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In Situ Geophysical Exploration by Humans in Mars Analog Environments


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Presented on May 13, 2010 at the University of North Dakota's 997 symposium. Summarizes the research projects I carried out on two analog Mars missions in 2009 and 2010.

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  • @Rui Moura Thank you for your comment. I too am a "seismic guy" transitioning to multi-methods. At present, I'm comparing GPR and electromagnetic options for subsurface lava tube detection. Last year I conducted a resistivity survey looking for permafrost. Your lighter multielectrode resistivity system sounds very interesting. You asked what methods I think might be deployed on a first mission to Mars. Well, the unmanned Mars 2020 rover is likely going to have a GPR instrument, so I suppose that will be first active source geophysical instrument on Mars. When people arrive, I suspect they will also take along low power, lightweight systems (EM, GPR, etc.) for small-scale surveys, but larger scale surveys would have likely already been carried out by orbiters and precurory robotic missions. I would welcome to continue this conversation with you anytime. You can reach me at Thank you.
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  • Quite interesting. Although I started off as a seismic 'guy' I'm also multi-method geophysicist myself. I'm making my own lighter multielectrode resistivity system at the moment. What methods would you think are possible to deploy on a first mission to Mars? All or a seleted few? Do you think that the shallow local objectives more important at the moment? I teach and research at the Unicersity of Porto. If you ever need a helping hand from this side of the Atlantic don't hesitate to ask.
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In Situ Geophysical Exploration by Humans in Mars Analog Environments

  1. 1. In Situ Geophysical Exploration by Humans in Mars Analog Environments Brian Shiro May 13, 2010 UND 997 Symposium
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>FMARS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission Overview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seismic Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electromagnetic Project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MDRS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission Overview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active Seismic + GPR Project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul>
  3. 3. FMARS and MDRS <ul><li>FMARS = Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station </li></ul><ul><li>MDRS = Mars Desert Research Station </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the Mars Direct architecture </li></ul>The Mars Society
  4. 4. Getting There
  5. 5. FMARS <ul><li>Devon Island </li></ul><ul><li>Founded 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Polar desert </li></ul><ul><li>Located on rim of 39Ma Haughton Crater </li></ul><ul><li>12th crew: 6 people </li></ul><ul><li>Crew Geophysicist </li></ul><ul><li>Jun 27 - Aug 1, 2009 (26 days on Devon Island) </li></ul>
  6. 7. Mars on Earth Haughton Crater Which one is Mars?
  7. 8. Seismic Station <ul><li>Study interior structure, origin, & evolution of Mars </li></ul><ul><li>Questions: crustal thickness, mantle properties, core radius, seismicity </li></ul>
  8. 9. Earthquake!
  9. 10. FMARS Seismic EVAs Summary
  10. 21. Electromagnetic Survey <ul><li>Time domain electromagnetic method (TDEM) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: look for groundwater, characterize subsurface resistivity </li></ul>
  11. 22. Survey Design
  12. 23. EVA Tracking
  13. 24. FMARS TDEM EVAs Summary
  14. 36. TDEM Results <ul><li>Dolomite too resistive for our 40 m loop with 3.5 A power. </li></ul><ul><li>Can constrain subsurface resistivity to 1,000-10,000  -m. </li></ul>
  15. 37. Depth to Groundwater <ul><li>Can consrain upper bound of depth to conductor. </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming a 100  -m body, it would be at least 300 m deep. </li></ul>
  16. 39. MDRS <ul><li>Hanksville, Utah </li></ul><ul><li>Founded 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Desert with Jurassic/Craceous sedimentary features </li></ul><ul><li>89th crew, 6 people </li></ul><ul><li>Crew Commander </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 23 - Feb 6, 2010 </li></ul>
  17. 41. NDX-1 Kneepads
  18. 42. Ground Penetrating Radar <ul><li>CRUX instrument = miniaturized GPR developed by NASA </li></ul><ul><li>Data collected by Stoker et al. on Crew 85 in Nov 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Found a strong reflector, a possible buried paleochannel </li></ul>
  19. 43. Study Area
  20. 44. Miyamoto Crater, Mars <ul><li>Similar to the feature at MDRS </li></ul><ul><li>Inverted river channel intersects with crate rim </li></ul><ul><li>Former MSL landing site candidate </li></ul>
  21. 45. Active Seismic Survey <ul><li>Seismic refraction, reflection, surface wave methods </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: Determine shallow subsurface structure, Look for water </li></ul>Land streamer with 12 geophones
  22. 46. MDRS Seismic EVAs Summary
  23. 47. Survey the Profile
  24. 49. Collect Data Hammer strike as source Cover to see computer screen
  25. 51. Fix Broken Geophone
  26. 52. Seismic Data
  27. 53. Seismic Results
  28. 54. GPR Redux <ul><li>GPR data collected again using CRUX by Crew 92 in March 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Same profile as seismic experiment. </li></ul><ul><li>General agreement with seismic results. </li></ul>
  29. 55. GPR - Seismic Comparison <ul><li>GPR data collected again using CRUX by Crew 92 in March 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Same profile as seismic experiment. </li></ul>
  30. 56. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Simplify User interfaces : large buttons, easy-to-read screens, configurable prior to EVA, automation </li></ul><ul><li>Passive Seismic : Installation of Trillium Compact system (including burial) is feasible in spacesuits. </li></ul><ul><li>Electromagnetic : Laying loop manually, operating the PROTEM are not very practical in spacesuits. </li></ul><ul><li>Active Seismic : Land streamers are good for seismic profiling, but they are heavy. For long surveys, the source needs to be mobile on a rover, and data collection/processing should be automated. </li></ul>
  31. 57. Related Presentations <ul><li>Shiro, B. and C. Stoker (2010), “Iterative Science Strategy on Analog Geophysical EVAs,” NASA Lunar Science Forum 2010 . </li></ul><ul><li>Ferrone, K., S. Cusack, C. Garvin, V.W. Kramer, J. Palaia, and B. Shiro (2010), “Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station 2009 Crew Perspectives,” AIAA SpaceOps 2010 Conf., 65-ME-18. </li></ul><ul><li>Shiro, B. and K. Ferrone (2010), “In Situ Geophysical Exploration by Humans in Mars Analog Environments,” Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf., 2052. </li></ul><ul><li>Shiro, B. , J. Palaia, and K. Ferrone (2009), “Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission,” Eos Trans. AGU , 90(52) , Fall Meet. Suppl., ED11A-0565. </li></ul><ul><li>Banerdt, B. and B. Shiro (2007), “The Seismic Exploration of Mars: History, Prospects and Barriers,” Seismological Research Letters , 78(2) , 276. </li></ul>AGU 2009 LPSC 2010
  32. 58. Acknowledgements <ul><li>FMARS-12 and MDRS-89 crews </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Zubrin, Artemis Westenberg, Chris Carberry, Aziz Kheraj, Mission Support Team </li></ul><ul><li>Pascal Lee, Stephen Braham, Brian Glass </li></ul><ul><li>Gene Traverse, Rob Harris, Dennis Mills, Paul Bedrosian, Carol Stoker, David Stillman, Bob Grimm, Rob Stewart, Jim Hasbrouck, Deborah Underwood, Chris Gifford, Andrew Feustel </li></ul><ul><li>Mike Gaffey, Santhosh Seelan, Pablo DeLeon, and entire UND SpSt Dept. </li></ul>
  33. 59. Any Questions?