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Orbital SAR and Ground-Penetrating Radar for Mars: Complementary Tools in the Search for WaterThe physical structure and compositional variability of the upper martian crust is poorly understood. Optical and infrared measurements probe at most the top few cm of the surface layer and indicate the presence of layered volcanics and sediments, but it is likely that permafrost, hydrothermal deposits, and transient liquid water pockets occur at depths of meters to kilometers within the crust. An orbital synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can provide constraints on surface roughness, the depth of fine-grained aeolian or volcanic deposits, and the presence of strongly absorbing near-surface deposits such as carbonates. This information is crucial to the successful landing and operation of any rover designed to search for subsurface water. A rover-based ground-penetrating radar (GPR) can reveal layering in the upper crust, the presence of erosional or other subsurface horizons, depth to a permafrost layer, and direct detection of near-surface transient liquid water. We detail here the radar design parameters likely to provide the best information for Mars, based on experience with SAR and GPR in analogous terrestrial or planetary environments.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Campbell, B. A.
(Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC United States)
Grant, J. A.
(State Univ. of New York Buffalo, NY United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration
Issue: Part 1
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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