OSIRIS - The scientific camera system onboard Rosetta

H. U. Keller, C. Barbieri, P. Lamy, H. Rickman, R. Rodrigo, K. P. Wenzel, H. Sierks, M. F. A'Hearn, F. Angrilli, M. Angulo, M. E. Bailey, P. Barthol, M. A. Barucci, J. L. Bertaux, G. Bianchini, J. L. Boit, V. Brown, J. A. Burns, I. Büttner, J. M. CastroG. Cremonese, W. Curdt, V. Da Deppo, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, K. Dohlen, S. Fornasier, M. Fulle, D. Germerott, F. Gliem, G. P. Guizzo, S. F. Hviid, W. H. Ip, L. Jorda, D. Koschny, J. R. Kramm, E. Kührt, M. Küppers, L. M. Lara, A. Llebaria, A. López, A. López-Jimenez, J. López-Moreno, R. Meller, H. Michalik, M. D. Michelena, R. Müller, G. Naletto, A. Origné, G. Parzianello, M. Pertile, C. Quintana, R. Ragazzoni, P. Ramous, K. U. Reiche, M. Reina, J. Rodríguez, G. Rousset, L. Sabau, A. Sanz, J. P. Sivan, K. Stöckner, J. Tabero, U. Telljohann, N. Thomas, V. Timon, G. Tomasch, T. Wittrock, M. Zaccariotto

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275 Scopus citations


The Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System OSIRIS is the scientific camera system onboard the Rosetta spacecraft (Figure 1). The advanced high performance imaging system will be pivotal for the success of the Rosetta mission. OSIRIS will detect 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a distance of more than 106 km, characterise the comet shape and volume, its rotational state and find a suitable landing spot for Philae, the Rosetta lander. OSIRIS will observe the nucleus, its activity and surroundings down to a scale of ~2 cm px-1. The observations will begin well before the onset of cometary activity and will extend over months until the comet reaches perihelion. During the rendezvous episode of the Rosetta mission, OSIRIS will provide key information about the nature of cometary nuclei and reveal the physics of cometary activity that leads to the gas and dust coma. OSIRIS comprises a high resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) unit and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) unit accompanied by three electronics boxes. The NAC is designed to obtain high resolution images of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through 12 discrete filters over the wavelength range 250-1000 nm at an angular resolution of 18.6 μrad px-1. The WAC is optimised to provide images of the near-nucleus environment in 14 discrete filters at an angular resolution of 101 μrad px-1. The two units use identical shutter, filter wheel, front door, and detector systems. They are operated by a common Data Processing Unit. The OSIRIS instrument has a total mass of 35 kg and is provided by institutes from six European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-506
Number of pages74
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 2007


  • 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
  • Camera
  • Cometary activity
  • Imaging system
  • Narrow angle camera
  • Rosetta
  • Spectroscopic
  • Wide angle camera


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