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Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS)

NSSDCA ID: 2016-017A-01

Mission Name: ExoMars 2016
Principal Investigator:Dr. Nicolas Thomas


The Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) is a high-resolution (5 meters per pixel) camera with the scientific objective of taking color images of the surface to provide the geological and dynamical context for sources or sinks of trace gases detected by the other instruments. It will also investigate other surface processes, such as sublimation, erosion, and volcanism, which may affect the atmospheric gas inventory. It will also characterize slopes, rocks, and other possible hazards to help characterize potential future landing sites.

The imaging system utilizes a three-mirror off-axis telescope with a focal length of 88 cm and an aperture of 13.5 cm. It has a 1.34 x 0.88 degree field of view with a resolution of 5 microrad per pixel. It uses 5 filters: a pan filter with a center wavelength of 650 nm and a bandwidth of 250 nm; an IR filter (950 nm, 150 nm); a near-IR (NIR) filter (850 nm, 120 nm); and a Blue-Green filter (475 nm, 150 nm). It is designed to cover an 8 km wide swath at nominal altitude in the four wavelength ranges. The camera is mounted on the Mars-facing side of the spacecraft. It is held by a mechanism which allows rotation of 180 degrees, which will allow the camera to compensate for spacecraft rotation and to take stereo images.

Alternate Names

  • CaSSIS
  • EXOMARS16/ColorandStereoSurfaceImagingSystem(CaSSIS)

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Nicolas ThomasPrincipal
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