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Characterization of an Electroanalytical Instrument Suite Searching for Water and Life on MarsSeeking the existence of life on other planets is an essential part of NASA's research. Our terrestrial experience suggests that water is a mandatory resource for life to exist and thrive. However, instruments capable of detecting water at the levels likely to be present on Mars are lacking. This project tests the possibility of using electrical measurements of soils, at variable frequencies, as a water detector. Generally, the electrical resistance of soils can be described as a combination of resistance and capacitance, which can be described by a vector including a magnitude and (phase) angle. By specifically studying the impedance measurements and phase angles of different types of soil, spiked with varying concentrations of dissolved ions, measurements can be taken to provide an idea of the behavior of dry Martian soils. The presentation will describe the experimental technique, apparatus and procedures, as well as results conducted to calibrate the instrument and to establish sample preparation protocols.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bostic, Heidi E.
(Wofford Coll. Spartanburg, SC, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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