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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

GIS Technology: Resource and Habitability Assessment Tool

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

We are applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to new orbital data sets for lunar resource assessment and the identification of past habitable environments on Mars.  GIS has not previously been used for planetary resource assessment and its applicability to martian habitability is in its infancy.  NASA has recognized the interest in this technology with the recent establishment of a NASA-wide Enterprise Agreement with ESRI, the developers of ArcGIS. Lunar resource assessment is recognized as a key to future exploration and sustainability.  The recognition of martian habitable environments is a top priority goal of NASA's Mars Program.

This is a one-year project to apply a GIS analysis tool to new orbital data for lunar resource assessment and martian habitability identification.  We used ArcGIS, the state-of-the-art software for mapping, integrating, and analysis of spatial data. We focused on the assessment of several regional lunar pyroclastic deposits and habitability analysis in the Chryse-Acidalia portion of the martian lowlands.  This work expands upon a previous 3-year project enabled through IRD funds.   As a direct result of this project three scientific papers have been published: Allen, C.C., Greenhagen, B.T., Donaldson Hanna, K.L., and Paige, D.P. (2012) Analysis of lunar pyroclastic deposit FeO abundances by LRO Diviner, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, E00H28, doi:10.1029/2011JE003982. Oehler, D.Z. and Allen, C.C. (2012) Giant polygons and mounds in the lowlands of Mars: signatures of an ancient ocean ?, Astrobiology, 12, 1-15. Oehler, D.Z. and Allen, C.C.  (2012)  Focusing the search for biosignatures on Mars:  Facies prediction with an example from Acidalia Planitia, in Sedimentary Geology of Mars (J.P. Grotzinger and R.E. Milliken, eds.), SEPM Special Publication No. 102, 183-194.

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.