Develop a simple electrostatic spectrometer that can be mounted on the wheels of a Mars rover to continuously and unobtrusively determine the mineral composition and water content of the Martian soil. By constantly and passively sampling the soil, we expect that the spectrometer will be able to identify the presence of minerals of interest. Mission scientists can use this information to determine where to stop the rover and deploy the specialized spectrometers that require sample collection, such as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer on MSL. Earlier electrostatic sensors developed in our laboratory showed feasibility of differentiating wet and dry Mars simulant. With the proposed sensors, we expect to be able to differentiate minerals by studying the electrostatic spectrum generated.More »
This technology would benefit Mars Sample Return Mission in the mid 2020s. The electrostatic sensors would provide valuable information on the electrostatic properties of the Martian regolith and on the electrostatic properties of space materilas in contact with the regolith. The sensors should also determine when the rover is driving over a different type of regolith.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Kennedy Space Center (KSC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Kennedy Space Center, FL|
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