Participation of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group

Framing Camera
Dawn Framing Camera
Image Credit: MPS

The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group is directly involved in the Dawn Mission through the participation of Prof. Neukum and Prof. Jaumann as Co-Investigators. Prof. Jaumann from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is Co-Investigator of the Dawn Framing Camera Team. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The current period of funding is from November 2015 to July 2018 (reference no. 50 OW 1505). 

At the moment we are working on the following subjects:

  • Co-operation in the planning and preparation of data collection during the mission period
  • Data processing of the Framing Camera
  • Data evaluation and preparation of scientific publications
  • Contributions to PR and outreach activities

The following are our objectives in data evaluation:

  • Optical surface mapping
  • Study of geological processes
  • Identification of asteroidal shape and volume
  • Analysis of the rotational properties
  • Analysis of the reflective properties of surfaces and of surface roughness
  • Identification of crater morphologies and crater distribution
  • Research on geological fault systems and associated volcanism
  • Input for the Radio Science Experiment to determine the gravitational field and the density of bodies as well as to derivate their internal structure
  • Search for orbiting dust and satellites

The geological mapping of Vesta´s grid square Av-13 „Tuccia“ has been completed and the results are published in the journal „Icarus“ as "Morphology and formation ages of mid-sized post-Rheasilvia craters – Geology of quadrangle Tuccia, Vesta" (Kneissl et al., 2014).

The results of Vesta’s Chronostratigraphy has been published in the journal „Planetary and Space Science“ as "The cratering record, chronology and surface ages of (4) Vesta in comparison to smaller asteroids and the ages of HED meteorites" (Schmedemann et al., 2014) .


Participants in the Dawn Framing Camera experiment
Prof. Dr. Ralf Jaumann (DLR) Co-Investigator of the Framing Camera experiment
Adrian Neesemann Dating and methodology of surface mapping

Acting project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Georg Kaufmann (Geophysics)