OMEGA is the spectro-imaging instrument of the ESA Mars-Express mission, inserted on the martian orbit the 25th of December 2003. The instrument should observe most of the totality of the martian surface from a polar orbit.
It gives spectra of the surface and the atmosphere between 0.35 and 5.2 µm with a ground resolution varying from 350 m to 10 km. Such observations allow mapping the main minerals and thus exploring the details of the martian geology and the processes that modified the surface. The spectral resolution (from 13 to 20 nm) is also sufficient to study atmospherical phenomena (abundance and variability of minor components, aerosols, vertical profiles...). See the description of the instrument.
OMEGA has been developed by IAS and LESIA (Observatoire de Paris) with the support of CNES, with a participation of IFSI (Italy) and IKI (Russia). The instrument has originally been developed for the Russian mission Mars-96, lost during the launch in November 1996. The instrument is under the scientific responsibility of the IAS (PI : J.-P. Bibring).