The OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) will acquire images essential to collecting a sample from the surface of Bennu. During proximity operations, these images will document the presence of satellites and plumes, record spin state, enable an accurate model of the asteroid's shape, and identify any surface hazards. They will confirm the presence of sampleable regolith on the surface, observe the sampling event itself, and image the sample head in order to verify its readiness to be stowed. They will document Bennu's history as an example of early solar system material, as a microgravity body with a planetesimal size-scale, and as a carbonaceous object. OCAMS is fitted with three cameras. The MapCam will record color images of Bennu as a point source on approach to the asteroid in order to connect Bennu's ground-based point-source observational record to later higher-resolution surface spectral imaging. The SamCam will document the sample site before, during, and after it is disturbed by the sample mechanism. The PolyCam, using its focus mechanism, will observe the sample site at sub-centimeter resolutions, revealing surface texture and morphology. While their imaging requirements divide naturally between the three cameras, they preserve a strong degree of functional overlap. OCAMS and the other spacecraft instruments will allow the OSIRIS-REx mission to collect a sample from a microgravity body on the same visit during which it was first optically acquired from long range, a useful capability as humanity reaches out to explore near-Earth, Main-Belt and Jupiter Trojan asteroids.
Space Science Reviews
- Pub Date:
- February 2018
- Sample return;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics