Measurements of the WISDOM prototype (Mount Etna)
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.
A prototype of the flight model, representative in terms of design, size, mass and power, has been developed. It has been tested successfully in a laboratory environment by sounding known targets (plates and spheres) to validate its design specifications and verify its functionality.
A series of tests in a variety of complex environments and simulated Martian conditions began at the end of 2010, with a field test in Mount Etna, Italy. The prototype successfully mapped the layers of the shallow subsurface. This image shows an example of fine layering mapped by the WISDOM prototype on a pyroclastic environment (which is analogous to the volcanic materials on Mars) during a test in October 2010 at Mount Etna.