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CONTOUR Forward Imager (CFI)

NSSDCA ID: 2002-034A-02

Mission Name: CONTOUR


The CONTOUR Forward Imager (CFI) is designed primarily for navigation and long range imaging of the comet. Its primary objectives are to locate the target comet against the tar background before the encounter, take color images of the nucleus and coma, and to image the inner coma in wavelengths sensitive to major species of ionized gases. The CFI is optimized for low-light and short wavelength (including ultraviolet) imaging. The CFI consists of a reflective telescope with an aperture of 60 mm and a focal length of 300 mm. The telescope looks at a rotatable cube with four mirrors, which is mounted to give a view out the front of the craft through an opening in the dust shield. One mirror will be used for an encounter and then a new one will be rotated to take its place. Light reflected from the mirror through the telescope passes through one of ten filters mounted on a filter wheel. The light is then focused onto a 1024 x 1024 pixel CCD. The field of view is 2.5 x 2.5 degrees and typical exposure times are 90 ms to 10 sec.

CFI's filters include one clear filter with a full-width half maximum (FWHM) of 350 nm and nine filters centered at (in nm with FWHM and primary purpose in parentheses): 309.0 (6.0, OH emissions); 344.8 (8.4, OH, CN continuum); 387.0 (6.2, CN emissions); 445 (10, geology); 514.1 (11.8, C2 emissions); 526 (5, C2 continuum); 620 (4, geology); 840 (9, geology); 920 (13, geology). Some of the filters are also named for the wavelength range they cover: 445 is "blue", 526 is "green", 620 is "red", 840 is near-IR 1, and 920 is near-IR 2.

Alternate Names

  • CFI
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:con.cfi

Facts in Brief

Mass: 3.9 kg
Power (avg): 1.9 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Conard, S. J., et al., CONTOUR forward imager on the Comet Nucleus Tour mission, in Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII, Proc. SPIE Vol. 5163, 72-83, Feb. 2004.
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