The Aurora spectrometer will be integrated with the MARES camera and will comprise the primary science instrument for the Northern Light lander. The Aurora spectrometer will measure the Martian radiative environment and the gaseous composition of the atmosphere; it will also characterize Martian aerosol. This instrument has been under continuous development by the Meteorological Service of Canada over the last decade. Early instrument derivatives were developed for the NASA ER-2 research plane; instruments flew on shuttle missions STS-41G and STS-52, and it has also been adapted for use on the ground and on stratospheric balloon flights. A double-spectrometer design was developed and flown on the Canadian MANTRA 2002 balloon mission, and a space-instrument derivative was recently launched on the Canadian science-satellite initiative, SCISAT?1. The Aurora spectrometer for the Northern Light lander will be a new instrument derivative.
The instrument has many innovative design features. We propose to include four independent spectrometer elements in our baseline for Northern Light. The new derivative will include front-end optics to interface the four spectrometers and to separate the diffuse and direct radiation components of the Martian atmosphere.