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Potential of Low frequency sounding radar in exploring water on Mars


IPGP - Campus Jussieu


Séminaires Planétologie et Sciences Spatiales

Salle Bleue


Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston

Abstract: The Mars Exploration Program has identified the search for subsurface water as a key investigation for understanding the geologic and hydrologic history of the planet and identifying potential environments for the survival of primitive life forms. During the ongoing decade several geophysical tools will be used to address this task and reduce the ambiguities concerning the total abundance of water and its distribution as ground ice and groundwater. The search for groundwater will be conducted by three sounding radars, on three separate missions, whose ability to detect and identify the presence of liquid water will be strongly dependent on the petrology, mineralogy and the thermal structure of the Martian subsurface - properties that define the electrical characteristics and geological environment of the sounded sites. This talk will describe some problems associated with the geophysical exploration for water using electromagnetic methods - focusing mainly on the potential science return and results preview from the 2 MHz orbital sounding Radar MARSIS that is currently probing the Martian subsurface and is flowed by the SHARAD 20 MHz Orbital sounder on board MRO mission, scheduled for deployment in November 2006. This interdisciplinary study include Martian soil analogues electromagnetic characterization, field surveys of radar prototypes instrument in Mars analog environments, geological and geo-electrical modeling of potential landing sites, simulations of radar wave propagation in arid volcanic environments and MARSIS data analysis. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Séminaires Etudes spatiales et planétologie ------------------------------------------------------------------------