Thermal Design and Analysis of the Phoenix Mars Lander Meteorological Instrument
The Phoenix Mars Lander is scheduled to be launched in August 2007 and will land in the northern Vastitas Borealis region. The lander is equipped with a suite of instruments designed to investigate the mineralogy and geochemistry of the soil and to study the atmosphere. The Canadian Meteorological Instrument (MET) will measure the location and the extent of clouds and the distribution of scatterers in the atmosphere as well as measuring the air temperature and the barometric pressure. The MET will provide Canadian scientists with a unique opportunity to study the Martian atmosphere and enhance our understanding of the planet in key areas of Canadian expertise. The MET instrument is composed of multiple elements in order to fulfil the science objectives. The MET Light Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) will probe the atmosphere by sending out laser pulses and measuring the backscattered returns.