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Living with a comet: a CONSERT team perspective

28 Sep 2016, 15:43 UTC
Living with a comet: a CONSERT team perspective
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Rosetta and Philae were both equipped with the CONSERT radar experiment in order to bounce radio waves between the two to study the internal structure of the comet. Little did we know that this instrument would play a critical role in locating where the missing lander had bounced to after its unexpected landing on 12 November. Instrument Principal Investigator Wlodek Kofman shares how CONSERT’s modest measurements have yielded big results.
It is good to remember that CONSERT, in the morning of 13 November 2014, provided the first estimation of where Philae had bounced to the previous day, based on the data collected overnight from 12 to 13 November. After that the Rosetta project requested to add three additional operations of CONSERT in order to perform the triangulation and improve the localization. The triangulation measurements were done in the special ‘adapted operation’ mode that was designed and implement in a very short time, due to the unexpected landing conditions.
During the descent, CONSERT operated for about 6 hours during the descent, until about 50 minutes before the planned touchdown. The measured distance between Rosetta and Philae corresponded to the planned one, which meant that during the descent we knew that everything ...

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