Radar techniques to study interiors of the small bodies.

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Wlodek W Kofman, IPAG, CNRS/UJF, Grenoble Cedex 9, France; CNRS, Paris Cedex 16, France and Alain Herique, University Joseph Fourier Grenoble, Grenboble, France
The idea to use the radio waves to study the interiors of comets or asteroids appeared in the late eighties. The CONSERT experiment was accepted for the ROSETTA mission and it will provide information about the deep interior of the comet (Kofman et al, 1998, 2007). The CONSERT instrument is an original concept of the bistatic radar based on the propagation throughout the nucleus while the classical radars are based on the reflection. In this experiment, an electromagnetic signal is transmitted between the lander, located on the comet surface, and the orbiter. The transmitted signal will be measured as a function of time and as a function of the relative position of the orbiter and the lander for a number of orbits. Any signal that has propagated through the medium contains information concerning this medium. The CONSERT will start to operate in November 2014, we will show during this conference some preliminary results. On the CONSERT experiment example and on the Assert radar proposed for Marco-Polo mission (Herique, Agu 2011, IAA 2011) we discuss the main advantages and difficulties of the techniques using radio waves to study the interior of asteroids and comets. The capacity of radar technique to do the tomography of the interior of the asteroids and comets is emphasized.