- MAIN JOB:To see geologic features under the surface with ground-penetrating radar
- LOCATION:The radar antenna is on the lower rear of the rover
MASS:Less than 6.6 pounds
- POWER:5 to 10 watts
- VOLUME:7 by 4.7 by 2.4 inches
(196 x 120 x 66 millimeters)
- DATA RETURN:5 to 10 kilobytes per sounding location
- FREQUENCY RANGE:150 to 1200 megahertz
- VERTICAL RESOLUTION:As small as about 3 to 12 inches thick (15 to 30 centimeters) thick.
- PENETRATION DEPTH:Greater than 30 feet (10 meters) deep depending on materials.
- MEASUREMENT INTERVAL:About every 4 inches (10 centimeters) along the rover track
Did You Know?
Scientists widely use radar to look for things underground on Earth. They use it to study Mars-like glacial regions in the Arctic and Antarctic. Ground-penetrating radar helps us locate land mines; spot underground cables, wires and pipes; and reveal ancient human artifacts and even buried treasure! On Mars, the "buried treasure" may be water ice, which helps scientists understand the possibilities for Martian life and also identifies natural resources for future human explorers.
RIMFAX: The Story Behind the Name
RIMFAX takes its name from Hrímfaxi, the horse in Norse mythology that faithfully brings the night (Nótt). Nótt is the grandmother of Thor, famed god of thunder.
Hrímfaxi means “the one with rime (frost) in its mane.” Its partner is Skinfaxi, the horse that brings the day (Dagr). Skinfaxi means “the one with the shining mane.”