First Results from the ROLIS Experiment on Philae
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:15 PM
ROLIS – the Rosetta Lander Imaging System, is a multispectral imager installed on the Philae lander onboard Rosetta. The instrument is downward looking, and will acquire an imaging sequence during the descent to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with a sampling ranging from about 20 cm/pix to 1 cm/pix. After landing, the imager will operate in close-up mode, which will enable it to acquire multi-color close-up images of the surface below the lander with a sampling of 0.3 mm/pix. With its capabilities, ROLIS will bridge the resolution gap between the orbiter imager OSIRIS and the CIVA IR-microscope on Philae. The aim of the experiment is to contribute to the understanding of the physical properties of the surface, as its texture, photometric properties, degree of heterogeneity, as well as the processes at work, as erosion by sublimation and collisions that reshape the nucleus over time. The measurements by ROLIS will also provide context to the Philae in-situ analyzers, while the landing acquisition sequence will contribute to an accurate determination of the landing location. This paper will discuss the first results from the ROLIS experiment, with emphasis on the geomorphology of the surface of the nucleus at decameter to cm scales.