Performance characteristics of the PAW instrumentation on Beagle 2 (the astrobiology lander on ESA's Mars Express Mission)

Sims, Mark R.; Pullan, D.; Fraser, George W.; Whitehead, S.; Sykes, J.; Holt, J.; Butcher, Gillian I.; Nelms, Nick; Dowson, J.; Ross, D.; Bicknell, C.; Crocker, M.; Favill, B.; Wells, Alan A.; Richter, L.; Kochan, H.; Hamacher, Hans; Ratke, L.; Griffiths, Andrew D.; Coates, A. J.; Phillips, N.; Senior, A.; Zarnecki, John C.; Towner, M. C.; Leese, M.; Patel, M.; Wilson, C.; Thomas, Nicolas; Hviid, S.; Josset, Jean-Luc; Klingelhoefer, G.; Bernhardt, B.; van Duijn, P.; Sims, G. and Yung, K. L. (2003). Performance characteristics of the PAW instrumentation on Beagle 2 (the astrobiology lander on ESA's Mars Express Mission). In: Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y. and Paepe, Roland R. eds. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V (Proceedings Volume). Proceedings of SPIE, 4859 (4859). San Deigo, California: SPIE, pp. 32–44.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1117/12.457319

Abstract

The performance of the PAW instrumentation on the 60kg Beagle 2 lander for ESA’s 2003 Mars Express mission will be described. Beagle 2 will search for organic material on and below the surface of Mars in addition to a study of the inorganic chemistry and mineralogy of the landing site. The lander will utilize acquisition and preparation tools to obtain samples from below the surface, and both under and inside rocks. In situ analysis will include examination of samples with an optical microscope, Mossbauer and fluorescent X-ray spectrometers. Extracted samples will be returned to the lander for analysis, in particular a search for organics and a measurement of their isotopic composition. The PAW experiment performance data will be described along with the status of the project.

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