You are here

Mars Express/OMEGA

OMEGA is the spectro-imaging instrument of the ESA Mars-Express mission, inserted into Martian orbit the 25th of December 2003. The instrument has observed most of the Martian surface from a polar orbit, over several Martian years. As of 2023, OMEGA still operates on a daily basis, acquiring VIS-NIR (0.35-1.1 µm) reflectance spectra of the surface and atmosphere of Mars, and occasional Phobos during low altitude flybys. Infrared observations (2.5-5.2 µm) of the surface and atmosphere remain possible with OMEGA, they are acquired on-demand for high priority science targets.


OMEGA has a new dedicated website with up-to-date information including current projects, detailed instrument description, access to both raw and high level data products:



OMEGA acquires spectra of the surface and atmosphere of Mars between 0.35 and 5.2 µm with a ground resolution varying from 350 m/pixel to 10 km/pixel. Such observations allow mapping igneous rock-forming and secondary minerals, as well as perennial ices and seasonal frosts (H2O and CO2). In addition, OMEGA has the capability to observe various and transient atmospheric phenomena (clouds, dust, haze, airglow) which is facilitated by the MEX and OMEGA operational flexibility. The instrument observes in nadir, limb, spot-tracking and more configurations.


See the description of the instrument

OMEGA has been developed by IAS and LESIA (Observatoire de Paris) with the support of CNES, with a participation of IFSI (Italy) and IKI (Russia). The instrument has originally been developed for the Russian mission Mars-96, lost during the launch in November 1996. The instrument is under the scientific responsibility of IAS (PI: J. Carter).

Contact : John Carter

Project status: 
Subscribe to Syndicate