Principal Investigator: Prof. Tadashi Mukai, Kobe University

Text in Japanese

Scientific objectives fall into 3 broad categories: geology, meteorology, and Martian satellites.

Geologic objectives include measuring the wavelength and phase angle dependence of the scattering properties of the surface, and studying the structure of the polar caps.

Meteorologic objectives include the study of transient and diurnal phenomena, such as clouds, fogs, hazes, dust devils, tornadoes, and dust storms. Planet-B's non-sun-synchronous orbit allows it to observe the same region at various times of day and various solar phase angles, allowing observation of diurnal phenomena. A study of seasonal phenomena will also be undertaken, such as the growth and decay of the polar caps.

Martian satellite objectives include studying the shapes and surfaces of Phobos and Deimos, the origin of grooves on Phobos, the size and distribution of craters on both satellites, and the search for dust rings in the orbits of both satellites. Dust rings can only be seen by Planet-B due to the necessity of the special forward-scattering geometry (The dust ring must be between the sun and Planet-B.) During these attempts at detection, the minimum sun-avoiding phase angle is about 30°.

Figure 2 In order to meet these objectives, MIC surface resolution has been plotted in Figure 2 to indicate good opportunities for observation. Figure 2 is a compilation of many orbits. Planet-B's orbital period is about 34 hours, and the rotational period of Mars is about 24 hours and 40 minutes, so the longitude on Mars during periapsis shifts with each successive orbit.

Introduction and Description

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Anthony Toigo