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Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)

NSSDCA ID: 1997-061A-02

Mission Name: Cassini
Principal Investigator:Dr. Carolyn C. Porco


The Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) on Cassini is intended to study Saturn, Titan, and the other satellites of Saturn. The primary science objectives of the ISS are to: (1) map the three-dimensional structure and motion of the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan; (2) study the composition, distribution, and physical properties of clouds and aerosols; (3) examine scattering, absorpotion, and solar heating within the atmospheres of Saturn/Titan; (4) search for lightning, aurorae, and airglow; (5) investigate the gravitational interactions among Saturn's rings and satellites; (6) determine the nature and rate of energy and momentum transfer within the rings; (7) determine the thickness of the rings as well as the size, composition, and physical nature of the ring particles; (8) map the surfaces of the satellites and determine the composition of their surface materials; and, (9) measure the rotation states of the satellites.

To accomplish these goals, the ISS consists of a wide angle camera and a narrow angle camera. The wide angle camera (WAC) telescope is a 20 cm (f/3.5) refractor while the narrow angle camera (NAC) telescope is a 2 m (f/10.5) refractor. The WAC is planned to cover a wavelength range from 380-1100 nm with 18 separate filters while the NAC covers a range of 200-1100 nm with 24 filters. The WAC's field-of-view is 3.5 degrees with an angular resolution of 60 microradians/pixel. The NAC's field-of-view is 0.35 degrees with an angular resolution of 6.0 microradians/pixel. The imaging plane of each will contain a 1024 x 1024 element CCD array.

Alternate Names

  • Cassini/ISS
  • ISS

Facts in Brief

Mass: 57.83 kg
Power (avg): 30 W
Bit rate (avg): 115.2 kbps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics
  • Planetary Science: Rings

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Carolyn C. PorcoTeam LeaderUniversity of
Dr. Andrew P. IngersollTeam MemberCalifornia Institute of
Dr. Joseph A. BurnsTeam MemberCornell
Dr. Gerhard NeukumTeam MemberDeutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Dr. Joseph F. VeverkaTeam MemberCornell
Dr. Torrence V. JohnsonTeam MemberNASA Jet Propulsion
Dr. Steven W. SquyresTeam MemberCornell
Dr. Peter C. ThomasTeam MemberCornell University
Dr. Henry C. Dones, Jr.Team MemberNASA Ames Research
Dr. Robert A. WestTeam MemberNASA Jet Propulsion
Dr. Anthony D. Del GenioTeam MemberNASA Goddard Institute for Space
Dr. Andre BrahicTeam MemberObservatoire de Paris,
Dr. Alfred S. McEwenTeam MemberUS Geological
Dr. Carl D. MurrayTeam MemberQueen Mary and Westfield College,

Selected References

  • Kahn, C. L., and W. S. King, Cassini imaging science subsystem, in Proc. SPIE Cassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian Systems Vol. 2803, 187-196, L. Horn Ed., doi:10.1117/12.253418, Oct. 1996.
  • Porco, C. C., et al., Cassini Imaging Science: Instrument Characteristics And Anticipated Scientific Investigations At Saturn, Space Sci. Rev., 115, 363-497, doi:10.1007/s11214-004-1456-7, 2004.
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