Research foci and mission participation

The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group participates in the following space missions of ESA and NASA and is funded within the framework of the national space program by the National Space Administration with means of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Mars Express im Orbit

HRSC on Mars Express

Jan 01, 2017 — Dec 31, 2019

Mars Express is the first European mission to Mars. Since its arrival in 2003, the experiments aboard the spacecraft have provided important clues on surface geology and morphology, the subsurface, the atmosphere, the history of water and the question of life. One experiment on the spacecraft is the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) which aims at global multispectral and three-dimensional coverage of the Martian surface with a resolution of up to 10 meters per pixel. To date, about 75% of ...

Cassini-Huygens ISS

Jul 01, 2015 — Oct 31, 2018

Journeys to planets and moons of the Outer Solar System always pose a great challenge to space-mission design and conduct. Within the framework of the Cassini-Huygens mission US and European space agencies jointly succeeded in sending a probe and a lander to the Saturnian system, over 1 billion kilometers away. Since 2004, instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft continuously collect scientific data and transmit spectacular and astonishing new views to Earth. Scientists of the Planetary ...


Nov 01, 2015 — Jul 31, 2018

Since its takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on September 27, 2007, the US space probe Dawn is on its mission to explore the small bodies Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The NASA-mission aims at investigating the formation and evolution of these bodies to find clues to the solar system’s early history. The journey through the inner solar system, in the course of which Mars was passed in February 2009, was successfully completed by Dawn and in July 2011 its ...

SFB Transregio 170

Jan 01, 2016 — Dec 31, 2019

Subproject A3 “Ancient bombardment of the inner solar system – Reinvestigation of the ‘fingerprints’ of different impactor populations” In the Collaborative Research Centre „Late Accretion onto Terrestrial Planets“, scientists from five institutions (Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, University of Münster, German Aerospace Center, Museum für Naturkunde) investigate the late accretion history of planetary bodies in the inner solar system from 4.5 to 3.8 ...

Research — finished

iMars webGIS

Jan 01, 2014 — Mar 31, 2017

The iMars project focuses on developing a user platform for Mars surface science, consisting of a consistent set of data products of Mars from the 1970s to the present day. The concept aims to generate a webGIS using imaging data from NASA and ESA missions; including specific tools for producing, exploring and analyzing data products for studies of surface changes over time.   Planetary surface science has seen a dramatic increase in both quality and quantity of observations over the last ...

XRF Instrument

Apr 01, 2013 — Sep 30, 2015

The US Apollo- and the Russian Luna-missions returned hundreds of kilograms of surface rocks from the Moon to the Earth which have been used for detailed rock analysis. We therefore have high-precision geochemical information from very few locations on the Moon, whereas information about the rest of the Moon's surface is sparse. The main objective of developing a planetary X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) is the design of an experiment that allows us to precisely determine the ...

HGF Helmholtz Alliance

Apr 01, 2008 — Mar 31, 2013

The Helmholtz Alliance “Planetary Evolution and Life” under the coordinative direction of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof examines the correlation between life and the formation and evolution of planets in our solar system. The focus of studies is planet Mars, which is investigated from its interior to its atmosphere.     Martian surface with craters in the region Hesperia Planum    The research alliance investigates the interaction between atmosphere and ...