The Gravity Field Investigation studies the Doppler shift in the radio communications signal to determine the gravitational field of Mars. Scientists are using these observations to understand the subsurface structure of Mars on a scale of several hundred kilometers, as well as the rigidity of the planet as a whole.
The gravity field also helps scientists determine the density of the atmosphere and track seasonal changes in the location of carbon dioxide deposited on the surface.
The team leader is Maria Zuber from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Goddard Space Flight Center.
Other investigators are: