The Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission (CONSERT): A Short Description of the Instrument and of the Commissioning Stages
The primary scientific goal of the CONSERT experiment on the Rosetta space mission is to investigate the deep interior of the nucleus of comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This will be achieved through the use of long wavelength radio-waves, transmitted from the orbiter and returned from the lander. In this overview, a description of the instrument is presented together with a brief description of the experiment. Some important results from the tests carried out during the commissioning phase and results from a trial run in the French Alps on the temperate glacier near Argentiere are also described. During these latter tests we installed the CONSERT Lander in a tunnel under the glacier while the CONSERT Orbiter was moved along the surface. The signals received showed that the experiment is working satisfactorily. References are also provided to articles that contain a more detailed description of the instrument capabilities and in-depth analysis of the potential scientific outcome.