On 10 January 2004, the first of thousands of detailed images of the Martian surface was captured by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), which is a German research instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, which has been in orbit around Mars since December 2003. During the last 15 years, HRSC has acquired image data during more than 5000 orbits, resulting in a steadily increasing set of spectacular views of the Martian surface, image and digital terrain model mosaics, and movie releases. HRSC coverage of the Martian surface with high resolution (better than 20 meter per pixel) has reached 80 percent.
At a resolution of five metres per pixel and a recording altitude of just 32 kilometres, onlookers are able to fly over Ceres, enjoying a perfect view of Occator’s unusual topography and the bright deposits in its interior. The bright, reflective regions have now been given their own names: the particularly striking region at the heart of Occator, with light spots and a fissured bulge at its centre, has been named 'Cerealia Facula', while the slightly less reflective patches to the east are called 'Vinalia Faculae'.
Penetrating into the stratosphere to research climate, flying over the North and South poles, and travelling to far-flung corners of the world to collect atmospheric data: This is the scope of applications for the one-of-a-kind HALO research aircraft (HALO stands for High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) which operates in a broad partnership between German environmental and climate research institutes. Since 2012, the extensively modified Gulfstream G550 has been deployed on more than 20 research missions across five continents. HALO was procured from funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), HGF (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres) and the Max Planck Society (MPG). Operations are managed by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig. DLR also owns and operates HALO.
Prototype of the Airbus Beluga XL undergoing ground vibration testing in Toulouse.
This video shows a flight over the 102-kilometre wide Neukum Crater in the southern highlands of Mars. It is based on data acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting Mars since 2003.
The impact crater was named after the German planetary scientist Gerhard Neukum (1944-2014), who led the development of the HRSC. The crater is located in the Noachis Terra region in the densely cratered Martian southern highlands, roughly 800 kilometres from the western rim of the large impact crater Hellas Planitia. Neukum Crater has a diverse geological history, as evidenced by the different geomorphological structures on the crater rim and floor.
Glacier structures in Crown Prince Christian Land in the Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world. The Elephant Foot Glacier is an almost perfectly formed example of a Piedmont glacier that is part of a larger glacier network.
The Sossusvlei pan in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. An arroyo breaks through the sand dunes of the Namib. The interesting structure of the image is the result of various dune shapes that can be seen in highly detailed three dimensions thanks to the TanDEM-X elevation model.
DLR Magazine 146/147 - Summit flight in the Midnight Sun.
The seven-minute DLR film introduces research under temporary microgravity.
This animation shows the dwarf planet Ceres, with its varied topography. The colour-coded map extends to six kilometres below the surface (red) to six kilometers above the surface (brown). The lightest regions (white) are reflective areas and give no elevation information.
To get a glimpse of what Ceres would look like if one were on the orbiter itself, scientists from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research processed a total of 80 images – some acquired from an orbit altitude of 13,500 kilometres and others taken for navigation purposes at distances of 7000 and 5100 kilometres.
Seeking to understand exactly what happens when fuels burn, the combustion researchers at DLR are true experts when it comes to observing closely without disturbing. To do this, they used a highly sensitive analysis device – a molecular beam mass spectrometer. This research tool made it on to the cover of DLR Magazine 144/145 thanks to the astonishing results it produced.
2014 was an extraordinarily eventful and exciting year at the German Aerospace Center. The landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the mission by German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst were undisputed highlights. But the research conducted in other areas was extremely diverse, and sought to find answers to questions in the fields of aeronautics, aerospace, energy, transport and security. We have put together some of these research highlights in the DLR year in review. What makes it special this time are five faces of DLR: protagonists introducing themselves and their field of work.
The video sequence shown here is based on HRSC image data taken from four overflights above Becquerel Crater, put together to form a mosaic (orbits 3253_1, 5368, 5350 and 5332). The average image resolution is approximately 17 metres per pixel. Planetary scientists at Freie Universität Berlin involved in the Mars Express mission used the HRSC image data to produce the animation.
Becquerel Crater is located in the Arabia Terra region, the transitional zone from the Southern Highlands of Mars to its Northern Lowlands, and has a diameter of 167 kilometres. Like many other craters in this region, the interior of Becquerel shows interesting sedimentation phenomena.
A short but significant 'thud' was heard by the Cometary Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE) as Philae made its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The two-second recording from space is the very first of the contact between a man-made object with a comet upon landing. The CASSE sensors are located in the feet at the base of all three legs of the lander and were active on 12 November 2014 during the descent to the comet.
This animation of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko uses a three-dimensional digital model of the comet nucleus, which was produced by the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin using stereo photogrammetry. It represents the comet's surface with a resolution of two metres. For the computation of the model, about 180 images were acquired by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (OSIRIS-NAC) between 5 August and 3 September 2014. The landing trajectory corresponds with plans made by ESA. The approximately seven-hour-long manoeuvre is shown accelerated in time. The methods employed were developed in the Departments of Planetary Geodesy and Planetary Geology at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research and have been used successfully for over 20 years on planetary missions. For Rosetta, they were adapted and expanded for the specific conditions of a comet mission.
The data used to generate the simulated overflight were acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. Once again, image strips from orbit 18 - symbolically significant for the HRSC scientists - were edited and used for the animations and images shown here. Over 10 years ago, in January 2004, Mars Express flew over Hydraotes Chaos during orbit 18. This was the third time that the HRSC camera had been switched on, and the images in the image strips, which were over 1000 kilometres long, were so spectacular that they were drawn on for publication of the first images from the successful ESA mission.
The data used to generate the 3D overflight were acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. The nadir channel, which is directed vertically down onto the surface of Mars, and one of the four stereo channels in the HRSC camera system, can be used to create anaglyph images, which produce a realistic, three-dimensional view of the landscape when viewed with red/blue or red/green glasses.
Column concentration of volcanic ash in grams per square metre, derived using VADUGS, applied to the eruption of the volcano Puyehue in Chile in June 2011. The scene illustrates both the temporal masking of volcanic ash by high-lying cloud (colored black), but also the potential for using the high temporal resolution of MSG-SEVIRI for nowcasting.
The model shows the illumination of the surface and regions that might be suitable for a landing.