Resonances of the InSight Seismometer on Mars
BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 111:6 (2021) 2951-2963
Spectral Characterization of Bennu Analogs Using PASCALE: A New Experimental Set-Up for Simulating the Near-Surface Conditions of Airless Bodies.
Journal of geophysical research. Planets 126:2 (2021) e2020JE006624
Abstract:We describe the capabilities, radiometric stability, and calibration of a custom vacuum environment chamber capable of simulating the near-surface conditions of airless bodies. Here we demonstrate the collection of spectral measurements of a suite of fine particulate asteroid analogs made using the Planetary Analogue Surface Chamber for Asteroid and Lunar Environments (PASCALE) under conditions like those found on Earth and on airless bodies. The sample suite includes anhydrous and hydrated physical mixtures, and chondritic meteorites (CM, CI, CV, CR, and L5) previously characterized under Earth- and asteroid-like conditions. And for the first time, we measure the terrestrial and extra-terrestrial mineral end members used in the olivine- and phyllosilicate-dominated physical mixtures under the same conditions as the mixtures and meteorites allowing us better understand how minerals combine spectrally when mixed intimately. Our measurements highlight the sensitivity of thermal infrared emissivity spectra to small amounts of low albedo materials and the composition of the sample materials. As the albedo of the sample decreases, we observe smaller differences between Earth- and asteroid-like spectra, which results from a reduced thermal gradient in the upper hundreds of microns in the sample. These spectral measurements can be compared to thermal infrared emissivity spectra of asteroid (101955) Bennu's surface in regions where similarly fine particulate materials may be observed to infer surface compositions.
Standing on Apollo’s shoulders: A microseismometer for the moon
Planetary Science Journal 2:1 (2021)
Abstract:Seismometers deployed on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts from 1969 to 1972 detected moonquakes and impacts, and added to our understanding of the lunar interior. Several lunar missions are currently being planned, including the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), the Lunar Geophysical Network, and the astronaut program Artemis. We propose a microseismometer for the Moon: the Silicon Seismic Package (SSP). The SSP’s sensors are etched in silicon, and are predicted to have a noise floor below 2 ´ 10-10 (m s-2) Hz between 0.3 and 3 Hz (similar to the Apollo instruments between 0.3 and 0.5 Hz, and better than Apollo above 0.5 Hz). The SSP will measure horizontal and vertical motion with the three sensors in a triaxial configuration. The instrument is robust to high shock and vibration and has an operational range from -80°C to +60°C, allowing deployment under harsh conditions. The first-generation version of this sensor, the SEIS-SP, was deployed on Mars in 2018 as part of the InSight mission’s seismic package. We will reconfigure the seismometer for the lower gravity of the Moon. We estimate that a single SSP instrument operating for one year would detect around 74 events above a signal-to-noise ratio of 2.5, as well as an additional 500+ above the noise floor. A mission lasting from lunar dawn until dusk, carried on a CLPS lander, could test the instrument in situ, and provide invaluable information for an extensive future network.
Studying the composition and mineralogy of the hermean surface with the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (MERTIS) for the BepiColombo mission: an update
Space Science Reviews Springer 216:6 (2020) 110
Abstract:Launched onboard the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) in October 2018, the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (MERTIS) is on its way to planet Mercury. MERTIS consists of a push-broom IR-spectrometer (TIS) and a radiometer (TIR), which operate in the wavelength regions of 7-14 μm and 7-40 μm, respectively. This wavelength region is characterized by several diagnostic spectral signatures: the Christiansen feature (CF), Reststrahlen bands (RB), and the Transparency feature (TF), which will allow us to identify and map rock-forming silicates, sulfides as well as other minerals. Thus, the instrument is particularly well-suited to study the mineralogy and composition of the hermean surface at a spatial resolution of about 500 m globally and better than 500 m for approximately 5-10% of the surface. The instrument is fully functional onboard the BepiColombo spacecraft and exceeds all requirements (e.g., mass, power, performance). To prepare for the science phase at Mercury, the team developed an innovative operations plan to maximize the scientific output while at the same time saving spacecraft resources (e.g., data downlink). The upcoming fly-bys will be excellent opportunities to further test and adapt our software and operational procedures. In summary, the team is undertaking action at multiple levels, including performing a comprehensive suite of spectroscopic measurements in our laboratories on relevant analog materials, performing extensive spectral modeling, examining space weathering effects, and modeling the thermal behavior of the hermean surface.
Constraints on the shallow elastic and anelastic structure of Mars from InSight seismic data
Nature Geoscience Springer Nature 13:3 (2020) 213-220