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Geodesy, Geophysics and Fundamental Physics Investigations of the BepiColombo Mission

Genova, Antonio and Hussmann, Hauke and van Hoolst, Tim and Heyner, Daniel and Iess, Luciano and Santoli, Francesco and Thomas, Nicolas and Cappuccio, Paolo and di Stefano, Ivan and Kolhey, Patrick and Langlais, Benoit and Mieth, Johannes Z. D. and Oliveira, Joana S. and Stark, Alexander and Steinbrügge, Gregor and Tosi, Nicola and Wicht, Johannes and Benkhoff, Johannes (2021) Geodesy, Geophysics and Fundamental Physics Investigations of the BepiColombo Mission. Space Science Reviews, 217 (2), p. 31. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s11214-021-00808-9. ISSN 0038-6308.

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-021-00808-9

Abstract

In preparation for the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury, thematic working groups had been established for coordinating the activities within the BepiColombo Science Working Team in specific fields. Here we describe the scientific goals of the Geodesy and Geophysics Working Group (GGWG) that aims at addressing fundamental questions regarding Mercury’s internal structure and evolution. This multidisciplinary investigation will also test the gravity laws by using the planet Mercury as a proof mass. The instruments on the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), which are devoted to accomplishing the GGWG science objectives, include the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA), the Mercury orbiter radio science experiment (MORE), and the MPO magnetometer (MPO-MAG). The onboard Italian spring accelerometer (ISA) will greatly aid the orbit reconstruction needed by the gravity investigation and laser altimetry. We report the current knowledge on the geophysics, geodesy, and evolution of Mercury after the successful NASA mission MESSENGER and set the prospects for the BepiColombo science investigations based on the latest findings on Mercury’s interior. The MPO spacecraft of the BepiColombo mission will provide extremely accurate measurements of Mercury’s topography, gravity, and magnetic field, extending and improving MESSENGER data coverage, in particular in the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, the dual-spacecraft configuration of the BepiColombo mission with the Mio spacecraft at higher altitudes than the MPO spacecraft will be fundamental for decoupling the internal and external contributions of Mercury’s magnetic field. Thanks to the synergy between the geophysical instrument suite and to the complementary instruments dedicated to the investigations on Mercury’s surface, composition, and environment, the BepiColombo mission is poised to advance our understanding of the interior and evolution of the innermost planet of the solar system.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142456/
Document Type:Article
Title:Geodesy, Geophysics and Fundamental Physics Investigations of the BepiColombo Mission
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Genova, AntonioDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184, Rome, Italyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5584-492X
Hussmann, HaukeHauke.Hussmann (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3816-0232
van Hoolst, TimRoyal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgiumhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9820-8584
Heyner, DanielInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7894-8246
Iess, LucianoDepartment of Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome,https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6230-5825
Santoli, FrancescoIstituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS-INAF), 00133, Rome, Italyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2493-0109
Thomas, NicolasPhysikalisches Institut, Sidlerstrasse 5, University of Bern, 3012, Bern, Switzerland, E-mail: nicolas.thomas (at) space.unibe.chhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0146-0071
Cappuccio, PaoloDepartment of Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome,https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8758-6627
di Stefano, IvanDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184, Rome, Italyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1491-6848
Kolhey, PatrickInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Langlais, BenoitLPGNhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5207-304X
Mieth, Johannes Z. D.Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Oliveira, Joana S.ESA/ESTEC, SCI-S, Noordwijk, The Netherlands; CITEUC, Geophysical & Astronomical Observatory, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugalhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4587-2895
Stark, Alexanderalexander.stark (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9110-1138
Steinbrügge, GregorStanford University, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1050-7759
Tosi, Nicolanicola.tosi (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4912-2848
Wicht, JohannesDepartment Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2440-5091
Benkhoff, JohannesESTEC/ESA, Noordwijk,Netherlandshttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4307-9703
Date:2021
Journal or Publication Title:Space Science Reviews
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:217
DOI :10.1007/s11214-021-00808-9
Page Range:p. 31
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0038-6308
Status:Published
Keywords:Mercury, BepiColombo, Geodesy, Geophysics
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project BepiColombo - MERTIS and BELA
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Stark, Alexander
Deposited On:01 Jun 2021 07:56
Last Modified:01 Jun 2021 07:56

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