WISDOM prototype field tests (Alps)
WISDOM (Water Ice and Subsurface Deposit Observation on Mars) is a subsurface sounding radar, and forms part of the ExoMars rover instrument suite. WISDOM will provide a detailed view of the structure of the subsurface of the Red Planet by studying the upper layers of the Martian crust.
An instrument prototype, representative in terms of design, size, mass and power, has been developed. A field test was performed, on a glacier in the French Alps near Chamonix in January 2011. The prototype carried out measurements down to more than 15 metres and detected structures with deep cracks.
The prototype was installed on a zip-line to study the functionality of the antennas on a height (approximately 65 cm); this mimics WISDOM's situation on the ExoMars rover. The WISDOM antennas are the yellow items and the radar is situated inside the white box.