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Water-Searchers: A Reconfigurable and Self Sustaining Army of Subsurface Exploration Robots Searching for Water/Ice Using Multiple SensorsPerhaps the most promising site for extant life on Mars today is where subsurface water has been maintained. Therefore, searching for underground water will provide a good chance to find evidence of life on Mars. The following are scientific/engineering questions that we want to answer using our approach: (1) Is there subsurface water/ice? How deep is it? How much is there? Is it frozen? (2) What kinds of underground layers exist in the Martian crust? (3) What is the density of Martian soil or regolith? Can we dig into it? Should we drill into it? (4) Can a sudden release of underground water occur if a big asteroid hits Mars? Our approach provides essential information to answer these questions. Moreover, dependence on the water content and depth in soil, not only resultant scientific conclusions but also proper digging/drilling methods, are suggested. 'How much water is in the Martian soil?' There can be several possibilities: (1) high water content that is enough to form permafrost; (2) low water content that is not enough to form permafrost; or (3) different layers with different moisture contents. 'How deep should a rover dig into soil to find water/ice?' The exact size-frequency distribution has not been measured for the soil particles. On-board sensors can provide not only the water content but also the density (or porosity) of Martian soil as a function of depth.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Youk, G. U. (Inventors' Enterprise, Inc. Brentwood, TN United States)
Whittaker, W. (Red) (Carnegie-Mellon Univ. Pittsburgh, PA United States)
Volpe, R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Instrumentation and Photography
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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