NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Temperature and Wind Sensors for InSight (TWINS) and Pressure Sensor (PS)

NSSDCA ID: 2018-042A-04

Mission Name: InSight


The Temperatures and Winds for INSight (TWINS) instrument and the Pressure Sensor (PS) on InSight are part of the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS). The primary objective of these instruments is to support the operation of the seismometer, but the data collected has independent scientific value as well. The data will be used to record and decorrelate atmospheric effects from the seismic signals, but will also be used to collect data on the martian atmosphere.

The TWINS instrument comprises two identical sets of wind and temperature sensors mounted on booms on the InSight top deck. The booms are on opposite sides of the deck, holding the sensors 20 cm above the deck surface and 140 cm above ground level. Each wind speed and direction sensor consists of three wind sensor transducer boards, each holding 4 hot film dices and 1 cold film die. A combination of readings from the three boards gives 3-D wind velocity at a sampling rate of 1 Hz. The instrument can determine wind speeds above approximately 4 - 7 m/s. Extending below each boom is an Air Temperature Sensor (ATS) consisting of a small low-thermal conductivity rod holding 3 platinum resistance thermometers. ATS samples at 1 Hz, and can measure the temperature from -106 to +4 C with an accuracy of 6 C.

The Pressure Sensor is mounted below the top deck with a wind-resistant pressure inlet extending above the deck. The active element is a pressure transducer connected by a tube to the inlet port. There is a temperature sensor near the PS active element to allow removal of temperature effects from the data. The PS can measure pressures between about 560 and 1000 Pa (0.0056 to 0.0100 bar).

Alternate Names

  • INSIGHT/TemperatureandWindSensorsforInSight(TWINS)
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:apss-ps.insight
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:apss-twins.insight


  • 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

Selected References

  • Banfield, D., et al., InSight Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite (APSS), Space Sci. Rev., 215, 4, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0570-x, 2019.
  • Spiga, A., et al., Atmospheric Science with InSight, Space Sci. Rev., 214, 109, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0543-0, 2018.
[] NASA Logo -