July 31, 2014

French contribution to the aerothermal technological instrumentation of the EDM

German Aerospace Center (DLR) has been developing a Combined Aerothermal Sensor Package (COMARS+) for the ESA Exomars EDM mission 2016. COMARS + consists of three so-called COMARS sensors, a broadband radiometer and an electronics box for the analogue signal processing. COMARS sensors measure the pressure, convective heat flux rate and heat flux rate simultaneously. Further temperature sensors are used for health monitoring of the sensor unit. This work is carried out in cooperation with CNES, which is responsible for the development of the narrow band radiometer ICOTOM. It will measure the flux of Infrared radiation falling on the backshield of the capsule during its decent on the red planet. The qualification phase of COMARS+ is almost completed and the flight hardware will be delivered to the prime company TAS in September 2014.


The data collected by ICOTOM give the temperature of the CO2 plasma around the capsule enabling the engineers to size properly the insulator shield for the future Martian landing vessels.

The ICOTOM sensor unit will be made of three infrared fibers with optic sensors, each sensor being designed to receive signal in two frequency bands on three different positions on the backshield.

ICOTOM's characteristics

Spectral bandsCO2 emission bands in the Infrared (2.7 µm, 4.3 µm)
Weight7 g
Size12 x 50 mm
Power consumption0 W
Number of units6
Total weight50 g (with wires)