The HRSC is a high-resolution stereo and colour camera, developed by DLR for ESA's Mars Express mission together with its industrial partners EADS Astrium, Lewicki Microelectronic GmbH and Jena-Optronik GmbH.
The instrument is, in this form, a one-off experiment. For the first time a camera system is building a systematic survey of the surface of a planet in high resolution, in three dimensions and in colour. As the spacecraft positions itself, the camera is aimed.
Once switched on, the HRSC uses its nine light-sensitive detectors to take nine different images: four in the direction of travel, four against the direction of travel and one, the nadir channel, straight downwards.