Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Color Imager (MARCI): Instrument description, calibration, and performance

J. F. Bell, M. J. Wolff, M. C. Malin, W. M. Calvin, B. A. Cantor, M. A. Caplinger, R. T. Clancy, K. S. Edgett, L. J. Edwards, J. Fahle, F. Ghaemi, R. M. Haberle, A. Hale, P. B. James, S. W. Lee, T. McConnochie, E. Noe Dobrea, M. A. Ravine, D. Schaeffer, K. D. SupulverP. C. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) instrument aboard the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft is a wide-angle, multispectral Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) "push frame" imaging camera designed to provide frequent, synoptic-scale color imaging of the Martian atmosphere and surface. MARCI uses a 1024 × 1024 pixel interline transfer CCD detector that has seven narrowband interference filters bonded directly to the CCD. Five of the filters are in the visible to short-wave near-infrared wavelength range (437, 546, 604,653, and 718 nm) and two are in the ultraviolet range (258 and 320 nm). Here we describe the scientific objectives of the MARCI investigation and the basic characteristics, calibration, and in-flight performance of the MARCI instrument. We include several examples of early scientific results and investigations enabled by an extensive preflight and in-flight calibration program and by validation of the performance of the instrument in flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE08S92
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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