Processing Altimetric Data (PAD) (2005/2006)
Cassini - Huygens is the first mission planned to explore Saturn system of moons and rings from a spacecraft in its orbit. It is an international collaboration between three space agencies with the contribute of seventeen nations.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has realized and managed Cassini orbiter, the European Space Agency the Huygens probe and the Italian Space Agency has provided the high gain antenna onboard the space platform.
Cassini has entered Saturn orbit on June 30, 2004 after a seven years' journey started on October 15, 1997. The Huygens probe separated from the orbiter on December 25, 2004 and, on January 14, 2005, after a twenty days' descend landed on Saturn's biggest moon, Titan, perpetually wrapped up in a thick and hazy atmosphere, reaching the farthest place a man-made spacecraft has successfully landed away from Earth.
Cassini task is to study Saturn and its moon Titan, while that of the probe has been to gather as more information as possible during its descent to Titan in order to analyze and photograph its clouds, atmosphere and surface and then to send the collected data to the Earth through Cassini communication system.
Both are equipped with a great deal of sophisticated instruments, 12 on Cassini and 6 on Huygens probe. They are optical and microwaves instruments able to work from a great distance: cameras, spectrometers, radar and radio.
One of the instruments onboard Cassini is a radar able to operate in three ways: imaging, altimetry, and radiometry, where each mode allows collecting different types of data.
Cassini completed its initial four-year mission to explore the Saturn System in June 2008 and the first extended mission, called the Cassini Equinox Mission, in September 2010. Now, the healthy spacecraft is seeking to make exciting new discoveries in a second extended mission called the Cassini Solstice Mission until September 2017.
This project aim has been the processing of Cassini radar data in altimeter mode.
The scientific objective of CASSINI RADAR is the study of Titan, the largest of Saturn's 34 moons.
Bigger then the planets Mercury and Pluto, Titan is of great interest for scientists as it is the only moon in our solar system with its own atmosphere and like Earth's before life developed.
CASSINI RADAR Scientific Objectives:
CASSINI RADAR can operate as:
The project has started in July 2005 and ended in 2006.
CO.RI.S.T.A. papers on the project:
Degree thesis developed on this subject:
For further information please contact:Gianni Alberti