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InSight Observatory

InSight Observatory

The main objective of this National Observation Service is to accompany the INSIGHT mission, which deployed a geophysical observatory on the surface of Mars at the end of 2018, performing simultaneous seismic, geodesic and magnetic measurements. The InSight observatory is carried by IPGP, in collaboration with several French laboratories and observatories.

It is the first geophysical observatory on a planet other than the Earth. It remains however in the same logic as the terrestrial observatories in seismology, like GEOSCOPE, or in magnetism, like the BCMT.

InSight will be operational at least until the end of 2022, following the first mission extension. The SEIS seismology experiment is 100% operational and provides 6-axis seismic data at second counts, plus fast 3-axis data at 100 second counts requiring weekly event selection.

IPGP is responsible for the main instrument of the mission (SEIS experiment), for the validation of the data from the very high bandwidth sensors (VBB) it designed, and for two services: the Mars Data Service, in charge of the dissemination and archiving of SEIS data, and the Mars Structure Service, in charge of the analysis of these data and the determination of the internal structure models of Mars. These two services are completed by the Mars Quake Service, in charge of the detection and localization of earthquakes, hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ).

INSIGHT data are distributed to the international community according to rules similar to those of terrestrial observatories. This dissemination is done every quarter, and concerns the quarter completed 90 days before the delivery date. The data are also distributed for educational purposes with GeoAzur, within the OCA, as part of the Sismo network at school.

Other projects are now under study to continue the scientific approach of InSight, in particular on the Moon (Lunar Geophysical Package/NASA, Lunar Geophysical Network/NASA).

SNO InSight is funded by CNES and ANR (ANR MAGIS).

Dust devils
Impact craters