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Europa Imaging System (EIS)


Mission Name: Europa Clipper
Principal Investigator:Dr. Elizabeth Turtle


The Europa Imaging System (EIS) comprises a narrow-angle camera (NAC) and a wide-angle camera (WAC) with the goal of providing comprehensive high- and medium-resolution images of Europa. The data will be used to generate cartographic and geologic maps and GIS, color, and photometric data products; to provide regional and high-resolution topography and a geodetic control network tied to radar altimetry, and to populate a database of plume-search observations. The scientific objectives are to: 1) Constrain the formation processes of surface features by characterizing endogenic geologic structures, surface units, global cross-cutting relationships, and relationships to Europa's subsurface structure and potential near-surface water. 2) Search for evidence of recent or current activity, including potential plumes. 3) Characterize the ice shell by constraining its thickness and correlating surface features with subsurface structures detected by ice penetrating radar. 4) Characterize scientifically compelling landing sites and hazards by determining the nature of the surface at scales relevant to a potential lander.

The two cameras are mounted separately, each with its own data processing unit. Both cameras can be operated in framing or pushbroom mode, although the NAC will primarily operate in framing mode while the NAC will be primarily pushbroom. Both cameras have identical rapid-readout 4k x 2k CMOS detectors and 6 broadband filters. Five of the filters are identical on the two cameras: BLU (380 - 475 nm wavelength range); GRN (520-590); RED (640-700); IR1 (780-920); and 1 micron (950-1050). A near-ultraviolet (NUV) filter covers 350-1050 nm on the NAC and 375-400 nm on the WAC. A clear filter can also be selected, covering 350-1050 nm on the NAC and 370-1050 nm on the WAC.

The NAC is mounted on a 2-axis gimbal and has a 2.2 x 1.2 degree field-of-view (FOV). The instantaneous field-of-view (IFOV) is 10 microradians, which gives a resolution of 0.5 m/pixel and a 2 km wide swath at 50 km altitude. The NAC is planed to provide near-global (>90%) mapping of Europa at better than 100 m/pixel. It will also be capable of providing regional stereo imaging. It has a gimbal slew rate which can compensate for spacecraft motion during close, fast (4.5 m/s) flybys. The WAC has a 48 x 24 FOV, 218 microradian IFOV, and can acquire 3-line pushbroom stereo swaths. At 50 km altitude, this gives a pixel scale of 11 m with a 44 km wide swath.

Alternate Names


    • 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. Elizabeth TurtlePrincipal InvestigatorApplied Physics
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