that the decision is made ​​to turn, "you would have very strong fears, as a very poor location of the solar panels" . It is the analysis of the panorama that will decide whether or not to change its position. Ground controllers and scientists will have only four hours between image acquisition and the order sent to Philae (via Rosetta).