Mars Express is currently working through its series of Phobos flybys, heading for its closest approach on 3 March 2010. Different instruments are used on different flybys to gain different information about the mysterious moon.
ASPERA is studying the interaction between the sleet of electrically charged particles given out by the Sun, called the solar wind, and the surface of Phobos. HRSC will produce high resolution images of surface, paying particular attention to the Phobos-Grunt landing site.
MaRS will determine the Phobos gravity field allowing the internal distribution of mass to be determined. MARSIS is studying the sub-surface of Phobos, seeking indications of structure and internal composition. SPICAM, PFS, OMEGA are characterising the surface of the moon, with PFS aiming to measure the day and night side temperature.
Digital terrain model of Phobos derived from HRSC data. Published in M. Wählisch et al., "A new topographic image atlas of Phobos", Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. (2009), doi:10.1016/j.epsl. 2009.11.003 Credits: ESA/ DLR/ FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
The full list of flybys, altitudes and instruments is as follows:
Date Altitude (km) * Instruments used during flyby
16 February 991 PFS, SPICAM, ASPERA
22 February 574 PFS, SPICAM, ASPERA
25 February 398 PFS, MARSIS
28 February 226 PFS, MARSIS
03 March 50 MaRS, ASPERA
07 March 107 HRSC, OMEGA, MARSIS, SPICAM, ASPERA
10 March 286 HRSC, OMEGA, MARSIS, ASPERA
13 March 476 HRSC, SPICAM, PFS, ASPERA
16 March 662 HRSC, SPICAM, PFS, ASPERA
19 March 848 HRSC, SPICAM, PFS, ASPERA
23 March 1341 Not used
26 March 1304 HRSC, SPICAM, PFS, ASPERA
* Distance from the surface of Phobos
You can read a detailed rundown of the flyby campaign here. -- Stuart