Our Contribution

Dragonfly’s Portable Weather Station

The Dragonfly Geophysics and Meteorology Package (DraGMet) is a suite of geophysical and meteorological sensors, including a seismometer to detect “Titanquakes” and understand the giant moon’s interior and liquid subsurface ocean.

About the Instrument

Instrument Type

Just as each airline pilot checks the weather before liftoff, Dragonfly will use the DraGMet sensors to check the wind speed, pressure, and temperature of Titan’s atmosphere before each aerial reconnaissance. Titan’s atmosphere is very thick, about four times denser than Earth’s, and is composed primarily of nitrogen (95%), methane (5%), and hydrogen (0.1%). In addition to serving as a portable weather station for Dragonfly, DraGMet will also use a seismometer to study the depth of Titan’s interior liquid water ocean and to search for tectonic activity. DraGMet also has sensors in Dragonfly’s skids to quickly assess the texture of the ground just after landing.

Schematic of the DraGMet Spacecraft
A transparent schematic of the Dragonfly spacecraft, with the location of each component of the Dragonfly Geophysics and Meteorology Package marked in yellow.

Previous studies of Titan from Cassini-Huygens offered only a basic understanding of the surface and atmospheric conditions, so the APL-built DraGMet package is essential not only to understand Titan’s atmosphere but also to enable the success of the Dragonfly mission.


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