Ices are ubiquitous in our solar system and beyond. Most abundant is water ice, found on Mars, on giant planet satellites, comets and other objects. Other ices, such as CO2, CH4 and SO2, are also found for example on Mars, Pluto or Io. Ices may play a major role in planetary formation process and in determining habitability conditions. Their presence at planetary or cometary surface/subsurface causes dynamic processes, such as ejection, flowing, or peculiar shaping of icy surface materials. Our goal is to study these processes by developing remote-sensing instruments onboard exploration spacecrafts, and by conducting data analysis, laboratory investigation and numerical modeling. Knowledge gained can be applied to the surface and atmosphere of proto-planetary and planetary objects, and by analogy to their exoplanetary counterparts.
We are part of the Multi-instrument Analysis of Rosetta Data (MiARD) project, which is carried out by a consortium of eight partners which include universities, research institutions and a company. Three of the partners are Swiss, with the others being in Germany, the United Kingdom and France.