Wide area microprobe analyser (WAMPA)

Rogoyski, A.; Skidmore, B.; Maheswaran, V.; Wright, I.; Zarnecki, J. and Pillinger, C. (2006). Wide area microprobe analyser (WAMPA). Acta Astronautica, 59(8-11) pp. 1029–1038.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.07.026


Wide area microprobe analyser (WAMPA) represents a new scientific instrument concept for planetary exploration. WAMPA builds on recently published research such as sensor webs and distributed microsensors [The sensor web: a new instrument concept, SPIE Symposium on Integrated Optics, 20–26 January 2001, San Jose, CA; Design considerations for distributed microsensor systems, Proceedings of the IEEE 1999 Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC ’99), May 1999, pp. 279–286] but adds new sensor and localisation concepts. WAMPA is driven by the recurrent theme in spacecraft and sensor design to achieve smaller, lighter and lower cost systems. The essential characteristics of the WAMPA design that differentiates it from other space science instruments are that WAMPA is both a wide area instrument, consisting of a distributed set of sensors, and that each probe is designed to use little, if any, power. It achieves the former by being utilised in large numbers (>10), requiring that the individual probes be low mass and low volume . It is envisaged that the probes would be dispersed by landers or rovers as mission support instruments rather than primary science instruments and would be used in hostile environments and rugged terrains where the lander/rover could not be risked (see Fig. 1).

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