Prelaunch performance evaluation of the cometary experiment MUPUS-TP

Marczewski, W.; Schroer, K.; Seiferlin, K.; Usowicz, B.; Banaszkiewicz, M.; Hlond, M.; Grygorczuk, J.; Gadomski, S.; Krasowski, J.; Gregorczyk, W.; Kargl, G.; Hagermann, Axel; Ball, Andrew; Kuhrt, E.; Knollenberg, J. and Spohn, T. (2004). Prelaunch performance evaluation of the cometary experiment MUPUS-TP. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 109(E7) E07S09.



This paper discusses test results obtained in both laboratory and terrestrial environment conditions for the “Multipurpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science” Thermal Probe (MUPUS-TP), which has been developed for the European Space Agency Rosetta cometary rendezvous mission. The probe is intended to provide in situ long-term observations of the thermal evolution of the comet nucleus and will measure a thermal conductivity profile with time in the top 30 cm of the comet nucleus. The basic operating principles of the probe are briefly described, including typical test results gathered in terrestrial snow and soil. The tests in snow provide verification of the probe as a useful tool for monitoring the metamorphism of snow on the Earth. The tests in soil are intended to demonstrate the probe's suitability as an alternative to other methods of energy measurement currently practiced in soil physics research. The tests of the probe in the natural environment of the Earth provide a demonstration of the behavior of the instrument in the presence of complex energy exchange processes before it is used on the comet.

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