Please scroll down the page, or click on an instrument in the image below to find more details about that component
Special thanks to NASA's MGS Homepage for this image
The Mars Orbiter Camera takes photos in dual modes. The narrow-angle mode will take black and white high-resolution photos of Martian rocks and other objects as small as 1.4 meters. The wide-angle mode uses a "fish-eye" lens to take spectacular panoramic images in color, spanning from horizon to horizon.
This instrument is capable of determining the height of surface features through sophisticated calculations. It will measure the time it takes for a pulse of laser to leave the spacecraft, reflect off the ground and return to the spacecraft's collectors mirror. Because different surface features vary in altitude, the moving altimeter will allow scientists to model the surface in a detailed topographical map.
The TES will scan the surface of Mars, and determine the composition of surface minerals, rocks and ices. It can also tell the atmospheric conditions.
MAG/ER stands for "Magnetometer and Electron Reflectometer." By using the MAG/ER, scientists hope to learn about the interior composition of Mars. It measures the magnectic properties of Mars.
The MAG is not attached to the main body of the spacecraft, but has two sensors situated on opposite ends of the craft, so there will be no interference from the craft's magnetic signals.
This instrument basically transmits all the data collected from other instruments back to Earth. This is advantageous because of lighter weight than the traditional antennas, therefore allowing more capacity for other instruments.
All the data collected by the scientific instruments will travel to Earth by radio signals.The USO determines the electrical strength and "tone" of the transmissions, so that a special group of scientists, can monitor and draw conclusion from electrical strength back on Earth. They are not really concerned with the data contained in the signals, just the "tone" of the signal.