May 19 2008, 09:02 PM
The fact that the landing site will be flat and have few rocks got me wondering how we will pinpoint Phoenix's location from orbit. I know the high resolution camera on MRO can spot it, but the problem is finding it. With no likely landmarks near by, could the 3 orbiters find the exact location using the UHF signal from the lander?
May 19 2008, 09:17 PM
Yes, the Doppler shift of the UHF can be used to locate landers. This was planned for MER using MGS but never needed, see:http://www.msss.com/mer_mission/finding_mer/