Laboratory calibrations of the PP-SESAME instrument on Philae for measuring the cometary surface permittivity

Abstract : The complex permittivity of terrestrial and planetary grounds can be derived from Mutual Impedance (MI) measurements using a four-electrode array [1]; the system is working at a fixed frequency with the electrodes not necessarily in contact with the ground and with a dedicated electronic system. This concept was used to build the Permittivity Probe (PP) as part of the SESAME experiment of the Philae Rosetta cometary lander. However severe constraints due to the payload facilities and to the particular environment lead to the actual design of the instrument. Unfortunately it was not possible to perform calibrations of the full system before lauch and the ground model consists of several parts used by various instruments. Here we report the results of basic calibration tests performed with a model of the Philae Landing Gear built in DLR. These tests involve only the three feet electrodes and a mockup of the the Philae body with very simple and well defined targets for characterizing the instrument. Further measurements on natural targets would be the next step.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 3:11:10 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 3:20:13 PM

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Michel Hamelin, Alice Le Gall, Sylvain Caujolle-Bert, Walter Schmidt, Réjean Grard, et al.. Laboratory calibrations of the PP-SESAME instrument on Philae for measuring the cometary surface permittivity. European Planetary Science Congress 2013, Sep 2013, London, United Kingdom. pp.EPSC2013-657. ⟨hal-00922926⟩

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