A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo

Why Mercury?
The Mission
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
Related Links

Download iPhone/iPad app Information about Mercury Flybys Question and Answer End of Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews

Overview  |  MDIS  |  GRNS  |  XRS  |   MAG  |  MLA  |  MASCS  |  EPPS  |  RS

Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)

Mass: 8.0 kilograms (17.6 pounds)
Power: 7.6 watts
Development: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Mercury Dual Imaging System The multi-spectral MDIS has wide- and narrow-angle cameras (the “WAC” and “NAC,” respectively) – both based on charge-coupled devices (CCDs), similar to those found in digital cameras – to map the rugged landforms and spectral variations on Mercury’s surface in monochrome, color, and stereo. The imager pivots, giving it the ability to capture images from a wide area without having to re-point the spacecraft and allowing it to follow the stars and other optical navigation guides.

The wide-angle camera has a 10.5° by 10.5° field of view and can observe Mercury through 11 different filters and monochrome across the wavelength range 395 to 1,040 nanometers (visible through near-infrared light). Multi-spectral imaging will help scientists investigate the diversity of rock types that form Mercury’s surface. The narrow-angle camera can take black-and-white images at high resolution through its 1.5° by 1.5° field of view, allowing extremely detailed analysis of features as small as 18 meters (about 60 feet) across.

For additional information about and examples of MDIS images, visit these pages:

   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2015 by JHU/APL