Planetary seismology is a key technique to image the internal structure of planetary objects, and target fundamental science objectives from the formation of planetary systems to the characterization of habitable worlds. With the SEIS instrument on board InSight mission, Europe has demonstrated its leadership in developing such instrumentation. PIONEERS will allow Europe to keep its technological advance and to enter a new realm of planetary exploration with an innovative ground motion
instrumentation concept relying on high precision sensors based on optical interferometry, and on 6 degrees of freedom (6 DoF, with 3 translations and 3 rotations) measurements that provide substantial more science return compared to usual seismometers. The PIONEERS project will develop two 6 DoF instruments for measuring ground deformations of planetary objects. The first instrument is a very low noise 6-DoF engineering model dedicated to imaging the internal structure of terrestrial planets.
The second one is a high TRL, reduced scale version of the same instrument dedicated to the exploration of small bodies, in order to support planetary defense and asteroid resources applications. We will build the instruments with the expertise in planetary seismology and high performance optical technologies provided by the PIONEERS partners. Innovative data analysis methods, as well as Earth analogue field testing will validate the expected increase of performance level by two orders of
magnitude. Cost optimization, ITAR-free strategy and adaptation to CubeSat standards will drive other technological developments opening new markets for high precision scientific instrumentation. Instruments developed by our consortium members are demonstrating their predominance this year (SEIS on board InSight, blueSeis commercial rotational seismometer release, ROMY laser interferometer). It is therefore the right time to keep European leadership strong by innovating both on instrument