MAVEN’s three instrument packages provide the comprehensive measurements essential to understanding the evolution of the Martian atmosphere. Escape rates will be derived for neutral escape (via Jeans escape and photochemical loss) and ion escape (pickup-ion loss, atmospheric sputtering, solar energetic particle atmospheric stripping, ion bulk escape, and ion outflow). They provide multiple independent and complementary determinations of the escape rate through time–directly, when the Sun is most active; calculated from the thorough understanding of the upper-atmospheric processes that drive escape; and derived from the measured isotopic fractionation.
The three instrument suites will include:
The Particles and Fields Package, built by the University of California, Berkeley/Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) with support from the University of Colorado Boulder/Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), contains six instruments that will characterize the solar wind and the ionosphere of the planet:
- Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA)
- Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA)
- Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC)
- Solar Energetic Particle (SEP)
- Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW)
- Magnetometer (MAG)
The Remote Sensing Package, built by LASP, will determine global characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere via remote sensing.
- Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS)
The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS), provided by GFSC, will measure the composition and isotopes of neutral ions.