Simultaneously formed in the same cloud of gas and grains of the different objects in the Solar System have today evolutionary stages and very different characteristics. To understand the processes involved in it, the comparison of the planets and satellites allows properties to highlight the phenomena responsible for global internal activity, its surface manifestations, as well as the evolution of atmospheres.
Spectral imaging, visible and infrared, allows to prepare maps of chemical or mineralogical composition of the surfaces and atmosphere. It provides thus access to the identification of geological evolution phases, climate and atmospheric.
The IAS has the scientific responsibility of the spectral imager OMEGA (visible and near IR) on the European Mars Express (ESA), in orbit around Mars since early 2004. OMEGA is currently conducting mapping of Mars with a resolution 0.5 to 5 km in the spectral range from 0.5 to 5.2 microns, with a S / N ratio greater than 100. With such performance, the scientific objectives of OMEGA cover a very wide field, including the geological evolution , geochemical and climate of the planet: differentiation and primordial bombardment, volcanism and tectonics, the water cycle and carbon dioxide, climatology and Martian meteorology, atmospheric evolution.
Previously, IAS has realized in cooperation with the Paris-Meudon Observatory ISM spectral imager (0.8-3.2 microns) which was boarded Soviet Phobos Mission: in 1989, he has produced over 30 000 spectra of Mars with a resolution of 5-20 km and several hundred of the largest satellite spectra of Mars, Phobos, with a resolution of 700 meters. The ISM alternative model was then adapted to perform spectral images of the Earth from the plane ARAT.