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Sample records for martian dust simulation

  1. Simulation of Martian dust accumulation on surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.; Kress, Robert; Grimalda, Justus

    1990-01-01

    Future NASA space missions include the possibility of manned landings and exploration of Mars. Environmental and operational constraints unique to Mars must be considered when selecting and designing the power system to be used on the Mars surface. A technique is described which was developed to simulate the deposition of dust on surfaces. Three kinds of dust materials were studied: aluminum oxide, basalt, and iron oxide. The apparatus was designed using the Stokes and Stokes-Cunningham law for particle fallout, with additional consideration given to particle size and shape. Characterization of the resulting dust films on silicon dioxide, polytetrafluoroethylene, indium tin oxide, diamondlike carbon, and other surfaces are discussed based on optical transmittance measurements. The results of these experiments will guide future studies which will consider processes to remove the dust from surfaces under Martian environmental conditions.

  2. Numerical simulations of the decay of Martian global dust storms

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, J.R. ); Toon, O.B.; Haberle, R.M.; Pollack, J.B. )

    1990-08-30

    The decay of Martian global (great) dust storms is investigated. One-dimensional (vertical, static atmosphere) and two-dimensional (latitude-height, steady state circulation) simulations carried out with an aerosol transport-microphysical model indicate that atmospheric motions play a significant role in the observed decay of global dust storms. Spacecraft observations (Mariner 9, Viking) of the 1971 and the two 1977 planet-encircling dust storms have provided suggestions about some characteristics of storm decay. Specifically, the dust particle size distribution is inferred to have remained essentially unchanged for particles with radii between 1 and 10 {mu}m during decay of the 1971 storm, and surface visible opacity declined quasi-exponentially with time in northern mid-latitudes during the decay of the two 1977 storms. The results from this investigation indicate that two- or three-dimensional dynamical processes play a significant role in the observed decay features of Martian global dust storms. The most important processes are the lofting of dust by vertical motions in the dust source region of the southern hemisphere subtropics and a continuing advective resupply of atmospheric dust into the dust sink regions of the northern hemisphere. This work has implications for Viking data analyses and future Mars observer observations and requires that the particle size distribution be treated as a time and latitude dependent quantity.

  3. Electrostatic Characteristics of Materials Exposed to Martian Simulant Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calle, C. I.; Kim, H. S.; Young, S.; Jackson, D.; Lombardi, A. J.

    1998-11-01

    The Pathfinder mission to Mars identified Andesitic rock as the primary type of rock at the landing site. Several experiments were designed at NASA/Kennedy Space Center to determine the charging characteristics of common space materials exposed to small particles derived from those rocks. MARS-1, a Martian soil simulant prepared from Andesitic rocks by NASA/JSC was used in this work. Characterization of this simulant was made using scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled argon plasma spectroscopy coupled with a carbon-sulfur detector. These results were compared to the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer analysis on Pathfinder. The simulant was found to be a suitable substitute for Martian soil for our purposes. Two experimental designs and methods to simulate the exposure of different materials to wind-blown dust were made. These designs permit dust particle delivery to samples at different speeds. Initial experiments made with these designs to determine their viability were promising.

  4. Simulation of Martian surface conditions and dust transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nørnberg, P.; Merrison, J. P.; Finster, K.; Folkmann, F.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Hansen, A.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Mugford, R.

    2002-11-01

    The suspended atmospheric dust which is also found deposited over most of the Martian globe plays an important (possibly vital) role in shaping the surface environment. It affects the weather (solar flux), water transport and possibly also the electrical properties at the surface. The simulation facilities at Aarhus provide excellent tools for studying the properties of this Martian environment. Much can be learned from such simulations, supporting and often inspiring new investigations of the planet. Electrical charging of a Mars analogue dust is being studied within a wind tunnel simulation aerosol. Here electric fields are used to extract dust from suspension. Although preliminary the results indicate that a large fraction of the dust is charged to a high degree, sufficient to dominate adhesion/cohesion processes. A Mars analogue dust layer has been shown to be an excellent trap for moisture, causing increased humidity in the soil below. This allows the possibility for liquid water to be stable close to the surface (less than 10 cm). This is being investigated in an environment simulator where heat and moisture transport can be studied through layers of Mars analogue dust.

  5. Martian Dust Devils: Laboratory Simulations of Particle Threshold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Balme, Matthew R.; Iverson, James D.; Metzger, Stephen; Mickelson, Robert; Phoreman, Jim; White, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    An apparatus has been fabricated to simulate terrestrial and Martian dust devils. Comparisons of surface pressure profiles through the vortex core generated in the apparatus with both those in natural dust devils on Earth and those inferred for Mars are similar and are consistent with theoretical Rankine vortex models. Experiments to determine particle threshold under Earth ambient atmospheric pressures show that sand (particles > 60 micron in diameter) threshold is analogous to normal boundary-layer shear, in which the rotating winds of the vortex generate surface shear and hence lift. Lower-pressure experiments down to approx. 65 mbar follow this trend for sand-sized particles. However, smaller particles (i.e., dust) and all particles at very low pressures (w 10-60 mbar) appear to be subjected to an additional lift function interpreted to result from the strong decrease in atmospheric pressure centered beneath the vortex core. Initial results suggest that the wind speeds required for the entrainment of grains approx. 2 microns in diameter (i.e., Martian dust sizes) are about half those required for entrainment by boundary layer winds on both Earth and Mars.

  6. Numerical simulations of dust transport into northern high latitudes during a Martian polar warming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. R.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    The formation and evolution of the polar laminated terrain depends on rates of dust transport to the polar caps. A simplified dynamical model is shown similar to models used to simulate terrestrial stratospheric polar warmings could simulate certain observed features of the circulation during Martian global dust storms. Model simulations of dust transport showed that substantial quantities of dust, enough to produce optical depths of approx. 1, could reach the pole during these storms.

  7. Martian dust devil statistics from high-resolution large-eddy simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizawa, Seiya; Odaka, Masatsugu; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki O.; Sugiyama, Ko-ichiro; Nakajima, Kensuke; Ishiwatari, Masaki; Takehiro, Shin-ichi; Yashiro, Hisashi; Sato, Yousuke; Tomita, Hirofumi; Hayashi, Yoshi-Yuki

    2016-05-01

    Dust devils are one of the key elements in the Martian atmospheric circulation. In order to examine their statistics, we conducted high-resolution (up to 5 m) and wide-domain (about 20 × 20 km2) large-eddy simulations of the Martian daytime convective layer. Large numbers of dust devils developed spontaneously in the simulations, which enabled us to represent a quantitative consideration of Martian dust devil frequency distributions. We clarify the distributions of size and intensity, a topic of debate, and conclude that the maximum vertical vorticity of an individual dust devil has an exponential distribution, while the radius and circulation have power law distributions. A grid refinement experiment shows that the rate parameter of the vorticity distribution and the exponent of the circulation distribution are robust. The mode of the size distribution depends on the resolution, and it is suggested that the mode is less than 5 m.

  8. Effect of ultraviolet on the survival of bacteria airborne in simulated Martian dust clouds.

    PubMed

    Hagen, C A; Hawrylewicz, E J; Anderson, B T; Cephus, M L

    1970-01-01

    A chamber was constructed to create simulated Martian dust storms and thereby study the survival of airborne micro-organisms while exposed to the rigors of the Martian environment, including ultraviolet irradiation. Representative types of sporeforming and non-sporeforming bacteria present in spacecraft assembly areas and indigenous to humans were studied. It was found that daily ultraviolet irradiation of 2 to 9 X 10(7) erg cm-2 was not sufficient to sterilize the dust clouds. The soil particles protected the organisms from ultraviolet irradiation since the numbers of survivors from irradiated environments were similar to those from unirradiated environments. Pending further data of the Martian environment, the contamination and dissemination of Mars with terrestrial micro-organisms is still a distinct possibility. PMID:12664918

  9. The impact of a realistic vertical dust distribution on the simulation of the Martian General Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Richardson, Mark I.; Newman, Claire E.; Talaat, Elsayed R.; Waugh, Darryn W.; McConnochie, Timothy H.

    2013-05-01

    Limb-scanning observations with the Mars Climate Sounder and Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) have identified discrete layers of enhanced dust opacity well above the boundary layer and a mean vertical structure of dust opacity very different from the expectation of well-mixed dust in the lowest 1-2 scale heights. To assess the impact of this vertical dust opacity profile on atmospheric properties, we developed a TES limb-scan observation-based three-dimensional and time-evolving dust climatology for use in forcing general circulation models (GCMs). We use this to force the MarsWRF GCM and compare with simulations that use a well-mixed (Conrath-ν) vertical dust profile and Mars Climate Database version 4 (MCD) horizontal distribution dust opacity forcing function. We find that simulated temperatures using the TES-derived forcing yield a 1.18 standard deviation closer match to TES temperature retrievals than a MarsWRF simulation using MCD forcing. The climatological forcing yields significant changes to many large-scale features of the simulated atmosphere. Notably the high-latitude westerly jet speeds are 10-20 m/s higher, polar warming collar temperatures are 20-30 K warmer near northern winter solstice and tilted more strongly poleward, the middle and lower atmospheric meridional circulations are partially decoupled, the migrating diurnal tide exhibits destructive interference and is weakened by 50% outside of equinox, and the southern hemisphere wave number 1 stationary wave is strengthened by up to 4 K (45%). We find the vertical dust distribution is an important factor for Martian lower and middle atmospheric thermal structure and circulation that cannot be neglected in analysis and simulation of the Martian atmosphere.

  10. Pulmonary Toxicity Study of Lunar and Martian Dust Simulants Intratracheally Instilled in Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; Latch, John A.; Holian, A.; McCluskey, R.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and the Moon for further exploration. The properties of Hawaiian and Californian volcanic ashes allow them to be used to simulate Martian and lunar dusts, respectively. NASA laboratories use these dust simulants to test performance of hardware destined for Martian or lunar environments. Workers in these test facilities are exposed to low levels of these dusts. The present study was conducted to investigate the toxicity of these dust simulants. Particles of respirable-size ranges of lunar simulant (LS), Martian simulant (MS), TiO2 (negative control) and quartz (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled (saline as vehicle) to groups of 4 mice (C57BL, male, 2-3 month old) at a single treatment of 1 (Hi dose) or 0.1 (Lo dose) mg/mouse. The lungs were harvested at the end of 7 days or 90 days for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LS-Lo groups had no evidence of inflammation, edema or fibrosis. The LS-Hi-7d group had mild to moderate acute inflammation, and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the LS-Hi-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation and some fibrosis. Lungs of the MS-Lo-7d group revealed mild inflammation and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the MS-Lo-90d group showed mild fibrosis and particle-laden macrophages (PLM). Lungs of the MS-Hi-7d group demonstrated mild to moderate inflammation and large foci of PLM; the MS-Hi-90d group showed chronic mild to moderate inflammation and fibrosis. To mimic the effects of the oxidative and reactive properties of Martian soil surface, groups of mice were exposed to ozone (3 hour at 0.5 ppm) prior to MS dust instillation. Lung lesions in the MS group were more severe with the pretreatment. The results for the negative and positive controls were consistent with the known pulmonary toxicity of these compounds. The overall severity of toxic insults to the lungs were TiO2

  11. Pulmonary Toxicity of Simulated Lunar and Martian Dusts Intratracheally Instilled into Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John; Holian, Andrij; Latch, Judith N.; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos; Cowper, Shawn; McCluskey, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the Moon for further exploration. Equipment designated for these extraterrestrial bases will require testing in simulated Martian or lunar environments. The properties of Hawaiian and San Francisco Mountain volcanic ashes make them suitable to be used in these test environments as Martian and lunar dust simulants, respectively. The present toxicity study was conducted to address NASA's concern about the health risk of dust exposures in the test facilities. In addition, the results obtained on these simulants can be used to design a toxicity study of actual moon dust and Martian dust, which will probably be available in a few years. Respirable portions of lunar soil simulant (LSS) and Martian soil simulant (MSS) were separated from their respective raw materials. These soil simulants, together- with fine titanium dioxide (negative control for fibrogenesis in mice), and crystalline silica (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled in saline to groups of 4 male mice (C57BL/6J, 2-3 months old) at 0.1 mg/mouse (LD) or lmg/mouse (HD). The lungs were harvested 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LSS-LD groups on either the 7- or 90-day study showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis. Clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages, visible in the lungs examined after 7 days, were absent after 90 days. The LSS-HD-7d group showed mild to moderate alveolitis with neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration, and mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation: septal thickening, mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation, mild alveolitis and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lungs of the MSS-LD-7d group revealed mild focal intraalveolar inflammation with neutrophilic and

  12. Toxicity of lunar and martian dust simulants to alveolar macrophages isolated from human volunteers.

    PubMed

    Latch, Judith N; Hamilton, Raymond F; Holian, Andrij; James, John T; Lam, Chiu-wing

    2008-01-01

    NASA is planning to build a habitat on the Moon and use the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars. JSC-1, an Arizona volcanic ash that has mineral properties similar to those of lunar soil, is used to produce lunar environments for instrument and equipment testing. NASA is concerned about potential health risks to workers exposed to these fine dusts in test facilities. The potential toxicity of JSC-1 lunar soil simulant and a Martian soil simulant (JSC-Mars-1, a Hawaiian volcanic ash) was evaluated using human alveolar macrophages (HAM) isolated from volunteers; titanium dioxide and quartz were used as reference dusts. This investigation is a prerequisite to studies of actual lunar dust. HAM were treated in vitro with these test dusts for 24 h; assays of cell viability and apoptosis showed that JSC-1 and TiO2 were comparable, and more toxic than saline control but less toxic than quartz. HAM treated with JSC-1 or JSC-Mars 1 showed a dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. To elucidate the mechanism by which these dusts induce apoptosis, we investigated the involvement of scavenger receptors (SR). Pretreatment of cells with polyinosinic acid, an SR blocker, significantly inhibited both apoptosis and necrosis. These results suggest HAM cytotoxicity may be initiated by interaction of the dust particles with SR. Besides being cytotoxic, silica is known to induce shifting of HAM phenotypes to an immune active status. The immunomodulatory effect of the dust simulants was investigated. Treatment of HAM with either simulant caused preferential damage to the suppressor macrophage subpopulation, leading to a net increase in the ratio of activator (RFD1+) to suppressor (RFD1+7+) macrophages, an effect similar to that of treatment with silica. It is recommended that appropriate precautions be used to minimize exposure to these fine dusts in large-scale engineering applications. PMID:18236230

  13. Martian dust threshold measurements: Simulations under heated surface conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Bruce R.; Greeley, Ronald; Leach, Rodman N.

    1991-01-01

    Diurnal changes in solar radiation on Mars set up a cycle of cooling and heating of the planetary boundary layer, this effect strongly influences the wind field. The stratification of the air layer is stable in early morning since the ground is cooler than the air above it. When the ground is heated and becomes warmer than the air its heat is transferred to the air above it. The heated parcels of air near the surface will, in effect, increase the near surface wind speed or increase the aeolian surface stress the wind has upon the surface when compared to an unheated or cooled surface. This means that for the same wind speed at a fixed height above the surface, ground-level shear stress will be greater for the heated surface than an unheated surface. Thus, it is possible to obtain saltation threshold conditions at lower mean wind speeds when the surface is heated. Even though the mean wind speed is less when the surface is heated, the surface shear stress required to initiate particle movement remains the same in both cases. To investigate this phenomenon, low-density surface dust aeolian threshold measurements have been made in the MARSWIT wind tunnel located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. The first series of tests examined threshold values of the 100 micron sand material. At 13 mb surface pressure the unheated surface had a threshold friction speed of 2.93 m/s (and approximately corresponded to a velocity of 41.4 m/s at a height of 1 meter) while the heated surface equivalent bulk Richardson number of -0.02, yielded a threshold friction speed of 2.67 m/s (and approximately corresponded to a velocity of 38.0 m/s at a height of 1 meter). This change represents an 8.8 percent decrease in threshold conditions for the heated case. The values of velocities are well within the threshold range as observed by Arvidson et al., 1983. As the surface was heated the threshold decreased. At a value of bulk Richardson number equal to -0.02 the threshold

  14. Toxicity of Lunar and Martian Dust Simulants to Alveolar Macrophages Isolated from Human Volunteers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Latch, Judith N.; Hamilton, Raymond F., Jr.; Holian, Andrij; James, John T.

    2007-01-01

    NASA is planning to build a habitat on the Moon and use the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars. JSC-1, an Arizona volcanic ash that has mineral properties similar to lunar soil, is used to produce lunar environments for instrument and equipment testing. NASA is concerned about potential health risks to workers exposed to these fine dusts in test facilities. The potential toxicity of JSC-1 and a Martian soil simulant (JSC-Mars-1, a Hawaiian volcanic ash) was evaluated using human alveolar macrophages (HAM) isolated from volunteers; titanium dioxide and quartz were used as reference dusts. This investigation is a prerequisite to studies of actual lunar dust. HAM were treated in vitro with these test dusts for 24 h; assays of cell viability and apoptosis showed that JSC-1 and TiO2 were comparable, and more toxic than saline control, but less toxic than quartz. HAM treated with JSC-1 or JSC-Mars 1 showed a dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. To elucidate the mechanism by which these dusts induce apoptosis, we investigated the involvement of the scavenger receptor (SR). Pretreatment of cells with polyinosinic acid, an SR blocker, significantly inhibited both apoptosis and necrosis. These results suggest HAM cytotoxicity may be initiated by interaction of the dust particles with SR. Besides being cytotoxic, silica is known to induce shifting of HAM phenotypes to an immune active status. The immunomodulatory effect of the simulants was investigated. Treatment of HAM with either simulant caused preferential damage to the suppressor macrophage subpopulation, leading to a net increase in the ratio of activator (RFD1+) to suppressor (RFD1+7+) macrophages, a result similar to treatment with silica. It is recommended that appropriate precautions be used to minimize exposure to these fine dusts in large-scale engineering applications.

  15. The Martian dust cycle: A proposed model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1987-01-01

    Despite more than a decade of study of martian dust storms, many of their characteristics and associated processes remain enigmatic, including the mechanisms for dust raising, modes of settling, and the nature of dust deposits. However, observations of Mars dust, considerations of terrestrial analogs, theoretical models, and laboratory simulations permit the formulation of a Martian Dust Cycle Model, which consists of three main processes: (1) suspension threshold, (2) transportation, and (3) deposition; two associated processes are also included: (4) dust removal and (5) the addition of new dust to the cycle. Although definitions vary, dust includes particles less than 4 to approx. 60 microns in diameter, which by terrestrial usage includes silt, loess, clay, and aerosolic dust particles. The dust cycle model is explained.

  16. The effects of combined application of inorganic Martian dust simulant and carbon dots on glutamate transport rat brain nerve terminals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Pastukhov, Artem; Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Dudarenko, Marina

    2016-07-01

    During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the central nervous system (Oberdorster et al., 2004). Recently, the research team of this study found the minor fractions of nanoparticles with the size ~ 50 -60 nm in Lunar and Martian dust stimulants (JSC-1a and JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin), whereas the average size of the simulants was 1 mm and 4mm, respectively (Krisanova et al., 2013). Also, the research team of this study discovered new phenomenon - the neuromodulating and neurotoxic effect of carbon nano-sized particles - Carbon dots (C-dots), originated from ash of burned carbon-containing product (Borisova et al, 2015). The aims of this study was to analyse acute effects of upgraded stimulant of inorganic Martian dust derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, carbon dots, on the key characteristic of synaptic neurotransmission. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogue resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The ambient level of the neurotransmitter in the preparation of nerve terminals increased in the presence of carbon dot-contained Martian dust analogue. These effects were associated with action of carbon component of the upgraded Martian dust stimulant but not with its inorganic constituent.

  17. Dust transport into Martian polar latitudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, J. R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1992-01-01

    The presence of suspended dust in the Martian atmosphere, and its return to the planet's surface, is implicated in the formation of the polar layered terrain and the dichotomy in perennial CO2 polar cap retention in the two hemispheres. A three dimensional model was used to study Martian global dust storms. The model accounts for the interactive feedbacks between the atmospheric thermal and dynamical states and an evolving radiatively active suspended dust load. Results from dust storm experiments, as well as from simulations in which there is interest in identifying the conditions under which surface dust lifting occurs at various locations and times, indicate that dust transport due to atmospheric eddy motions is likely to be important in the arrival of suspended dust at polar latitudes. The layered terrain in both polar regions of Mars is interpreted as the reality of cyclical episodes of volatile (CO2, H2O) and dust deposition.

  18. The Martian Dust Cycle: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.

    2013-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for Mars' current climate system. Suspended atmospheric dust affects the radiative balance of the atmosphere, and thus greatly influences the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere. Evidence for the presence of dust in the Martian atmosphere can be traced back to yellow clouds telescopically observed as early as the early 19th century. The Mariner 9 orbiter arrived at Mars in November of 1971 to find a planet completely enshrouded in airborne dust. Since that time, the exchange of dust between the planet's surface and atmosphere and the role of airborne dust on Mars' weather and climate has been studied using observations and numerical models. The goal of this talk is to give an overview of the observations and to discuss the successes and challenges associated with modeling the dust cycle. Dust raising events on Mars range in size from meters to hundreds of kilometers. During some years, regional storms merge to produce hemispheric or planet encircling dust clouds that obscure the surface and raise atmospheric temperatures by tens of kelvin. The interannual variability of planet encircling dust storms is poorly understood. Although the occurrence and season of large regional and global dust storms are highly variable from one year to the next, there are many features of the dust cycle that occur year after year. A low-level dust haze is maintained during northern spring and summer, while elevated levels of atmospheric dust occur during northern autumn and winter. During years without global-scale dust storms, two peaks in total dust loading are generally observed: one peak occurs before northern winter solstice and one peak occurs after northern winter solstice. Numerical modeling studies attempting to interactively simulate the Martian dust cycle with general circulation models (GCMs) include the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Two dust lifting processes are commonly represented in

  19. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: II. Biomarkers of acute responses after intratracheal instillation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; Latch, Judith N.; Hamilton, Raymond F Jr; Holian, Andrij

    2002-01-01

    Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii, with chemical and mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument tests. NASA needs toxicity data on these volcanic soils to assess health risks from potential exposures of workers in facilities where these soil simulants are used. In this study we investigated the acute effects of lunar soil simulant (LSS) and Martian soil simulant (MSS), as a complement to a histopathological study assessing their subchronic effects (Lam et al., 2002). Fine dust of LSS, MSS, TiO(2), or quartz suspended in saline was intratracheally instilled into C57Bl/6J mice (4/group) in single doses of 0.1 mg/mouse or 1 mg/mouse. The mice were euthanized 4 or 24 h after the dust treatment, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained. Statistically significant lower cell viability and higher total protein concentration in the BALF were seen only in mice treated with the high dose of quartz for 4 h and with the high dose of MSS or quartz for 24 h, compared to mice treated only with saline. A significant increase in the percentage of neutrophils was not observed with any dust-treated group at 4 h after the instillation, but was observed after 24 h in all the dust-treated groups. This observation indicates that these dusts were not acutely toxic and the effects were gradual; it took some time for neutrophils to be recruited into and accumulate significantly in the lung. A statistically significant increase in apoptosis of lavaged macrophages from mice 4 h after treatment was found only in the high-dose silica group. The overall results of this study on the acute effects of these dusts in the lung indicate that LSS is slightly more toxic than TiO(2), and that MSS is comparable to quartz. These results were consistent with the subchronic histopathological findings in that the order of severity of

  20. Time Dependent Responses of the Martian Upper Atmosphere to the 2001 Global Dust Storm using Mars GITM Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, Stephen W.; Pawlowski, David J.; Murphy, James R.

    2014-11-01

    Various Mars spacecraft datasets reveal that the Martian thermosphere-ionosphere 100-250 km) is significantly impacted by the occurrence of regional or global lower atmosphere dust storm events. For example, thermospheric responses during the regional MY23 Noachis storm (late 1997) during its onset phase include: (a) a factor of 3 enhancement of MGS Accelerometer mass densities at 130 km near 38 N latitude, (b) a factor of 2.5 enhancement of corresponding zonal winds near 120-130 km, and (c) the associated ~8 km rise in the height of the 1.26-nbar reference pressure level (Keating et al.. 1998; Baird et al. 2007). These features correspond to a rapidly warming (and vertically expanding) lower atmosphere due to “dust-lifting latitude” aerosol heating, the resulting acceleration of global winds and amplification of tidal amplitudes throughout the atmosphere, and adiabatic warming arising from downwelling winds. Furthermore, during the 2001 MY25 global dust storm, MGS/ER photo-electron measurements at 400 km reveal that fluxes were enhanced, possibly related to long-lived changes in thermosphere-exosphere composition (Liemohn et al., 2012). These responses to dust events, and associated atmospheric feedbacks, provide excellent constraints for Mars GCMs. The recently developed and initially validated 3-D Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (M-GITM) (e.g. Bougher et al., 2014) is used to investigate these feedbacks and responses of the Mars thermosphere-ionosphere for the 2001 global dust storm. The M-GITM code simulates the conditions of the Martian atmosphere from the surface to the exosphere 0-250 km), utilizing physical processes and subroutines largely taken from previous Mars GCMs. Empirical (time evolving) dust opacities are specified from MGS/TES datasets for MY25 (starting in July 2001). The time evolution of the resulting thermosphere and ionosphere fields is examined; comparisons with available MGS datasets are made.

  1. Interannual Variability of Martian Global Dust Storms: Simulations with a Low-Order Model of the General Circulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pankine, A. A.; Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2002-01-01

    We present simulations of the interannual variability of martian global dust storms (GDSs) with a simplified low-order model (LOM) of the general circulation. The simplified model allows one to conduct computationally fast long-term simulations of the martian climate system. The LOM is constructed by Galerkin projection of a 2D (zonally averaged) general circulation model (GCM) onto a truncated set of basis functions. The resulting LOM consists of 12 coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations describing atmospheric dynamics and dust transport within the Hadley cell. The forcing of the model is described by simplified physics based on Newtonian cooling and Rayleigh friction. The atmosphere and surface are coupled: atmospheric heating depends on the dustiness of the atmosphere, and the surface dust source depends on the strength of the atmospheric winds. Parameters of the model are tuned to fit the output of the NASA AMES GCM and the fit is generally very good. Interannual variability of GDSs is possible in the IBM, but only when stochastic forcing is added to the model. The stochastic forcing could be provided by transient weather systems or some surface process such as redistribution of the sand particles in storm generating zones on the surface. The results are sensitive to the value of the saltation threshold, which hints at a possible feedback between saltation threshold and dust storm activity. According to this hypothesis, erodable material builds up its a result of a local process, whose effect is to lower the saltation threshold until a GDS occurs. The saltation threshold adjusts its value so that dust storms are barely able to occur.

  2. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: I. Histopathology 7 and 90 days after intratracheal instillation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; McCluskey, Richard; Cowper, Shawn; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos

    2002-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the moon for further exploration. Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii with mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument testing. Martian soil is highly oxidative; this property is not found in Earth's volcanic ashes. NASA is concerned about the health risk from potential exposure of workers in the test facilities. Fine lunar soil simulant (LSS), Martian soil simulant (MSS), titanium dioxide, or quartz in saline was intratracheally instilled into groups of 4 mice (C57BL/6J) at 0.1 mg/mouse (low dose, LD) or 1 mg/mouse (high dose, HD). Separate groups of mice were exposed to ozone (0.5 ppm for 3 h) prior to MSS instillation. Lungs were harvested for histopathological examination 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment. The lungs of the LSS-LD groups showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis; clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages were visible after 7 days but not 90 days. In the LSS-HD-7d group, the lungs showed mild to moderate alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of mild chronic pulmonary inflammation, septal thickening, and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lung lesions in the MSS-LD-7d group were similar to those observed in the LSS-HD-7d group. The MSS-LD-90d group had PLMs and scattered foci of mild fibrosis in the lungs. The MSS-HD-7d group showed large foci of PLMs, intra-alveolar debris, mild-to-moderate focal alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The MSS-HD-90d group showed focal chronic mild-to-moderate alveolitis and fibrosis. The findings in the O(3)-MSS-HD-90d group included widespread intra-alveolar debris, focal moderate alveolitis, and fibrosis. Lung lesions in the MSS groups were more severe with the ozone pretreatment. The effects of

  3. Electric field generation in martian dust devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barth, Erika L.; Farrell, William M.; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial dust devils are known to generate electric fields from the vertical separation of charged dust particles. The particles present within the dust devils on Mars may also be subject to similar charging processes and so likely contribute to electric field generation there as well. However, to date, no Mars in situ instrumentation has been deployed to measure electric field strength. In order to explore the electric environment of dust devils on Mars, the triboelectric dust charging physics from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS). Using this model, we examine how macroscopic electric fields are generated within martian dust disturbances and attempt to quantify the time evolution of the electrodynamical system. Electric fields peak for several minutes within the dust devil simulations. The magnitude of the electric field is a strong function of the size of the particles present, the average charge on the particles and the number of particles lifted. Varying these parameters results in peak electric fields between tens of millivolts per meter and tens of kilovolts per meter.

  4. Estimation of high altitude Martian dust parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Bhalodi, Pinali

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils are known to occur near the Martian surface mostly during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer and they play vital role in deciding background dust opacity in the atmosphere. The second source of high altitude Martian dust could be due to the secondary ejecta caused by impacts on Martian Moons, Phobos and Deimos. Also, the surfaces of the Moons are charged positively due to ultraviolet rays from the Sun and negatively due to space plasma currents. Such surface charging may cause fine grains to be levitated, which can easily escape the Moons. It is expected that the escaping dust form dust rings within the orbits of the Moons and therefore also around the Mars. One more possible source of high altitude Martian dust is interplanetary in nature. Due to continuous supply of the dust from various sources and also due to a kind of feedback mechanism existing between the ring or tori and the sources, the dust rings or tori can sustain over a period of time. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, it is mystery how dust has reached to such high altitudes. Estimation of dust parameters before-hand is necessary to design an instrument for the detection of high altitude Martian dust from a future orbiter. In this work, we have studied the dust supply rate responsible primarily for the formation of dust ring or tori, the life time of dust particles around the Mars, the dust number density as well as the effect of solar radiation pressure and Martian oblateness on dust dynamics. The results presented in this paper may be useful to space scientists for understanding the scenario and designing an orbiter based instrument to measure the dust surrounding the Mars for solving the mystery. The further work is underway.

  5. The impact of surface dust source exhaustion on the martian dust cycle, dust storms and interannual variability, as simulated by the MarsWRF General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Claire E.; Richardson, Mark I.

    2015-09-01

    variability. For the parameter space explored, no simulation achieves a steady state with continuing major storms lasting longer than 60 years when a constant wind stress lifting threshold is used. However, such a long-term steady state is achieved when a variable threshold is introduced, in which the threshold increases as dust is removed. This negative feedback on lifting slows it sufficiently for a balance to be produced between dust removal and re-deposition, even in key source regions for major storms. One concern is that the long-term surface dust distributions produced in these simulations show significant differences to the observed northern hemisphere albedo map, in particular predicting Tharsis and NE Arabia to be relatively dust-free. Although some observed high albedo regions may not have significant mobile dust, others likely have a dust cover several meters thick. The mismatches may reflect deficiencies in the GCM or the iterative process used, or the existence of ancient deep dust deposits formed during a past climate epoch.

  6. Enhancement of inorganic Martian dust simulant with carbon component and its effects on key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Pastukhov, Artem; Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Dudarenko, Marina

    2016-07-01

    Evidence on the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars was recently achieved basing on the investigation of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite (Lin et al., 2014). Tremendous amount of meteorites containing abundant carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily (Pizzarello and Shock 2010). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institute of Health panel of research scientists revealed recently that accumulating evidences suggest that nano-sized air pollution may have a significant impact on central nervous system in health and disease (Block et al., Neurotoxicology, 2012). During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the central nervous system (Oberdorster et al., 2004). Based on above facts, the aims of this study were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust stimulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded stimulant on the key characteristic of synaptic neurotransmission and to compare its effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogue resulted in a significant decrease in Na+-dependent uptake of L-[14C]glutamate that is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). The ambient level of the neurotransmitter in the preparation of isolated rat brain nerve terminals increased in the presence of carbon-contained Martian dust analogue. This fact indicated that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamatergic neurtransmission.

  7. The Martian Dust Cycle: Investigation of the Surface Lifting Component

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, James R.; Bridger, Alison F. C.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1996-01-01

    We have investigated the nature of the annual cycle of suspended dust in the martian atmosphere. This has been undertaken to understand the dynamical processes responsible for lifting dust from the surface, locations where dust is preferentially lifted, and preferred sites for dust deposition upon the surface. Our efforts have involved carrying out a number of numerical simulations with the Ames Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) interactively coupled with an aerosol transport/ micro-physical model. The model generates an annual dust cycle similar to that observed. Various feedbacks are present in the atmosphere/ surface system which enter into the generation of the cycle. Several locations are primary surface sources of dust, while much of the remaining planet's surface acts a sink for suspended dust.

  8. Investigation of Drag and Heat Transfer for Martian Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozawa, T.; Suzuki, T.; Takayanagi, H.; Fujita, K.

    2011-05-01

    A Mars non-stop dust sample return project has been going on in a Mars exploration mission at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. In the project, sampling of Martian dust particles is planned between 35 and 45 km, and thus, the survivability of micron-size particles during traveling through a hot-temperature shock is crucial. In this work, the dust particle heating was investigated from macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints. Drag and heat transfer coefficients calculated by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method were found to agree well with Koshmarov and Svirshevskii and free-molecule models at both altitudes, and particle heating estimations calculated by these models were validated.

  9. Martian Dust Collected by Phoenix's Arm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Lander's Optical Microscope shows particles of Martian dust lying on the microscope's silicon substrate. The Robotic Arm sprinkled a sample of the soil from the Snow White trench onto the microscope on July 2, 2008, the 38th Martian day, or sol, of the mission after landing.

    Subsequently, the Atomic Force Microscope, or AFM, zoomed in one of the fine particles, creating the first-ever image of a particle of Mars' ubiquitous fine dust, the most highly magnified image ever seen from another world.

    The Atomic Force Microscope was developed by a Swiss-led consortium in collaboration with Imperial College London. The AFM is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer instrument.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  10. The Effect of Martian Dust on Radiator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollingsworth, D. Keith; Witte, Larry C.; Hinke, Jaime; Hulbert, Kathryn

    2004-01-01

    Experiments were performed in which the effective emittance of three types of radiator Coatings was measured as Martian dust simulant was added to the radiator face. The apparatus consisted of multiple radiator coupons on which Carbondale Red Clay dust was deposited. The coupons were powered by electric heaters, using a guard-heating configuration to achieve the accuracy required for acceptable emittance calculations. The apparatus was containing in a vacuum chamber that featured a liquid-nitrogen cooled shroud that simulated the Martian sky temperature. Radiator temperatures ranged from 250 to 350 K with sky temperatures from 185 to 248 K. Results show that as dust was added to the radiator surfaces, the effective emittance of the high - emittance coatings decreased from near 0.9 to a value of about 0.5. A low-emittance control surface, polished aluminum, demonstrated a rise in effective emittance for thin dust layers, and then a decline as the dust layer thickened. This behavior is attributed to the conductive resistance caused by the dust layer.

  11. Clearing the Martian air - The troubled history of dust storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, L. J.

    1984-03-01

    This note is an attempt to resolve some misconceptions regarding the historical record of the Martian atmospheric phenomena referred to as 'dust storms,' but often called yellow storms, yellow clouds, planetwide dust storms, global dust storms, great dust storms, etc. The known frequency of planet-encircling storms will be specifically addressed. Better knowledge of the sizes, frequencies, and locations of Martian dust storms is needed for atmospheric modeling and for future mission planning.

  12. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, W.

    2015-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a proposed program using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  13. Martian Arctic Dust Devil, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in the center of this image just below the horizon is estimated to be about 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  14. Martian Atmospheric Dust Mitigation for ISRU Intakes via Electrostatic Precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, James R., III; Pollard, Jacob R. S.; Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, Paul J.; Clements, J. Sid; Calle, Carlos I.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars 2020 and Mars Sample Return missions expected to fly to Mars within the next ten years will each include an In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) system. They convert carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into consumable oxygen at 1% and 20% of the rate required by a full scale human exploration Mars mission, respectively. The ISRU systems will need to draw in the surrounding atmosphere at a rate of 110L/min and 550L/min, respectively, in order to meet their oxygen production goals. Over the duration of each respective mission, a total atmospheric dust mass of 4.86g and 243g will be drawn into each system, respectively. Ingestion of large quantities of dust may interfere with ISRU operations, so a dust mitigation device will be required. The atmospheric volume and dust mass flow rates above will be utilized to simulate Martian environmental conditions in a laboratory electrostatic precipitator being developed to provide active dust mitigation support for atmospheric ISRU systems such as these.

  15. How can secondary electron emission from dust affect Martian atmosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlu, Jiri; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek; Beranek, Martin; Vaverka, Jakub; Richterova, Ivana

    2014-05-01

    Growing interest to Mars connected with recent and forthcoming missions led to numerous studies dealing with behavior of dust grains on the Martian surface and within its atmosphere. The present paper discusses electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1) involving the dust charging experiment where a single dust grain is trapped and stored for a long time in a vacuum chamber and its emission characteristics, especially the secondary electron emission, are studied. The interaction of the grain with the intense electron beam showed the grain surface potential is generally low and determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at a low-energy range (< 1 keV), whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by more energetic electrons. Experimental results are compared with numerical simulations showing a crucial influence of the grain shape and size in the range of higher (> 2 keV) electron energies. We further discuss possible implications of the secondary electron emission from dust grains for the generation of lightnings on Mars.

  16. Martian Dust Devil Movie, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west of the lander in four frames shot about 50 seconds apart from each other between 11:53 a.m. and 11:56 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in this sequence was about 1,000 meters (about 3,300 feet) from the lander when the first frame was taken, and had moved to about 1,700 meters (about 5,600 feet) away by the time the last frame was taken about two and a half minutes later. The dust devil was moving westward at an estimated speed of 5 meters per second (11 miles per hour), which is similar to typical late-morning wind speed and direction indicated by the telltale wind gauge on Phoenix.

    This dust devil is about 5 meters (16 feet) in diameter. This is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those..

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see. Some of the frame-to-frame differences in the appearance of foreground rocks is because each frame was taken through a different color filter.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  17. Spectroscopic Identification of Carbonate Minerals in the Martian Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandfield, Joshua L.; Glotch, Timothy D.; Christensen, Philip R.

    2003-08-01

    Thermal infrared spectra of the martian surface indicate the presence of small concentrations (~2 to 5 weight %) of carbonates, specifically dominated by magnesite (MgCO3). The carbonates are widely distributed in the martian dust, and there is no indication of a concentrated source. The presence of small concentrations of carbonate minerals in the surface dust and in martian meteorites can sequester several bars of atmospheric carbon dioxide and may have been an important sink for a thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere in the martian past.

  18. Martian dust devils detector over FPGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lucas, E.; Miguel, M. J.; Mozos, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2012-04-01

    Digital applications that must be on-board space missions must comply with a very restrictive set of requirements. These include energy efficiency, small volume and weight, robustness and high performance. Moreover, these circuits cannot be repaired in case of error, so they must be reliable or provide some way to recover from errors. These features make reconfigurable hardware (FPGAs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays) a very suitable technology to be used in space missions. This paper presents a Martian dust devil detector implemented on an FPGA. The results show that a hardware implementation of the algorithm presents very good numbers in terms of performance compared with the software version. Moreover, as the amount of time needed to perform all the computations on the reconfigurable hardware is small, this hardware can be used most of the time to realize other applications.

  19. Martian dust devils detector over FPGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lucas, E.; Miguel, M. J.; Mozos, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2011-12-01

    Digital applications that must be on-board of space missions must accomplish a very restrictive set of requirements. These include energy efficiency, small volume and weight, robustness and high performance. Moreover these circuits can not be repaired in case of error, so they must be reliable or provide some way to recover from errors. These features make reconfigurable hardware (FPGAs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays) a very suitable technology to be used in space missions. This paper presents a Martian dust devil detector implemented on a FPGA. The results show that a hardware implementation of the algorithm present very good numbers in terms of performance compared with the software version. Moreover, as the amount of time needed to perform all the computations on the reconfigurable hardware is small, this hardware can be used more of the time to realize other applications.

  20. Dust Ejection Induced by Small Meteoroids Impacting Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shuvalov, Valery

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this study is numerical modeling of meteoroid impact on the martian surface and determination of the resulting dust cloud parameters. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Dating of Martian Meteorites: Characterization of Luminescence from a Martian Soil Simulant and Martian Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, D.; Blair, M.; Sears, D. W. G.; McKeever, S. W. S.

    2002-03-01

    This paper characterizes the thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence signals from polymineral fine-grains of a Martian soil simulant JSC Mars-1, and the bulk fraction of an SNC Martian meteorite ALH 77005,74.

  2. Dust at the Martian moons and in the circummartian space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Horanyi, Mihály; Lee, Pascal; Witasse, Olivier; Cipriani, Fabrice

    2014-11-01

    The paper provides the current understanding of the dust particle dynamics near the surface and in the circummatrian space of the Martian moons based on existing models developed for airless and non-magnetized bodies. In particular we discuss the response of the regolith of the Martian moons to exposure to radiation, the dynamics of charged dust on their surfaces, their plasma environments, the models and indirect observations of their putative dust tori. It is concluded that there is a good theoretical understanding of the behavior of the dynamics of dust particles near the moons Phobos and Deimos. Current models predict dust rings near orbits of the Martian moons based on detailed estimates for the sources and sinks of the dust particles as well as their lifetimes. However, there is no compelling observational evidence for the predicted dust torus around Phobos or Deimos orbits, and there are no observations yet of dust dynamics near their surfaces. Naturally, in order to detect the motion of dust near the surfaces of these moons, and their dust tori we need measurements using a complementary set of sensitive instruments, including impart dust detectors, electric field sensors, and optical cameras in future missions to Mars and its moons.

  3. Rocket dust storms and detached layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, A.; Faure, J.; Madeleine, J.; Maattanen, A. E.; Forget, F.

    2012-12-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling with radiatively-active transported dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA onboard Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, in lieu of latent heating in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm", or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30 to 50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms form detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with instruments onboard Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Detached layers are stable over several days owing to nighttime sedimentation being unable to counteract daytime convective transport, and to the resupply of convective energy at sunrise. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear season, which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maximum unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Our findings on dust-driven deep convection have strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.ensity-scaled dust optical depth at local times 1400 1600 and 1800 (lat 2.5°S, Ls 135°) hortwave heating rate at local time 1500 and latitude 2.5°S.

  4. Modeling Martian Dust Using Mars-GRAM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Justh, Hilary L.; Justus, C. G.

    2010-01-01

    Engineering-level atmospheric model widely used for diverse mission applications. Mars-GRAM s perturbation modeling capability is commonly used, in a Monte-Carlo mode, to perform high fidelity engineering end-to-end simulations for entry, descent, and landing (EDL). From the surface to 80 km altitude, Mars-GRAM is based on NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM). Mars-GRAM and MGCM use surface topography from Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), with altitudes referenced to the MOLA areoid, or constant potential surface. Traditional Mars-GRAM options for representing the mean atmosphere along entry corridors include: TES Mapping Years 1 and 2, with Mars-GRAM data coming from MGCM model results driven by observed TES dust optical depth TES Mapping Year 0, with user-controlled dust optical depth and Mars-GRAM data interpolated from MGCM model results driven by selected values of globally-uniform dust optical depth. Mars-GRAM 2005 has been validated against Radio Science data, and both nadir and limb data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES).

  5. Martian surface simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaskell, R. W.

    1993-06-01

    Computer generated surfaces have been created to aid in imaging, landing and rover studies for Mars and the moon. They are also being applied to the study of cratering histories. The surfaces are generated in steps which attempt to mimic geologic episodes. Surface roughness is realized fractally, while craters and other specific features have shapes and distributions dictated by observation. Surface materials are assigned appropriate albedos, making the images more realistic. With the inclusion of correlations between crater and rock distributions, the simulations are beginning to acquire a predictive capability.

  6. Chemistry and mineralogy of Martian dust: An explorer's primer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gooding, James L.

    1991-01-01

    A summary of chemical and mineralogical properties of Martian surface dust is offered for the benefit of engineers or mission planners who are designing hardware or strategies for Mars surface exploration. For technical details and specialized explanations, references should be made to literature cited. Four sources used for information about Martian dust composition: (1) Experiments performed on the Mars surface by the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and Earth-based lab experiments attempting to duplicate these results; (2) Infrared spectrophotometry remotely performed from Mars orbit, mostly by Mariner 9; (3) Visible and infrared spectrophotometry remotely performed from Earth; and (4) Lab studies of the shergottite nakhlite chassignite (SNC) clan of meteorites, for which compelling evidence suggests origin on Mars. Source 1 is limited to fine grained sediments at the surface whereas 2 and 3 contain mixed information about surface dust (and associated rock) and atmospheric dust. Source 4 has provided surprisingly detailed information but investigations are still incomplete.

  7. Secondary electron emission from Martian soil simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlů, J.; Beránek, M.; Vaverka, J.; Å afránková, J.; Němeček, Z.; Richterová, I.

    2014-01-01

    In the recent years, growing interest in dust charging physics is connected with several lander missions running on or planned to the Moon, Mars, and Mercury for a near future. In support of these missions, laboratory simulations are a potential tool to optimize in situ exploration and measurements. In the paper, we have investigated electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant prepared at the Johnson Space Center under name JSC Mars-1 using the dust charging experiment when a single dust grain is trapped in a vacuum chamber and its secondary electron emission is studied. The exposure of the grain to the electron beam revealed that the grain surface potential is low and generally determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at a low-energy range (<1 keV), whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by more energetic electrons. A comparison of model and experimental results reveals an influence of the grain shape and size predominantly in the range of higher (>2 keV) electron energies. We discuss possible implications of the secondary electron emission for the presence of lightnings on Mars.

  8. Development of a Charged Particle Detector for Windborne Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Groop, E. E.; Buehler, M. G.; Buhler, C. R.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    A prototype of an aerodynamic electrometer to measure the electrostatic properties of Martian atmospheric dust has been constructed. The instrument will enable a more thorough understanding of the potential for electrostatic discharge of different materials on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Martian Atmospheric Dust Mitigation for ISRU Intakes via Electrostatic Precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, James R., III; Pollard, Jacob R. S.; Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, Paul J.; Clements, Sid; Calle, Carlos I.

    2016-01-01

    This document is the presentation to be given at the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers Earth and Space Conference to examine the concept of using electrostatic precipitation for Martian atmospheric dust mitigation of the intakes of in-situ resource utilization reactors.

  10. Active Dust Control and Mitigation Technology for Lunar and Martian Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Johansen, M. R.; Hogue, M. D.; Immer, C. D.; Ferreira, J.; Snyder, S. J.

    2010-01-01

    Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been homogenized by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is the dominant weather phenomenon on Mars. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. The Apollo missions to the moon showed that lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned exploration activities. In this paper, we report on our efforts to develop and electrodynamic dust shield to prevent the accumulation of dust on surfaces and to remove dust already adhering to those surfaces. The technology uses electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to carry dust particles off surfaces and to generate an electrodynamic shield that prevents further accumulation of dust. The concept of the electrodynamic dust shield was introduced by NASA in the late 1960s and later reduced to practice during the 1970s for terrestrial applications. In 2003, our laboratory, in collaboration with several universities, applied this technology to space applications, specifically to remove dust from solar panels on Mars. We show how, with an appropriate design, we can prevent the electrostatic breakdown at the low Martian atmospheric pressures. We are also able to show that uncharged dust can be lifted and removed from surfaces under simulated Martian environmental conditions. We have also been able to develop a version of the electrodynamic dust shield working under hard vacuum conditions that simulate the lunar environment. We have implemented the electrodynamic dust shield on solar arrays, optical systems, spectrometers, viewports, thermal radiators

  11. Gaussian-based filters for detecting Martian dust devils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yang, F.; Mlsna, P.A.; Geissler, P.

    2006-01-01

    The ability to automatically detect dust devils in the Martian atmosphere from orbital imagery is becoming important both for scientific studies of the planet and for the planning of future robotic and manned missions. This paper describes our approach for the unsupervised detection of dust devils and the preliminary results achieved to date. The algorithm centers upon the use of a filter constructed from Gaussian profiles to match dust devil characteristics over a range of scale and orientation. The classification step is designed to reduce false positive errors caused by static surface features such as craters. A brief discussion of planned future work is included. ?? 2006 IEEE.

  12. Radio and optical detection of Martian dust storm discharges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W. M.; Desch, M. D.; Kaiser, M. L.; Houser, J.; Landis, G. A.; Wilt, D. M.

    2000-02-01

    Given the known physical attributes of Martian dust storms, we derive their electromagnetic signatures as they would be perceived both remotely and in situ. We also describe a radiowave and optical experiment (REDD), suitable for deployment on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander, whose primary scientific objective is to establish the electrical nature of dust storms in the Martian atmosphere. This experiment would be capable of the remote tracking of dust storms across the Martian surface while estimating electrical properties of dust, dust densities, and surface conductivities. The experiment sensors consist of two orthogonal magnetic search coil antennas, an electric field antenna, and a horizon-looking photodetector. The sensors drive a waveform capture system and a set of multichannel analyzers that span the radio spectrum from 1 kHz to 100 MHz. The data sampling strategy incorporates a low-resolution survey mode and a high time-resolution direction-finding mode. Intelligent use of an event-trigger system, circular buffer storage, and data compression minimize the instrument data rate and the impact on spacecraft resources.

  13. Measurements of Martian dust devil winds with HiRISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, D. S.; Dundas, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    We report wind measurements within Martian dust devils observed in plan view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) orbiting Mars. The central color swath of the HiRISE instrument has three separate charge-coupled devices (CCDs) and color filters that observe the surface in rapid cadence. Active features, such as dust devils, appear in motion when observed by this region of the instrument. Our image animations reveal clear circulatory motion within dust devils that is separate from their translational motion across the Martian surface. Both manual and automated tracking of dust devil clouds reveal tangential winds that approach 20-30 m s-1 in some cases. These winds are sufficient to induce a ˜1% decrease in atmospheric pressure within the dust devil core relative to ambient, facilitating dust lifting by reducing the threshold wind speed for particle elevation. Finally, radial velocity profiles constructed from our automated measurements test the Rankine vortex model for dust devil structure. Our profiles successfully reveal the solid body rotation component in the interior, but fail to conclusively illuminate the profile in the outer regions of the vortex. One profile provides evidence for a velocity decrease as a function of r-1/2, instead of r-1, suggestive of surface friction effects. However, other profiles do not support this observation, or do not contain enough measurements to produce meaningful insights.

  14. HiRISE Wind Measurements of Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, D. S.; Dundas, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    We report direct measurements of the winds within Martian dust devils from HiRISE imagery. The central color swath of the HiRISE instrument has three separate CCDs and color filters that observe the surface in rapid cadence. Active features, such as dust devils, appear in motion when serendipitously captured by this region of the instrument. Though apparent movement of cloud features can be attributed to parallax from the spacecraft's motion, we determine that this is a relatively minor effect in our observations. Our image animations reveal clear circulatory motion within dust devils separate from their tangential motion across the Martian surface. Both manual and automated tracking of dust devil clouds reveal tangential winds that approach 20-30 m/s in some cases. These winds are sufficient to induce a ˜1% decrease in atmospheric pressure within the dust devil core relative to ambient, facilitating the lifting of dust particles into the Martian atmosphere. Finally, radial velocity profiles of dust devils constructed from our automated measurements test the Rankine vortex model for dust devil dynamics: the vortex consists of an interior region in solid body rotation and an outer region where tangential velocity decreases as a function of r-1. Our profiles successfully reveal the solid body rotation component in the interior, but fail to conclusively illuminate the profile in the outer regions of the vortex. One profile provides evidence for a velocity decrease as a function of r-1/2, instead of r-1, suggestive of surface friction effects. However, other profiles do not support this observation, or do not contain enough measurements to produce meaningful insights.

  15. Rocket dust storms and detached dust layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Faure, Julien; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Määttänen, Anni; Forget, François

    2013-04-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling that includes the transport of radiatively active dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA on board Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, rather than by latent heating as in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm," or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30-50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms produce detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since nighttime sedimentation is less efficient than daytime convective transport, and the detached dust layers can convect during the daytime, these layers can be stable for several days. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear seasons (late northern winter to late northern summer), which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maxima unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Dust-driven deep convection has strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.

  16. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    SciTech Connect

    Sobrado, J. M. Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  17. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover.

    PubMed

    Sobrado, J M; Martín-Soler, J; Martín-Gago, J A

    2015-10-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration. PMID:26520990

  18. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-10-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  19. Decay of a Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars, taken on June 27, 1997 (left) and July 9, 1997 (right), document the dissipation of a large dust storm during the 12 days separating the two observations.

    The images were taken to monitor the weather conditions near Ares Vallis, the site where NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft landed on July 4. Maps of the equatorial region were constructed from the images and are shown at the bottom of the figure; a green cross marks the Pathfinder landing site. (All images are oriented with North to the top).

    These two sets of observations show a number of dramatic changes in the planet's atmosphere. At about the 7 o'clock position on the June 27 image, the eastern end of the Valles Marineris canyon system is just coming into daylight and can be seen to be filled with yellowish dust. The dust appears to be confined to the canyons, which can be as much as 8 km deep and hundreds of km wide. Estimates of the quantity of dust involved in this storm indicate that 96% of the incoming sunlight is being blocked from reaching the surface by the dust clouds. Note that on the July 9 image, the dust storm appears to be subsiding; it is estimated that the dust quantity in most of the visible canyon system has dropped to only 10% to 20% of that seen on June 27.

    However, on July 9 a streamer of dust is visible in the North polar region, extending about 1200 km southward from the dark sand dunes surrounding the polar ice cap; diffuse dust is visible over much of Acidalia, the dark region to the north of the Pathfinder landing site. The extent of clouds visible across the planet has also changed considerably between the two dates. Just to the west (left) of the July 9 dust streamer, a very bright area of water-ice clouds is seen; this area was considerably cloudier on June 27.

    These images dramatically show that atmospheric conditions can change rapidly on Mars. Observations such as these will continue to be made over the next several months

  20. Applications of Electrified Dust and Dust Devil Electrodynamics to Martian Atmospheric Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, R. G.; Barth, E.; Esposito, F.; Merrison, J.; Montmessin, F.; Aplin, K. L.; Borlina, C.; Berthelier, J. J.; Déprez, G.; Farrell, W. M.; Houghton, I. M. P.; Renno, N. O.; Nicoll, K. A.; Tripathi, S. N.; Zimmerman, M.

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric transport and suspension of dust frequently brings electrification, which may be substantial. Electric fields of 10 kV m-1 to 100 kV m-1 have been observed at the surface beneath suspended dust in the terrestrial atmosphere, and some electrification has been observed to persist in dust at levels to 5 km, as well as in volcanic plumes. The interaction between individual particles which causes the electrification is incompletely understood, and multiple processes are thought to be acting. A variation in particle charge with particle size, and the effect of gravitational separation explains to, some extent, the charge structures observed in terrestrial dust storms. More extensive flow-based modelling demonstrates that bulk electric fields in excess of 10 kV m-1 can be obtained rapidly (in less than 10 s) from rotating dust systems (dust devils) and that terrestrial breakdown fields can be obtained. Modelled profiles of electrical conductivity in the Martian atmosphere suggest the possibility of dust electrification, and dust devils have been suggested as a mechanism of charge separation able to maintain current flow between one region of the atmosphere and another, through a global circuit. Fundamental new understanding of Martian atmospheric electricity will result from the ExoMars mission, which carries the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface)—MicroARES (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor) instrumentation to Mars in 2016 for the first in situ electrical measurements.

  1. Phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic dust from Mauna Kea Volcano (Hawaii): A mineralogical analogue for magnetic Martian dust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, R. V.; Graff, T. G.; Mertzman, S. A.

    2001-03-01

    The mineralogical and elemental composition of dust size fractions (<2 and <5 μm) of eight samples of phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic tephra from the upper slopes of Mauna Kea Volcano (Hawaii) were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), visible and near-IR reflectance spectroscopy, Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetic properties methods, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The palagonitic dust samples are spectral analogues of Martian bright regions at visible and near-IR wavelengths. The crystalline phases in the palagonitic dust are, in variable proportions, plagioclase feldspar, Ti-containing magnetite, minor pyroxene, and trace hematite. No basal reflections resulting from crystalline phyllosilicates were detected in XRD data. Weak, broad XRD peaks corresponding to X-ray amorphous phases (allophane, nanophase ferric oxide (possibly ferrihydrite), and, for two samples, hisingerite) were detected as oxidative alteration products of the glass; residual unaltered glass was also present. Mössbauer spectroscopy showed that the iron-bearing phases are nanophase ferric oxide, magnetite/titanomagnetite, hematite, and minor glass and ferrous silicates. Direct observation by TEM showed that the crystalline and X-ray amorphous phases observed by XRD and Mössbauer are normally present together in composite particles and not normally present as discrete single-phase particles. Ti-bearing magnetite occurs predominantly as 5-150 nm particles embedded in noncrystalline matrix material and most likely formed by crystallization from silicate liquids under conditions of rapid cooling during eruption and deposition of glassy tephra and prior to palagonitization of glass. Rare spheroidal halloysite was observed in the two samples that also had XRD evidence for hisingerite. The saturation magnetization Js and low-field magnetic susceptibility for bulk dust range from 0.19 to 0.68 Am2/kg and 3.4×10-6 to 15.5×10-6m3/kg at 293 K, respectively. Simulation

  2. Reduced Baroclinicity During Martian Global Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battalio, Joseph; Szunyogh, Istvan; Lemmon, Mark

    2015-11-01

    The eddy kinetic energy equation is applied to the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) dataset during the pre-winter solstice period for the northern hemisphere of Mars. Traveling waves are triggered by geopotential flux convergence, grow baroclinically, and decay barotropically. Higher optical depth increases the static stability, which reduces vertical and meridional heat fluxes. Traveling waves during a global dust storm year develop a mixed baroclinic/barotropic growth phase before decaying barotropically. Baroclinic energy conversion is reduced during the global dust storm, but eddy intensity is undiminished. Instead, the frequency of storms is reduced due to a stabilized vertical profile.

  3. Sensitivity of simulated Martian atmospheric temperature to prescribed dust opacity distribution: Comparison of model results with reconstructed data from Mars Exploration Rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Richardson, Mark I.; McConnochie, Timothy H.

    2015-11-01

    We use the Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) general circulation model to simulate the atmospheric structure corresponding to the landing location and time of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (A) and Opportunity (B) in 2004. The multiscale capability of MarsWRF facilitates high-resolution nested model runs centered near the landing site of each of the rovers. Dust opacity distributions based on measurements by Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, and those from an old version of the Mars Climate Database (MCD v3.1 released in 2001) are used to study the sensitivity of the model temperature profile to variations in the dust prescription. The reconstructed entry, descent, and landing (EDL) data from the rover missions are used for comparisons. We show that the model using dust opacity from TES limb and nadir data for the year of MER EDL, Mars Year 26 (MY26), yields temperature profiles in closer agreement with the reconstructed data than the prelaunch EDL simulations and models using other dust opacity specifications. The temperature at 100 Pa from the model (MY26) and the reconstruction are within 5°K. These results highlight the role of vertical dust opacity distribution in determining the atmospheric thermal structure. Similar studies involving data from past missions and models will be useful in understanding the extent to which atmospheric variability is captured by the models and in developing realistic preflight characterization required for future lander missions to Mars.

  4. Effect of particle size of Martian dust on the degradation of photovoltaic cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.

    1991-01-01

    Glass coverglass and SiO2 covered and uncovered silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells were subjected to conditions simulating a Mars dust storm, using the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel, to assess the effect of particle size on the performance of PV cells in the Martian environment. The dust used was an artificial mineral of the approximate elemental composition of Martian soil, which was sorted into four different size ranges. Samples were tested both initially clean and initially dusted. The samples were exposed to clear and dust laden winds, wind velocities varying from 23 to 116 m/s, and attack angles from 0 to 90 deg. It was found that transmittance through the coverglass approximates the power produced by a dusty PV cell. Occultation by the dust was found to dominate the performance degradation for wind velocities below 50 m/s, whereas abrasion dominates the degradation at wind velocities above 85 m/s. Occultation is most severe at 0 deg (parallel to the wind), is less pronounced from 22.5 to 67.5 deg, and is somewhat larger at 90 deg (perpendicular to the wind). Abrasion is negligible at 0 deg, and increases to a maximum at 90 deg. Occultation is more of a problem with small particles, whereas large particles (unless they are agglomerates) cause more abrasion.

  5. Impact Produced and Mobilized Dust in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemtchinov, I. V.; Shuvalov, V. V.; Greeley, R.

    2001-12-01

    The objective of this work is to study possible mechanisms of new dust production and existing dust entrainment after impacts of meteoroids onto Mars and to assess the possible relationship to dust clouds. We use detailed numerical simulations based on the SOVA multi-dimensional multi-material hydrocode [1]. In the first run of simulations, partially described in [2], only the dust ejected from the crater was taken into account. In the process of ejection soil density decreases near the cavity boundary. At the moment when the density falls below some critical value the solid material is replaced by a set of discrete particles (dust, boulders) of equivalent mass [3]. The distribution of particles by sizes was taken according experimental data obtained in the course of large-scale TNT and nuclear explosions on the Earth's ground [4]. The radius of impactor was varied from 1 to 100 m. The lowest value corresponds to high strength meteoroids passing through the rarefied Martian atmosphere without substantial fragmentation and deceleration. The impact velocity was taken to be 11 and 20 km/s. In all the variants the mass of the dust ejected from the forming craters was about 10 M, where M is the impactor mass. It was suggested [5] that the dust may be mobilized even if the impactor does not reach the ground surface. To check this idea the code was modified to take into account blast produced impulsive winds blowing the preexisting dust from the surface by mechanism similarly to that of the stationary winds [6]. Turbulent viscosity and diffusion were taken into acount. Some portions of dust are deposited on the surface due to gravity. The particles striking the surface increase a flux of the suspended dust. The saltation thresholds were taken according [7-8]. For a 1 m radius stony asteroid releasing its energy (0.15 kt TNT) at an altitude of about 100 m above the surface after first two seconds the mass of the dust in the air was 3.5 M, and after 15 s it decreased to 2

  6. Transient Density Enhancements of the Martian Orbiting Dust Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juhasz, A.; Horanyi, M.

    2014-12-01

    The moons Phobos and Deimos have been suggested to be responsible for sustaining a permanently present dust cloud around Mars. The equilibrium size and spatial distribution of this dust torus has been the subject of numerous theoretical studies. However, no observational evidence has been found as of yet. Because of the renewed interest in Phobos and Deimos as potential targets for human precursor mission to Mars, there is a new opportunity for the detection of the putative Martian dust clouds using in situ measurements. Both Phobos and Deimos, as all airless bodies in the solar system, are continually bombarded by interplanetary dust grains, generating secondary ejecta particles. The surface gravity escape of these objects are low, hence most secondary particles escapethem, but remain in orbit about Mars. Subsequent perturbations by solar radiation pressure, electromagnetic forces acting on charged grains, and collisions with the moons or Mars itself limit the lifetime of the produced particles. The size dependent production rates and lifetimes set the most abundant particle size range of 10 - 30 micron in radius. Large, but short-lived, dust density enhancements can be predicted during periods of meteor showers. Also, comet Siding Spring will flyby Mars in October, 2014. Its dust tail can 'sand-blast' both Phobos and Deimos, dramatically increasing their dust production for a few hours. We present the results of our numerical studies on the temporal and spatial evolution of the dust clouds raised during highly enhanced production rates that last only hours-to-days.

  7. Martian Dust Storms — Observations by MGS-MOC and MRO-MARCI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, B. A.; Malin, M. C.; Edgett, K. S.

    2014-07-01

    Dust storms play an important role in the martian dust cycle. MGS-MOC and MRO-MARCI daily global mapping images provide a unique and continuous opportunity to study martian dust storms on time scales ranging from diurnally to nearly decadal.

  8. Martian Dust Storm on May 18, 2008

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation

    This false-color polar map was generated from images obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on May 18, 2008. It shows a large local dust storm that researchers were monitoring to see if it would affect weather conditions at NASA's Phoenix spacecraft's landing site on landing day, May 25, 2008. The landing site is labeled and marked with the yellow dot.

    The dust storm, indicated with yellow arrows in the close-up view, is the sinuous, light-colored feature to the left of the white northern polar cap at the center of the map.

    This dust storm was too early and too far away to affect the lander.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  9. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment.

    PubMed

    Delory, Gregory T; Farrell, William M; Atreya, Sushil K; Renno, Nilton O; Wong, Ah-San; Cummer, Steven A; Sentman, Davis D; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and desert field tests indicate that aeolian dust transport can generate atmospheric electricity via contact electrification or "triboelectricity." In convective structures such as dust devils and dust storms, grain stratification leads to macroscopic charge separations and gives rise to an overall electric dipole moment in the aeolian feature, similar in nature to the dipolar electric field generated in terrestrial thunderstorms. Previous numerical simulations indicate that these storm electric fields on Mars can approach the ambient breakdown field strength of approximately 25 kV/m. In terrestrial dust phenomena, potentials ranging from approximately 20 to 160 kV/m have been directly measured. The large electrostatic fields predicted in martian dust devils and storms can energize electrons in the low pressure martian atmosphere to values exceeding the electron dissociative attachment energy of both CO2 and H2O, which results in the formation of the new chemical products CO/O- and OH/H-, respectively. Using a collisional plasma physics model, we present calculations of the CO/O- and OH/H- reaction and production rates. We demonstrate that these rates vary geometrically with the ambient electric field, with substantial production of dissociative products when fields approach the breakdown value of approximately 25 kV/m. The dissociation of H2O into OH/H- provides a key ingredient for the generation of oxidants; thus electrically charged dust may significantly impact the habitability of Mars. PMID:16805701

  10. Infrared radiative transfer in the dust-free Martian atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Crisp, D. )

    1990-08-30

    Gases in the Martian atmosphere, including CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O, CO, and O{sub 3}, combine to produce some absorption at most infrared wavelengths. Line-by-line and quasi-random models are used to derive synthetic spectra of dust-free Martian atmospheres. These spectra show where gases absorb most strongly and provide a baseline for comparison with the results from more complete models that include the effects of dust. Gas absorption and emission features at many infrared wavelengths provide a source of contamination that must be removed from remote sensing observations of the Martian surface. For example, the weak reflectance minimum observed at wavelengths near 2.35 {mu}m, which has been interpreted as evidence for a variety of surface materials, is produced almost entirely by atmospheric CO and CO{sub 2} absorption. Isotopic CO{sub 2} bands near 7 and 8 {mu}m and near-infrared water vapor absorption bands partially overlap strong carbonate and hydrate features and frustrate systematic spectroscopic searches for these important candidate surface materials on Mars. In other spectral regions, gas absorption bands provide opportunities to study the structure and composition of the Martian atmosphere. Computed radiances within the strong CO{sub 2} 15-{mu}m band are incorporated into an atmospheric retrieval algorithm to derive the atmospheric temperature structure from Mariner 9 IRIS observations. Absorption and emission by gases also contributes to the energetics of the Martian atmosphere. Near-infrared CO{sub 2} bands absorb enough sunlight to produce globally-averaged solar heating rates that vary from 1 K/Earth day at the surface, to 10 K/Earth day at pressures near 0.01 mbar. Other gases contribute 1-5% of the heating at some levels.

  11. Dust-dynamic feedbacks in the Martian atmosphere: Surface dust lifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, James R.; Pollack, James B.

    1993-01-01

    Numerical models have been developed to study surface dust lifting in the Martian atmosphere. The present model is comprised of interactively coupled 3-D dynamical and aerosol transport/microphysical models. The nature of possible feedbacks between surface dust lifting and the amplification/damping of near-surface wind and thermal fields and their implications for additional lifting is investigated. These studies have examined large scale Martian topography for its impact upon the ability of the atmospheric circulation to lift dust from the surface, and the particular component(s) responsible for the lifting (e.g. overturning circulation, thermal tides, baroclinic waves). Analogous experiments in which the lifted dust is radiatively inactive (passive tracer) have been conducted to act as a control against which feedbacks are defined.

  12. Late-summer Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This is an image of Mars taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI). The Red Planet's polar ice-cap is in the middle of the image. Captured in this image is a 37,000 square-kilometer (almost 23,000 miles) dust storm that moved counter-clockwise through the Phoenix landing site on Oct 11, 2008, or Sol 135 of the mission.

    Viewing this image as if it were the face of a clock, Phoenix is shown as a small white dot, located at about 10 AM. The storm, which had already passed over the landing site earlier in the day, is located at about 9:30 AM.

  13. The wavelength dependence of Martian atmospheric dust radiative properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, J. B.; Ockert-Bell, M. E.; Arvidson, R.; Shepard, M.

    1993-01-01

    One of the key radiative agents in the atmosphere of Mars is the suspended dust particles. A new analysis of two data sets of the Martian atmosphere is being carried out in order to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the size distribution, optical constants, and other radiative properties, such as the single-scattering albedo and phase function. Of prime importance is the wavelength dependence of these radiative properties throughout the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Understanding the wavelength dependence of absorption and scattering characteristics will provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere.

  14. Impact-Mobilized Dust in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nemtchinov, I. V.; Shuvalov, V. V.; Greeley, R.

    2002-01-01

    We consider dust production and entrainment into the atmosphere of Mars by impacts. Numerical simulations based on the multidimensional multimaterial hydrocode were conducted for impactors 1 to 100 m in size and velocities 11 and 20 kilometers per second. The size distribution of particles was based on experimentrr wing TNT explosions. Dust can be mobilized even when the impactor does not reach the ground through the release of energy in the atmosphere, We found that the blast produced winds entrained dust by a mechanism similar to boundary layer winds as determined from the wind-tunnel tests. For a l-m radius stony asteroid releasing its energy in the atmosphere the lifted mass of dust is larger than that in a typical dust devil and could trigger local dust storms, For a 100-m-radius meteoroid the amount of injected dust is comparable with the tota! mass of a global dust storm.

  15. Reinterpretation of Mariner 9 IRIS data on the basis of a simulation of radiative-conductive convective transfer in the dust laden Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pallman, A. J.

    1974-01-01

    Time dependent vertical distributions of atmospheric temperature and static stability were determined by a radiative-convective-conductive heat transfer model attuned to Mariner 9 IRIS radiance data. Of particular interest were conditions of both the dust-laden and dust-free atmosphere in the middle latitudes on Mars during the late S.H. summer season. The numerical model simulates at high spatial and temporal resolution (52 atmospheric and 30 subsurface levels; with a time-step of 7.5 min.) the heat transports in the ground-atmosphere system. The algorithm is based on the solution of the appropriate heating rate equation which includes radiative, molecular-conductive and convective heat transfer terms. Ground and atmosphere are coupled by an internal thermal boundary condition.

  16. Temperature measurements of a Martian local dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Ralph

    1995-01-01

    A technique for estimating the ground and near-ground atmospheric temperatures within a Martian local dust storm is presented. It is applied to soundings taken by the Viking orbiter infrared thermal mapper (IRTM) instrument at four times-of-day for one storm. Essentially, a comparison is made between infrared radiances emerging from the storm interior and those from the region surrounding the storm. Particle extinction properties are assumed to be independent of position in the storm region, and scattering properties must be selected arbitrarily. For the storm studied here, the ground temperature in the interior is at least 6 K cooler, whereas the near-ground atmospheric temperature may be less than or comparable to, those of the surroundings. The thermal structure of the storm interior did not change measurably between 11.5 and 16.6 hours local time. These observations favor the theories of dust storm development in which regional winds rather than local, dust driven convection initiate the mobilization of dust from the surface. It also concluded that the optical properties of dust particles in this local storm differ from those observed by Mariner 9 during the 1971-1972 global dust storm.

  17. Temperature measurements of a Martian local dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Ralph

    1995-01-01

    A technique for estimating the ground and near-ground atmospheric temperatures within a Martian local dust storm is presented. It is applied to soundings taken by the Viking orbiter infrared thermal mapper (IRTM) instrument at four times-of-day for one storm. Essentially, a comparison is made between infrared radiances emerging from the storm interior and those from the region surrounding the storm. Particle extinction properties are assumed to be independent of position in the storm region, and scattering properties must be selected arbitrarily. For the storm studied here, the ground temperature in the interior is at least 6 K cooler, whereas the near-ground atmospheric temperature may be less than or comparable to, those of the surroundings. The thermal structure of the storm interior did not change measurably between 11.5 and 16.6 hours local time. These observations favor theories of dust storm development in which regional winds rather than local, dust-driven convection initiate the mobilization of dust from the surface. It is also concluded that the optical properties of dust particles in this local storm differ from those observed by Mariner 9 during the 1971-1972 global dust storm.

  18. Simulation of the UV-radiation at the Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, C.; Stimpfl, P.; Krenn, H.; Lammer, H.; Kargl, G.; Abart, R.; Patel, M. R.

    The UV-radiation at the Martian surface is for several reasons of importance. UV radiation can cause specific damages in the DNA-containing living systems and is involved in the formation of catalytically produced oxidants such as superoxide ions and peroxides. These are capable to oxidize and subsequently destroy organic matter. Lab simulations are necessary to investigate and understand the effects of organic matter removal at the Martian surface. We designed a radiation apparatus which simulates the solar spectrum at the Martian surface between 200 and 700 nm. The system consists of an UV-enhanced xenon arc lamp and special exchangeable filter-sets and mirrors for simulating the effects of the Martian atmospheric column and dust loading. A special collimating system bundles the final parallel beam so that the intensity at the target spot is independent from the distance between the ray source and the sample. The system was calibrated by means of an optical photo-spectrometer to align the ray output with the theoretical target spectrum and to ensure spectral homogeneity. We present preliminary data on calibration and performance of our system, which is integrated in the Austrian Mars simulation facility.

  19. Martian Arctic Dust Devil and Phoenix Meteorology Mast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The vertical post near the left edge of this image is the mast of the Meteorological Station on Phoenix. The dust devil visible at the horizon just to the right of the mast is estimated to be 600 to 700 meters (about 2,000 to 2,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 to 5 meters (10 to 13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  20. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz Caro, G. M.; Mateo-Martí, E.; Martínez-Frías, J.

    2006-01-01

    The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm). Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiation of basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance as a function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify the absorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Mars surface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance in the near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolith at deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.

  1. Parameters of Dust Particles in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Morozhenko, A. V.

    2001-11-01

    A critical analysis of the methods and results of estimating the optical thickness of the dust component in the Martian atmosphere τ_0, the particle size r_0, and the imaginary part of the refractive index n_ihas shown the following. (1) Observational data on the brightness distribution over the Martian disk as well as the phase dependences of diffusely reflected light and the azimuthal dependences of diffusely transmitted light are most appropriate to use only for verifying the reliability of the aerosol parameters determined by other methods. (2) If the morning and evening fogs in the atmosphere are disregarded, the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method used to analyze the solar-brightness attenuation measured on the planetary surface yields overestimated extraatmospheric solar intensity I_0and atmospheric optical depth τ_0. At the Viking 1landing site, I_0and τ_0could be overestimated by a factor of 1.7 and by 0.35, respectively. (3) The aerosol size determined by analyzing measurements of the azimuthal dependences for the Martian sky brightness at low elevations of the Sun most likely corresponds to the fog particles. (4) If overestimated values of I_0were used to standardize the observations of the solar radiation transmitted by the Martian atmosphere, then n_iwere also overestimated; using overestimated τ_0also affected the reliability of the latter. (5) The problem of reliability of the available τ_0and r_0estimates for periods of high atmospheric transparency is yet to be solved. For the highest activity of the dust storm in 1971, it was found that 4.5 <= r_0<= 7.5 μm for the lognormal particle size distribution with σ^2= 0.2 and the optical thickness of a dust cloud τ_0>= 15. (6) The spectral values of the apparent albedo of Mars measured in October 1971 at a phase angle of 42° in the spectral range 0.250 <= λ <= 0.717 allowed the imaginary part of the refractive index to be estimated in terms of a model of a dust cloud composed of spherical particles with

  2. The effects and characteristics of atmospheric dust during martian global dust storm 2001A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elteto, Attila; Toon, Owen B.

    2010-12-01

    We present retrieved trends in dust optical depth, dust effective radius and surface temperature from our analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer daytime data from global dust storm 2001A, and describe their significance for the martian dust cycle. The dust optical depth becomes correlated with surface pressure during southern spring and summer in years both with and without a global dust storm, indicating that global dust mixing processes are important at those seasons. The correlation is low at other times of the year. We found that the observed decay of optical depths at the later stages of the dust storm match, to first-order, theoretical values of clearing from Stokes-Cunningham fallout of the dust. Zonally averaged effective radius is constant within standard deviation of results (between 1.2 and 2.0 μm, with a global mean for all seasons of 1.7 μm), at all latitudes and seasons except at southern latitudes of 35° and higher around equinoxes in both martian years, where it is larger than average (2-3 μm). The emergence and disappearance of these larger particles correlates with observations of polar cap edge storms at those latitudes. Northern latitude observations under similar conditions did not yield a similar trend of larger average effective radii during the equinoxes. We also report on a linear correlation between daytime surface temperature drop and rise in optical depth during the global dust storm. Global dust storm 2001A produced a significant optical depth and surface temperature change.

  3. Laboratory investigation of Martian water ice cloud formation using dust aerosol stimulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladino, L. A.; Abbatt, J. P. D.

    2013-01-01

    The ice nucleation abilities of submicron aerosol particles of two Martian regolith analogs, the Mojave Mars simulant and Johnson Space Center Mars-1, were investigated with the University of Toronto continuous flow diffusion chamber. The temperature range studied (> 200 K) is relevant to low-altitude water ice cloud formation in the Martian atmosphere and the aerosol particles were suspended in air, in contrast to previous experiments. Both simulants were found to be active ice nuclei in the deposition nucleation mode between 223 K and 203 K. The Mojave Mars simulant particles were found to be better ice nuclei than the Johnson Space Center Mars-1 particles requiring lower supersaturations to nucleate ice. It was observed that the critical supersaturation (Scrit) to activate 1% of the particles increased with decreasing temperature in accord with previous low-temperature studies, rising to a value of above 1.7 at 203 K. This corroborates literature results that there is a substantial barrier to ice nucleation at low temperatures, underlining the need for incorporating this effect in Martian cloud microphysical models. It was also found that Scrit did not change when the size of the Mojave Mars simulant particles was increased from 240 to 400 nm. Comparison of the Martian simulants with other mineral dusts shows that the Johnson Space Center Mars-1 analog behaves similarly to the well-known terrestrial ice nuclei such as kaolinite and Arizona test dust particles, whereas the Mojave Mars simulant behaves closer to another clay, montmorillonite. The wettability parameter, m, was calculated to range from 0.955 to 0.959.

  4. The optical depth sensor (ODS) for column dust opacity measurements and cloud detection on martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, D.; Rannou, P.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Foujols, T.

    2016-05-01

    A lightweight and sophisticated optical depth sensor (ODS) able to measure alternatively scattered flux at zenith and the sum of the direct flux and the scattered flux in blue and red has been developed to work in martian environment. The principal goals of ODS are to perform measurements of the daily mean dust opacity and to retrieve the altitude and optical depth of high altitude clouds at twilight, crucial parameters in the understanding of martian meteorology. The retrieval procedure of dust opacity is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations reproducing observed changes in the solar flux during the day as a function of 4 free parameters: dust opacity in blue and red, and effective radius and effective width of dust size distribution. The detection of clouds is undertaken by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between red and blue ODS channels, at twilight. The retrieval of altitude and optical depth of clouds is carried out using a radiative transfer model in spherical geometry to simulate the CI time variation at twilight. Here the different retrieval procedures to analyze ODS signals, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis are presented and discussed.

  5. The optical depth sensor (ODS) for column dust opacity measurements and cloud detection on martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, D.; Rannou, P.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Foujols, T.

    2016-08-01

    A lightweight and sophisticated optical depth sensor (ODS) able to measure alternatively scattered flux at zenith and the sum of the direct flux and the scattered flux in blue and red has been developed to work in martian environment. The principal goals of ODS are to perform measurements of the daily mean dust opacity and to retrieve the altitude and optical depth of high altitude clouds at twilight, crucial parameters in the understanding of martian meteorology. The retrieval procedure of dust opacity is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations reproducing observed changes in the solar flux during the day as a function of 4 free parameters: dust opacity in blue and red, and effective radius and effective width of dust size distribution. The detection of clouds is undertaken by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between red and blue ODS channels, at twilight. The retrieval of altitude and optical depth of clouds is carried out using a radiative transfer model in spherical geometry to simulate the CI time variation at twilight. Here the different retrieval procedures to analyze ODS signals, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis are presented and discussed.

  6. Positive Radiative-Dynamic Feedback in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafkin, S. C.; Rothchild, A.; Pielke, R. A., Sr.

    2010-12-01

    This work follows from the work of Rafkin [2010] that identified a positive radiative-dynamic feedback mechanism for the growth and maintenance of Mars dust storms under idealized conditions. In this study, the feedback mechanism is explored under more realistic settings including complex background atmospheric structures, topography, thermal tidal forcing, and a variety of mesoscale circulations. As expected, the more complex situation tends to mute the evidence and the impact of the proposed feedback process. Nonetheless, telltale signatures of the feedback mechanism are present and are consistent with the findings from the idealized scenario. Mesoscale simulations at the proposed MSL landing site of Mawrth Valles serve as the foundation for feedback studies with the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. A background dust field is specified based on MGS-TES retrievals and a dynamically active perturbation dust field is superimposed. The perturbation field arises from dust lifting (both resolved and subgrid scale) and it is subject to transport, diffusion, and sedimentation; the perturbation field is allowed to evolve over time consistent with the dynamics. The dust is tracked via a bin model with 8 discrete mass bins. To test for radiative-dynamic feedback, the radiative activity of the perturbation dust can be toggled on or off. If lifted dust behaves as a passive tracer then the simulations with radiatively active perturbation dust should evolve similarly to those with radiatively inactive dust. In idealized cases, a large difference was noted between these two scenarios indicating that lifted dust was modifying the local circulation. In the realistic scenarios presented here, simulations with radiatively active dust produce a noticeable local drop in atmospheric pressure and an increase in wind speeds, particularly in dust lifting regions where atmospheric dust concentrations are maximized. Analysis of wind residuals show a tendency for rotational and

  7. Dust Complex onboard the ExoMars-2018 lander for investigations of Martian dust dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Horanyi, Mihaly; Afonin, Valeri; Esposito, Francesca; Seran, Elena; Gotlib, Vladimir; Koepke, Mark; Kuznetsov, Ilya; Lyash, Andrey; Dolnikov, Gennady

    The load of suspended dust in the Martian atmosphere varies dramatically but never drops entirely to zero. Effects of airborne dust contribute to the dynamic and thermodynamic evolution of the atmosphere and its large-scale circulation processes on diurnal, seasonal and annual time-scales. Suspended dust plays a key role in determining the present climate of Mars and probably influenced the past climatic conditions and surface evolution. Atmosphere dust and windblown dust are responsible for erosion, redistribution of dust on the surface, and surface weathering. The mechanisms for dust entrainment in the atmosphere are not completely understood, as the current data available so far do not allow us to identify the efficiency of the various processes. Dust-grain transport on the surface of Mars has never been directly measured despite great interest in and high scientific and technological ramifications of the associated phenomena. This paper describes planned, future investigations of the Martian dust environment made possible by the proposed scientific payload “Dust Complex” (DC) of the ExoMars-2018 mission’s landing platform. DC is a suite of four sensors devoted to the study of Aeolian processes on Mars with a primary aim of monitoring the diurnal, seasonal, and annual dust-environment cycles by Martian-ground-based measurements of dust flux in situ, i.e., in the near-surface atmosphere of Mars. This suite includes 1) an Impact Sensor, for the measurement of the sand-grain dynamics and electrostatics, 2) a particle-counter sensor, MicroMED, for the measurement of airborne dust size distribution and number density, 3) an Electric Probe, for the measurement of the ambient electric field, and 4) a radiofrequency antenna. Besides outlining design details of DC and the characterisation of its capabilities, this presentation reviews various dust effects and dust phenomena that are anticipated to occur in the near-surface environment on Mars and that are possible

  8. Mars dust storm simulations: Analysis of surface stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, J. R.; Leovy, C. B.

    1992-01-01

    The primary mechanism by which dust is inserted into the Martian atmosphere is the interaction of low-level atmospheric motions with the planet's surface. Near-surface winds exert a shear stress upon dust particles resting on the Martian surface, and at some lower threshold limit of stress magnitude, approximately 0.04 N-m(exp -2), particles are set into motion. Wind tunnel studies indicate that the first particles are too large to remain in suspension in the Martian atmosphere, but their impact back upon the surface can set smaller suspendable particles into motion. This process is termed saltation. Numerical simulations of Martian dust storms were carried out via the interactive coupling of the NASA Ames Mars general circulation Model with an aerosol transport/microphysical model.

  9. Amplification of dust loading in Martian dust devils by self-shadowing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuepper, M.; Wurm, G.

    2016-08-01

    Insolation of the Martian soil leads to a sub-surface overpressure due to thermal creep gas flow. This could support particle entrainment into the atmosphere. Short time shadowing e.g. by the traverse of a larger dust devil would enhance this effect. We find in microgravity experiments that mass ejection rates are increased by a factor of 10 for several seconds if a light source of 12.6 kW/m2 is turned off. Scaled to Mars this implies that self-shadowing of a partially opaque dust devil might lead to a strongly amplified flux of lifted material. We therefore suggest that self-shadowing might be a mechanism on Mars to increase the total dust loading of a dust devil and keep it self-sustained.

  10. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977, 1979) by deriving more accurate brightness closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius r(sub eff) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 micrometers at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 micrometers at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance nu(sub eff) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 micrometers. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollak et al. (1977, 1979) estimates.

  11. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.

  12. Ion Chemistry and Dust Aerosols in the Martian Lower Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheel, Varun; Haider, Syed A.

    2012-07-01

    Models of the daytime upper ionosphere and nighttime models have been able to explain some of the observations of the Martian atmosphere. However, not much attention has been paid to the ionosphere below 100 km. We have developed a detailed chemistry model of 35 ions and 12 neutral species with galactic cosmic rays as the primary source of ionization to calculate the densities of ions in the daytime lower atmosphere of Mars (Haider et al., 2008). The chemical model couples various processes through 101 chemical reactions. We do a quantitative comparison between various production and loss processes, in order to tag each of them with their relative importance in determining the ion densities. Impact of galactic cosmic rays initially produces CO_{2}^{+} and O_{2}^{+} ions, but the ion chemistry eventually leads to the dominance of hydrated positive and negative ions with maximum densities of about 10^{3} cm^{-3}. It is found that out of all the processes included in the model, the most important process is the ion-neutral collisions wherein the reaction of H_{3}O^{+}(H_{2}O)_{2,3} with water and air molecules having the highest rates of ˜10^5 cm^{-3} s^{-1} (Sheel et al., PSS, in press). These ions can charge dust aerosols in the lower ionosphere of Mars. Periodical massive dust storms with high surface winds disturb surface sediments and lift large amounts of dust into the atmosphere. We have extended the ion model to study the effect of dust on ions in the troposphere of Mars. The dust vertical profile, used as an input to our model, is calculated using the Conrath parametrisation and constrained with dust opacities observed by THEMIS onboard the Mars Odyssey. We observe that the major positive and negative hydrated ions decrease by upto two orders of magnitude in the presence of dust (Haider at al, 2010). These results will be presented and dust variability observed by MGS and Mars Odyssey will also be discussed in the talk. Our calculations provide an initial

  13. Photo-induced free radicals on a simulated Martian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tseng, S.-S.; Chang, S.

    1974-01-01

    Results of an electron spin resonance study of free radicals in the ultraviolet irradiation of a simulated Martian surface suggest that the ultraviolet photolysis of CO or CO2, or a mixture of both, adsorbed on silica gel at minus 170 C involves the formation of OH radicals and possibly of H atoms as the primary process, followed by the formation of CO2H radicals. It is concluded that the photochemical synthesis of organic compounds could occur on Mars if the siliceous surface dust contains enough silanol groups and/or adsorbed H2O in the form of bound water.

  14. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  15. Springtime Dust Storm Swirls at Martian North Pole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Two Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars, taken about a month apart on September 18 and October 15, 1996, reveal a state-sized dust storm churning near the edge of the Martian north polar cap. The polar storm is probably a consequence of large temperature differences between the polar ice and the dark regions to the south, which are heated by the springtime sun. The increased sunlight also causes the dry ice in the polar cap to sublime and shrink.

    Mars is famous for large, planet-wide dust storms. Smaller storms resembling the one seen here were observed in other regions by Viking orbiters in the late 1970s. However, this is the first time that such an event has been caught near the receding north polar cap. The Hubble images provide valuable new insights into the behavior of localized dust storms on Mars, which are typically below the resolution of ground-based telescopes. This kind of advanced planetary 'weather report' will be invaluable for aiding preparation for the landing of NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft in July 1997 and the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor orbiter in September 1997.

    Top (September 18, 1996) - The salmon colored notch in the white north polar cap is a 600-mile (1,000 kilometer) long storm -- nearly the width of Texas. The bright dust can also be seen over the dark surface surrounding the cap, where it is caught up in the Martian jet stream and blown easterly. The white clouds at lower latitudes are mostly associated with major Martian volcanos such as Olympus Mons. This image was taken when Mars was more than 186 million miles (300 million kilometers) from Earth, and the planet was smaller in angular size than Jupiter's Great Red Spot!

    Bottom (October 15, 1996) - Though the storm has dissipated by October, a distinctive dust-colored comma-shaped feature can be seen curving across the ice cap. The shape is similar to cold fronts on Earth, which are associated with low pressure systems. Nothing quite like this feature has been seen

  16. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  17. Microscopic Comparison of Airfall Dust to Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This pair of images taken by the Optical Microscope on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander offers a side-by-side comparison of an airfall dust sample collected on a substrate exposed during landing (left) and a soil sample scooped up from the surface of the ground beside the lander. In both cases the sample is collected on a silicone substrate, which provides a sticky surface holding sample particles for observation by the microscope.

    Similar fine particles at the resolution limit of the microscope are seen in both samples, indicating that the soil has formed from settling of dust.

    The microscope took the image on the left during Phoenix's Sol 9 (June 3, 2008), or the ninth Martian day after landing. It took the image on the right during Sol 17 (June 11, 2008).

    The scale bar is 1 millimeter (0.04 inch).

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  18. Prototype detector development for measurement of high altitude Martian dust using a future orbiter platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Patel, Darshil; Chokhawala, Vimmi; Bogavelly, Anvesh

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils mostly occur during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer on Mars and play a key role in the background dust opacity. Due to continuous bombardment of micrometeorites, secondary ejecta come out from the Moons of the Mars and can easily escape. This phenomenon can contribute dust around the Moons and therefore, also around the Mars. Similar to the Moons of the Earth, the surfaces of the Martian Moons get charged and cause the dust levitation to occur, adding to the possible dust source. Also, interplanetary dust particles may be able to reach the Mars and contribute further. It is hypothesized that the high altitude Martian dust could be in the form of a ring or tori around the Mars. However, no such rings have been detected to the present day. Typically, width and height of the dust torus is ~5 Mars radii wide (~16950 km) in both the planes as reported in the literature. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, a langmuir probe cannot explain the source of such dust particles. It is a puzzling question to the space scientist how dust has reached to such high altitudes. A dedicated dust instrument on future Mars orbiter may be helpful to address such issues. To study origin, abundance, distribution and seasonal variation of Martian dust, a Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX) is proposed. In order to measure the Martian dust from a future orbiter, design of a prototype of an impact ionization dust detector has been initiated at PRL. This paper presents developmental aspects of the prototype dust detector and initial results. The further work is underway.

  19. Investigating the Use of Aerogel Collectors for the SCIM Martian-Dust Sample Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jurewicz, A. J. G.; Forney, L.; Bomba, J.; Vicker, D.; Jones, S.; Yen, A.; Clark, B.; Gamber, T.; Goreva, J.; Minitti, M.

    2002-01-01

    SCIM (sample collection for the investigation of Mars) proposes to return Martian dust and atmospheric samples to Earth. The collection will occur during a high-speed pass of Mars. We discuss the engineering challenges that the Martian atmosphere imposes on this type of experiment, and how we are proceeding to meet them. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Martian global dust storm 2001A as observed by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elteto, Attila

    2009-06-01

    The purpose of this work is to study the general characteristics of Martian global dust storms, and their relation to the Martian dust cycle using infrared observations. I devised a parameter retrieval algorithm for Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer daytime data from global dust storm 2001A that extracts information about dust optical depth, effective radius, and surface temperature using Newtonian first-order sensitivity functions of the infrared spectrum in response to variations in these parameters. This algorithm is both relatively accurate and very fast, successfully retrieving parameters from 56878 spectra for global dust storm 2001A, as well as a subsequent Martian year in comparison. There are uncertainties introduced into the retrievals, especially by parameters that could not be constrained such as the optical constants of the Martian dust. Uncertainties in assumed vertical mixing of dust can lead to significant uncertainties in retrieved optical depth and dust effective radius. I discovered several aspects of the dust storm that have not previously been recognized. One of these is that the dust optical depth becomes correlated with surface pressure during the decay phase of the dust storm. Similar pressure optical depth correlations were found the following Martian year when no global dust storm occurred. Global correlation of dust optical depth and surface pressure, indicative of global dust mixing processes, also varies with the season. It is generally larger during southern hemisphere late spring and summer, and very low at all other seasons when there is no global dust storm. These pressure and optical depth data provide a tool to study atmospheric dynamics. I also found that the observed decay of optical depths at the later stages of the dust storm match, to first order, theoretical values of clearing from Stokes-Cunningham fallout of the dust. The unprecedented coverage of the retrieval of dust effective radii allowed me to

  1. Detection of Polonium-210 on Spirit Dust Magnets and Implications for the Global Martian Dust Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, R.; Meslin, P.; Sabroux, J.; Madsen, M. B.; Pineau, J.; Richon, P.

    2013-12-01

    The radioactivity of airborne aerosols, which originates from the attachment of radionuclides produced by radon disintegration, Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) or anthropogenic activities, especially fallouts from nuclear weapons testing, can be used to measure the residence time of these aerosols in the atmosphere and their deposition rate. It is also used to characterize soils erosion rates (Matissof et al., 2002) or to investigate the origin of desert rock varnish (Hodge et al., 2005), to name only a few terrestrial applications. A translation of these nuclear methods to the Martian atmosphere, which is characterized by a very active dust cycle, is tempting, and has the potential to offer a unique insight into the present-day recycling of the Martian surface. This approach is made possible by two facts: 1) the presence of radon in the Martian atmosphere, which produces long-lived radioactive decay products, in particular polonium-210, and whose abundance can be indirectly inferred by gamma ray spectrometry from orbit using Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) (Meslin et al., 2012); 2) the presence at the surface of Mars of two Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometers (APXS), onboard Opportunity and Spirit Mars Exploration Rovers, whose energy range (in the alpha mode) very fortuitously happens to include the energy of alpha particles emitted by the decay of polonium-210. The long half-life of this radionuclide is such that it is almost entirely attached to the particles that have been in suspension in the atmosphere, especially those characterized by a large specific surface area or by a long atmospheric residence time. It can therefore be used as a tracer of the dust cycle. An analysis of the alpha spectra acquired on the dust Capture and Filter magnets of the Spirit rover confirms results obtained by Meslin et al. (2006) that the Martian dust is radioactive w/r to polonium-210, thereby extending Opportunity's result to a global scale. This result enables us to

  2. Multiyear Simulations of the Martian Water Cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Schaeffer, J. R.; Nelli, S. M.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide dominated with non-negligible amounts of water vapor and suspended dust particles. The atmospheric dust plays an important role in the heating and cooling of the planet through absorption and emission of radiation. Small dust particles can potentially be carried to great altitudes and affect the temperatures there. Water vapor condensing onto the dust grains can affect the radiative properties of both, as well as their vertical extent. The condensation of water onto a dust grain will change the grain s fall speed and diminish the possibility of dust obtaining high altitudes. In this capacity, water becomes a controlling agent with regard to the vertical distribution of dust. Similarly, the atmosphere s water vapor holding capacity is affected by the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Dust is an excellent green house catalyst; it raises the temperature of the atmosphere, and thus, its water vapor holding capacity. There is, therefore, a potentially significant interplay between the Martian dust and water cycles. Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

  3. Development of an Electrostatic Precipitator to Remove Martian Atmospheric Dust from ISRU Gas Intakes During Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clements, J. Sidney; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.; Hogue, Michael D.; Lowder, M. Loraine; Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    Manned exploration missions to Mars will need dependable in situ resource utilization (ISRU) for the production of oxygen and other commodities. One of these resources is the Martian atmosphere itself, which is composed of carbon dioxide (95.3%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), oxygen (0.13%), carbon monoxide (0.07%), and water vapor (0.03%), as well as other trace gases. However, the Martian atmosphere also contains relatively large amounts of dust, uploaded by frequent dust devils and high Winds. To make this gas usable for oxygen extraction in specialized chambers requires the removal of most of the dust. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) system is an obvious choice. But with an atmospheric pressure just one-hundredth of Earth's, electrical breakdown at low voltages makes the implementation of the electrostatic precipitator technology very challenging. Ion mobility, drag forces, dust particle charging, and migration velocity are also affected because the low gas pressure results in molecular mean free paths that are approximately one hundred times longer than those at Earth .atmospheric pressure. We report here on our efforts to develop this technology at the Kennedy Space Center, using gases with approximately the same composition as the Martian atmosphere in a vacuum chamber at 9 mbars, the atmospheric pressure on Mars. We also present I-V curves and large particle charging data for various versions of wire-cylinder and rod-cylinder geometry ESPs. Preliminary results suggest that use of an ESP for dust collection on Mars may be feasible, but further testing with Martian dust simulant is required.

  4. Martian dust aerosols in the North Polar summer: scattering properties and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, E.; Lemmon, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    Martian atmospheric dust appears to be largely homogenized, yet many sources are present through seasonally distinct processes: Southern summer dust storms, polar cap edge storms, and dust devils. The Phoenix landing site fell within a region of a northern seasonal ice cap with the receding cap edge to its north. The Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to characterize atmospheric dust in the Martian north polar environment. These surveys, comparable to those by the Viking and Pathfinder landers and the Mars Exploration Rovers, constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust. We analyze a set taken in early summer in order to compare the results to those of previous missions and constrain the size of dust in a near-cap-edge environment. The spectrophotometric data from 440-1000 nm were taken shortly after a period of local dust storms and during a period of active dust devil lifting, and thus approximate a measurement of the lifted dust. We will present a discussion of constraints on the size distribution, spectral single scattering albedo and imaginary index of refraction of the dust. We also present the first polarimetric observations from inside the Martian atmosphere. These observations show the dust is weakly polarizing in a way that is, as expected, inconsistent with Mie scattering.

  5. Martian dust aerosols in the North Polar summer: scattering properties and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Emily; Lemmon, M.

    2013-10-01

    Martian atmospheric dust appears to be largely homogenized. However, there are a continuum of sources that are accessed by seasonally distinct processes: Southern summer dust storms, polar cap edge storms, and dust devils. The Phoenix landing site was in a region that fell within the northern seasonal ice cap; its mission began while the receding cap edge was north of the site. The Phoenix Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to characterize atmospheric dust in the Martian north polar environment. These surveys, comparable to those by the Viking and Pathfinder landers and the Mars Exploration Rovers, constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust. We analyze a set taken in early summer in order to compare the results to those of previous missions and constrain the size of dust in a near-cap-edge environment. The spectrophotometric data from 440-1000 nm were taken shortly after a period of local dust storms and during a period of active dust-devil lifting, and thus approximate a measurement of the lifted dust. We will present a discussion of constraints on the size distribution, spectral single scattering albedo and imaginary index of refraction of the dust. We also present the first polarimetric observations from inside the Martian atmosphere. These observations show the dust is weakly polarizing in a way that is, as expected, inconsistent with Mie scattering.

  6. Variability of the Martian thermosphere during eight Martian years as simulated by a ground-to-exosphere global circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Galindo, F.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Forget, F.; García-Comas, M.; Millour, E.; Montabone, L.

    2015-11-01

    Using a ground-to-exosphere general circulation model for Mars we have simulated the variability of the dayside temperatures at the exobase during eight Martian years (MY, from MY24 to MY31, approximately from 1998 to 2013), taking into account the observed day-to-day solar and dust load variability. We show that the simulated temperatures are in good agreement with the exospheric temperatures derived from Precise Orbit Determination of Mars Global Surveyor. We then study the effects of the solar variability and of two planetary-encircling dust storms on the simulated temperatures. The seasonal effect produced by the large eccentricity of the Martian orbit translates in an aphelion-to-perihelion temperature contrast in every simulated year. However, the magnitude of this seasonal temperature variation is strongly affected by the solar conditions, ranging from 50 K for years corresponding to solar minimum conditions to almost 140 K during the last solar maximum. The 27 day solar rotation cycle is observed on the simulated temperatures at the exobase, with average amplitude of the temperature oscillation of 2.6 K but with a significant interannual variability. These two results highlight the importance of taking into account the solar variability when simulating the Martian upper atmosphere and likely have important implications concerning the atmospheric escape rate. We also show that the global dust storms in MY25 and MY28 have a significant effect on the simulated temperatures. In general, they increase the exospheric temperatures over the low latitude and midlatitude regions and decrease them in the polar regions.

  7. The Martian Dust Chronicle and the Impact on the Atmospheric Polar Vortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montabone, L.; Forget, F.; Millour, E.; Wilson, R. J.; Mitchell, D.; Thomson, S. I.; Lewis, S. R.; Read, P. L.

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, we describe the chronicle of the dust distribution from martian year 24 to MY 31, and we analyze the impact of large-scale dust storms on the dynamics of the atmospheric polar vortices, as an example of effect at distance.

  8. An assessment of the impact of local processes on dust lifting in martian climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulholland, David P.; Spiga, Aymeric; Listowski, Constantino; Read, Peter L.

    2015-05-01

    Simulation of the lifting of dust from the planetary surface is of substantially greater importance on Mars than on Earth, due to the fundamental role that atmospheric dust plays in the former's climate, yet the dust emission parameterisations used to date in martian global climate models (MGCMs) lag, understandably, behind their terrestrial counterparts in terms of sophistication. Recent developments in estimating surface roughness length over all martian terrains and in modelling atmospheric circulations at regional to local scales (less than O(100 km)) presents an opportunity to formulate an improved wind stress lifting parameterisation. We have upgraded the conventional scheme by including the spatially varying roughness length in the lifting parameterisation in a fully consistent manner (thereby correcting a possible underestimation of the true threshold level for wind stress lifting), and used a modification to account for deviations from neutral stability in the surface layer. Following these improvements, it is found that wind speeds at typical MGCM resolution never reach the lifting threshold at most gridpoints: winds fall particularly short in the southern midlatitudes, where mean roughness is large. Sub-grid scale variability, manifested in both the near-surface wind field and the surface roughness, is then considered, and is found to be a crucial means of bridging the gap between model winds and thresholds. Both forms of small-scale variability contribute to the formation of dust emission 'hotspots': areas within the model gridbox with particularly favourable conditions for lifting, namely a smooth surface combined with strong near-surface gusts. Such small-scale emission could in fact be particularly influential on Mars, due both to the intense positive radiative feedbacks that can drive storm growth and a strong hysteresis effect on saltation. By modelling this variability, dust lifting is predicted at the locations at which dust storms are frequently

  9. Martian soil simulant: Focus on secondary electron emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlu, Jiri; Beranek, Martin; Vaverka, Jakub; Richterova, Ivana; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek

    2013-04-01

    Growing interest in dust charging physics is connected with several lander missions (running or planned) to the Moon, Mars, and Mercury. In support of these missions, simulations in laboratories are expected tools to optimize in situ explorations and measurements. In this paper, we have investigated some of the electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1) using the dust charging experiment, where a single dust grain is trapped in a vacuum chamber and its secondary electron emission is studied. The exposure of the grain to the electron beam revealed that the grain surface potential is low and generally determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at the low-beam energies (< 1 keV). Whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by energetic electrons (> 5 keV). Observations are also compared with our advanced numerical model of the secondary electron emission which takes into account (besides chemical content and dimension) an influence of shape and surface roughness.

  10. Review of dust transport and mitigation technologies in lunar and Martian atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshar-Mohajer, Nima; Wu, Chang-Yu; Curtis, Jennifer Sinclair; Gaier, James R.

    2015-09-01

    Dust resuspension and deposition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in all lunar and Martian missions. The near-term plans to return to the Moon as a stepping stone to further exploration of Mars and beyond bring scientists' attention to development and evaluation of lunar and Martian dust mitigation technologies. In this paper, different lunar and Martian dust transport mechanisms are presented, followed by a review of previously developed dust mitigation technologies including fluidal, mechanical, electrical and passive self-cleaning methods for lunar/Martian installed surfaces along with filtration for dust control inside cabins. Key factors in choosing the most effective dust mitigation technology are recognized to be the dust transport mechanism, energy consumption, environment, type of surface materials, area of the surface and surface functionality. While electrical methods operating at higher voltages are identified to be suitable for small but light sensitive surfaces, pre-treatment of the surface is effective for cleaning thermal control surfaces, and mechanical methods are appropriate for surfaces with no concerns of light blockage, surface abrasion and 100% cleaning efficiency. Findings from this paper can help choose proper surface protection/cleaning for future space explorations. Hybrid techniques combining the advantages of different methods are recommended.

  11. On the shape of martian dust and water ice aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitman, K. M.; Wolff, M. J.; Clancy, R. T.; Clayton, G. C.

    2000-10-01

    Researchers have often calculated radiative properties of Martian aerosols using either Mie theory for homogeneous spheres or semi-empirical theories. Given that these atmospheric particles are randomly oriented, this approach seems fairly reasonable. However, the idea that randomly oriented nonspherical particles have scattering properties equivalent to even a select subset of spheres is demonstratably false} (Bohren and Huffman 1983; Bohren and Koh 1985, Appl. Optics, 24, 1023). Fortunately, recent computational developments now enable us to directly compute scattering properties for nonspherical particles. We have combined a numerical approach for axisymmetric particle shapes, i.e., cylinders, disks, spheroids (Waterman's T-Matrix approach as improved by Mishchenko and collaborators; cf., Mishchenko et al. 1997, JGR, 102, D14, 16,831), with a multiple-scattering radiative transfer algorithm to constrain the shape of water ice and dust aerosols. We utilize a two-stage iterative process. First, we empirically derive a scattering phase function for each aerosol component (starting with some ``guess'') from radiative transfer models of MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer Emission Phase Function (EPF) sequences (for details on this step, see Clancy et al., DPS 2000). Next, we perform a series of scattering calculations, adjusting our parameters to arrive at a ``best-fit'' theoretical phase function. In this presentation, we provide details on the second step in our analysis, including the derived phase functions (for several characteristic EPF sequences) as well as the particle properties of the best-fit theoretical models. We provide a sensitivity analysis for the EPF model-data comparisons in terms of perturbations in the particle properties (i.e., range of axial ratios, sizes, refractive indices, etc). This work is supported through NASA grant NAGS-9820 (MJW) and JPL contract no. 961471 (RTC).

  12. Scattering matrices of martian dust analogs at 488 nm and 647 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowska, Dominika D.; Muñoz, Olga; Moreno, Fernando; Ramos, José L.; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Wurm, Gerhard

    2015-04-01

    We present measurements of the complete scattering matrix as a function of the scattering angle of five martian dust analogs, namely montmorillonite, two palagonite (JSC-1) samples, basalt, and calcite. The measurements are performed at 488 and 647 nm, covering the scattering angle range from 3° to 177°. The experimental scattering matrices are compared with results of Lorenz-Mie calculations performed for the same size distributions and refractive indices as our analog samples. As expected, we find that scattering matrices of realistic polydispersions of dust particles cannot be replaced by such calculated matrices. In contrast, the measured phase functions for our martian dust analogs may be considered a good approximation for martian dust at the studied wavelengths. Further, because of the sensitivity of polarimetry to particle microphysics, spectro-polarimetric observations from the martian surface appear to be a powerful diagnostic tool to infer the composition of the dust in the martian atmosphere. To facilitate the use of the experimental matrices for multiple-scattering calculations with polarization included, we compute the corresponding synthetic scattering matrices based on the measurements and defined in the full angle range from 0° to 180°.

  13. Martian dust devil and storm electric fields: The formation of an O- plasma and new local chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W.; Delory, G.; Sentmann, D.; Renno, N.; Atreya, S.; Wong, A.; Cummer, S.; Marshall, J.; Rafkin, S.; Catling, D.

    2005-12-01

    It has been demonstrated via laboratory studies, numerical simulations and desert field tests that dust devils and possibly larger dust storms contain significant electrical energy, with electric fields in excess of 20 kV/m. Such fields in Martian dust devils and storms will accelerate electrons (i.e., increase the electron drift speed) thereby creating secondary electrons via impact ionization, the formation of negative ions via dissociative attachment, and new chemical pathway in subsequent recombination. In this presentation, we discuss the nature of the collisional CO2+/O- plasma that may form in the dust devil and storm, the possibility of glow emissions, and the implications for stability of important species such as methane.

  14. Thermal Tides During the 2001 Martian Global-Scale Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Wilson, R. John; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Bandfield, Donald J.; Smith, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    The 2001 (Mars Year 25) global dust storm radically altered the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere. Using observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and Mars WRF general circulation model simulations, we examine the changes to thermal tides and planetary waves caused by the storm. We find that the extratropical diurnal migrating tide is dramatically enhanced during the storm, particularly in the southern hemisphere, reaching amplitudes of more than 20 K. The tropical diurnal migrating tide is weakened to almost undetectable levels. The diurnal Kelvin waves are also significantly weakened, particularly during the period of global expansion at Ls=200deg-210deg. In contrast, the westward propagating diurnal wavenumber 2 tide strengthens to 4-8 K at altitudes above 30km. The wavenumber 1 stationary wave reaches amplitudes of 10-12 K at 50deg-70degN, far larger than is typically seen during this time of year. The phase of this stationary wave and the enhancement of the diurnal wavenumber 2 tide appear to be responses to the high-altitude westward propagating equatorial wavenumber 1 structure in dust mixing ratio observed during the storm in previous works. This work provides a global picture of dust storm wave dynamics that reveals the coupling between the tropics and high-latitude wave responses. We conclude that the zonal distribution of thermotidal forcing from atmospheric aerosol concentration is as important to understanding the atmospheric wave response as the total global mean aerosol optical depth.

  15. Cooling the Martian atmosphere: The spectral overlap of the C02 15 micrometers band and dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    Careful consideration must be given to the simultaneous treatment of the radiative transfer of the CO2 15 micron band and dust calculations for the Martian winter polar region show that a simple sum of separately calculated CO2 cooling rates and dust cooling rates can easily result a 30 percent error in the net cooling particularly near the surface. CO2 and dust hinder each others ability to cool the atmosphere. Even during periods of low dust opacity, dust still reduces the efficacy of CO2 at cooling the atmosphere. At the other extreme, when dust storms occur, CO2 still significantly impedes the ability of dust to cool the atmosphere. Hence, both CO2 and dust must be considered in radiative transfer models.

  16. AFM investigation of Martian soil simulants on micromachined Si substrates.

    PubMed

    Vijendran, S; Sykulska, H; Pike, W T

    2007-09-01

    The micro and nanostructures of Martian soil simulants with particles in the micrometre-size range have been studied using a combination of optical and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in preparation for the 2007 NASA Phoenix Mars Lander mission. The operation of an atomic force microscope on samples of micrometre-sized soil particles is a poorly investigated area where the unwanted interaction between the scanning tip and loose particles results in poor image quality and tip contamination by the sample. In order to mitigate these effects, etched silicon substrates with a variety of features have been used to facilitate the sorting and gripping of particles. From these experiments, a number of patterns were identified that were particularly good at isolating and immobilizing particles for AFM imaging. This data was used to guide the design of micromachined substrates for the Phoenix AFM. Both individual particles as well as aggregates were successfully imaged, and information on sizes, shapes and surface morphologies were obtained. This study highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of AFM for the potential in situ investigation of Martian soil and dust. Also presented are more general findings of the limiting operational constraints that exist when attempting the AFM of high aspect ratio particles with current technology. The performance of the final designs of the substrates incorporated on Phoenix will be described in a later paper. PMID:17760618

  17. An Application Using Triaxial Ellipsoids to Model Martian Dust at the Phoenix Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, E. L.; Lemmon, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Martian atmospheric dust is not spherical and contains irregular shaped particles. This irregularity adds complexity to models determining radiative heating of the atmosphere. Particle size has been studied extensively with remote sensing, but particle shape is still poorly understood. Bi et al. show that an assortment of triaxial ellipsoids provides a good analog for the scattering properties of terrestrial dust aerosols. In addition Z. Meng et al. (2010) have developed a database containing single-scattering properties of irregularly shaped dust particles with pre-defined microphysical and optical parameters. The tabulation allows quick and efficient use of the results from time-consuming models and can be applied to the Martian atmosphere. The landing site for Phoenix was in a region that fell within the northern seasonal ice cap and was active during a period of large dust upwelling. The lander's Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust in the Martian northern polar environment. Using the database, single scattering properties adapted to the Martian atmosphere can be used to determine bulk scattering properties of the medium at the Phoenix landing site. We will present a comparison of triaxial ellipsoids with spheroidal models using Phoenix spectrophotometric data and show that triaxial ellipsoid properties can produce a good fit to the observed data. In addition we will provide initial results of polarization to test the triaxial ellipsoid hypothesis.

  18. Toward understanding the fate of dust lost from the Martian satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horanyi, M.; Burns, J. A.; Tatrallyay, M.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1990-05-01

    The dynamics of small dust grains ejected from the Martian satellites is investigated, considering both the solar radiation perturbation and electromagnetic forces since the grains move in a magnetized plasma. Lorentz forces can dramatically change the nature of the trajectories, resulting in, for example, prolonged lifetimes for submicron-sized grains moving through an idealized model. It is suggested that a permanent, nonuniform and time-dependent dust halo of grains predominantly around 0.1 micron may exist about Mars.

  19. Toward understanding the fate of dust lost from the Martian satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horanyi, M.; Burns, J. A.; Tatrallyay, M.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1990-01-01

    The dynamics of small dust grains ejected from the Martian satellites is investigated, considering both the solar radiation perturbation and electromagnetic forces since the grains move in a magnetized plasma. Lorentz forces can dramatically change the nature of the trajectories, resulting in, for example, prolonged lifetimes for submicron-sized grains moving through an idealized model. It is suggested that a permanent, nonuniform and time-dependent dust halo of grains predominantly around 0.1 micron may exist about Mars.

  20. The Impact of Surface Dust Source Exhaustion on the Martian Dust Cycle in the MarsWRF General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, C. E.; Richardson, M. I.

    2014-07-01

    Observations of surface dust rearrangement following major storms suggest that its availability may be a major factor in Mars's dust cycle. We demonstrate the impact of surface dust exhaustion on dust cycles and storms simulated by the MarsWRF GCM.

  1. Organic degradation under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Bullock, Mark A.

    1997-05-01

    We report on laboratory experiments which simulate the breakdown of organic compounds under Martian surface conditions. Chambers containing Mars-analog soil mixed with the amino acid glycine were evacuated and filled to 100 mbar pressure with a Martian atmosphere gas mixture and then irradiated with a broad spectrum Xe lamp. Headspace gases were periodically withdrawn and analyzed via gas chromatography for the presence of organic gases expected to be decomposition products of the glycine. The quantum efficiency for the decomposition of glycine by light at wavelengths from 2000 to 2400 Å was measured to be 1.46+/-1.0×10-6molecules/photon. Scaled to Mars, this represents an organic destruction rate of 2.24+/-1.2×10-4g of Cm-2yr-1. We compare this degradation rate with the rate that organic compounds are brought to Mars as a result of meteoritic infall to show that organic compounds are destroyed on Mars at rates far exceeding the rate that they are deposited by meteorites. Thus the fact that no organic compounds were found on Mars by the Viking Lander Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer experiment can be explained without invoking the presence of strong oxidants in the surface soils. The organic destruction rate may be considered as an upper bound for the globally averaged biomass production rate of extant organisms at the surface of Mars. This upper bound is comparable to the slow growing cryptoendolithic microbial communities found in dry Antarctica deserts. Finally, comparing these organic destruction rates to recently reported experiments on the stability of carbonate on the surface of Mars, we find that organic compounds may currently be more stable than calcite.

  2. Solar Heating of Suspended Particles and the Dynamics of Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuerstenau, Stephen D.

    2006-01-01

    The heat input to Martian dust devils due to solar warming of suspended particles is assessed based on a prior estimate of dust loading and from an analysis of shadows cast by dust devils in images taken from orbit. Estimated values for solar heating range from 0.12 to 0.57 W/m3 with associated temperature increases of 0.011 to 0.051(deg)C per second. These warming rates are comparable to the adiabatic cooling rate expected for a gas parcel rising on Mars with a vertical velocity of 10 m/s. Solar warming of suspended dust serves to maintain buoyancy in a rising dust plume and may be one cause for the large scale of dust devils observed on Mars.

  3. Dust storms on Mars: Considerations and simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; White, B. R.; Pollack, J. B.; Iverson, J. D.; Leach, R. N.

    1977-01-01

    Aeolian processes are important in modifying the surface of Mars at present, and appear to have been significant in the geological past. Aeolian activity includes local and global dust storms, the formation of erosional features such as yardangs and depositional features such as sand dunes, and the erosion of rock and soil. As a means of understanding aeolian processes on Mars, an investigation is in progress that includes laboratory simulations, field studies of earth analogs, and interpretation of spacecraft data. This report describes the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel, an experimental facility established at NASA-Ames Research Center, and presents some results of the general investigation. Experiments dealing with wind speeds and other conditions required for the initiation of particle movement on Mars are described and considerations are given to the resulting effectiveness of aeolian erosion.

  4. Mixing relationships in the Martian regolith and the composition of globally homogeneous dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Keil, Klaus

    2000-06-01

    Comparison of the chemical compositions of Martian soils reveals distinct mixing trends, resulting from admixture of variable amounts of sulfate/chloride cement at Viking landing sites and of the local andesitic rock fragments at the Mars Pathfinder site. These trends, most easily visualized in plots of oxides versus SO 3, intersect approximately at a common composition, thought to represent a global dust that has been homogenized by pervasive aeolian activity. The source rocks that were weathered to produce the global dust are inferred to have been basalts rather than felsic rocks, based on the observation that the dust lies along well-established chemical weathering trends for terrestrial basalts. The basaltic protolith was chemically similar (e.g., high Fe/Mg, low Al 2O 3) to basaltic shergottite meteorites. Chemical changes during the weathering of Martian basaltic rocks are apparently not as drastic as in terrestrial weathering, perhaps because of evaporation of hydrous fluids that leave soluble components behind in the residue. Comparison with chemical trends for previously proposed Martian soil-formation mechanisms suggests that palagonitization of basalts more readily explains the dust composition than do hydrothermal alteration at higher temperatures or reactions of rocks with an acid fog produced by volcanic exhalations. Local or temporal processing of dust into soil involves not only cementation by salts and mixing with rock fragments, but also chemical fractionations of Fe 2O 3/TiO 2 presumably resulting from aeolian sorting by grain size and density. If the global dust represents a broad average of the Martian surficial or upper crustal composition, the planet's surface geology is dominated by basaltic volcanic rocks and evaporitic salts.

  5. Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; de Vera, J.-P.; Rettberg, P.; Flemming, H.-C.; Szewzyk, U.

    2014-08-01

    Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.

  6. Propagation through Martian dust at 8.5 and 32 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, E. K.; Flock, W. L.

    1986-01-01

    Independent studies of attenuation of X-band (8.5 GHz) and Ka-band (32 Ghz) radio signals when traversing Martian dust were carried out. These analyses turned out remarkably similar. The computational method is essentially that of T. S. Chu but uses observed optical depth at 0.67 microns rather than visibility as the measure of optical attenuation from which to derive the microwave attenuation. An awkwardness in the approach is that the size distribution of Martian dust particles is not well known, but the mean is probably around 4 microns, whereas in the terrestrial case it is nearer 10 microns. As a consequence, there will be a larger tail of particles still in the Mie regime in the Martian case as compared to the terrestrial one. The computational error will, therefore, be somewhat larger for Martian than Earth-bound dust. Fortunately, the indicated attenuations are small enough for the worst case (1.3 dB at 32 GHz) that the error is academic.

  7. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  8. Variations of Martian surface albedo: Evidence for yearly dust deposition and removal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christensen, Philip R.

    1987-01-01

    The purpose is to determine the degree, spatial distribution and timing of the deposition and removal of dust storm fallout, and to relate the current patterns of dust deposition and removal to the long-term evolution of the Martian surface. Southern Hemisphere dark areas are found to quickly return to close to their pre-storm albedos, suggesting rapid removal of any dust that was deposited. Northern Hemisphere dark regions are brighter post-storm, but gradually darken to pre-storm levels over the Mars year. In doing so they act as local sources of dust during otherwise clear periods. Dust does not appear to be removed from bright regions, resulting in the 1 to 2 m thick deposits observed today.

  9. Seasonal and diurnal variability of detached dust layers in the tropical Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, Nicholas G.; Johnson, Morgan S.; Abdou, Wedad A.; Kass, David M.; Kleinböhl, Armin; McCleese, Daniel J.; Shirley, James H.; Wilson, R. John

    2014-08-01

    Evidence for widespread nonuniform vertical mixing of dust in Mars's tropical atmosphere (in the form of features called "detached dust layers" or DDLs) is a challenge for atmospheric modeling. We characterize the seasonal, diurnal, and geographic variability of DDL activity in retrievals from observations by the Mars Climate Sounder onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. We find that dust injection above the boundary layer, which forms DDLs, is a spatially ubiquitous phenomenon in the tropics during the daytime, implying that it has a significant nontopographic component. DDL formation is more intense in northern spring and summer than in southern spring and summer but is still common when the zonal average dust distribution appears uniformly mixed. DDLs do not appear to follow the upwelling associated with Mars's Hadley circulation or the extant climatology of local dust storm activity in the tropics. Geographic variability in the nightside vertical dust distribution does not always correlate with the dayside vertical dust distribution, implying that there is spatial and seasonal variability in the efficiency of dust deposition/removal processes. Nighttime dust removal is especially efficient over the Tharsis Montes during northern spring and summer, which suggests some association between water ice clouds and removal. Intense injection combined with efficient removal results in a high amplitude of diurnal variability in the dust distribution at 15-30 km above the surface of the tropics during much of the Martian year.

  10. The Nature of Martian Dust Storms as Revealed by Long Term Daily Global Atmospheric Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    The Martian dust cycle is composed of dust lifting and transport events that span a very wide spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. The largest storm events occur with sufficiently low frequency that we are only beginning to be able to provide an observational baseline for these events after seven Martian years of roughly continuous global atmospheric imaging. Creation of daily global maps from Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Wide Angle and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) images allows the occurrence, evolutionary pathway and development style of large dust storms to be examined in detail. For the period of observations with Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) or Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), we can also examine commensurate changes in atmospheric opacity, temperature and crudely track those in surface dust cover (for TES). These observations allow us to construct a "climatology" of large dust storms, which shows distinct families of dust storm types on the basis of the season and location of storm origin, replacing prior simplified descriptions of a single "dust storm season". We are also able to describe common transport and evolutionary pathways for storms, including very different behaviors of storms originating in the northern versus the southern mid- and high-latitudes. For some of the larger storms during Mars Years 24-26, we are also able to show how the storms modified the surface dust cover, and on what time scales and by what processes the surface dust distribution "recovers" to pre-storm conditions. The results from MOC and MARCI suggest that we have only just begun to collect enough data for a statistically-meaningful climatology of regional-scale storms, and that substantially longer time series would be needed to understanding the diversity and nature of the very largest, global-scale storms. A planned successor for MARCI is greatly needed for our prospects of adequately understanding these dust storm systems, not only for the current and past climate

  11. Nine martian years of dust optical depth observations: A reference dataset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montabone, Luca; Forget, Francois; Kleinboehl, Armin; Kass, David; Wilson, R. John; Millour, Ehouarn; Smith, Michael; Lewis, Stephen; Cantor, Bruce; Lemmon, Mark; Wolff, Michael

    2016-07-01

    We present a multi-annual reference dataset of the horizontal distribution of airborne dust from martian year 24 to 32 using observations of the martian atmosphere from April 1999 to June 2015 made by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard Mars Global Surveyor, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard Mars Odyssey, and the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Our methodology to build the dataset works by gridding the available retrievals of column dust optical depth (CDOD) from TES and THEMIS nadir observations, as well as the estimates of this quantity from MCS limb observations. The resulting (irregularly) gridded maps (one per sol) were validated with independent observations of CDOD by PanCam cameras and Mini-TES spectrometers aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity", by the Surface Stereo Imager aboard the Phoenix lander, and by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars aboard MRO. Finally, regular maps of CDOD are produced by spatially interpolating the irregularly gridded maps using a kriging method. These latter maps are used as dust scenarios in the Mars Climate Database (MCD) version 5, and are useful in many modelling applications. The two datasets (daily irregularly gridded maps and regularly kriged maps) for the nine available martian years are publicly available as NetCDF files and can be downloaded from the MCD website at the URL: http://www-mars.lmd.jussieu.fr/mars/dust_climatology/index.html

  12. Dust and Ice Deposition in the Martian Geologic Record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, K.L.

    2000-01-01

    The polar layered deposits of Mars demonstrate that thick accumulations of dust and ice deposits can develop on the planet if environmental conditions are favorable. These deposits appear to be hundreds of millions of years old, and other deposits of similar size but of greater age in nonpolar regions may have formed by similar processes. Possible relict dust deposits include, from oldest to youngest: Noachian intercrater materials, including Arabia mantle deposits, Noachian to Early Hesperian south polar pitted deposits, Early Hesperian Hellas and Argyre basin deposits, Late Hesperian Electris deposits, and the Amazonian Medusae Fossae Formation. These deposits typically are hundreds of meters to a couple kilometers thick and cover upward of a million or more square kilometers. The apparent persistence of dust sedimentation at the south pole back to the Early Hesperian or earlier and the early growth of Tharsis during the Late Noachian and perhaps earlier indicates that extensive polar wandering is unlikely following the Middle Noachian. A scenario for the overall history of dust and perhaps ice deposition on Mars includes widespread, voluminous accumulations perhaps planetwide during the Noachian as impacts, volcanism, and surface processes generated large amounts of dust; the Arabia deposits may have formed as ice availability and dust accumulation waned. During the Early Hesperian, thick dust sedimentation became restricted to the south pole and the deep Hellas and Argyre basins; the north polar sedimentary record prior to the Amazonian is largely obscured. Deposits at Electris and Medusae Fossae may have resulted from local sources of fine-grained material - perhaps volcanic eruptions.

  13. Evidence of 210Po on Martian dust at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Sabroux, Jean-Christophe; Berger, Lionel; Pineau, Jean-François; Chassefière, Eric

    2006-09-01

    Since the Surveyor and Apollo missions and up to the recent Lunar Prospector mission, 222Rn and 210Po have been key isotopes for understanding gas release events and their spatial and temporal variations on the Moon. Comparatively, these isotopes have drawn much less attention on Mars, if any, despite the wealth of information it could bring on the uppermost meters of the regolith, the exchange of volatiles at the surface, and the atmospheric aerosol cycle. Here we present a statistical analysis of the high-energy end of alpha spectra obtained by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and report evidence of 210Po, a decay product of 222Rn, attached to atmospheric dust. The 210Po surface activity on rocks and soils at the landing site is lower than 3.1 × 10-4 Bq cm-2, but analysis of spectra obtained on the dust capture magnet reveals a 210Po activity of (4.6 +/- 2.4) × 10-3 Bq cm-2 (+/-2σ). This difference is due to the very low dust cover index at the landing site. Owing to frequent dust devils, regional and global dust storms that mobilize substantial amounts of dust and homogenize the dust surface layer, we infer that the global average 222Rn exhalation rate is significantly greater on Mars than on the Moon. This comparison supports the hypothesis that on Mars, radon emanation could be comparatively enhanced by the presence of water in the surficial soil. Analysis of atmospheric spectra yields a radon activity upper limit of 16 +/- 5 Bq m-3 during nighttime at the landing site.

  14. Dust-Driven Halos on the Martian South Polar Residual CAP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, P.; Byrne, S.; Brown, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    The CO2 ice South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars may be a sensitive indicator of inter-annual planetary climate variability. Imaging by HiRISE [1], and CTX [2] found that many scarps and pits in the 'Swiss cheese terrain' [3] of the SPRC exhibited a bright 'halo' around their edges. These halos appeared during Martian southern summer in Mars Year 28 (MY28, [4]), and have been observed in only one of eight mars years for which observations at high enough resolution exist. We hypothesize that the formation of these features is linked to the late-summer global dust storm of MY28 and report on observations and formation models. We surveyed HiRISE, CTX, and CRISM [5] data to constrain the optical properties and composition of the halos, as well as their time of appearance and location within the SPRC. The halos appeared throughout most of the surface area of the SPRC between Ls 280° and 330° in MY28. The widest portions of the halos occurred adjacent to north-facing walls, and the brightest parts adjacent to sun-facing walls, which points to a connection between insolation and halo appearance. CRISM spectral products rule out the presence of water ice as a factor in the halos' appearance. These data also imply larger CO2 ice grain sizes where the bright halos were seen, which are normally associated with lower, rather than higher, albedos [6]. Thus, we also ruled out CO2 ice grain size differences as the main cause for the halos. The remaining possibility is that the halos appeared due to differences in dust content between the terrain adjacent to the pit walls and the surrounding ice. To investigate this we made a Hapke [7] surface reflectance model in which the CO2 ice grain size, dust volumetric content and dust particle size were free parameters. We used the HiRISE and CRISM bandpass coefficients to simulate HiRISE I/F values and CRISM spectra, and attempted to match the HiRISE RED I/F, HiRISE BG/RED color ratio, and the CRISM 1.43 μm band depths. A self

  15. Martian Dust Aerosol Size and Shape as Constrained by Phoenix Lander Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Mason, Emily L.

    2014-11-01

    Dust aerosol morphology is important to dust transport and the radiative heating of the Martian atmosphere. Previous analyses of Mars dust have shown that spherical particles are a bad analog for the dust, in terms of reproducing the distribution of scattered light. Parameterized scattering, based on laboratory observations of scattering by irregular dust particles, has been used for Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover data [Pollack et al., J. Geophys. Res. 100, 1995; Tomasko et al., J. Geophys. Res. 104, 1999; Lemmon et al., Science 306, 2004]. Analytical calculations have shown that cylinders are a better scattering analog than spheres [Wolff et al., J. Geophys. Res. 114, 2009]. Terrestrial studies have shown that a diverse assortment of triaxial ellipsoids is a good analog for dust aerosol [Bi et al., Applied Optics 48, 2009].The Phoenix Lander operated in the Martian arctic for 5 months of 2008, around the northern summer solstice. During the mission atmospheric optical depth was tracked through direct solar imaging by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). For solar longitude (Ls) 78-95 and 140-149, small dust storms dominated the weather. Low-dust conditions (optical depths <0.4) dominated during Ls 95-140, with sporadic ice clouds becoming more common after Ls 108. The SSI also obtained occasional cross-sky photometric data through several filters from 440 to 1000 nm and cross-sky polarimetry at 750 nm wavelength. Radiative transfer models of the sky radiance distribution are consistent with dust aerosols in the same 1.3-1.6 micron range reported for models of observations from previous missions. Cylinders, triaxial ellipsoids, and the parametric model can fit sky radiances; spheres cannot. The observed linear polarization, which reached 4-5% and had a similar angular distribution to Rayleigh polarization, is similar to the triaxial ellipsoid model, but not spheres or cylinders. An extension to the parametric model using 7-10% Rayleigh scattering mixed

  16. A Study of the Electrostatic Interaction Between Insulators and Martian/Lunar Soil Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mantovani, James G.

    2001-01-01

    Using our previous experience with the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) electrometer, we have designed a new type of aerodynamic electrometer. The goal of the research was to measure the buildup of electrostatic surface charge on a stationary cylindrical insulator after windborne granular particles have collided with the insulator surface in a simulated dust storm. The experiments are performed inside a vacuum chamber. This allows the atmospheric composition and pressure to be controlled in order to simulate the atmospheric conditions near the equator on the Martian surface. An impeller fan was used to propel the dust particles at a cylindrically shaped insulator under low vacuum conditions. We tested the new electrometer in a 10 mbar CO2 atmosphere by exposing two types of cylindrical insulators, Teflon (1.9 cm diameter) and Fiberglass (2.5 cm diameter), to a variety of windborne granular particulate materials. The granular materials tested were JSC Mars-1 simulant, which is a mixture of coarse and fine (<5microns diameter) particle sizes, and some of the major mineral constituents of the Martian soil. The minerals included Ottawa sand (SiO2), iron oxide (Fe2O3), aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and magnesium oxide (MgO). We also constructed a MECA-like electrometer that contained an insulator capped planar electrode for measuring the amount of electrostatic charge produced by rubbing an insulator surface over Martian and lunar soil simulants. The results of this study indicate that it is possible to detect triboelectric charging of insulator surfaces by windborne Martian soil simulant, and by individual mineral constituents of the soil simulant. We have also found that Teflon and Fiberglass insulator surfaces respond in different ways by developing opposite polarity surface charge, which decays at different rates after the particle impacts cease.

  17. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  18. Martian dust aerosols and clouds in the North Polar summer: size and sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, M. T.; Mason, E.

    2013-12-01

    Martian dust aerosols control an important part of the energy transport in the Martian atmosphere. Ice aerosols, especially in the North Polar summer, play an important role in energy transport, scavenge the atmosphere of dust, and play a role in the vertical and horizontal transport of water away from the sublimating polar cap. Their physical properties, such as size and shape, have not been directly measured, and are only measureable through remote sensing. We report two novel measurements of dust and ice aerosol physical properties with data from the Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager. First, the scoop on the Phoenix Robotic Arm was used as an occultation instrument, blocking the Sun and allowing images of the near-Sun sky without contamination from the much-brighter direct sunlight. This allows the use of diffraction scattering to measure the dust size distribution. The general technique has been used frequently, but the shading of the Sun allows much more precise and accurate probing, especially of the larger end of the size distribution. Second, direct solar images on many occasions show scattered sky light significantly above the instrument background during cloudy times. These measurements, corrected for the dust background, show light diffracted by cloud particles. Statistics of the magnitude and width of the diffraction peak demonstrate the common presence of 30-micron scale ice crystals above the Phoenix site, consistent with estimates made from the observation of fall streaks by the Lidar.

  19. Martian dust aerosols and clouds in the North Polar summer: size and sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Mason, E.

    2013-10-01

    Martian dust aerosols control an important part of the energy transport in the Martian atmosphere. Ice aerosols, especially in the North Polar summer, play an important role in energy transport, scavenge the atmosphere of dust, and play a role in the vertical and horizontal transport of water away from the sublimating polar cap. Their physical properties, such as size and shape, have not been directly measured, and are only measureable through remote sensing. We report two novel measurements of dust and ice aerosol physical properties with data from the Phoenix Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager. First, the scoop on the Phoenix Robotic Arm was used as an occultation instrument, blocking the Sun and allowing images of the near-Sun sky without contamination from the much-brighter direct sunlight. This allows the use of diffraction scattering to measure the dust size distribution. The general technique has been used frequently, but the shading of the Sun allows much more precise and accurate probing, especially of the larger end of the size distribution. Second, direct solar images on many occasions show scattered sky light significantly above the instrument background during cloudy times. These measurements, corrected for the dust background, show light diffracted by cloud particles. Statistics of the magnitude and width of the diffraction peak demonstrate the common presence of 30-micron scale ice crystals above the Phoenix site, consistent with estimates made from the observation of fall streaks by the Lidar.

  20. THEMIS VIS and IR observations of a high-altitude Martian dust devil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cushing, G.E.; Titus, T.N.; Christensen, P.R.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) imaged a Martian dust devil in both visible and thermal-infrared wavelengths on January 30, 2004. We believe this is the first documented infrared observation of an extraterrestrial dust devil, and the highest to be directly observed at more than 16 kilometers above the equatorial geoid of Mars. This dust devil measured over 700 meters in height and 375 meters across, and the strongest infrared signature was given by atmospheric dust absorption in the 9-micron range (THEMIS IR band 5). In addition to having formed in the extremely low-pressure environment of about 1 millibar, this dust devil is of particular interest because it was observed at 16:06 local time. This is an unusually late time of day to find dust devils on Mars, during a period when rapid surface cooling typically reduces the boundary-layer turbulence necessary to form these convective vortices. Understanding the mechanisms for dust-devil formation under such extreme circumstances will help to constrain theories of atmospheric dynamics, and of dust lifting and transport mechanisms on Mars. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Complex refractive index of Martian dust - Mariner 9 ultraviolet observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pang, K.; Ajello, J. M.; Hord, C. W.; Egan, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    Mariner 9 ultraviolet spectrometer observations of the 1971 dust clouds obscuring the surface of Mars have been analyzed by matching the observed dust phase function with Mie scattering calculations for size distributions of homogeneous and isotropic material. Preliminary results indicate an effective particle radius of not less than 0.2. The real component of the index of refraction is not less than 1.8 at both 268 and 305 nm; corresponding values for the imagery component are 0.02 and 0.01. These values are consistent with those found by Mead (1970) for the visible and near-visible wavelengths. The refractive index and the absorption coefficient increase rapidly with decreasing wavelength in going from the visible to the ultraviolet, indicating the presence of an ultraviolet absorption band which may shield organisms from ultraviolet irradiation.

  2. Automated width measurements of Martian dust devil tracks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, Thiago; Pina, Pedro; da Silva, Erivaldo Antônio

    2016-03-01

    Studying dust devils is important to better understand Mars climate and resurfacing phenomena. This paper presents an automated approach to calculate the width of tracks in orbital images. The method is based on Mathematical Morphology and was applied to a set of 200 HiRISE and MOC images of five Mars quadrangles, which were Aeolis, Argyre, Noachis, Hellas and Eridania. Information obtained by our method was compared with results of manual analysis performed by other authors. In addition, we show that track widths do not follow a normal distribution.

  3. Preliminary Testing of a Pressurized Space Suit and Candidate Fabrics Under Simulated Mars Dust Storm and Dust Devil Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; deLeon, Pablo G.; Lee, Pascal; McCue, Terry R.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Thrasher, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    In August 2009 YAP Films (Toronto) received permission from all entities involved to create a documentary film illustrating what it might be like to be on the surface of Mars in a space suit during a dust storm or in a dust devil. The science consultants on this project utilized this opportunity to collect data which could be helpful to assess the durability of current space suit construction to the Martian environment. The NDX-1 prototype planetary space suit developed at the University of North Dakota was used in this study. The suit features a hard upper torso garment, and a soft lower torso and boots assembly. On top of that, a nylon-cotton outer layer is used to protect the suit from dust. Unmanned tests were carried out in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at the NASA Ames Research Center, with the suit pressurized to 10 kPa gauge. These tests blasted the space suit upper torso and helmet, and a collection of nine candidate outer layer fabrics, with wind-borne simulant for five different 10 min tests under both terrestrial and Martian surface pressures. The infiltration of the dust through the outer fabric of the space suit was photographically documented. The nine fabric samples were analyzed under light and electron microscopes for abrasion damage. Manned tests were carried out at Showbiz Studios (Van Nuys, California) with the pressure maintained at 20 2 kPa gauge. A large fan-created vortex lifted Martian dust simulant (Fullers Earth or JSC Mars-1) off of the floor, and one of the authors (Lee) wearing the NDX-1 space suit walked through it to judge both subjectively and objectively how the suit performed under these conditions. Both the procedures to scale the tests to Martian conditions and the results of the infiltration and abrasion studies will be discussed.

  4. Preliminary Testing of a Pressurized Space Suit and Candidate Fabrics Under Simulated Mars Dust Storm and Dust Devil Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; deLeon, Pablo G.; Lee, Pascal; McCue, Terry R.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Thrasher, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    In August 2009 YAP Films (Toronto) received permission from all entities involved to create a documentary film illustrating what it might be like to be on the surface of Mars in a space suit during a dust storm or in a dust devil. The science consultants on this project utilized this opportunity to collect data which could be helpful to assess the durability of current space suit construction to the Martian environment. The NDX?1 prototype planetary space suit developed at the University of North Dakota was used in this study. The suit features a hard upper torso garment, and a soft lower torso and boots assembly. On top of that, a nylon-cotton outer layer is used to protect the suit from dust. Unmanned tests were carried out in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at the NASA Ames Research Center, with the suit pressurized to 10 kPa gauge. These tests blasted the space suit upper torso and helmet, and a collection of nine candidate outer layer fabrics, with wind-borne simulant for five different 10 minute tests under both terrestrial and Martian surface pressures. The infiltration of the dust through the outer fabric of the space suit was photographically documented. The nine fabric samples were analyzed under light and electron microscopes for abrasion damage. Manned tests were carried out at Showbiz Studios (Van Nuys, CA) with the pressure maintained at 20?2 kPa gauge. A large fan-created vortex lifted Martian dust simulant (Fullers Earth or JSC Mars?1) off of the floor, and one of the authors (Lee) wearing the NDX?1 space suit walked through it to judge both subjectively and objectively how the suit performed under these conditions. Both the procedures to scale the tests to Martian conditions and the results of the infiltration and abrasion studies will be discussed.

  5. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  6. Inference of dust opacities for the 1977 Martian great dust storms from Viking Lander 1 pressure data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, R. W.

    1981-01-01

    The tidal heating components for the dusty Martian atmosphere are computed based on dust optical parameters estimated from Viking Lander imaging data, and used to compute the variation of the tidal surface pressure components at the Viking Lander sites as a function of season and the total vertical extinction optical depth of the atmosphere. An atmospheric tidal model is used which is based on the inviscid, hydrostatic primitive equations linearized about a motionless basic state the temperature of which varies only with height, and the profiles of the tidal forcing components are computed using a delta-Eddington approximation to the radiative transfer equations. Comparison of the model results with the observed variations of surface pressure and overhead dust opacity at the Viking Lander 1 site reveal that the dust opacities and optical parameters derived from imaging data are roughly representative of the global dust haze necessary to reproduce the observed surface pressure amplitudes, with the exception of the model-inferred asymmetry parameter, which is smaller during the onset of a great storm. The observed preferential enhancement of the semidiurnal tide with respect to the diurnal tide during dust storm onset is shown to be due primarily to the elevation of the tidal heating source in a very dusty atmosphere.

  7. Triboelectric Charging of an Insulator's Surface Using Martian Soil Simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Calle, C. I.; Groop, E. E.; Buehler, M. G.

    2000-11-01

    We have investigated the simultaneous triboelectric charging of five types of insulating materials under identical conditions using frictional contact with Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1). The insulators studied were fiberglass/epoxy, polycarbonate, teflon, Rulon J, and polymethylmethacrylate. The amount of electric charge that developed on each insulator's surface was measured simultaneously by five independent electrometer circuits contained in the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) electrometer. This is a flight instrument designed at JPL and NASA Kennedy Space Center for a future robotic lander mission of the Martian surface. We will describe the proposed robotic operation of the MECA electrometer on Mars, and will present data that was taken with the electrometer at NASA KSC using Martian soil simulant at room temperature inside a vacuum chamber containing a CO2 atmosphere at a pressure of 7 Torr.

  8. Martian airfall dust on smooth, inclined surfaces as observed on the Phoenix Mars Lander telltale mirror

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moores, John E.; Ha, Taesung; Lemmon, Mark T.; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur Páll

    2015-10-01

    The telltale mirror, a smooth inclined surface raised over 1 m above the deck of the Phoenix Mars Lander, was observed by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) several times per sol during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission. These observations were combined with a radiative transfer model to determine the thickness of dust on the wind telltale mirror as a function of time. 239 telltale sequences were analyzed and dustiness was determined on a diurnal and seasonal basis. The thickness of accumulated dust did not follow any particular diurnal or seasonal trend. The dust thickness on the mirror over the mission was 0.82±0.39 μm, which suggests a similar thickness to the modal scattering particle diameter. This suggests that inclining a surface beyond the angle of repose and polishing it to remove surface imperfections is an effective way to mitigate the accumulation of dust to less than a micron over a wide range of meteorological conditions and could be beneficial for surfaces which can tolerate some dust but not thick accumulations, such as solar panels. However, such a surface will not remain completely dust free through this action alone and mechanical or electrical clearing must be employed to remove adhered dust if a pristine surface is required. The single-scattering phase function of the dust on the mirror was consistent with the single-scattering phase function of martian aerosol dust at 450 nm, suggesting that this result is inconsistent with models of the atmosphere which require vertically or horizontally separated components or broad size distributions to explain the scattering behavior of these aerosols in the blue. The single-scattering behavior of the dust on the mirror is also consistent with Hapke modeling of spherical particles. The presence of a monolayer of particles would tend to support the spherical conclusion: such particles would be most strongly adhered electrostatically.

  9. Composition of Simulated Martian Brines and Implications for the Origin of Martian Salts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bullock, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Mellon, M. T.

    2004-01-01

    We report on laboratory experiments that have produced dilute brines under controlled conditions meant to simulate past and present Mars. We allowed an SNC-derived mineral mix to react with pure water under a simulated present-Mars atmosphere for seven months. We then subjected the same mineral mix to a similar aqueous environment for one year, but with a simulated Mars atmosphere that contained the added gases SO2, HCl and NO2. The addition of acidic gases was designed to mimic the effects of volcanic gases that may have been present in the martian atmosphere during periods of increased volcanic activity. The experiments were performed at one bar and at two different temperatures in order to simulate subsurface conditions where liquid water and rock are likely to interact on Mars. The dominant cations dissolved in the solutions we produced were Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Al(3+) and Na(+), while the major anions are dissolved C, F(-), SO4(2-) and Cl(-). Typical solution pH was 4.2 to 6.0 for experiments run with a Mars analog atmosphere, and 3.6-5.0 for experiments with acidic gases added. Abundance patterns of elements in the synthetic sulfate-chloride brines produced under acidic conditions were distinctly unlike those of terrestrial ocean water, terrestrial continental waters, and those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. In particular, the S/Cl ratio in these experiments was about 200, compared with an average value of approx. 5 in martian fines. In contrast, abundance patterns of elements in the brines produced under a present day Mars analog atmosphere were quite similar to those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. This suggests that salts present in the martian regolith may have formed over time as a result of the interaction of surface or subsurface liquid water with basalts in the presence of a martian atmosphere similar in composition to that of today, rather than

  10. The Effects of Thermal Tides and Dust on Traveling Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Toigo, A. D.; Richardson, M. I.

    2014-12-01

    Observations show that traveling waves with zonal wavenumber k = 3 correlate closely with the development of frontal / flushing dust storms which are important in the Martian dust cycle. Previous modeling work suggests that both the polar hood [Barnes et al., 2014] and the cap edge dust storms [Wang et al., 2013] have the potential to enhance these waves. In this presentation, we investigate the case of cap edge dust further, focusing on the following results. We will show that the relative strength of the traveling waves depends not only on the time, geolocation, height and variable under consideration, but also on the analysis method. For near surface temperature which is observable by spacecraft, the spectral and time averaged wave power can lead to a different answer than the monochromatic wave power. In particular, in the presence of cap edge dust, the modeled zonal wavenumber k = 3 can dominate the traveling wave spectra at times. In the presence of cap edge dust in the model, the enhancement of the k = 3 traveling waves is accompanied by pronounced increase of the diurnal tide. To test the effect of thermal tides on traveling waves, we have performed sensitivity runs where the insolation is replaced by the diurnally averaged value. We find that the amplitude of the k = 3 traveling waves are greatly reduced without thermal tides. Detailed analyses of the relationship between the waves will be presented.

  11. Bacterial growth in a simulated Martian subsurface environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronyak, R. E.; Pavlov, A.; House, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    The ability of microorganisms to grow under Martian conditions has implications in both the search for life and habitability of Mars as well as the potential contamination of Mars by landing spacecraft. Factors that inhibit the growth of organisms on Mars include UV radiation, low pressure and temperature, CO2 atmosphere, lack of liquid water, and extreme desiccation. Yet a possible biozone capable of supporting microbial life on Mars exists in the shallow subsurface where there is protection from harsh UV rays. In addition, the presence of widespread subsurface ice, confirmed by the Phoenix Lander, offers a water source as the ice sublimates through the upper soil. Here we will determine the ability of the organism Halomonas desiderata strain SP1 to grow in the simulated Martian subsurface environment. Halomonas was chosen as the bacteria of interest due to its tolerance to extreme environments, including carrying salt concentrations and pH. Experiments were carried out in the Mars Simulation Chamber, where temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric composition can be closely monitored to simulate Martian conditions. A series of stress experiments were conducted to observe Halomonas's ability to withstand exposure to a Mars analog soil, freezing temperatures, anoxic conditions, and low pressures. We have determined that Halomonas is able to survive exposures to low temperatures, pressures, and anoxic conditions. We will report on the survival and growth of Halomonas in the simulated Martian permafrost under low (6-10 mbar) atmospheric pressures.

  12. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartzkopf, Steven H.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1991-01-01

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the earth atmosphere controls.

  13. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartzkopf, Steven H.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat ( Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the Earth atmosphere controls.

  14. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    PubMed

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it. PMID:16805700

  15. An ultraviolet simulator for the incident Martian surface radiation and its applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, C.; Abart, R.; Bérces, A.; Garry, J. R. C.; Hansen, A. A.; Hohenau, W.; Kargl, G.; Lammer, H.; Patel, M. R.; Rettberg, P.; Stan-Lotter, H.

    2005-10-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can act on putative organic/biological matter at the Martian surface in several ways. Only absorbed, but not transmitted or reflected, radiation energy can be photo-chemically effective. The most important biological UV effects are due to photochemical reactions in nucleic acids, DNA or RNA, which constitute the genetic material of all cellular organisms and viruses. Protein or lipid effects generally play a minor role, but they are also relevant in some cases. UV radiation can induce wavelengths-specific types of DNA damage. At the same time it can also induce the photo-reversion reaction of a UV induced DNA photoproduct of nucleic acid bases, the pyrimidine dimers. Intense UVB and UVC radiation, experienced on early Earth and present-day Mars, has been revealed to be harmful to all organisms, including extremophile bacteria and spores. Moreover, the formation of oxidants, catalytically produced in the Martian environment through UV irradiation, may be responsible for the destruction of organic matter on Mars. Following this, more laboratory simulations are vital in order to investigate and understand UV effects on organic matter in the case of Mars. We have designed a radiation apparatus that simulates the anticipated Martian UV surface spectrum between 200 and 400 nm (UVC UVA). The system comprises a UV enhanced xenon arc lamp, special filter-sets and mirrors to simulate the effects of the Martian atmospheric column and dust loading. We describe the technical setup and performance of the system and discuss its uses for different applications. The design is focused on portability, therefore, the Mars-UV simulator represents a device for several different Mars simulation facilities with specific emphasis on Mars research topics.

  16. The Martian annual atmospheric pressure cycle - Years without great dust storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillman, James E.; Johnson, Neal C.; Guttorp, Peter; Percival, Donald B.

    1993-01-01

    A model of the annual cycle of pressure on Mars for a 2-yr period, chosen to include one year at the Viking Lander 2 and to minimize the effect of great dust storms at the 22-deg N Lander 1 site, was developed by weighted least squares fitting of the Viking Lander pressure measurements to an annual mean, and fundamental and the first four harmonics of the annual cycle. Close agreement was obtained between the two years, suggesting that an accurate representation of the annual CO2 condensation-sublimation cycle can be established for such years. This model is proposed as the 'nominal' Martian annual pressure cycle, and applications are suggested.

  17. A Study of Mars Dust Environment Simulation at NASA Johnson Space Center Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Yuan-Liang Albert

    1999-01-01

    The dust environment on Mars is planned to be simulated in a 20 foot thermal-vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center, Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility in Houston, Texas. This vacuum chamber will be used to perform tests and study the interactions between the dust in Martian air and ISPP hardware. This project is to research, theorize, quantify, and document the Mars dust/wind environment needed for the 20 foot simulation chamber. This simulation work is to support the safety, endurance, and cost reduction of the hardware for the future missions. The Martian dust environment conditions is discussed. Two issues of Martian dust, (1) Dust Contamination related hazards, and (2) Dust Charging caused electrical hazards, are of our interest. The different methods of dust particles measurement are given. The design trade off and feasibility were studied. A glass bell jar system is used to evaluate various concepts for the Mars dust/wind environment simulation. It was observed that the external dust source injection is the best method to introduce the dust into the simulation system. The dust concentration of 30 Mg/M3 should be employed for preparing for the worst possible Martian atmosphere condition in the future. Two approaches thermal-panel shroud for the hardware conditioning are discussed. It is suggested the wind tunnel approach be used to study the dust charging characteristics then to be apply to the close-system cyclone approach. For the operation cost reduction purpose, a dehumidified ambient air could be used to replace the expensive CO2 mixture for some tests.

  18. Absorption and scattering properties of the Martian dust in the solar wavelengths.

    PubMed

    Ockert-Bell, M E; Bell JF 3rd; Pollack, J B; McKay, C P; Forget, F

    1997-04-25

    A new wavelength-dependent model of the single-scattering properties of the Martian dust is presented. The model encompasses the solar wavelengths (0.3 to 4.3 micrometers at 0.02 micrometer resolution) and does not assume a particular mineralogical composition of the particles. We use the particle size distribution, shape, and single-scattering properties at Viking Lander wavelengths presented by Pollack et al. [1995]. We expand the wavelength range of the aerosol model by assuming that the atmospheric dust complex index of refraction is the same as that of dust particles in the bright surface geologic units. The new wavelength-dependent model is compared to observations taken by the Viking Orbiter Infrared Thermal Mapper solar channel instrument during two dust storms. The model accurately matches afternoon observations and some morning observations. Some of the early morning observations are much brighter than the model results. The increased reflectance can be ascribed to the formation of a water ice shell around the dust particles, thus creating the water ice clouds which Colburn et al. [1989], among others, have predicted. PMID:11541455

  19. Techniques for carrying out radiative transfer calculations for the Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aronson, J. R.; Emslie, A. G.; Strong, P. F.

    1974-01-01

    A description is given of the modification of a theory on the reflectance of particulate media so as to apply it to analysis of the infrared spectra obtained by the IRIS instrument on Mariner 9. With the aid of this theory and the optical constants of muscovite mica, quartz, andesite, anorthosite, diopside pyroxenite, and dunite, modeling calculations were made to refine previous estimates of the mineralogical composition of the Martian dust particles. These calculations suggest that a feldspar rich mixture is a very likely composition for the dust particles. The optical constants used for anorthosite and diopside pyroxenite were derived during this program from reflectance measurements. Those for the mica were derived from literature reflectance data. Finally, a computer program was written to invert the measured radiance data so as to obtain the absorption coefficient spectrum which should then be independent of the temperature profile and gaseous component effects.

  20. S.A.M., the Italian Martian Simulation Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galletta, G.; Ferri, F.; Fanti, G.; D'Alessandro, M.; Bertoloni, G.; Pavarin, D.; Bettanini, C.; Cozza, P.; Pretto, P.; Bianchini, G.; Debei, S.

    2006-12-01

    The Martian Environment Simulator (SAM “Simulatore di Ambiente Marziano”) is a interdisciplinary project of Astrobiology done at University of Padua. The research is aimed to the study of the survival of the microorganisms exposed to the “extreme” planetary environment. The facility has been designed in order to simulate Mars’ environmental conditions in terms of atmospheric pressure, temperature cycles and UV radiation dose. The bacterial cells, contained into dedicated capsules, will be exposed to thermal cycles simulating diurnal and seasonal Martian cycles. The metabolism of the different biological samples will be analysed at different phases of the experiment, to study their survival and eventual activity of protein synthesis (mortality, mutations and capability of DNA reparing). We describe the experimental facility and provide the perspectives of the biological experiments we will perform in order to provide hints on the possibility of life on Mars either autochthonous or imported from Earth.

  1. A Physical Taxonomy of Martian Sand and Dust Grainsat the Phoenix Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, John; Stoker, Carol

    2014-11-01

    A quantitative taxonomy of martian sand and dust grains for soil samples at the Phoenix lander site has been developed from the mission’s optical microscope data with a resolution of 4 μm per pixel. Approx. 3-4000 grains were analyzed for color, hue, size, shape, surface texture, aspect ratio, and optical properties. At least 26 types of sand and dust grains have been identified. Grain colors include black, brown, orange, red, white, and clear. Most grains are opaque, but many are translucent or transparent. Grain shapes range from botryoidal, blackberry-like, bead-like and rounded, to subrounded, elongate, angular, and highly irregular forms. Surface textures range from knobbly, rough, and multifaceted to smooth and polished. Surface reflectivity varied from dull to shiny to specularly reflective. Materials may include augite, pyroxenes, olivine, volcanic glass, hematite, other iron oxides, and salts. Grain size of the sand has a modal value of ~90 μm, but there is no gradation into dust sizes, indicating a bimodal distribution of the samples. The dust was probably imported into the region from aeolian dust storms. This accords with a mineralogical dissimilarity between the sand and dust grain populations. The sand is dominated by black and brown grains; the dust is dominated by orange grains. The Phoenix site also has centimeter and larger stones in abundance that again have no apparent gradation into the sand size material. Thus, the Phoenix landing site soil appears multimodal. The soil appears to be magnetically susceptible, but it is unclear what the source of magnetism might be. Specific magnetic minerals were not identified in the samples with the possible exception of paramagnetic microbotryoidal hematite. The soil was nevertheless adhesive to the substrates and internally cohesive (forming spherical aggregates) owing to van der Waals forces and possibly salt/moisture bonding.

  2. Temperature and dust profiles in Martian dust storm conditions retrieved from Mars Climate Sounder measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; McCleese, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) is a mid- and far-infrared thermal emission radiometer on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It measures radiances in limb and nadir/on-planet geometry from which vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, water vapor, dust and condensates can be retrieved in an altitude range from 0 to 80 km and with a vertical resolution of ~5 km. Due to the limb geometry used as the MCS primary observation mode, retrievals in conditions with high aerosol loading are challenging. We have developed several modifications to the MCS retrieval algorithm that will facilitate profile retrievals in high-dust conditions. Key modifications include a retrieval option that uses a surface pressure climatology if a pressure retrieval is not possible in high dust conditions, an extension of aerosol retrievals to higher altitudes, and a correction to the surface temperature climatology. In conditions of a global dust storm, surface temperatures tend to be lower compared to standard conditions. Taking this into account using an adaptive value based on atmospheric opacity leads to improved fits to the radiances measured by MCS and improves the retrieval success rate. We present first results of these improved retrievals during the global dust storm in 2007. Based on the limb opacities observed during the storm, retrievals are typically possible above ~30 km altitude. Temperatures around 240 K are observed in the middle atmosphere at mid- and high southern latitudes after the onset of the storm. Dust appears to be nearly homogeneously mixed at lower altitudes. Significant dust opacities are detected at least up to 70 km altitude. During much of the storm, in particular at higher altitudes, the retrieved dust profiles closely resemble a Conrath-profile.

  3. Mariner 9 views Olympus Mons standing above the Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    In pictures taken early in the Mariner 9 mission, this region, shows a dark mountain standing above the Martian dust storm. This higher resolution photograph shows that the area contains a complex crater, called Olympus Mons (Nix Olympica or Snows of Olympus), nearly 64 kilometers (40 miles) in diameter. The multiple crater form with scalloped margins, is characteristic of calderas--volcanic collapse depressions on Earth. In the Mariner 6 and 7 flights in 1969, an outer ring, 1600 kilometers (1,000 miles) in diameter, was seen. It is hidden by the dust in the oblique picture. Earth-based radar observations show that this is a high region on Mars and is usually covered by a white cloud when observed telescopically. This picture was taken on November 27, 1971.

    Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. The spacecraft was designed to continue the atmospheric studies begun by Mariners 6 and 7, and to map over 70% of the Martian surface from the lowest altitude (1500 kilometers [900 miles])and at the highest resolutions (1 kilometer per pixel to 100 meters per pixel) of any previous Mars mission.

    Mariner 9 was launched on May 30, 1971 and arrived on November 14, 1971.

  4. Response of terrestrial microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, T. L.; Winans, L., Jr.; Casey, R. C.; Kirschner, L. E.

    1978-01-01

    Soil samples from Cape Canaveral were subjected to a simulated Martian environment and assayed periodically over 45 days to determine the effect of various environmental parameters on bacterial populations. The simulated environment was based on the most recent available data, prior to the Viking spacecraft, describing Martian conditions and consisted of a pressure of 7 millibars, an atmosphere of 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, a freeze-thaw cycle of -65 C for 16 h and 24 C for 8 h, and variable moisture and nutrients. Reduced pressure had a significant effect, reducing growth under these conditions. Slight variations in gaseous composition of the simulated atmosphere had negligible effect on growth. The freeze-thaw cycle did not inhibit growth, but did result in a slower rate of decline after growth had occurred. Dry samples exhibited no change during the 45-day experiment, indicating that the simulated Martian environment was not toxic to bacterial populations. Psychrotrophic organisms responded more favorably to this environment than mesophiles, although both types exhibited increases of approximately 3 logs in 7 to 14 days when moisture and nutrients were available.

  5. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bell, J.F., III; McSween, H.Y., Jr.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  6. Human locomotion and workload for simulated lunar and Martian environments.

    PubMed

    Newman, D J; Alexander, H L

    1993-08-01

    Human locomotion in simulated lunar and Martian environments is investigated. A unique human-rated underwater treadmill and an adjustable ballasting harness simulate partial gravity in order to better understand how gravity determines the biomechanics and energetics of human locomotion. This study has two research aspects, biomechanics and energetics. The fundamental biomechanics measurements are continuously recorded vertical forces as exerted by subjects of the treadmill which is instrumented with a force platform. Experimental results indicate that peak vertical force and stride frequency decrease as the gravity level is reduced. Foot contact time is independent of gravity level. Oxygen uptake measurements, VO2, constitute the energetics, or workload, data for this study. As theory predicts, locomotion energy requirements for lunar (1/6-g) and Martian (3/8-g) gravity levels are significantly less than at 1-g. The observed variation in workload with gravity level is nonmonotonic, however, in over half the subject population. The hypothesis is offered that energy expenditure increases for lunar, as compared with Martian, locomotion due to the subject "wasting energy" for stability and posture control in simulated lunar gravity. Biomechanics data could influence advanced spacesuit design and planetary habitat design, while workload data will help define oxygen requirements for planetary life support systems. PMID:11541642

  7. Optimization of the concentration optics of the Martian airborne dust sensor for MetNet space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortés, F.; González, A.; de Castro, A. J.; López, F.

    2012-06-01

    Martian atmosphere contains a significant and rapidly changing load of suspended dust that never drops to zero. The main component of Martian aerosol is micron-sized dust thought to be a product of soil weathering. Although airborne dust plays a key role in Martian climate, the basic physical properties of these aerosols are still poorly known. The scope of Mars MetNet Mission is to deploy several tens of mini atmospheric stations on the Martian surface. MEIGA-MetNet payload is the Spanish contribution in MetNet. Infrared Laboratory of University Carlos III (LIR-UC3M) is in charge of the design and development of a micro-sensor for the characterization of airborne dust. This design must accomplish with a strict budget of mass and power, 45 g and 1 W respectively. The sensor design criteria have been obtained from a physical model specifically developed for optimizing IR local scattering. The model calculates the spectral power density scattered and detected between 1 and 5 μm by a certain particle distribution and sensor configuration. From model calculations a modification based on the insertion of a compound ellipsoidal concentrator (CEC) has appeared as necessary. Its implementation has multiplied up to 100 the scattered optical power detected, significantly enhancing the detection limits of the sensor.

  8. Laboratory Simulations of Martian Meteorite Impacts and Their Seismic Signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedar, S.; Richardson, J. E.; Harvey, N. E.; Perry, D. C.; Bowling, T. J.; Kanamori, H.; Webb, F.; Li, M.; Garnero, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    Recent satellite images have revealed that meteorites regularly impact the Martian surface. Such impacts provide a constant background of planet-wide seismicity, and add a substantial number of seismic sources to an otherwise seismically quiet planet, with a natural quake rate estimated to be ~1000 times lower than on Earth. This is a potentially rich and relatively unexplored source of seismic activity that may be used to answer fundamental questions about the planet's internal structure, such as the size and nature of the core, the composition and layering of the mantle, and the planets crustal thickness and variability. Determining whether meteoritic impacts can be used as seismic sources for studying the Martian interior depends directly upon two fundamental parameters: (1) the rate of transfer of momentum to the elastic medium as defined by an impact's source-time function (or its power spectrum); and (2) the efficiency with which the kinetic energy of the impacting body is transferred to seismic energy. However, uncertainty of the impact source time function, combined with the wide range of impact seismic efficiency factors observed in various settings, makes it very difficult to determine the efficacy of natural impacts for seismic exploration. To overcome these challenges, we have begun a campaign combining impact laboratory experiments and numerical simulations with the goal of determining how well the observed meteoritic impact distribution on Mars can be used to resolve the Martian interior structure. To simulate the seismic signals expected from meteorite impacts on the Martian surface, we carried out a series of high velocity impact experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) facility. The experiments spanned a variety of projectile impact velocities and angles, and were carried out in near vacuum conditions to mimic Martian atmospheric conditions. Seismic sensors were embedded in target material analogous to the Martian surface and were

  9. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  10. Rocket Cratering in Simulated Lunar and Martian Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Immer, Christopher; Metzger, Phillip

    2010-01-01

    With NASA's planned return to the moon and possibly with lunar outposts being formed, repeated landings at the same site will be necessary. Understanding rocket plume interaction with lunar and Martian surfaces is of paramount importance in order to safely land and protect hardware surrounding the landing site. This work will report on results of three small experiments intended to explore plume impingement onto lunar and Martian surfaces: Handheld Observation of Scour Holes (HOOSH), Handheld Angle of Repose Measurements of Lunar Simulants (HARMLuS), and Mars Architecture Team study (MATS). The first two experiments were performed during two sorties of reduced gravity flights. HOOSH was designed to investigate crater formation as a function of gravitational level (lunar and Martian gravity). HARMLuS was designed to measure the Angle of Failure (related to the angle of repose) at lunar and Martian gravity. Both experiments have complex findings indicative of the hysteretic behavior of granular materials, especially resulting from reduced gravity. The MATS experiment was designed to investigate the effects of regolith compaction on the granular mechanics of crater formation . In general, the granular mechanics is a much stronger function of compaction than gravitation acceleration. Crater formation is greatly enhanced at reduced gravity (resulting in much larger craters). The angle of failure of the lunar simulants increases with decreasing gravitational acceleration, and occasionally becomes infinite for some compactions at lunar gravity. The angle of failure also increases with increasing compaction. While compaction does play a role in the time development of crater formation, the asymptotic behavior is largely unaffected.

  11. Is the Electron Avalanche Process in a Martian Dust Devil Self-Quenching?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, William M.; McLain, Jason L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (approx. 10 microA/m(exp. 2)), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  12. The evolution of dust deposits in the Martian north polar region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    1979-01-01

    The origin and evolution of two major eolian deposits of the Martian north polar region, the layered deposits and the debris mantle, are examined. Both apparently result from deposition of dust along with the seasonal CO2 frost cap. Dust deposited onto the perennial ice is incorporated into the layered deposits, while dust deposited directly onto the surface becomes part of the debris mantle. Climatically induced fluctuation of the perennial ice margin has influenced the evolution of both units. Periodic exposure to the atmosphere has allowed erosion of curvilinear troughs in the surface of the layered deposits. Intervening periods of deposition may have resulted in gradual poleward migration of the trough forms, leaving behind sets of low-amplitude surface undulations in former trough locations. Advance and retreat of the perennial ice margin has also probably resulted in a fine interfingering of the layered deposits-debris mantle contract. Limited post-depositional stripping of the debris mantle has been accomplished by intense winds blowing outward from the pole.

  13. Is the electron avalanche process in a martian dust devil self-quenching?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W. M.; McLain, J. L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-07-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (∼10 μA/m2), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  14. JSC Mars-1 - Martian regolith simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. C.; Morris, R. V.; Lindstrom, D. J.; Lindstrom, M. M.; Lockwood, J. P.

    1997-03-01

    We have developed a simulant to the regolith of Mars for support of scientific research, engineering studies, and education. JSC Mars-1 is the less than 1-mm size fraction of a palagonitic tephra (glassy volcanic ash altered at low temperatures). The material was collected from the Pu'u Nene cinder cone, located in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii. Palagonitic tephra from this cone has been repeatedly cited as a close spectral analog to the bright regions of Mars.

  15. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ticoş, C. M.; Scurtu, A.; Toader, D.; Banu, N.

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  16. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet.

    PubMed

    Ticoş, C M; Scurtu, A; Toader, D; Banu, N

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic. PMID:25832231

  17. Effects of Martian Dust Storms on Ionization Profiles and Surface Dose Rates From Solar Energetic Proton Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norman, R. B.; Gronoff, G.; Mertens, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Global dust storms can engulf Mars and distribute dust throughout the atmosphere. The change in composition and density of the atmosphere due to dust storms affects the ionization rate due to cosmic rays impinging on Mars. To model the effect of dust storms on the Martian ionization profile, five solar energetic proton event models are used as inputs into the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model. NAIRAS is a cosmic ray irradiation model adapted for fast computations and has been applied to the Martian atmosphere. Full atmosphere ionization profiles for both dust storms and quiet times are reported at multiple sites on Mars, including the Gale Crater, site of the Curiosity rover landing. Variation in the ionization profile and surface dose rates is observed as a function of input event spectrum, atmospheric dust load, and elevation. Variation in the dose rate at the surface due to dust loading is bounded by approximately 25% for large integral fluence events with a soft spectral shape, while variation due to input spectrum and elevation can be two orders of magnitude. In addition, it is demonstrated that solar energetic proton events can create ionization rates large enough at the appropriate altitudes to account for the observed radio blackouts by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft.

  18. Magnetic levitation-based Martian and Lunar gravity simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valles, J. M. Jr; Maris, H. J.; Seidel, G. M.; Tang, J.; Yao, W.

    2005-01-01

    Missions to Mars will subject living specimens to a range of low gravity environments. Deleterious biological effects of prolonged exposure to Martian gravity (0.38 g), Lunar gravity (0.17 g), and microgravity are expected, but the mechanisms involved and potential for remedies are unknown. We are proposing the development of a facility that provides a simulated Martian and Lunar gravity environment for experiments on biological systems in a well controlled laboratory setting. The magnetic adjustable gravity simulator will employ intense, inhomogeneous magnetic fields to exert magnetic body forces on a specimen that oppose the body force of gravity. By adjusting the magnetic field, it is possible to continuously adjust the total body force acting on a specimen. The simulator system considered consists of a superconducting solenoid with a room temperature bore sufficiently large to accommodate small whole organisms, cell cultures, and gravity sensitive bio-molecular solutions. It will have good optical access so that the organisms can be viewed in situ. This facility will be valuable for experimental observations and public demonstrations of systems in simulated reduced gravity. c2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  19. Study of Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms with the Deep Space Network antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, S.; Kuiper, T. B. H.; Majid, W. A.; Garcia-Miro, C.; Tamppari, L. K.; Renno, N. O.; Ruf, C.; Trinh, J. T.

    2012-09-01

    Evidence for non-thermal emission produced by electrostatic discharges in a deep Martian dust storm has been reported by Ruf et al. 2009 [1]. Such discharges had been detected with an innovative kurtosis detector installed in a 34m radio telescope of the Deep Space Network (DSN) in June of 2006. The kurtosis (the fourth central moment of the signal normalized by the square of the second central moment) is extremely sensitive to the presence of non-thermal radiation, but is insensitive to variations in the intensity of the thermal radiation and instrument gain. The non-thermal radiation was detected while a 35 Km deep Martian dust storm was within the field of view of the radio telescope and presented signatures of modulation by the Martian Schumann Resonance. Encouraged by this discovery, several attempts have been made within the DSN to confirm the detection using the R&D antenna (DSS-13) and other antennas in the Madrid and Goldstone complexes, but using a very limited receiver, in terms of recorded data rates, the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Science Receiver (VSR). We are planning to initiate an extensive monitoring of Mars emission in a noninterfering basis while our antennas are tracking various Mars probes, using the Wideband Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Science Receiver (WVSR). The WVSR is a very flexible open-loop digital backend that is used for radio science and spacecraft navigation support in the DSN. This instrument allows us to sample a larger bandwidth than with previously used detectors. The processing to look for the kurtosis signature will be performed in software, limited only by the computer capacity. Additionally there are plans to develop an even more powerful custom-built detector based in CASPER technology and Graphic Processing Units for enhance computational power. This contribution will describe how we plan to select the target Mars tracking passes from the DSN schedule. An automated process will generate

  20. Simulation and Comparison of Martian Surface Ionization Radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Zeitlin, Cary; Hassler, Donald M.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2013-01-01

    The spectrum of energetic particle radiation and corresponding doses at the surface of Mars is being characterized by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), one of ten science instruments on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover. The time series of dose rate for the first 300 Sols after landing on Mars on August 6, 2012 is presented here. For the comparison to RAD measurements of dose rate, Martian surface ionization radiation is simulated by utilizing observed space quantities. The GCR primary radiation spectrum is calculated by using the Badhwar-O'Neill 2011 (BO11) galactic cosmic ray (GCR) model, which has been developed by utilizing all balloon and satellite GCR measurements since 1955 and the newer 1997-2012 Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) measurements. In the BO11 model, solar modulation of the GCR primary radiation spectrum is described in terms of the international smoothed sunspot number and a time delay function. For the transport of the impingent GCR primary radiation through Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of atmospheric thickness at each elevation is calculated using the vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and pressure made by Mars Global Surveyor measurements. At Gale Crater in the southern hemisphere, the seasonal variation of atmospheric thickness is accounted for the daily atmospheric pressure measurements of the MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) by using low- and high-density models for cool- and warm-season, respectively. The spherically distributed atmospheric distance is traced along the slant path, and the resultant directional shielding by Martian atmosphere is coupled with Curiosity vehicle for dose estimates. We present predictions of dose rate and comparison to the RAD measurements. The simulation agrees to within +/- 20% with the RAD measurements showing clearly the variation of dose rate by heliospheric conditions, and presenting the sensitivity of dose rate by atmospheric pressure

  1. Biological space experiments for the simulation of Martian conditions: UV radiation and Martian soil analogues.

    PubMed

    Rettberg, P; Rabbow, E; Panitz, C; Horneck, G

    2004-01-01

    The survivability of resistant terrestrial microbes, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting FOTON satellites (BIOPAN I -III missions). The spores were exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites). The results of the three space experiments confirmed the deleterious effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation which, in contrast to the UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth, also contains the very energy-rich, short wavelength UVB and UVC radiation. Thin layers of clay, rock or meteorite material were shown to be only successful in UV-shielding, if they are in direct contact with the spores. On Mars the UV radiation climate is similar to that of the early Earth before the development of a protective ozone layer in the atmosphere by the appearance of the first aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of B. subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment, MARSTOX. Different types of Mars soil analogues will be used to determine on one hand their potential toxicity alone or in combination with solar UV (phototoxicity) and on the other hand their UV protection capability. Two sets of samples will be placed under different cut-off filters used to simulate the UV radiation climate of Mars and Earth. After exposure in space the survival of and mutation induction in the spores will be analyzed at the DLR, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the laboratory. This experiment will provide new insights into the principal limits of life and its adaptation to environmental extremes on Earth or other planets which and will also have implications for the potential for the

  2. Biological space experiments for the simulation of Martian conditions: UV radiation and Martian soil analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, P.; Rabbow, E.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.

    2004-01-01

    The survivability of resistant terrestrial microbes, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting FOTON satellites (BIOPAN I -III missions). The spores were exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites). The results of the three space experiments confirmed the deleterious effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation which, in contrast to the UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth, also contains the very energy-rich, short wavelength UVB and UVC radiation. Thin layers of clay, rock or meteorite material were shown to be only successful in UV-shielding, if they are in direct contact with the spores. On Mars the UV radiation climate is similar to that of the early Earth before the development of a protective ozone layer in the atmosphere by the appearance of the first aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of B. subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment, MARSTOX. Different types of Mars soil analogues will be used to determine on one hand their potential toxicity alone or in combination with solar UV (phototoxicity) and on the other hand their UV protection capability. Two sets of samples will be placed under different cut-off filters used to simulate the UV radiation climate of Mars and Earth. After exposure in space the survival of and mutation induction in the spores will be analyzed at the DLR, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the laboratory. This experiment will provide new insights into the principal limits of life and its adaptation to environmental extremes on Earth or other planets which and will also have implications for the potential for the

  3. Simulating Mars' Dust Cycle with a Mars General Circulation Model: Effects of Water Ice Cloud Formation on Dust Lifting Strength and Seasonality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.; Haberle, Robert; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.

    2012-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for the current climate of Mars. The radiative effects of dust impact the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere [1,2,3]. Although dust is present in the Martian atmosphere throughout the year, the level of dustiness varies with season. The atmosphere is generally the dustiest during northern fall and winter and the least dusty during northern spring and summer [4]. Dust particles are lifted into the atmosphere by dust storms that range in size from meters to thousands of kilometers across [5]. Regional storm activity is enhanced before northern winter solstice (Ls200 degrees - 240 degrees), and after northern solstice (Ls305 degrees - 340 degrees ), which produces elevated atmospheric dust loadings during these periods [5,6,7]. These pre- and post- solstice increases in dust loading are thought to be associated with transient eddy activity in the northern hemisphere with cross-equatorial transport of dust leading to enhanced dust lifting in the southern hemisphere [6]. Interactive dust cycle studies with Mars General Circulation Models (MGCMs) have included the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Although the predicted global dust loadings from these simulations capture some aspects of the observed dust cycle, there are marked differences between the simulated and observed dust cycles [8,9,10]. Most notably, the maximum dust loading is robustly predicted by models to occur near northern winter solstice and is due to dust lifting associated with down slope flows on the flanks of the Hellas basin. Thus far, models have had difficulty simulating the observed pre- and post- solstice peaks in dust loading.

  4. Experimental Study of the Angle of Repose of Surrogate Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moeller, L. E.; Tuller, M.; Baker, L.; Marshall, J.; Castiglione, P.; Kuhlman, K.

    2003-01-01

    Accumulation of wind-blown dust particles on solar cells and instruments will be a great challenge in the exploration of Mars, significantly reducing their lifetime, durability, and power output. For future Mars Lander missions it is crucial to gain information about the ideal angle at which solar panels can be positioned to minimize dust deposition and thus, maximize the power output and lifetime of the solar cells. The major determinant for the optimal panel angle is the angle of repose of the dust particles that is dependent on a variety of physical and chemical properties of the particles, the panel surface, and the environmental conditions on the Mars surface. To gain a basic understanding of the physical and chemical processes that govern dust deposition and to get feedback for the design of an experiment suitable for one of the future Mars Lander missions we simulate atmospheric conditions expected on the Mars surface in a controlled chamber, and observe the angle of repose of Mars dust surrogates. Dust deposition and angle of repose were observed on different sized spheres. To cover a range of potential materials we will use spheres made of 7075 aluminum (10 mm, and 15 mm), alumina oxide ceramic (10 mm), and Teflon(trademark) (10 mm) and wafers of gallium arsenide, silicon.

  5. Simulation of dust-acoustic waves

    SciTech Connect

    Winske, D.; Murillo, M.S.; Rosenberg, M.

    1998-12-01

    The authors use molecular dynamics (MD) and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation methods to investigate the dispersion relation of dust-acoustic waves in a one-dimensional, strongly coupled (Coulomb coupling parameter = {Lambda} = ratio of the Coulomb energy to the thermal energy = 120) dusty plasma. They study both cases where the dust is represented by a small number of simulation particles that form into a regular array structure (crystal limit) as well as where the dust is represented by a much larger number of particles (fluid limit).

  6. Simulations of Carbon Dioxide Cloud Formation at the Martian Poles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colaprete, A.; Toon, O. B.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) experiment flying onboard the Mars Global Surveyor has observed echoes from cloud tops above the north polar cap. Due to the location and time of year that these clouds are forming, it has been assumed that these clouds consist primarily of carbon dioxide ice particles. The structure of these echoes suggests that a number of these clouds may be the product of buoyancy or gravity waves (Zuber et al., 1998). While the presence of carbon dioxide clouds in the Martian atmosphere is generally accepted, how and where they form is still not understood and little is known about the physics of carbon dioxide particle formation. Recently, Glandorf et al. (personal communication) measured the critical saturation ratio required for carbon dioxide to nucleate onto ice. From this measurement, using nucleation theory, the contact parameter between ice and carbon dioxide under Martian conditions was determined. Using the nucleation rates measured by Glandorf et al. we have developed a 2D time dependent microphyical simulation of carbon dioxide clouds forming in the Mars polar regions. In this simulation we explore the mechanism of cloud initiation by orographic waves and compare our results to MOLA observations.

  7. Early Dust Storm Season Thermal State of the Martian Atmosphere - Latest Results from the Horizon Science Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, T. Z.; Murphy, J. R.

    1999-09-01

    The Horizon Science Experiment (HORSE) uses the Mars Horizon Sensor Assembly on the MGS orbiter to measure 15 micrometer band thermal emission from the middle Martian atmosphere. Since mapping began in March 1999, data acquisition has been continuous, with 12 orbits/day providing rapid longitudinal coverage. The instrument's four quadrants aligned orthogonally on the Martian limb provide important coverage in local time; two quadrants fore and aft give redundant sampling of the ground track, while the other two sample +/- 1.4 hrs in local time at the equator. Equator crossing is nominally at 3 AM and 3 PM. This coverage of six local times per day for most of the planet means that the MHSA is well suited to detect diurnal temperature variations, including the semidiurnal tidal mode, which is particularly sensitive to the presence of atmospheric dust. We report recent results on the global thermal state; specific dust events; diurnal behavior; and other wavelike phenomena.

  8. Effective mie-scattering and CO2 absorption in the dust-laden Martian atmosphere and its impact on radiative-convective temperature changes in the lower scale heights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pallmann, A. J.

    1976-01-01

    A time dependent computer model of radiative-convective-conductive heat transfer in the Martian ground-atmosphere system was refined by incorporating an intermediate line strength CO2 band absorption which together with the strong-and weak-line approximation closely simulated the radiative transmission through a vertically inhomogeneous stratification. About 33,000 CO2 lines were processed to cover the spectral range of solar and planetary radiation. Absorption by silicate dust particulates, was taken into consideration to study its impact on the ground-atmosphere temperature field as a function of time. This model was subsequently attuned to IRIS, IR-radiometric and S-band occultation data. Satisfactory simulations of the measured IRIS spectra were accomplished for the dust-free condition. In the case of variable dust loads, the simulations were sufficiently fair so that some inferences into the effect of dust on temperature were justified.

  9. Characterization of the Resource Potential of Martian Soil using the Integrated Dust/Soil Experiment Package (IDEP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.; Mckay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.; Hoffman, John H.; Gittleman, Mark E.

    1997-01-01

    The Integrated Dust/Soil Experiment Package (IDEP) is a suite of instruments that can detect and quantify the abundances of useful raw materials on Mars. We focus here on its capability for resource characterization in the martian soil; however, it is also capable of detecting and quantifying gases in the atmosphere. This paper describes the scientific rationale and the engineering design behind the IDEP.

  10. Characterization of dust activity from Martian Year (MY) 27 to MY 32 observed by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard the Mars Express spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkenberg, Paulina; Giuranna, Marco; Aoki, Shohei; Scaccabarozzi, Diego; Saggin, Bortolino; Formisano, Vittorio

    2016-04-01

    More than 2,500,000 spectra have been collected by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard Mars Express spacecraft after 12 years of activity. The data span more than six Martian years, from MY26, Ls = 331°, to MY 33, Ls = 78°. This huge dataset has been used to build a new database of atmospheric parameters, including atmospheric and surface temperatures, and dust and water ice opacity. Dust aerosols suspended in the atmosphere affect its thermal structure and are a major driver of the circulation. They are always present in the Martian atmosphere, but the amount varies greatly depending on location and season. We analyze dust opacities at 1075 cm-1 retrieved from the PFS long-wavelength channel spectra to characterize the dust activity on Mars for the relevant period. The dust storm season (Ls= 185° - 310°) is monitored for each Martian year. All dust observations show a seasonal pattern, which is ruled by the occurrence of regional and/or global dust storms. Regional dust storms are observed every year, while a planet encircling dust storm occurred in MY 28, when the highest values of dust opacity are also observed (~ 2.45). We characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of these regional and global dust events and investigate the effect of dust on surface and atmospheric temperatures.

  11. Evolution of Martian polar landscapes - Interplay of long-term variations in perennial ice cover and dust storm intensity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Blasius, K. R.; Roberts, W. J.

    1979-01-01

    The discovery of a new type of Martian polar terrain, called undulating plain, is reported and the evolution of the plains and other areas of the Martian polar region is discussed in terms of the trapping of dust by the perennial ice cover. High-resolution Viking Orbiter 2 observations of the north polar terrain reveal perennially ice-covered surfaces with low relief, wavelike, regularly spaced, parallel ridges and troughs (undulating plains) occupying areas of the polar terrain previously thought to be flat, and associated with troughs of considerable local relief which exhibit at least partial annual melting. It is proposed that the wavelike topography of the undulating plains originates from long-term periodic variations in cyclical dust precipitation at the margin of a growing or receding perennial polar cap in response to changes in insolation. The troughs are proposed to originate from areas of steep slope in the undulating terrain which have lost their perennial ice cover and have become incapable of trapping dust. The polar landscape thus appears to record the migrations, expansions and contractions of the Martian polar cap.

  12. Dust storm simulation over Iran using HYSPLIT

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Particulate matters have detrimental effects on human health, environment and economic. This pollutant may emit from anthropogenic or natural sources. On global scale, main proportion of natural particulate matter release to the atmosphere because of wind erosion from arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, the amount of dust coming from Arabian countries has dramatically increased, especially dust storms that are affecting western and even central parts of Iran. This phenomenon has caused a lot of environmental problems. Dust source identification and trajectory simulation using numerical techniques are the main aims of this study. HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model dust module and trajectory simulation are utilized in this research and two case studies are investigated (in May and June 2010). The base of the HYSPLIT dust module is the PM10 dust storm emission algorithm for desert land use. This methodology is applied to estimate hotspots and trajectories. Due to the results, dust storms started on May 17th and June 7th because of high wind shear (>8.5 m/s) from the western Syrian Desert. The source region limited to 32.50 °N to 33.80 °N and 38.00 °E to 38.80 °E coordinates. Dust plumes lifted and dispersed towards the east and southeast of the sources and reached Ahvaz on May 18th and June 8th. The average of PM10 concentration in these dates reached 625 and 494 μgm3 on Ahvaz monitoring stations, respectively. Moreover, the results gained from the model for dust motion simulation are similar to the MODIS satellite images. PMID:24397928

  13. Dust storm simulation over Iran using HYSPLIT.

    PubMed

    Ashrafi, Khosro; Shafiepour-Motlagh, Majid; Aslemand, Alireza; Ghader, Sarmad

    2014-01-01

    Particulate matters have detrimental effects on human health, environment and economic. This pollutant may emit from anthropogenic or natural sources. On global scale, main proportion of natural particulate matter release to the atmosphere because of wind erosion from arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, the amount of dust coming from Arabian countries has dramatically increased, especially dust storms that are affecting western and even central parts of Iran. This phenomenon has caused a lot of environmental problems. Dust source identification and trajectory simulation using numerical techniques are the main aims of this study. HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model dust module and trajectory simulation are utilized in this research and two case studies are investigated (in May and June 2010). The base of the HYSPLIT dust module is the PM10 dust storm emission algorithm for desert land use. This methodology is applied to estimate hotspots and trajectories. Due to the results, dust storms started on May 17th and June 7th because of high wind shear (>8.5 m/s) from the western Syrian Desert. The source region limited to 32.50 °N to 33.80 °N and 38.00 °E to 38.80 °E coordinates. Dust plumes lifted and dispersed towards the east and southeast of the sources and reached Ahvaz on May 18th and June 8th. The average of PM10 concentration in these dates reached 625 and 494 μgm3 on Ahvaz monitoring stations, respectively. Moreover, the results gained from the model for dust motion simulation are similar to the MODIS satellite images. PMID:24397928

  14. MLAM Simulation of Martian Atmosphere around Curiosity Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atlaskin, Evgeny; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kauhanen, Janne; Määttänen, Anni; Paton, Mark; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero

    2013-04-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory 'Curiosity' landed successfully in the Martian Gale crater close to the equator on 6 Aug 2012. As part of the environment monitoring instrument package REMS [1] the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provided the pressure and humidity sensors. A similar pressure sensor was successfully flown earlier on the Phoenix lander mission in 2008 and on the Cassini / Huygens probe to Titan in 2005. The behaviour of the Martian atmosphere inside the Gale crater is dominated by its location close to the equator, the steep outer rims and the slopes of the central mountain. These complex topographical features make it ideally suited for a mesoscale atmospheric model like the Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM), developed jointly by the University of Helsinki (UH) and FMI to study mesoscale phenomena in the Martian Atmosphere [2]. MLAM is based on the hydro-static dynamical core of the HIgh Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM), an operational weather prediction model-analysis system used by several European countries. Using the simulation tools already published observational data from the first three months of Curiosity's operations and detailed topographical feature information we will show the observations in the context of the atmospheric conditions in the wider Gale crater region. In preparation of the simulation also the UH 1-dimensional model [3] is being used to study the boundary layer behaviour in that area. The expected long operation time of the rover will additionally provide insight in the seasonal change of atmospheric conditions at the equator. Some aspects might already become visible by the time of the conference. Newest Curiosity/REMS data will be shown in session PS2.5 "Curiosity on Mars: First results". Reference: [1] Gómez-Elvira J. et al. (2012), Space Sci. Rev. 170, 583-640. [2] Kauhanen, J., Siili T., Järvenoja, S. and Savijärvi, H. (2008) , The Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM) and simulations of atmospheric circulations

  15. Static Structure Factor Effects on Theoretical Emissivity Profiles of Martian Surface Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitman, K. M.; Wolff, M. J.; Clayton, G. C.

    2003-05-01

    We continue our exploration of the behavior of Martian surface emissivity spectra in response to four fundamental particle microphysical properties (particle size, shape, surface roughness, and packing fraction) for micron-sized dust grains. In this work, we focus on the influence of the static structure factor [1, 2] on single-scattering albedo, particle scattering phase function, and asymmetry parameter for a variety of Mars-relevant effective grain radii in the thermal IR (TES, Odyssey) wavelength regime. By using modified single-scattering input parameters, we effectively use clusters of particles to determine reasonable packing fraction values for a theoretical planetary regolith. We compare our radiative transfer formulation to that of Mackowski's multisphere code (SCSMFO) [3]. The effects of packing fraction may also be examined experimentally by varying the compression of laboratory samples; we briefly discuss planned experiments. This work is supported through NASA MDAP (MJW) and LSU Board of Regents (KMP). [1] Mishchenko, M. I. (1994) JQSRT, 52, 1, 95-110. [2] Mishchenko, M. I., & Macke, A. (1997) JQSRT, 57, 1, 767-794. [3] Mackowski, D. W. (1994) J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 11, 2851-2861.

  16. Polar Layered Terrains: Links Between the Martian Volatile and Dust Cycles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, R. W.

    1999-01-01

    The nature, origin and evolution of the polar layered terrains are a major mystery of Martian climate. Almost every aspect of these enigmatic terrains surrounding, and probably underlying, the polar residual ice caps is in contention. Are the polar laminae forming today? Are they inactive or even eroding, being mere relics of the past? Are the north and south polar layered terrains fundamentally different in composition, age or process? Are they a physical record of past, possibly cyclic, climate change and, if so, can we learn to read that record? We know from past Mariner 9 and Viking orbital observations that there are layered terrains at high latitudes, defined by alternating bands of visually lighter and darker material appearing in stacks hundreds of meters thick with individual bands as thin as could then be resolved (tens of meters). In this talk, aspects of the polar layered terrains will be reviewed with emphasis on issues likely to be addressed with data from ongoing and near-term flight missions to Mars. Particular attention will be given to what might be learned from observing the present seasonal cycles of dust, water and carbon dioxide on Mars, in conjunction with in situ data from one site on the south polar layered terrain.

  17. Temperature and Dust Profiles During the Martian Global Dust Storm in 2007 from Mars Climate Sounder Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; McCleese, D. J.

    2014-07-01

    In 2007 the Mars Climate Sounder observed a global dust storm on Mars. We will present results that show the development of the dust storm over time and the vertical structure of atmospheric temperature and dust.

  18. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 Under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Davidson, Mark M.; Pacala, Stephen W.; Bakermans, Corien; Onstott, Tullis

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft launched to Mars can retain viable terrestrial microorganisms on board that may survive the interplanetary transit. Such biota might compromise the search for life beyond Earth if capable of propagating on Mars. The current study explored the survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5, a psychrotolerant microorganism obtained from a Siberian permafrost cryopeg, under simulated martian surface conditions of high ultraviolet irradiation, high desiccation, low temperature, and low atmospheric pressure. First, a desiccation experiment compared the survival of P. cryohalolentis cells embedded, or not embedded, within a medium/salt matrix (MSM) maintained at 25 degrees C for 24 hr within a laminar flow hood. Results indicate that the presence of the MSM enhanced survival of the bacterial cells by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Second, tests were conducted in a Mars Simulation Chamber to determine the UV tolerance of the microorganism. No viable vegetative cells of P. cryohalolentis were detected after 8 hr of exposure to Mars-normal conditions of 4.55 W/m(2) UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5 degrees C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O2 (0.2%), and H(2)O (0.03%). Third, an experiment was conducted within the Mars chamber in which total atmospheric opacities were simulated at tau = 0.1 (dust-free CO2 atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO2-only opacity), and 3.5 (global dust storm) to determine the survivability of P. cryohalolentis to partially shielded UVC radiation. The survivability of the bacterium increased with the level of UVC attenuation, though population levels still declined several orders of magnitude compared to UVC-absent controls over an 8 hr exposure period.

  19. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 Under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Davidson, Mark M.; Pacala, Stephen W.; Bakermans, Corien; Onstott, Tullis C.

    2009-03-01

    Spacecraft launched to Mars can retain viable terrestrial microorganisms on board that may survive the interplanetary transit. Such biota might compromise the search for life beyond Earth if capable of propagating on Mars. The current study explored the survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5, a psychrotolerant microorganism obtained from a Siberian permafrost cryopeg, under simulated martian surface conditions of high ultraviolet irradiation, high desiccation, low temperature, and low atmospheric pressure. First, a desiccation experiment compared the survival of P. cryohalolentis cells embedded, or not embedded, within a medium/salt matrix (MSM) maintained at 25°C for 24 h within a laminar flow hood. Results indicate that the presence of the MSM enhanced survival of the bacterial cells by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Second, tests were conducted in a Mars Simulation Chamber to determine the UV tolerance of the microorganism. No viable vegetative cells of P. cryohalolentis were detected after 8 h of exposure to Mars-normal conditions of 4.55 W/m2 UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5°C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O2 (0.2%), and H2O (0.03%). Third, an experiment was conducted within the Mars chamber in which total atmospheric opacities were simulated at τ = 0.1 (dust-free CO2 atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO2-only opacity), and 3.5 (global dust storm) to determine the survivability of P. cryohalolentis to partially shielded UVC radiation. The survivability of the bacterium increased with the level of UVC attenuation, though population levels still declined several orders of magnitude compared to UVC-absent controls over an 8 h exposure period.

  20. Martian environmental simulation for a deployable lattice mast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warden, Robert M.

    1994-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission (formerly Mars Environmental Survey or MESUR) is scheduled for launch in December 1996 and is designed to place a small lander on the surface of Mars. After impact, the lander unfolds to expose its solar panels and release a miniature rover. Also on board is the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) binocular camera which is elevated by a deployable mast to obtain a panoramic view of the landing area. The design of this deployable mast is based on similar designs which have a long and successful flight history. In the past when this type of self-deployable mast has been used, a rate limiter has been incorporated to control the speed of deployment. In this application, to reduce weight and complexity, it was proposed to eliminate the rate limiter so that the mast would deploy without restraint. Preliminary tests showed that this type of deployment was possible especially if the deployed length was relatively short, as in this application. Compounding the problem, however, was the requirement to deploy the mast at an angle of up to 30 degrees from vertical. The deployment process was difficult to completely analyze due to the effects of gravitational and inertial loads on the mast and camera during rapid extension. Testing in a realistic manner was imperative to verify the system performance. A deployment test was therefore performed to determine the maximum tilt angle at which the mast could reliably extend and support the camera on Mars. The testing of the deployable mast requires partial gravity compensation to simulate the smaller force of Martian gravity. During the test, mass properties were maintained while weight properties were reduced. This paper describes the testing of a deployable mast in a simulated Martian environment as well as the results of the tests.

  1. Water ice nucleation characteristics of JSC Mars-1 regolith simulant under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phebus, Bruce D.; Johnson, Alexandria V.; Mar, Brendan; Stone, Bradley M.; Colaprete, Anthony; Iraci, Laura T.

    2011-04-01

    Water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere are governed by parameters such as number density and particle size distribution that in turn affect how they influence the climate. With some of the underlying properties of cloud formation well known only for Earth, extrapolations to Mars are potentially misleading. We report here continued laboratory experiments to identify critical onset conditions for water ice formation under Martian cloud forming temperatures and water partial pressures (155-182 K, 7.6 × 10-5 to 7.7 × 10-3 Pa H2O). By observing the 3 μm infrared band to monitor nucleation and growth, we observe significant temperature dependence in the nucleation of ice on JSC Mars-1 regolith simulant, with critical saturation ratios, Scrit, as high as 3.8 at 155 K. At temperatures below ˜180 K, ice nucleation on JSC Mars-1 requires significant supersaturation, potentially impacting the Martian hydrological cycle.

  2. Dust devil height and spacing with relation to the martian planetary boundary layer thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Lorenz, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    In most remote and unmonitored places, little is known about the characteristics of daytime turbulent activity. Few processes render the optically transparent atmospheres of Earth and Mars visible; put more plainly, without clever instruments it is difficult to "see the unseen". To address this, we present a pilot study of images of martian dust devils (DDs) testing the hypothesis that DD height and spacing correlates with the thickness of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), h. The survey includes Context Camera (CTX) images from a 580 × 590 km2 area (196-208°E, 30-40°N) in northern Amazonis Planitia, spanning ∼3.6 Mars Years (MY) from Ls = 134.55°, MY 28 (13 November 2006) to Ls = 358.5°, MY 31 (28 July 2013). DD activity follows a repeatable seasonal pattern similar to that found in previous surveys, with a distinct "on" season during local summer, beginning shortly before the northern spring equinox (Ls = 0°) and lasting until just after the northern fall equinox (Ls = 180°). DD heights measured from shadow lengths varied considerably, with median values peaking at local midsummer. Modeled PBL heights, constrained by those measured from radio occultation data, follow a similar seasonal trend, and correlation of the two suggests that the martian PBL thickness is approximately 5 times the median DD height. These results compare favorably to the limited terrestrial data available. DD spacing was measured using nearest neighbor statistics, following the assumption that because convection cell widths have been measured to be ∼1.2 ± 0.2h (Willis, G.E., Deardorff, J.W. [1979]. J. Geophys. Res. 84(C1), 295-302), a preference for DD formation at vertices of convection cells intersections could be used to estimate the PBL height. During local spring and summer, the DD average nearest neighbor (ANN) ranged from ∼1 to 2h, indicating that DD spacing does indeed correlate with PBL height. However, this result is complicated by two factors: (1) convection cell

  3. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  4. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  5. Spectral properties of simulated impact glasses produced from martian soil analogue JSC Mars-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moroz, L. V.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Hiroi, T.; Rout, S. S.; Baither, D.; van der Bogert, C. H.; Yakovlev, O. I.; Fisenko, A. V.; Semjonova, L. F.; Rusakov, V. S.; Khramov, D. A.; Zinovieva, N. G.; Arnold, G.; Pieters, C. M.

    2009-07-01

    To simulate the formation of impact glasses on Mars, an analogue of martian bright soil (altered volcanic soil JSC Mars-1) was melted at relevant oxygen fugacities using a pulsed laser and a resistance furnace. Reduction of Fe3+ to Fe2+ and in some cases formation of nanophase Fe0 in the glasses were documented by Mössbauer spectroscopy and TEM studies. Reflectance spectra for several size fractions of the JSC Mars-1 sample and the glasses were acquired between 0.3 and 25 μm. The glasses produced from the JSC Mars-1 soil show significant spectral variability depending on the method of production and the cooling rate. In general, they are dark and less red in the visible compared to the original JSC Mars-1 soil. Their spectra do not have absorption bands due to bound water and structural OH, have positive spectral slopes in the near-infrared range, and show two broad bands centered near 1.05 and 1.9 μm, typical of glasses rich in ferrous iron. The latter bands and low albedo partly mimic the spectral properties of martian dark regions, and may easily be confused with mafic materials containing olivine and low-Ca pyroxene. Due to their disordered structures and vesicular textures, the glasses show relatively weak absorption features from the visible to the thermal infrared. These weak absorption bands may be masked by the stronger bands of mafic minerals. Positive near-infrared spectral slopes typical of fresh iron-bearing impact or volcanic glasses may be masked either by oxide/dust coatings or by aerosols in the Mars' atmosphere. As a result, impact glasses may be present on the surface of Mars in significant quantities that have been either misidentified as other phases or masked by phases with stronger infrared features. Spectrometers with sufficient spatial resolution and wavelength coverage may detect impact glasses at certain locations, e.g., in the vicinity of fresh impact craters. Such dark materials are usually interpreted as accumulations of mafic

  6. Collision simulation of sintered dust aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirono, Sin-iti; Ueno, Haruta

    Collisional evolution of dust aggregates is the initial process of the planet formation. Sticking velocity, below which collisional sticking of an aggregate happens, is a crucial quantity in the collisional evolution. In the standard model of protoplanetary nebula, the maximum collisional velocity is around 50m/s. Therefore, if a planetesimal is formed through direct collisional sticking, the sticking velocity should be higher than 50m/s. Even if a planetesimal is formed by other mechanism such as anticyclonic vortices, substantial growth of an aggregate is required because the motion of an aggregate should be decoupled from that of gas. Collisional simulation of icy dust aggregates (Wada et al. 2009, ApJ 702, 1490) showed that the sticking velocity was larger than 50m/s and planetesimal formation by collisional sticking was possible. However, sintering of ice proceeds in a wide area of a protoplanetary nebula (Sirono 2011, ApJ 765, 50). Sintering enlarges a neck, connection between adjacent dust grains, and changes the mechanical properties of a dust aggregate. Here we performed collisional simulations between sintered dust aggregates taking account of sintering. We found that the sticking velocity was decreased substantially down to 20m/s. This result suggests that a planetesimal is not formed by direct collisional sticking and that the planetesimal formation proceeded in particular regions in a protoplanetary nebula.

  7. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This volume contains papers that were presented on February 12-14, 1996 at the Evolution for Martian Volatiles Workshop. Topics in this volume include: returned Martian samples; acidic volatiles and the Mars soil; solar EUV Radiation; the ancient Mars Thermosphere; primitive methane atmospheres on Earth and Mars; the evolution of Martian water; the role of SO2 for the climate history of Mars; impact crater morphology; the formation of the Martian drainage system; atmospheric dust-water ice Interactions; volatiles and volcanos; accretion of interplanetary dust particles; Mars' ionosphere; simulations with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model; modeling the Martian water cycle; the evolution of Martian atmosphere; isotopic composition; solar occultation; magnetic fields; photochemical weathering; NASA's Mars Surveyor Program; iron formations; measurements of Martian atmospheric water vapor; and the thermal evolution Models of Mars.

  8. Neurotoxic Potential of Lunar and Martian Dust: Influence on Em, Proton Gradient, Active Transport, and Binding of Glutamate in Rat Brain Nerve Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Krisanova, Natalia; Kasatkina, Ludmila; Sivko, Roman; Borysov, Arseniy; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Slenzka, Klaus; Borisova, Tatiana

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The harmful effects of lunar dust (LD) on directly exposed tissues are documented in the literature, whereas researchers are only recently beginning to consider its effects on indirectly exposed tissues. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and transported to the central nervous system. The neurotoxic potential of LD and martian dust (MD) has not yet been assessed. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter involved in most aspects of normal brain function, whereas disturbances in glutamate homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of major neurological disorders. The research was focused on the analysis of the effects of LD/MD simulants (JSC-1a/JSC, derived from volcanic ash) on the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission. The average size of LD and MD particles (even minor fractions) before and after sonication was determined by dynamic light scattering. With the use of radiolabeled l-[14C]glutamate, it was shown that there is an increase in l-[14C]glutamate binding to isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) in low [Na+] media and at low temperature in the presence of LD. MD caused significantly lesser changes under the same conditions, whereas nanoparticles of magnetite had no effect at all. Fluorimetric experiments with potential-sensitive dye rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive dye acridine orange showed that the potential of the plasma membrane of the nerve terminals and acidification of synaptic vesicles were not altered by LD/MD (and nanoparticles of magnetite). Thus, the unique effect of LD to increase glutamate binding to the nerve terminals was shown. This can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system and cause alterations in the ambient level of glutamate, which is extremely important for proper synaptic transmission. During a long-term mission, a combination of constant irritation

  9. JSC Mars-1 Martian Soil Simulant: Melting Experiments and Electron Microprobe Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, P.; Sebille, L.; Boles, W.; Chadwell, M.; Schwarz, L.

    2003-01-01

    JSC Mars-1 has been developed as a Martian regolith simulant, and is the <1 mm size fraction of a palagonitic tephra (a glassy volcanic ash altered at low temperatures) from Pu'u Nene cinder cone on the Island of Hawaii. The Mars-1 simulant forms the basis for numerous terrestrial studies which aim to evaluate the suitability of Martian soil for materials processing. Martian soil may be sintered to form building materials for construction, and also melted or reacted to extract metals for various uses, as well as oxygen for life support.

  10. Electrostatic Characterization of Lunar Dust Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Ritz, M. L.

    2008-01-01

    Lunar dust can jeopardize exploration activities due to its ability to cling to most surfaces. In this paper, we report on our measurements of the electrostatic properties of the lunar soil simulants. Methods have been developed to measure the volume resistivity, dielectric constant, chargeability, and charge decay of lunar soil. While the first two parameters have been measured in the past [Olhoeft 1974], the last two have never been measured directly on the lunar regolith or on any of the Apollo samples. Measurements of the electrical properties of the lunar samples are being performed in an attempt to answer important problems that must be solved for the development of an effective dust mitigation technology, namely, how much charge can accumulate on the dust and how long does the charge remain on surfaces. The measurements will help develop coatings that are compatible with the intrinsic electrostatic properties of the lunar regolith.

  11. Dust devil characteristics and associated dust entrainment based on large-eddy simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klose, Martina; Kwidzinski, Nick; Shao, Yaping

    2015-04-01

    The characteristics of dust devils, such as occurrence frequency, lifetime, size, and intensity, are usually inferred from in situ field measurements and remote sensing. Numerical models, e.g. large-eddy simulation (LES) models, have also been established as a tool to investigate dust devils and their structures. However, most LES models do not contain a dust module. Here, we present results from simulations using the WRF-LES model coupled to the convective turbulent dust emission (CTDE) scheme of Klose et al. (2014). The scheme describes the stochastic process of aerodynamic dust entrainment in the absence of saltation. It therefore allows for dust emission even below the threshold friction velocity for saltation. Numerical experiments have been conducted for different atmospheric stability and background wind conditions at 10 m horizontal resolution. A dust devil tracking algorithm is used to identify dust devils in the simulation results. The detected dust devils are statistically analyzed with regard to e.g. radius, pressure drop, lifetime, and turbulent wind speeds. An additional simulation with higher horizontal resolution (2 m) is conducted for conditions, which are especially favorable for dust devil development, i.e. unstable atmospheric stratification and weak mean winds. The higher resolution enables the identification of smaller dust devils and a more detailed structure analysis. Dust emission fluxes, dust concentrations, and dust mass budgets are calculated from the simulations. The results are compared to field observations reported in literature.

  12. Investigating the Effects of Simulated Martian Ultraviolet Radiation on Halococcus dombrowskii and Other Extremely Halophilic Archaebacteria

    PubMed Central

    Fendrihan, Sergiu; Bérces, Attila; Lammer, Helmut; Musso, Maurizio; Rontó, György; Polacsek, Tatjana K.; Holzinger, Anita; Kolb, Christoph; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2011-01-01

    The isolation of viable extremely halophilic archaea from 250-million-year-old rock salt suggests the possibility of their long-term survival under desiccation. Since halite has been found on Mars and in meteorites, haloarchaeal survival of martian surface conditions is being explored. Halococcus dombrowskii H4 DSM 14522T was exposed to UV doses over a wavelength range of 200–400 nm to simulate martian UV flux. Cells embedded in a thin layer of laboratory-grown halite were found to accumulate preferentially within fluid inclusions. Survival was assessed by staining with the LIVE/DEAD kit dyes, determining colony-forming units, and using growth tests. Halite-embedded cells showed no loss of viability after exposure to about 21 kJ/m2, and they resumed growth in liquid medium with lag phases of 12 days or more after exposure up to 148 kJ/m2. The estimated D37 (dose of 37 % survival) for Hcc. dombrowskii was ≥ 400 kJ/m2. However, exposure of cells to UV flux while in liquid culture reduced D37 by 2 orders of magnitude (to about 1 kJ/m2); similar results were obtained with Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 and Haloarcula japonica. The absorption of incoming light of shorter wavelength by color centers resulting from defects in the halite crystal structure likely contributed to these results. Under natural conditions, haloarchaeal cells become embedded in salt upon evaporation; therefore, dispersal of potential microscopic life within small crystals, perhaps in dust, on the surface of Mars could resist damage by UV radiation. PMID:19215203

  13. Investigating the Effects of Simulated Martian Ultraviolet Radiation on Halococcus dombrowskii and Other Extremely Halophilic Archaebacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fendrihan, Sergiu; Bérces, Attila; Lammer, Helmut; Musso, Maurizio; Rontó, György; Polacsek, Tatjana K.; Holzinger, Anita; Kolb, Christoph; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2009-02-01

    The isolation of viable extremely halophilic archaea from 250-million-year-old rock salt suggests the possibility of their long-term survival under desiccation. Since halite has been found on Mars and in meteorites, haloarchaeal survival of martian surface conditions is being explored. Halococcus dombrowskii H4 DSM 14522T was exposed to UV doses over a wavelength range of 200-400 nm to simulate martian UV flux. Cells embedded in a thin layer of laboratory-grown halite were found to accumulate preferentially within fluid inclusions. Survival was assessed by staining with the LIVE/DEAD kit dyes, determining colony-forming units, and using growth tests. Halite-embedded cells showed no loss of viability after exposure to about 21 kJ/m2, and they resumed growth in liquid medium with lag phases of 12 days or more after exposure up to 148 kJ/m2. The estimated D37 (dose of 37% survival) for Hcc. dombrowskii was ≥ 400 kJ/m2. However, exposure of cells to UV flux while in liquid culture reduced D37 by 2 orders of magnitude (to about 1 kJ/m2); similar results were obtained with Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 and Haloarcula japonica. The absorption of incoming light of shorter wavelength by color centers resulting from defects in the halite crystal structure likely contributed to these results. Under natural conditions, haloarchaeal cells become embedded in salt upon evaporation; therefore, dispersal of potential microscopic life within small crystals, perhaps in dust, on the surface of Mars could resist damage by UV radiation.

  14. Influence of planetary-scale topography on the diurnal thermal tide during the 1971 Martian dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conrath, B. J.

    1976-01-01

    Data obtained with the Mariner 9 infrared spectroscopy experiment during the Martian Dust Storm of 1971 to 1972 are examined for evidence of topographic influence on the atmospheric thermal structure. Temperature perturbations which are well correlated with the planetary scale topography are found superposed on the large amplitude diurnal thermal tide. Applications of tidal theory to the data indicate that the observed perturbations result from the kinematic interaction of the westward traveling diurnal wave with the large scale components of topography. The dominant mode is excited by the wave-number two topography component and is a vertically evanescent eastward traveling wave with an equivalent depth comparable to the atmospheric scale height. The principle dynamic effect of this mode is the enhancement of the amplitude of the near-surface diurnal wind to over 40m/sec in limited areas near 30 deg south latitude. It appears likely that dust was injected into the atmosphere in these regions during the storm.

  15. Ice nucleation by surrogates of Martian mineral dust: What can we learn about Mars without leaving Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cziczo, Daniel J.; Garimella, Sarvesh; Raddatz, Michael; Hoehler, Kristina; Schnaiter, Martin; Saathoff, Harald; Moehler, Ottmar; Abbatt, Jonathan P. D.; Ladino, Luis A.

    2013-09-01

    and carbon dioxide ice clouds have been observed in the Martian atmosphere where they are dynamic parts of that planet's water and carbon cycles. Many Martian atmospheric models struggle to correctly predict clouds and, with insufficient data, some use untested simplifications that cloud formation occurs exactly at the saturation point of the condensed phase or at the same conditions as terrestrial cirrus clouds. To address the lack of data, we have utilized an 84 m3 cloud chamber built for studies of high altitude cirrus and polar stratospheric ice clouds in the Earth's atmosphere and adapted to Martian conditions. Using this chamber, we have been able to produce water ice clouds from aerosol in an inert and low pressure atmosphere mimicking that of Mars. At temperatures between 189 and 215 K, we investigated cloud formation by mineral dust particulates of a similar composition and size to those found on Mars. We show that these surrogate materials nucleate effectively at the higher temperatures, with minor temperature dependence at saturations ratios with respect to the ice phase of ~1.1, similar to what has been found for terrestrial cirrus. At the lower end of the temperature range, this saturation rises to ~1.9, a result consistent with previous studies.

  16. Martian and Asteroid Dusts as Toxicological Risks for Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2012-01-01

    As the lunar dust toxicity project winds down, our attention is drawn to the potential toxicity of dust present at the surface of more distant celestial objects. Lunar dust has proven to be surprisingly toxic to the respiratory systems of test animals, so one might expect dust from other celestial bodies to hold toxicological surprises for us. At this point all one can do is consider what should be known about these dusts to characterize their toxicity, and then ask to what extent that information is known. In an ideal world it might be possible to suggest an exposure standard based on the known properties of a celestial dust without direct testing of the dust in laboratory animals. Factors known to affect the toxicity of mineral dusts under some conditions include the following: particle size distribution, particle shape/porosity, mineralogical properties (crystalline vs. amorphous), chemical properties and composition, and surface reactivity. Data from a recent Japanese mission to the S-type asteroid Itokawa revealed some surprises about the dust found there, given that there is only a very week gravitational field to hold the dust on the surface. On Mars the reddish-brown dust is widely distributed by global dust storms and by local clusters of dust devils. Past surface probes have revealed some of the properties of dust found there. Contemporary data from Curiosity and other surface probes will be weighed against the data needed to set a defensible safe exposure limit. Gaps will emerge.

  17. Simulation of Martian surface-atmosphere interaction in a space-simulator: Technical considerations and feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Simulator of the German Aerospace Research Establishment at Cologne, formerly used for testing satellites, is now, since 1987, the central unit within the research sub-program 'Comet-Simulation' (KOSI). The KOSI team has investigated physical processes relevant to comets and their surfaces. As a byproduct we gained experience in sample-handling under simulated space conditions. In broadening the scope of the research activities of the DLR Institute of Space Simulation an extension to 'Laboratory-Planetology' is planned. Following the KOSI-experiments a Mars Surface-Simulation with realistic minerals and surface soil in a suited environment (temperature, pressure, and CO2-atmosphere) is foreseen as the next step. Here, our main interest is centered on thermophysical properties of the Martian surface and energy transport (and related gas transport) through the surface. These laboratory simulation activities can be related to space missions as typical pre-mission and during-the-mission support of the experiments design and operations (simulation in parallel). Post mission experiments for confirmation and interpretation of results are of great value. The physical dimensions of the Space Simulator (cylinder of about 2.5 m diameter and 5 m length) allows for testing and qualification of experimental hardware under realistic Martian conditions.

  18. Activity and stability of a complex bacterial soil community under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Merrison, Jonathan; Nørnberg, Per; Aagaard Lomstein, Bente; Finster, Kai

    2005-04-01

    A simulation experiment with a complex bacterial soil community in a Mars simulation chamber was performed to determine the effect of Martian conditions on community activity, stability and survival. At three different depths in the soil core short-term effects of Martian conditions with and without ultraviolet (UV) exposure corresponding to 8 Martian Sol were compared. Community metabolic activities and functional diversity, measured as glucose respiration and versatility in substrate utilization, respectively, decreased after UV exposure, whereas they remained unaffected by Martian conditions without UV exposure. In contrast, the numbers of culturable bacteria and the genetic diversity were unaffected by the simulated Martian conditions both with and without UV exposure. The genetic diversity of the soil community and of the colonies grown on agar plates were evaluated by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on DNA extracts. Desiccation of the soil prior to experimentation affected the functional diversity by decreasing the versatility in substrate utilization. The natural dominance of endospores and Gram-positive bacteria in the investigated Mars-analogue soil may explain the limited effect of the Mars incubations on the survival and community structure. Our results suggest that UV radiation and desiccation are major selecting factors on bacterial functional diversity in terrestrial bacterial communities incubated under simulated Martian conditions. Furthermore, these results suggest that forward contamination of Mars is a matter of great concern in future space missions.

  19. Extreme detached dust layers near Martian volcanoes: Evidence for dust transport by mesoscale circulations forced by high topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.; Cantor, B. A.; Hayne, P. O.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinböhl, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Piqueux, S.; Schofield, J. T.; Shirley, J. H.

    2015-05-01

    Modeling suggests that thermal circulations over Mars's highest volcanoes transport water vapor and dust from the surface into the middle atmosphere, forming detached layers in these constituents. Intense vertical mixing also takes place in regional and global dust storms, which can generate detached layers that are extreme in both altitude and magnitude. Here we employ observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, taking advantage of improved vertical coverage in MCS's aerosol retrievals, to discover a new class of extreme detached dust layers (EDDLs). Observed during minimal dust storm activity and furthermore distinguished by their potentially large and measurable horizontal extent (>1000 km), these EDDLs cluster near Olympus Mons and the Tharsis Montes, from which they likely originate. The existence of these EDDLs suggests that vertical mixing by topographic circulations can be much stronger than previously modeled and more frequent than previously observed.

  20. Lunar Simulation in the Lunar Dust Adhesion Bell Jar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Sechkar, Edward A.

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Dust Adhesion Bell Jar has been assembled at the NASA Glenn Research Center to provide a high fidelity lunar simulation facility to test the interactions of lunar dust and lunar dust simulant with candidate aerospace materials and coatings. It has a sophisticated design which enables it to treat dust in a way that will remove adsorbed gases and create a chemically reactive surface. It can simulate the vacuum, thermal, and radiation environments of the Moon, including proximate areas of illuminated heat and extremely cold shadow. It is expected to be a valuable tool in the development of dust repellant and cleaning technologies for lunar surface systems.

  1. Ultraviolet complex refractive index of Martian dust Laboratory measurements of terrestrial analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egan, W. G.; Hilgeman, T.; Pang, K.

    1975-01-01

    The optical complex index of refraction of four candidate Martian surface materials has been determined between 0.185 and 0.4 microns using a modified Kubelka-Munk scattering theory. The cadidate materials were limonite, andesite, montmorillonite, and basalt. The effect of scattering has been removed from the results. Also presented are diffuse reflection and transmission data on these samples.

  2. Simulation of source intensity variations from atmospheric dust for solar occultation Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, K. S.; Toon, G. C.; Strong, K.

    2016-05-01

    A Fourier transform spectrometer observing in solar occultation mode from orbit is ideally suited to detecting and characterizing vertical profiles of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere. This technique benefits from a long optical path length and high signal strength, and can have high spectral resolution. The Martian atmosphere is often subject to large quantities of suspended dust, which attenuates solar radiation along the line-of-sight. An instrument making solar occultation measurements scans the limb of the atmosphere continuously, and the optical path moves through layers of increasing or decreasing dust levels during a single interferogram acquisition, resulting in time-varying signal intensity. If uncorrected, source intensity variations (SIVs) can affect the relative depth of absorption lines, negatively impacting trace gas retrievals. We have simulated SIVs using synthetic spectra for the Martian atmosphere, and investigated different techniques to mitigate the effects of SIVs. We examined high-pass filters in the wavenumber domain, and smoothing methods in the optical path difference (OPD) domain, and conclude that using a convolution operator in the OPD domain can isolate the SIVs and be used to correct for it. We observe spectral residuals of less than 0.25% in both high- and low-dust conditions, and retrieved volume mixing ratio vertical profile differences on the order of 0.5-3% for several trace gases known to be present in the Martian atmosphere. These differences are smaller than those caused by adding realistic noise to the spectra. This work thus demonstrates that it should be possible to retrieve vertical profiles of trace gases in a dusty Martian atmosphere using solar occultation if the interferograms are corrected for the effects of dust.

  3. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  4. Operations Strategies for the Mars Exploration Rovers During the 2007 Martian Global Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seibert, Michael; Herman, Jennifer; ElDeeb, Dina

    2009-01-01

    In June and July 2007 Mars experienced a dust storm that grew to envelop all but the polar latitudes of the planet. This dust storm was the first global dust storm to occur while the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) began surface operations. It is estimated that the dust in the atmosphere prevented over 99.6% of direct sunlight from reaching the surface at the peak of the storm. Data collected indicated that solar array energy output was reduced to approximately 15% of maximum. The reduction in insolation and energy output posed the greatest risk of ending the mission for both rovers at that time.

  5. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  6. Extensive computation of albedo contrast between martian dust devil tracks and their neighboring regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, Thiago; Pina, Pedro; Silva, Erivaldo Antônio da

    2015-04-01

    We have developed a method to compute the albedo contrast between dust devil tracks and their surrounding regions on Mars. It is mainly based on Mathematical Morphology operators and uses all the points of the edges of the tracks to compute the values of the albedo contrast. It permits the extraction of more accurate and complete information, when compared to traditional point sampling, not only providing better statistics but also permitting the analysis of local variations along the entirety of the tracks. This measure of contrast, based on relative quantities, is much more adequate to establish comparisons at regional scales and in multi-temporal basis using imagery acquired in rather different environmental and operational conditions. Also, the substantial increase in the details extracted may permit quantifying differential depositions of dust by computing local temporal fading of the tracks with consequences on a better estimation of the thickness of the top most layer of dust and the minimum value needed to create dust devils tracks. The developed tool is tested on 110 HiRISE images depicting regions in the Aeolis, Argyre, Eridania, Noachis and Hellas quadrangles. As a complementary evaluation, we also performed a temporal analysis of the albedo in a region of Russell crater, where high seasonal dust devil activity was already observed before, comprising the years 2007-2012. The mean albedo of the Russell crater is in this case indicative of dust devil tracks presence and, therefore, can be used to quantify dust devil activity.

  7. Numerical simulation of the October 2002 dust event in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Yaping; Leys, John F.; McTainsh, Grant H.; Tews, Kenn

    2007-04-01

    In comparison to the major dust sources in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia is a relatively minor contributor to the global dust budget. However, severe dust storms do occur in Australia, especially in drought years. In this study, we simulate the 22-23 October 2002 dust storm using an integrated dust model, which is probably the most severe dust storm in Australia in at least the past 40 years. The model results are compared with synoptic visibility data and satellite images and for several stations, with high-volume sampler measurements. The model simulations are then used to estimate dust load, emission, and deposition, both for over the continent and for over the ocean. The main dust sources and sinks are identified. Dust sources include the desert areas in northern South Australia, the grazing lands in western New South Wales (NSW), and the farm lands in NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia, as well as areas in Queensland and Northern Territory. The desert areas appear to be the strongest source. The maximum dust emission is around 2000 μg m-2 s-1, and the maximum net dust emission is around 500 μg m-2 s-1. The total amount of dust eroded from the Australian continent during this dust event is around 95.8 Mt, of which 93.67 Mt is deposited on the continent and 2.13 Mt in the ocean. The maximum total dust load over the simulation domain is around 5 Mt. The magnitude of this Australian dust storm corresponds to a northeast Asian dust storm of moderate size.

  8. The Martian polar CAP - Radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1990-02-01

    The solar and thermal flux striking the polar cap of Mars is computed for various ozone, dust, and cloud abundances and for three solar zenith angles. Ozone does not significantly affect the total energy budget of the polar cap. Hence the observed hemispherical asymmetry in ozone abundance causes only an insignificant hemispherical asymmetry in the polar caps. Vertical optical depths of dust and cloud ranging from zero to 1 cause little change in the total flux absorbed by the polar cap near its edge but increase the absorbed flux significantly as one travels poleward. Hemispherical asymmetries in dust abundance, cloud cover, and surface pressure combine to cause a significant hemispherical asymmetry in the total flux absorbed by the residual polar caps, which helps to explain the dichotomy in the residual polar caps on Mars. Other processes which affect the energy budget of the polar cap are proposed and reviewed, particularly with respect to their interaction with the radiative effects of clouds and dust.

  9. Process to Create High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, Robert

    2010-01-01

    A method was developed to create high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than the existing simulants. The new dust simulant is designed to more closely approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust (including the presence of nanophase iron). A two-step process is required to create this dust simulant. The first step is to prepare a feedstock material that contains a high percentage of agglutinate-like particles with iron globules (including nanophase iron). The raw material selected must have the proper mineralogical composition. In the second processing step, the feedstock material from the first step is jet-milled to reduce the particle size to a range consistent with lunar dust.

  10. The chemical composition of the dust-free Martian atmosphere - Preliminary results of a two-dimensional model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moreau, D.; Esposito, L. W.; Brasseur, G.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes a two-dimensional model of the Martian atmosphere, in which chemical, radiative and dynamical processes are treated interactively. The model is developed for a carbon dioxide-hydrogen-oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and provides estimates of concentrations for 19 chemical species. The dynamical equations are expressed in the transformed Eulerian coordinates. The wave driving and eddy mixing coefficients resulting from gravity and Rossby wave absorption are computed consistently with the evolving distribution of the mean zonal wind. The net diabatic heating/cooling rate is derived from a detailed radiative scheme including the contributions of CO2, O3, H2O and O2, and is computed consistently with the calculated distribution of temperature and trace species quantities. The computed temperature field as well as the meridional and seasonal variations of ozone column abundance are in good agreement with the distributions observed by Mariner 9 and Viking spacecrafts and the results obtained by previous studies. The present version of the model does not include the effects of dust, clouds and polar hood and only the chemistry in a dust-free atmosphere is considered.

  11. Lunar Dust Simulant in Mechanical Component Testing - Paradigm and Practicality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jett, T.; Street, K.; Abel, P.; Richmond, R.

    2008-01-01

    Due to the uniquely harsh lunar surface environment, terrestrial test activities may not adequately represent abrasive wear by lunar dust likely to be experienced in mechanical systems used in lunar exploration. Testing to identify potential moving mechanism problems has recently begun within the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Mechanical Systems Lunar Dust Assessment activity in coordination with the Exploration Technology and Development Program Dust Management Project, and these complimentary efforts will be described. Specific concerns about differences between simulant and lunar dust, and procedures for mechanical component testing with lunar simulant will be considered. In preparing for long term operations within a dusty lunar environment, the three fundamental approaches to keeping mechanical equipment functioning are dust avoidance, dust removal, and dust tolerance, with some combination of the three likely to be found in most engineering designs. Methods to exclude dust from contact with mechanical components would constitute mitigation by dust avoidance, so testing seals for dust exclusion efficacy as a function of particle size provides useful information for mechanism design. Dust of particle size less than a micron is not well documented for impact on lunar mechanical components. Therefore, creating a standardized lunar dust simulant in the particulate size range of ca. 0.1 to 1.0 micrometer is useful for testing effects on mechanical components such as bearings, gears, seals, bushings, and other moving mechanical assemblies. Approaching actual wear testing of mechanical components, it is beneficial to first establish relative wear rates caused by dust on commonly used mechanical component materials. The wear mode due to dust within mechanical components, such as abrasion caused by dust in grease(s), needs to be considered, as well as the effects of vacuum, lunar thermal cycle, and electrostatics on wear rate.

  12. Effect of shadowing on survival of bacteria under conditions simulating the Martian atmosphere and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-02-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-microm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-microm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (approximately 5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  13. Effects of Long-Term Simulated Martian Conditions on a Freeze-Dried and Homogenized Bacterial Permafrost Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Aviaja A.; Jenson, Lars L.; Kristoffersen, Tommy; Mikkelsen, Karina; Merrison, Jonathan; Finster, Kai W.; Lomstein, Bente Aa.

    2009-03-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core, while the number of viable cells was reduced in the upper 15 mm. The number of cultured aerobic bacteria was reduced in the upper 6 mm of the soil core, whereas the community structure of cultured anaerobic bacteria was relatively unaffected by the exposure conditions. As explanations for the observed changes, we propose three causes that might have been working on the biological material either individually or synergistically: (i) UV radiation, (ii) UV-generated reactive oxygen species, and (iii) freeze-thaw cycles. Currently, the production and action of reactive gases is only hypothetical and will be a central subject in future investigations. Overall, we conclude that in a stable environment (no wind-/pressure-induced mixing) biological material is efficiently shielded by a 2 cm thick layer of dust, while it is relatively rapidly destroyed in the surface layer, and that biomolecules like proteins and polynucleotides are more resistant to destruction than living biota.

  14. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  15. Interannual similarity in the Martian atmosphere during the dust storm season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, D. M.; Kleinböhl, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Smith, M. D.

    2016-06-01

    We find that during the dusty season on Mars (southern spring and summer) of years without a global dust storm there are three large regional-scale dust storms. The storms are labeled A, B, and C in seasonal order. This classification is based on examining the zonal mean 50 Pa (˜25 km) daytime temperature retrievals from TES/MGS and MCS/MRO over 6 Mars Years. Regional-scale storms are defined as events where the temperature exceeds 200 K. Examining the MCS dust field at 50 Pa indicates that warming in the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by direct heating, while northern high latitude warming is a dynamical response. A storms are springtime planet encircling Southern Hemisphere events. B storms are southern polar events that begin near perihelion and last through the solstice. C storms are southern summertime events starting well after the end of the B storm. C storms show the most interannual variability.

  16. Physical Properties of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Analysis of Contradictions and Possible Ways of Their Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Korablev, O. I.; Morozhenko, A. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in forming the Martian climate. However, the basic physical properties of the Martian aerosols are still poorly known; there are many contradictions in their estimates. We present an analytical overview of the published results and potentialities of various methods. We consider mineral dust. Zonally averaged data obtained from mapping IR instruments (TES and IRTM) give the optical thickness of mineral aerosols τ9 = 0.05-0.1 in the 9-μm band for quite atmospheric conditions. There is a problem of comparing these estimates with those obtained in the visible spectral range. We suggest that the commonly used ratio τvis/τ9 >2 depends on the interpretation and it may actually be smaller. The ratio τvis/τ9 ~ 1 is in better agreement with the IRIS data (materials like montmorillonite). If we assume that τvis/τ9 = 1 and take into account the nonspherical particle shape, then the interpretation of ground-based integrated polarimetric observations (τ < 0.04) can be reconciled with IR measurements from the orbit. However, for thin layers, the sensitivity of both methods to the optical thickness is poorly understood: on the one hand, polarimetry depends on the cloud cover and, on the other hand, the interpretation of IR measurements requires that the atmospheric temperature profile and the surface temperature and emissivity be precisely known. For quite atmospheric conditions, the local optical-thickness estimates obtained by the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method and from the sky brightness measured from Viking 1 and 2 and Mars Pathfinder landers are much larger: τ = 0.3-0.6. Estimates of the contrasts in images from the Viking orbiters yield the same values. Thus, there is still a factor of 3 to 10 difference between different groups of optical-thickness estimates for the quiet atmosphere. This difference is probably explained by the contribution of condensation clouds and/or by local/time variations.

  17. Injection of dust into the Martian atmosphere - Evidence from the Viking Gas Exchange experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huguenin, R. L.; Harris, S. L.; Carter, R.

    1986-01-01

    The hypothesis that predawn midlatitude storms are triggered by a soil humidification process is examined. A freeze/thaw model of the process is evaluated in the Viking Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars. The humidification-driven desorption and desiccation state of Martian soil samples are analyzed. The periodic humidification of equatorial regolith soil is studied in terms of pore space pressure during desorption events and soil diffusivity; the thermal properties of the regolith surface layer are modeled using the program of Clifford (1984). Consideration is given to the diurnal and seasonal cycles of the humidification process, the permanent, low-albedo features in the midlatitudes, and the production of H2SO4 and HCl aerosols.

  18. Neurotoxic potential of lunar and martian dust: influence on em, proton gradient, active transport, and binding of glutamate in rat brain nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Krisanova, Natalia; Kasatkina, Ludmila; Sivko, Roman; Borysov, Arseniy; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Slenzka, Klaus; Borisova, Tatiana

    2013-08-01

    The harmful effects of lunar dust (LD) on directly exposed tissues are documented in the literature, whereas researchers are only recently beginning to consider its effects on indirectly exposed tissues. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and transported to the central nervous system. The neurotoxic potential of LD and martian dust (MD) has not yet been assessed. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter involved in most aspects of normal brain function, whereas disturbances in glutamate homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of major neurological disorders. The research was focused on the analysis of the effects of LD/MD simulants (JSC-1a/JSC, derived from volcanic ash) on the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission. The average size of LD and MD particles (even minor fractions) before and after sonication was determined by dynamic light scattering. With the use of radiolabeled l-[(14)C]glutamate, it was shown that there is an increase in l-[(14)C]glutamate binding to isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) in low [Na(+)] media and at low temperature in the presence of LD. MD caused significantly lesser changes under the same conditions, whereas nanoparticles of magnetite had no effect at all. Fluorimetric experiments with potential-sensitive dye rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive dye acridine orange showed that the potential of the plasma membrane of the nerve terminals and acidification of synaptic vesicles were not altered by LD/MD (and nanoparticles of magnetite). Thus, the unique effect of LD to increase glutamate binding to the nerve terminals was shown. This can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system and cause alterations in the ambient level of glutamate, which is extremely important for proper synaptic transmission. During a long-term mission, a combination of constant irritation due

  19. Hybrid Simulations of Plasma-Neutral-Dust Interactions at Enceladus

    SciTech Connect

    Omidi, N.; Russell, C. T.; Jia, Y. D.; Tokar, R. L.; Farrell, W. M.

    2010-12-30

    Through ejection from its southern hemisphere, Enceladus is a dominant source of neutral gas and dust in Saturn's inner magnetosphere. The interaction of the corotating plasma with the gas and dust modifies the plasma environment around Enceladus. We use 3-D hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations to examine the effects of gas and dust on the nature of the interaction region and use Cassini observations to constrain their properties.

  20. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  1. Vertical profiles of dust and ozone in the Martian atmosphere deduced from solar occultation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamont, J. E.; Chassefiere, E.; Goutail, J. P.; Mege, B.; Nunes-Pinharanda, M.; Souchon, G.; Krasnopolsky, V. A.; Krysko, A. A.; Moroz, V. I.

    1991-02-01

    The vertical distribution of the ozone content and of the aerosols in the Martian atmosphere at the equinox and near the equator was studied with the aid of a biaxial pointing device, a microprocessor-controlled flat mirror of elliptical shape. An upper limit of 5 x 10 to the 7th mol/cu cm for ozone was obtained above an altitude of 30 km. For the aerosols, a semiquantitative distribution has been obtained between 10 and 50 km of altitude. The scale height is nearly equal to the atmospheric scale height in the 10-20 km region where mixing seems to predominate, and falls rapidly to a thickness of about 2 km at 30 km. In 10 percent of the occultations, a stratified haze has been detected between 40 and 50 km. The particle radius of cloud constituents is estimated and optical thickness per kilometer of these hazes at peak extinction are approximated. An eddy diffusion coefficient and a mixing ratio are estimated for clouds assumed to be at equilibrium.

  2. Simulating Dust Cycling during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.; Mahowald, N. M.; Soreghan, G. S.; Soreghan, M. J.; Shields, C. A.; Albani, S.

    2012-12-01

    Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian strata preserve evidence for significant deposition of mineral dust, an aerosol with strong potential influence on the climate. Some equatorial marine carbonate records from this interval appear to record massive influxes of fine dust (diameter < 10 μm) after rapid sea level fall, suggesting that the pacing of dust deposition was connected to the expansion and contraction of ice sheets during the important icehouse climate interval of Carboniferous and Permian time. Nearby continental strata record high accumulations of coarse dust (loess) during periods of increasing aridity (apparent glacial intervals) and of fine dust (paleosols) during periods of increasing humidity (apparent interglacial intervals), though the pacing of this deposition may be more strongly associated with orbital forcing than ice sheet dynamics. Significant dust deposition continued in many of these areas during the emergence of the Earth's climate from icehouse conditions during Middle Permian time. Understanding the dynamics of dust cycling during the depths of the icehouse is the first step to investigating dust records from the most recent icehouse termination of Earth's history. Here, we attempt to reconstruct the cycling and some of the potential climate impacts of mineral dust during this interval, using version 3 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM3) and the best available records of dust deposition. Modeled sensitivity simulations suggest that climatic controls on dust cycling that act on relatively short timescales (primarily meteorological and vegetation-related) cannot explain the large variability in dust deposition rates inferred from marine carbonate records. Processes acting on longer timescales, particularly those that control the availability of wind-erodible sediment, likely are more important. We also consider whether exposure of sedimentary basins during sea level fall and glaciogenic dust production could modulate dust

  3. Simulating Martian water ice clouds in terrestrial laboratories: What can we learn about Mars without leaving Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cziczo, D. J.; Garimella, S.; Cahoy, K.; Hu, R.; Zuber, M. T.; Stetzer, O.; Raddatz, M.; Hoehler, K.; Schnaiter, M.; Saathoff, H.; Moehler, O.

    2012-12-01

    Both water and carbon dioxide ice clouds have been observed in the Martian atmosphere where they are dynamic parts of that planet's water and carbon cycles. Many Martian atmospheric models struggle to correctly predict clouds and, with insufficient data, some use a non-physical simplification that cloud formation occurs exactly at the saturation point of the condensed phase. To help alleviate the lack of fundamental data we have leveraged chambers built for studies of high altitude cirrus and polar stratospheric ice clouds in the Earth's atmosphere and adapted them to Martian conditions. Using these chambers we have been able to produce water ice clouds in a low pressure and oxygen-free atmosphere mimicking Mars'. Temperatures between -40° and -80° C were used and mineral dust particulates of a similar composition and size to those found on Mars were used. We show that surrogates of Martian mineral dust nucleate effectively, at saturations ratios with respect to the ice phase of ~1.2 (i.e., 120% relative humidity). Concepts for extending the capabilities of the terrestrial chambers to a more full range of Martian conditions will also be discussed.

  4. Influence of Moisture Content on Albedo Changes of JSC-Mars1 Martian Simulant: A Lesson for HiRISE?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maturilli, A.; Helbert, J.; Roush, T. L.; D'Amore, M.

    2012-03-01

    Albedo depends upon the moisture level of the surface, but this relation is not fully understood. In the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory we measured VIS reflectance spectra of a JSC Mars-1 martian soil simulant under several different moisture contents.

  5. Simulation of Viking biology experiments suggests smectites not palagonites, as martian soil analogues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, A.; Margulies, L.

    1983-01-01

    An experimental comparison of palagonites and a smectite (montmorillonite) was performed in a simulation of the Viking Biology Labelled Release (LR) experiment in order to judge which mineral is a better Mars soil analog material (MarSAM). Samples of palagonite were obtained from cold weathering environments and volcanic soil, and the smectite was extracted from Wyoming Bentonite and converted to H or Fe types. Decomposition reaction kinetics were examined in the LR simulation, which on the Lander involved interaction of the martian soil with organic compounds. Reflectance spectroscopy indicated that smectites bearing Fe(III) in well-crystallized sites are not good MarSAMS. The palagonites did not cause the formate decomposition and C-14 emission detected in the LR, indicating that palagonites are also not good MarSAMS. Smectites, however, may be responsible for ion exchange, molecular adsorption, and catalysis in martian soil.

  6. Martian surface

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-03-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust.

  7. Laser spectroscopic real time measurements of methanogenic activity under simulated Martian subsurface analog conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirmack, Janosch; Böhm, Michael; Brauer, Chris; Löhmannsröben, Hans-Gerd; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Möhlmann, Diedrich; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-08-01

    On Earth, chemolithoautothrophic and anaerobic microorganisms such as methanogenic archaea are regarded as model organisms for possible subsurface life on Mars. For this reason, the methanogenic strain Methanosarcina soligelidi (formerly called Methanosarcina spec. SMA-21), isolated from permafrost-affected soil in northeast Siberia, has been tested under Martian thermo-physical conditions. In previous studies under simulated Martian conditions, high survival rates of these microorganisms were observed. In our study we present a method to measure methane production as a first attempt to study metabolic activity of methanogenic archaea during simulated conditions approaching conditions of Mars-like environments. To determine methanogenic activity, a measurement technique which is capable to measure the produced methane concentration with high precision and with high temporal resolution is needed. Although there are several methods to detect methane, only a few fulfill all the needed requirements to work within simulated extraterrestrial environments. We have chosen laser spectroscopy, which is a non-destructive technique that measures the methane concentration without sample taking and also can be run continuously. In our simulation, we detected methane production at temperatures down to -5 °C, which would be found on Mars either temporarily in the shallow subsurface or continually in the deep subsurface. The pressure of 50 kPa which we used in our experiments, corresponds to the expected pressure in the Martian near subsurface. Our new device proved to be fully functional and the results indicate that the possible existence of methanogenic archaea in Martian subsurface habitats cannot be ruled out.

  8. Martian atmospheric gravity waves simulated by a high-resolution general circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Yiǧit, Erdal; Medvedev, Alexander S.; Hartogh, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Gravity waves (GWs) significantly affect temperature and wind fields in the Martian middle and upper atmosphere. They are also one of the observational targets of the MAVEN mission. We report on the first simulations with a high-resolution general circulation model (GCM) and present a global distributions of small-scale GWs in the Martian atmosphere. The simulated GW-induced temperature variances are in a good agreement with available radio occultation data in the lower atmosphere between 10 and 30 km. For the northern winter solstice, the model reveals a latitudinal asymmetry with stronger wave generation in the winter hemisphere and two distinctive sources of GWs: mountainous regions and the meandering winter polar jet. Orographic GWs are filtered upon propagating upward, and the mesosphere is primarily dominated by harmonics with faster horizontal phase velocities. Wave fluxes are directed mainly against the local wind. GW dissipation in the upper mesosphere generates a body force per unit mass of tens of m s^{-1} per Martian solar day (sol^{-1}), which tends to close the simulated jets. The results represent a realistic surrogate for missing observations, which can be used for constraining GW parameterizations and validating GCMs.

  9. Path selection system simulation and evaluation for a Martian roving vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boheim, S. L.; Prudon, W. C.

    1972-01-01

    The simulation and evaluation of proposed path selection systems for an autonomous Martian roving vehicle was developed. The package incorporates a number of realistic features, such as the simulation of random effects due to vehicle bounce and sensor-reading uncertainty, to increase the reliability of the results. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria were established. The performance of three different path selection systems was evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the simulation package, and to form some preliminary conclusions regarding the tradeoffs involved in a path selection system design.

  10. Abrasion of windblown particles on Mars - Erosion of quartz and basaltic sand under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krinsley, D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1979-01-01

    The results of a series of laboratory experiments initiated to simulate Martian eolian erosion are presented. Experiments were conducted under Martian atmospheric pressure and compared to natural eolian sand produced on earth. It is reported that the less dense atmosphere on Mars resulted in more energetic eolian erosion manifested by an slightly higher rate of grain rounding and surface textures that included semicircular depressions termed 'popouts'. It is suggested that physical and chemical weathering may proceed more rapidly on Mars than on earth, given a sufficient supply of water vapor. In addition, clay mineral formations should be facilitated by the presence of large amounts of disrupted material. Finally, it is noted that the disrupted material could increase the ability of the soil to act as a reservoir for water thereby provisionally explaining the large amount of bound water on the surface soil material over much of Mars.

  11. The simulation of cosmic dust collection process with little damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Danming; Li, Yali; Wu, Qingxiao; Dai, Peng

    2016-07-01

    To built a cosmic dust collector according to a predetermined concept, mateirals that can be used to buffer the poential high speed collision of the cosmic dust have been studied. In this study, aerogel was chosen as an ideal buffer material and analyzed with SPH modeling method which is embedded in ABAQUS FE code. This report presents the interactions of cosmic dust, varing composition, shape and velocity, with the buffer material. The results show that cosmic dust that moves at 6 Km/s or less can be captured with minor damage to the buffer material of certain length. The simulation provides favorable technical support for the structural design of the cosmic dust collector.

  12. Effects of a Simulated Martian UV Flux on the Cyanobacterium, Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Billi, Daniela; Imre Friedmann, E.; Panitz, Corinna

    2005-06-01

    Dried monolayers of Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029, a desiccation-tolerant, endolithic cyanobacterium, were exposed to a simulated martian-surface UV and visible light flux, which may also approximate to the worst-case scenario for the Archean Earth. After 5 min, there was a 99% loss of cell viability, and there were no survivors after 30 min. However, this survival was approximately 10 times higher than that previously reported for Bacillus subtilis. We show that under 1 mm of rock, Chroococcidiopsis sp. could survive (and potentially grow) under the high martian UV flux if water and nutrient requirements for growth were met. In isolated cells, phycobilisomes and esterases remained intact hours after viability was lost. Esterase activity was reduced by 99% after a 1-h exposure, while 99% loss of autofluorescence required a 4-h exposure. However, cell morphology was not changed, and DNA was still detectable by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining after an 8-h exposure (equivalent to approximately 1 day on Mars at the equator). Under 1 mm of simulant martian soil or gneiss, the effect of UV radiation could not be detected on esterase activity or autofluorescence after 4 h. These results show that under the intense martian UV flux the morphological signatures of life can persist even after viability, enzymatic activity, and pigmentation have been destroyed. Finally, the global dispersal of viable, isolated cells of even this desiccation-tolerant, ionizing-radiation-resistant microorganism on Mars is unlikely as they are killed quickly by unattenuated UV radiation when in a desiccated state. These findings have implications for the survival of diverse microbial contaminants dispersed during the course of human exploratory class missions on the surface of Mars.

  13. Computer simulation of dust grain evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liffman, K.

    1989-01-01

    The latest results are reported from a Monte Carlo code that is being developed at NASA Ames. The goal of this program, is to derive from the observed and presumed properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) the following information: (1) the size spectrum of interstellar dust; (2) the chemical structure of interstellar dust; (3) interstellar abundances; and (4) the lifetime of a dust grain in the ISM. Presently this study is restricted to refractory interstellar material, i.e., the formation and destruction of ices are not included in the program. The program is embedded in an analytic solution for the bulk chemical evolution of a two-phase interstellar medium in which stars are born in molecular clouds, but new nucleosynthesis products and stellar return are entered into a complementary intercloud medium. The well-mixed matter of each interstellar phase is repeatedly cycled stochastically through the complementary phase and back. Refractory dust is created by thermal condensation as stellar matter flows away from sites of nucleosynthesis such as novae and supernovae and/or from the matter returned from evolved intermediate stars. The history of each particle is traced by standard Monte Carlo techniques as it is sputtered and fragmented by supernova shock waves in the intercloud medium. It also accretes an amorphous mantle of gaseous refractory atoms when its local medium joins with the molecular cloud medium. Finally it encounters the possibility of astration (destruction by star formation) within the molecular clouds.

  14. Three-Dimensional Simulations of the Martian Ion Foreshock : Reflected Solar Wind Protons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanteur, G. M.; Richer, E.; Modolo, R.; Dubinin, E.

    2012-12-01

    A recent comparison of observations of the ion foreshocks of Mars and Venus [Yamauchi et al. 2011] emphasizes the importance of the curvature of the Martian bow-shock for explaining peculiarities of the ion Martian foreshock. More recently the reflection of solar wind protons on the Martian bow shock (BS) has been investigated by means of three-dimensional simulation models [Richer et al. 2012]. A two steps approach combining three-dimensional self-consistent hybrid and test particles simulations is adopted to allow a detailed analysis of the reflected population. This study demonstrates some effects of the large curvature of a planetary BS on the structure of the foreshock. Reflected protons encounter the BS in a region encompassing parts of the quasi-perpendicular and quasi-parallel shocks, and exit the shock mainly from the quasi-parallel region. The energy spectrum of all reflected protons extends from 0 to almost 15keV. A virtual omni-directional detector (VOD) is used to compute the local omni-directional flux of reflected protons at various locations upstream of the BS. Spatial variations of this omni-directional flux indicate the location and spatial extent of the proton foreshock. Figure 1 is a cut of the foreshock parallel to and below the orbital plane, it demonstrates a shift, increasing with the distance downstream, in the direction opposite to the motional electric field of the SW. Local energy spectra computed from the VOD observations demonstrate the existence of an energy gradient along the direction of the convection electric field. References Yamauchi, M., et al. (2011), Comparison of accelerated ion populations observed upstream of the bow shocks at Venus and Mars, Annales Geophysicae, 29, 511-528, doi:10.5194/angeo-29-511-2011. Richer, E., G. M. Chanteur, R. Modolo, and E. Dubinin, Reflection of Solar Wind Protons on the Martian Bow Shock: Investigations by Means of 3-Dimensional Simulations, accepted for publication by Geophys. Res. Lett

  15. FTIR Spectra of Possible End Products of Martian Surface Weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxe, L. P.

    2008-03-01

    Comparative analysis of IR spectra shows that martian weathering can lead to separating destruction of surface rocks. The semi-cosmic martian weathering results in amorphous silica dust and open unique ferry aluminum/ferry silicate martian rocks.

  16. Laboratory Simulations of Martian and Venusian Aeolian Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    places constraints on results from numerical models and laboratory simulations.

  17. Simulation of the Radiative Impact of High Dust Loading during a Dust Storm in March 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puthan Purakkal, J.; Kalenderski, S.; Stenchikov, G. L.

    2013-12-01

    We investigated a severe dust storm that developed over vast areas of the Middle East on 18-19 March 2012 and affected Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan. The visible aerosol optical depth recorded by the AERONET station on the KAUST campus (22.30o N 39.10o E) during the storm reached 4.5, exceeding the average level by an order of magnitude. To quantify the effects of the dust on atmospheric radiation and dynamics, we analyzed available ground-based and satellite observations and conducted numerical simulations using a fully coupled meteorology-chemistry-aerosol model (WRF-Chem). The model was able to reproduce the spatial and temporal patterns of the aerosol optical depths (AOD) observed by airborne and ground-based instruments. The major dust sources included river valleys of lower Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, desert areas in Kuwait, Iran, United Arab Emirates, central Arabia including Rub' al Khali, An Nafud, and Ad Dahna, as well as the Red Sea coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The total amount of dust generated across the entire domain during the period of the simulation reached 93.76 Mt; 73.04 Mt of dust was deposited within the domain; 6.56 Mt of dust sunk in the adjacent sea waters, including 1.20 Mt that sedimented into the Red Sea. The model predicted a well-mixed boundary layer expanding up to 3.5 km in the afternoon. Some dust plumes were seen above the Planetary Boundary layer. In our simulations, mineral dust heated the lower atmosphere with a maximum heating rate of 9 K/day. The dust storm reduced the downwelling shortwave radiation at the surface to a maximum daily average value of -134 Wm-2 and the daily averaged long-wave forcing at the surface increased to 43 Wm-2. The combined short-wave cooling and long-wave warming effects of dust aerosols caused significant reduction in the surface air temperature -6.7 K at 1200 UTC on 19 March 2013.

  18. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars-Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux.

    PubMed

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m(2) of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  19. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  20. Numerical simulations of the formation and evolution of water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michelangeli, Diane V.; Toon, Owen B.; Haberle, Robert M.; Pollack, James B.

    1993-01-01

    A model of the formation, evolution, and description of Martian water ice clouds is developed which well reproduces the physical processes governing the microphysics of water ice cloud formation on Mars. The model is used to show that the cloud properties are most sensitive to the temperature profile, the number of days for which condensation previously occurred, the contact angle, and the presence of incoming meteoritic debris at the top of the atmosphere. The AM-PM differences in optical depths measured at the Viking Lander site were successfully simulated with the model, obtaining total column optical depths of ice of a few tenths in agreement with observations.

  1. Numerical simulation of thermally induced near-surface flows over Martian terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parish, T. R.; Howard, A. D.

    1993-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the Martian near-surface wind regime using a mesoscale atmospheric model have shown that the thermally induced near-surface winds are analogous to terrestrial circulations. In particular, katabatic wind displays a striking similarity to flow observed over Antarctica. Introduction of solar radiation strongly perturbs the slope flows; anabatic conditions develop in middle to high latitudes during the daytime hours due to the solar heating of the sloping terrain. There appears to be a rapid transition from the katabatic to the anabatic flow regimes, emphasizing the primary importance of radiative exchanges at the surface in specifying the horizontal pressure gradient force.

  2. Smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of gas and dust mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, R. A.; Sijacki, D.; Clarke, C. J.

    2015-10-01

    We present a `two-fluid' implementation of dust in smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) in the test particle limit. The scheme is able to handle both short and long stopping times and reproduces the short friction time limit, which is not properly handled in other implementations. We apply novel tests to verify its accuracy and limitations, including multidimensional tests that have not been previously applied to the drag-coupled dust problem and which are particularly relevant to self-gravitating protoplanetary discs. Our tests demonstrate several key requirements for accurate simulations of gas-dust mixtures. First, in standard SPH particle jitter can degrade the dust solution, even when the gas density is well reproduced. The use of integral gradients, a Wendland kernel and a large number of neighbours can control this, albeit at a greater computational cost. Secondly, when it is necessary to limit the artificial viscosity we recommend using the Cullen & Dehnen switch, since the alternative, using α ˜ 0.1, can generate a large velocity noise up to σv ≲ 0.3cs in the dust particles. Thirdly, we find that an accurate dust density estimate requires >400 neighbours, since, unlike the gas, the dust particles do not feel regularization forces. This density noise applies to all particle-based two-fluid implementations of dust, irrespective of the hydro solver and could lead to numerically induced fragmentation. Although our tests show accurate dusty gas simulations are possible, care must be taken to minimize the contribution from numerical noise.

  3. Measuring Water Content and Desorption Isotherms in Soil Simulants Under Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, T.; Aharonson, O.; Schorghofer, N.; Hecht, M. H.; Bridges, N.; Green, J. R.

    2003-12-01

    Theoretical predictions as well as recent spacecraft observations indicate that large quantities of ice is present in the high latitudes upper decimeters to meters of the Martian regolith. At shallower depths and warmer locations small amounts of H2O, either adsorbed or free, may be present transiently. We seek to simulate Mars surface conditions and to observe the effects of temperature cycling (diurnal and seasonal scale) on the water content profiles of several soil simulants. To model the upper Martian regolith, we begin by using crushed JSC Mars-1 palagonite with particles in the 50 micron to sub-micron size range. Spheres of pure silica in the 10 to 40 mm range may also be used to study the effects of grain surface morphology and composition. Simulants with various water contents are brought to Mars pressures and monitored. A line source heat-pulse probe is being prepared to monitor water content profiles in real-time and to be calibrated against water content samples measured with thermogravimetric (TG) analysis. Initial experiments will allow us to monitor water content; more refined investigations will permit the determination of desorption isotherms.

  4. Modeling and simulation of dust behaviors behind a moving vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jingfang

    Simulation of physically realistic complex dust behaviors is a difficult and attractive problem in computer graphics. A fast, interactive and visually convincing model of dust behaviors behind moving vehicles is very useful in computer simulation, training, education, art, advertising, and entertainment. In my dissertation, an experimental interactive system has been implemented for the simulation of dust behaviors behind moving vehicles. The system includes physically-based models, particle systems, rendering engines and graphical user interface (GUI). I have employed several vehicle models including tanks, cars, and jeeps to test and simulate in different scenarios and conditions. Calm weather, winding condition, vehicle turning left or right, and vehicle simulation controlled by users from the GUI are all included. I have also tested the factors which play against the physical behaviors and graphics appearances of the dust particles through GUI or off-line scripts. The simulations are done on a Silicon Graphics Octane station. The animation of dust behaviors is achieved by physically-based modeling and simulation. The flow around a moving vehicle is modeled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. I implement a primitive variable and pressure-correction approach to solve the three dimensional incompressible Navier Stokes equations in a volume covering the moving vehicle. An alternating- direction implicit (ADI) method is used for the solution of the momentum equations, with a successive-over- relaxation (SOR) method for the solution of the Poisson pressure equation. Boundary conditions are defined and simplified according to their dynamic properties. The dust particle dynamics is modeled using particle systems, statistics, and procedure modeling techniques. Graphics and real-time simulation techniques, such as dynamics synchronization, motion blur, blending, and clipping have been employed in the rendering to achieve realistic appearing dust

  5. Shock Effects on Cometary-Dust Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lederer, Susan M.; Jensen, Elizabeth; Wooden, Diane H.; Lindsay, Sean S.; Smith, Douglas H.; Nakamura-Messenger, Keiko; Keller, Lindsay P.; Cardenas, Francisco; Cintala, Mark J.; Montes, Roland

    2014-01-01

    While comets are perhaps best known for their ability to put on spectacular celestial light shows, they are much more than that. Composed of an assortment of frozen gases mixed with a collection of dust and minerals, comets are considered to be very primitive bodies and, as such, they are thought to hold key information about the earliest chapters in the history of the solar system. (The dust and mineral grains are usually called the "refractory" component, indicating that they can survive much higher temperatures than the ices.) It has long been thought, and spacecraft photography has confirmed, that comets suffer the effects of impacts along with every other solar system body. Comets spend most of their lifetimes in the Kuiper Belt, a region of the solar system between 30 and 50 times the average distance of the Earth from the Sun, or the Oort Cloud, which extends to approximately 1 light year from the Sun. Those distances are so far from the Sun that water ice is the equivalent of rock, melting or vaporizing only through the action of strong, impact-generated shock waves.

  6. Walking in simulated Martian gravity: Influence of added weight on sagittal dynamic stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott-Pandorf, Melissa M.; O'Connor, Daniel P.; Layne, Charles S.; Josić, Krešimir; Kurz, Max J.

    2010-05-01

    With human exploration of the Moon and Mars on the horizon, research considerations for space suit redesign have surfaced. Review of Apollo mission videos revealed repeated instance of falling during extravehicular activities. A better understanding of how suit weight influences the sagittal dynamic stability of the gait pattern may provide insight for new suit design such that space missions may have more productive extravehicular activities and smaller risk of falls that may cause injuries and damage equipment. Participants walked for 4 min in simulated Martian gravity with additional loads of 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% of their body weight. Floquet and Lyapunov analysis techniques were used to quantify the dynamic stability of the sagittal plane gait pattern. Additionally, sagittal plane joint kinematics were evaluated to determine if any modification occurred. Results indicated that weight (i.e., added load) had little effect on the sagittal dynamic stability or joint kinematics while in simulated Martian gravity. Potentially, suit weight may not be a priority for space suit redesign.

  7. Organics on Mars: Laboratory studies of organic material under simulated martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Kate, Inge Loes

    2006-01-01

    The search for organic molecules and traces of life on Mars has been a major topic in planetary science for several decades, and is the future perspective of several missions to Mars. In order to determine where and what those missions should be looking for, laboratory experiments under simulated Mars conditions have been performed. This thesis describes the effects of simulated martian surface conditions on organic material (amino acids) and living organisms (halophilic archaea). Experiments have been performed to study the stability of thin films of glycine and alanine against UV irradiation under different conditions. Thin films of glycine and alanine have a half-life of 22 ± 5 hours and 3 ± 1 hours, respectively, when extrapolated to Mars-like UV flux levels in vacuum. The presence of a 7 mbar CO2 atmosphere does not affect these destruction rates. Cooling the thin films to 210 K (average Mars temperature) lowers the destruction rate by a factor of 7. The intrinsic amino acid composition of two martian soil analogues, JSC Mars-1 and Salten Skov, has been investigated. The results demonstrated that these analogues are inappropriate for a life-science study in their raw state. Besides amino acids, the response of the halophilic archaea Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 to Mars-like conditions, such as low pressure, UV radiation and low temperatures, has been studied. From the results we concluded that this strain would not be a good model organism to survive on the surface of Mars.

  8. Simulation of spectral effects of Asian dusts on the AIRS radiances and its application to retrieval of dust properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Hyo-Jin; Sohn, Byung-Ju; Huang, Hung-Lung; Weisz, Elisabeth

    2010-11-01

    In order to examine the effect of Asian dusts and apply to retrieval of dust properties, radiances measured by AIRS were simulated using the RTTOV-9 model. The model has been implemented with new optical properties for Asian dusts; refractive indices of mineral dust in the OPAC library and size distribution of Asian dusts retrieved from 10 years of skyradiometer measurements at Dunhuang, China. The simulations were performed using the implemented model, but with specification of AOT and height of dust layers obtained from CALIOP measurements. In the simulations, surface and atmospheric temperatures are from AIRS level 2 products while surface emissivity is specified with UW/CIMSS monthly mean global infrared surface emissivity data. Results show that effect of Asian dusts on AIRS spectra is substantial over infrared window regions (i.e.: 3.7 - 4.1 μm, 8.8 - 9.3 μm, 10 - 13 μm) for moderate and strong dust cases (AOT >= 0.5), while surface effect is dominant for weak dust cases (AOT < 0.5). Over 10 - 13 μm and 3.6 - 4.1 μm ranges, the simulation performances are improved when the dust effect is added. However, on the spectral range of 8.8 - 9.3 μm, the simulation overestimates radiances in comparison with AIRS measurements, probably because the mineral dust composition of OPAC does not coincide with the Asian dust. The comparison of simulated radiances with AIRS measurements shows a comparable quality for both clear and dusty conditions on the 10 - 13 μm and 3.6 - 4.1 μm ranges, suggesting that results can be incorporated for developing dust retrieval algorithm from hyperspectral images such as AIRS and IASI.

  9. Thermal Optical Properties of Lunar Dust Simulants and Their Constituents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Ellis, Shaneise; Hanks, Nichole

    2011-01-01

    The total reflectance spectra of lunar simulant dusts (< 20 mm particles) were measured in order to determine their integrated solar absorptance (alpha) and their thermal emittance (epsilon) for the purpose of analyzing the effect of dust on the performance of thermal control surfaces. All of the simulants except one had a wavelength-dependent reflectivity (p (lambda)) near 0.10 over the wavelength range of 8 to 25 microns and so are highly emitting at room temperature and lower. The 300 K emittance (epsilon) of all the lunar simulants except one ranged from 0.78 to 0.92. The exception was Minnesota Lunar Simulant 1 (MLS-1), which has little or no glassy component. In all cases the epsilon was lower for the < 20 micron particles than for larger particles reported earlier. There was considerably more variation in the lunar simulant reflectance in the solar spectral range (250 to 2500 nm) than in the thermal infrared. As expected, the lunar highlands simulants were more reflective in this wavelength range than the lunar mare simulants. The integrated solar absorptance (alpha) of the simulants ranged from 0.39 to 0.75. This is lower than values reported earlier for larger particles of the same simulants (0.41 to 0.82), and for representative mare and highlands lunar soils (0.74 to 0.91). Since the of some mare simulants more closely matched that of highlands lunar soils, it is recommended that and values be the criteria for choosing a simulant for assessing the effects of dust on thermal control surfaces, rather than whether a simulant has been formulated as a highlands or a mare simulant.

  10. Thermal Optical Properties of Lunar Dust Simulants and Their Constituents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Ellis, Shaneise; Hanks, Nichole

    2011-01-01

    The total reflectance spectra of lunar simulant dusts (less than 20 micrometer particles) were measured in order to determine their integrated solar absorptance (alpha) and their thermal emittance (e) for the purpose of analyzing the effect of dust on the performance of thermal control surfaces. All of the simulants except one had a wavelength-dependant reflectivity (p(lambda)) near 0.10 over the wavelength range of 8 to 25 micrometers, and so are highly emitting at room temperature and lower. The 300 K emittance (epsilon) of all the lunar simulants except one ranged from 0.78 to 0.92. The exception was Minnesota Lunar Simulant 1 (MLS-1), which has little or no glassy component. In all cases the epsilon was lower for the less 20 micrometer particles than for larger particles reported earlier. There was considerably more variation in the lunar simulant reflectance in the solar spectral range (250 to 2500 nanometers) than in the thermal infrared. As expected, the lunar highlands simulants were more reflective in this wavelength range than the lunar mare simulants. The integrated solar absorptance (alpha) of the simulants ranged from 0.39 to 0.75. This is lower than values reported earlier for larger particles of the same simulants (0.41 to 0.82), and for representative mare and highlands lunar soils (0.74 to 0.91). Since the alpha of some mare simulants more closely matched that of highlands lunar soils, it is recommended that and values be the criteria for choosing a simulant for assessing the effects of dust on thermal control surfaces, rather than whether a simulant has been formulated as a highlands or a mare simulant.

  11. Three-dimensional numerical simulation of near-surface flows over the Martian north polar CAP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, Thomas R.; Howard, A. D.

    Measurements made by Viking Lander VL-2 (48 N) have shown that the near-surface wind and temperature regime on Mars displays striking similarities to terrestrial counterparts. The diurnal radiative cycle is responsible for establishment of a well-defined thermal circulation in which downslope (Katabatic) flows prevail during the nighttime hours and weak upslope (anabatic) conditions prevail during the daytime. Previous work has indicated that the slope flows are much like those found on Earth, particularly the Katabatic winds, which show striking similarities to drainage flows observed over Antarctica. The low-level wind regime appears to be an important factor in the scouring of the martian landscape. The north polar cap shows evidence of eolian features such as dunes, frost streaks, and grooves from Viking imagery. The direction of the prevailing wind can in cases be inferred from the eolian features. We examine the thermally induced flows that result from the radiative heating and cooling of the martian north polar region using a comprehensive three-dimensional atmospheric mesoscale numerical model. The same model has been used previously for simulation of Antarctic Katabatic winds. The model equations are written in terrain-following coordinates to allow for irregular terrain; prognostic equations include the flux forms of the horizontal momentum equations, temperature, continuity. A surface energy budget equation is also incorporated in which the surface temperature is determined. Explicit parameterization of both terrestrial (longwave) and solar (shortwave) radiation is included. Turbulent transfer of heat and momentum in the martian atmosphere is assumed to follow the similarity expressions in the surface boundary layer on Earth. The terrain heights for the martian north polar region have been obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey map and digitized onto a 57x57 grid with a spacing of 75 km. The resulting terrain map is shown in Fig. 1. The vertical grid

  12. Three-dimensional numerical simulation of near-surface flows over the Martian north polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parish, Thomas R.; Howard, A. D.

    1993-01-01

    Measurements made by Viking Lander VL-2 (48 N) have shown that the near-surface wind and temperature regime on Mars displays striking similarities to terrestrial counterparts. The diurnal radiative cycle is responsible for establishment of a well-defined thermal circulation in which downslope (Katabatic) flows prevail during the nighttime hours and weak upslope (anabatic) conditions prevail during the daytime. Previous work has indicated that the slope flows are much like those found on Earth, particularly the Katabatic winds, which show striking similarities to drainage flows observed over Antarctica. The low-level wind regime appears to be an important factor in the scouring of the martian landscape. The north polar cap shows evidence of eolian features such as dunes, frost streaks, and grooves from Viking imagery. The direction of the prevailing wind can in cases be inferred from the eolian features. We examine the thermally induced flows that result from the radiative heating and cooling of the martian north polar region using a comprehensive three-dimensional atmospheric mesoscale numerical model. The same model has been used previously for simulation of Antarctic Katabatic winds. The model equations are written in terrain-following coordinates to allow for irregular terrain; prognostic equations include the flux forms of the horizontal momentum equations, temperature, continuity. A surface energy budget equation is also incorporated in which the surface temperature is determined. Explicit parameterization of both terrestrial (longwave) and solar (shortwave) radiation is included. Turbulent transfer of heat and momentum in the martian atmosphere is assumed to follow the similarity expressions in the surface boundary layer on Earth. The terrain heights for the martian north polar region have been obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey map and digitized onto a 57x57 grid with a spacing of 75 km. The resulting terrain map is shown in Fig. 1. The vertical grid

  13. Process to Produce Iron Nanoparticle Lunar Dust Simulant Composite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hung, Ching-cheh; McNatt, Jeremiah

    2010-01-01

    A document discusses a method for producing nanophase iron lunar dust composite simulant by heating a mixture of carbon black and current lunar simulant types (mixed oxide including iron oxide) at a high temperature to reduce ionic iron into elemental iron. The product is a chemically modified lunar simulant that can be attracted by a magnet, and has a surface layer with an iron concentration that is increased during the reaction. The iron was found to be -iron and Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The simulant produced with this method contains iron nanoparticles not available previously, and they are stable in ambient air. These nanoparticles can be mass-produced simply.

  14. The photolytic degradation and oxidation of organic compounds under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oro, J.; Holzer, G.

    1979-01-01

    Cosmochemical considerations suggest various potential sources for the accumulation of organic matter on Mars. However the Viking Molecular Analysis did not indicate any indigenous organic compounds on the surface of Mars. Their disappearance from the top layer is most likely caused by the combined action of the high solar radiation flux and various oxidizing species in the Martian atmosphere and regolith. In this study the stability of several organic substances and a sample of the Murchison meteorite was tested under simulated Martian conditions. After adsorption on powdered quartz, samples of adenine, glycine and naphthalene were irradiated with UV light at various oxygen concentrations and exposure times. In the absence of oxygen, adenine and glycine appeared stable over the given irradiation period, whereas a definite loss was observed in the case of naphthalene, as well as in the volatilizable and pyrolizable content of the Murchison meteorite. The presence of oxygen during UV exposure caused a significant increase in the degradation rate of all samples. It is likely that similar processes have led to the destruction of organic materials on the surface of Mars.

  15. A 20-year simulated climatology of global dust aerosol deposition.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yu; Zhao, Tianliang; Che, Huizheng; Liu, Yu; Han, Yongxiang; Liu, Chong; Xiong, Jie; Liu, Jianhui; Zhou, Yike

    2016-07-01

    Based on a 20-year (1991-2010) simulation of dust aerosol deposition with the global climate model CAM5.1 (Community Atmosphere Model, version 5.1), the spatial and temporal variations of dust aerosol deposition were analyzed using climate statistical methods. The results indicated that the annual amount of global dust aerosol deposition was approximately 1161±31Mt, with a decreasing trend, and its interannual variation range of 2.70% over 1991-2010. The 20-year average ratio of global dust dry to wet depositions was 1.12, with interannual variation of 2.24%, showing the quantity of dry deposition of dust aerosol was greater than dust wet deposition. High dry deposition was centered over continental deserts and surrounding regions, while wet deposition was a dominant deposition process over the North Atlantic, North Pacific and northern Indian Ocean. Furthermore, both dry and wet deposition presented a zonal distribution. To examine the regional changes of dust aerosol deposition on land and sea areas, we chose the North Atlantic, Eurasia, northern Indian Ocean, North Pacific and Australia to analyze the interannual and seasonal variations of dust deposition and dry-to-wet deposition ratio. The deposition amounts of each region showed interannual fluctuations with the largest variation range at around 26.96% in the northern Indian Ocean area, followed by the North Pacific (16.47%), Australia (9.76%), North Atlantic (9.43%) and Eurasia (6.03%). The northern Indian Ocean also had the greatest amplitude of interannual variation in dry-to-wet deposition ratio, at 22.41%, followed by the North Atlantic (9.69%), Australia (6.82%), North Pacific (6.31%) and Eurasia (4.36%). Dust aerosol presented a seasonal cycle, with typically strong deposition in spring and summer and weak deposition in autumn and winter. The dust deposition over the northern Indian Ocean exhibited the greatest seasonal change range at about 118.00%, while the North Atlantic showed the lowest seasonal

  16. Survival of Bacillus subtilis endospores on ultraviolet-irradiated rover wheels and Mars regolith under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Kerney, Krystal R; Schuerger, Andrew C

    2011-06-01

    Endospores of Bacillus subtilis HA101 were applied to a simulated Mars Exploration Rover (MER) wheel and exposed to Mars-normal UV irradiation for 1, 3, or 6 h. The experiment was designed to simulate a contaminated rover wheel sitting on its landing platform before rolling off onto the martian terrain, as was encountered during the Spirit and Opportunity missions. When exposed to 1 h of Mars UV, a reduction of 81% of viable endospores was observed compared to the non-UV irradiated controls. When exposed for 3 or 6 h, reductions of 94.6% and 96.6%, respectively, were observed compared to controls. In a second experiment, the contaminated rover wheel was rolled over a bed of heat-sterilized Mars analog soil; then the analog soil was exposed to full martian conditions of UV irradiation, low pressure (6.9 mbar), low temperature (-10°C), and an anaerobic CO(2) martian atmosphere for 24 h to determine whether endospores of B. subtilis on the contaminated rover wheel could be transferred to the surface of the analog soil and survive martian conditions. The experiment simulated conditions in which a rover wheel might come into contact with martian regolith immediately after landing, such as is designed for the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The contaminated rover wheel transferred viable endospores of B. subtilis to the Mars analog soil, as demonstrated by 31.7% of samples showing positive growth. However, when contaminated soil samples were exposed to full martian conditions for 24 h, only 16.7% of samples exhibited positive growth-a 50% reduction in the number of soil samples positive for the transferred viable endospores. PMID:21707388

  17. Survival of Bacillus subtilis Endospores on Ultraviolet-Irradiated Rover Wheels and Mars Regolith under Simulated Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerney, Krystal R.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2011-06-01

    Endospores of Bacillus subtilis HA101 were applied to a simulated Mars Exploration Rover (MER) wheel and exposed to Mars-normal UV irradiation for 1, 3, or 6 h. The experiment was designed to simulate a contaminated rover wheel sitting on its landing platform before rolling off onto the martian terrain, as was encountered during the Spirit and Opportunity missions. When exposed to 1 h of Mars UV, a reduction of 81% of viable endospores was observed compared to the non-UV irradiated controls. When exposed for 3 or 6 h, reductions of 94.6% and 96.6%, respectively, were observed compared to controls. In a second experiment, the contaminated rover wheel was rolled over a bed of heat-sterilized Mars analog soil; then the analog soil was exposed to full martian conditions of UV irradiation, low pressure (6.9 mbar), low temperature (-10 °C), and an anaerobic CO2 martian atmosphere for 24 h to determine whether endospores of B. subtilis on the contaminated rover wheel could be transferred to the surface of the analog soil and survive martian conditions. The experiment simulated conditions in which a rover wheel might come into contact with martian regolith immediately after landing, such as is designed for the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The contaminated rover wheel transferred viable endospores of B. subtilis to the Mars analog soil, as demonstrated by 31.7% of samples showing positive growth. However, when contaminated soil samples were exposed to full martian conditions for 24 h, only 16.7% of samples exhibited positive growth - a 50% reduction in the number of soil samples positive for the transferred viable endospores.

  18. Effect of Shadowing on Survival of Bacteria under Conditions Simulating the Martian Atmosphere and UV Radiation▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-μm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-μm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (∼5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  19. Bidirectional reflectance distribution function and directional-hemispherical reflectance of a martian regolith simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgiev, Georgi; Butler, James E.; Butler, James J.

    2005-03-01

    Experimental data are presented on the bidirectional reflectance distribution function and 8-deg directional-hemispherical reflectance measurements of a Martian regolith simulant, JSC Mars-1. The scatterometer located in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center Diffuser Calibration Facility was used for the measurements reported. The data were obtained with a monochromator-based light source in the ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectral regions. The measurements were performed at different angles of incidence and over a range of in-plane and out-of-plane scattered geometries. The results presented are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The hemispherical and diffuse scattering data obtained from these studies are important for current and future Mars space- and ground-based observations.

  20. Testing of Icy-Soil Sample Delivery in Simulated Martian Conditions (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation

    This movie clip shows testing under simulated Mars conditions on Earth in preparation for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander using its robotic arm for delivering a sample to the doors of a laboratory oven.

    The icy soil used in the testing flowed easily from the scoop during all tests at Martian temperatures. On Mars, icy soil has stuck to the scoop, a surprise that may be related to composition of the soil at the landing site.

    This testing was done at Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, which supplied the Phoenix scoop.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASAaE(TM)s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  1. Characterization and Glass Formation of JSC-1 Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sen, Subhayu

    2008-01-01

    The space exploration mission of NASA requires long duration presence of human being beyond the low earth orbit (LEO), especially on Moon and Mars. Developing a human habitat or colony on these planets would require a diverse range of materials, whose applications would range from structural foundations, (human) life support, (electric) power generation to components for scientific instrumentation. A reasonable and cost-effective approach for fabricating the materials needed for establishing a self-sufficient human outpost would be to primarily use local (in situ) resources on these planets. Since ancient times, glass and ceramics have been playing a vital role on human civilization. A long term project on studying the feasibility of developing glass and ceramic materials using Lunar and Martian soil simulants (JSC-1) as developed by Johnson Space Center has been undertaken. The first step in this on-going project requires developing a data base on results that fully characterize the simulants to be used for further investigations. The present paper reports characterization data of both JSC-1 Lunar and JSC Mars-1 simulants obtained up to this time via x-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis (DTA, TGA) and chemical analysis. The critical cooling rate for glass formation for the melts of the simulants was also measured in order to quantitatively assess the glass forming tendency of these melts. The importance of the glasses and ceramics developed using in-situ resources for constructing human habitats on Moon or Mars is discussed.

  2. Characterization and Glass Formation of JSC-1 Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Chandra S.; Reis, Signo T.; Sen, Subhayu

    2008-01-01

    The space exploration mission of NASA requires human and robotic presence for long duration beyond the low earth orbit (LEO), especially on Moon and Mars. Developing a human habitat or colony on these planets would require a diverse range of materials, whose applications would range from structural foundations, (human) life support, (electric) power generation to components for scientific instrumentations. A reasonable and cost-effective approach for fabricating the materials needed for establishing a self-sufficient human outpost would be to primarily use local (in situ) resources on these planets. Since ancient times, glass and ceramics have been playing a vital role on human civilization. A long term project on studying the feasibility of developing glass and ceramic materials has been undertaken using Lunar and Martian soil simulants (JSC-1) as developed by Johnson Space Center. The first step in this on-going project requires developing a data base on results that fully characterize the simulants to be used for further investigations. The present paper reports characterization data of both JSC-1 Lunar and JSC Mars-1 simulants obtained up to this time via x-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis (DTA, TGA) and chemical analysis. The critical cooling rate for glass formation for the melts of the simulants was also measured in order to quantitatively assess the glass forming tendency of these melts. The importance of the glasses and ceramics developed using in-situ resources for constructing human habitats on Moon or Mars is discussed.

  3. Gas and dust hydrodynamical simulations of massive lopsided transition discs - II. Dust concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baruteau, Clément; Zhu, Zhaohuan

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the dynamics of large dust grains in massive lopsided transition discs via 2D hydrodynamical simulations including both gas and dust. Our simulations adopt a ring-like gas density profile that becomes unstable against the Rossby-wave instability and forms a large crescent-shaped vortex. When gas self-gravity is discarded, but the indirect force from the displacement of the star by the vortex is included, we confirm that dust grains with stopping times of order the orbital time, which should be typically a few centimetres in size, are trapped ahead of the vortex in the azimuthal direction, while the smallest and largest grains concentrate towards the vortex centre. We obtain maximum shift angles of about 25°. Gas self-gravity accentuates the concentration differences between small and large grains. At low to moderate disc masses, the larger the grains, the farther they are trapped ahead of the vortex. Shift angles up to 90° are reached for 10 cm-sized grains, and we show that such large offsets can produce a double-peaked continuum emission observable at mm/cm wavelengths. This behaviour comes about because the large grains undergo horseshoe U-turns relative to the vortex due to the vortex's gravity. At large disc masses, since the vortex's pattern frequency becomes increasingly slower than Keplerian, small grains concentrate slightly beyond the vortex and large grains form generally non-axisymmetric ring-like structures around the vortex's radial location. Gas self-gravity therefore imparts distinct trapping locations for small and large dust grains, which may be probed by current and future observations.

  4. Investigation on Accelerating Dust Storm Simulation via Domain Decomposition Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, M.; Gui, Z.; Yang, C. P.; Xia, J.; Chen, S.

    2014-12-01

    Dust storm simulation is a data and computing intensive process, which requires high efficiency and adequate computing resources. To speed up the process, high performance computing is widely adopted. By partitioning a large study area into small subdomains according to their geographic location and executing them on different computing nodes in a parallel fashion, the computing performance can be significantly improved. However, it is still a question worthy of consideration that how to allocate these subdomain processes into computing nodes without introducing imbalanced task loads and unnecessary communications among computing nodes. Here we propose a domain decomposition and allocation framework that can carefully leverage the computing cost and communication cost for each computing node to minimize total execution time and reduce overall communication cost for the entire system. The framework is tested in the NMM (Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model)-dust model, where a 72-hour processes of the dust load are simulated. Performance result using the proposed scheduling method is compared with the one using default scheduling methods of MPI. Results demonstrate that the system improves the performance of simulation by 20% up to 80%.

  5. Numerical simulation of dust devil-scale vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanak, Katharine M.

    2005-04-01

    A high-resolution (2 m grid) large-eddy simulation of the convective boundary layer is performed for the purpose of comparing physical characteristics of simulated convective vertical vortices to those of observed dust devils. This study is a necessary part of a larger effort to examine the possible formation and maintenance mechanisms for vertical vortices in the convective boundary layer. The case of convective vertical vortex formation in environments without imposed mean winds or wind shears is considered in this paper. Simulated vertical vortices and observations of dust devils compare favourably overall. Other findings include the detection of 'bookend' vortex patterns embedded within the convergence branches of the simulated cellular convective pattern, which is different from prior results in which vortices were found only at cell vertices. Lastly, the theoretical Rankine and Burgers-Rott vortex models are compared to the simulated vortices. It is found that the Burgers-Rott model matches the high-resolution simulated vortex data better than the often used Rankine model.

  6. Airborne Dust in Space Vehicles and Habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John

    2006-01-01

    Airborne dust, suspended inside a space vehicle or in future celestial habitats, can present a serious threat to crew health if it is not controlled. During the Apollo missions to the moon, lunar dust brought inside the capsule caused eye irritation and breathing difficulty to the crew when they launched from the moon and re-acquired "microgravity." During Shuttle flights reactive and toxic dusts such as lithium hydroxide have created a risk to crew health, and fine particles from combustion events can be especially worrisome. Under nominal spaceflight conditions, airborne dusts and particles tend to be larger than on earth because of the absence of gravity settling. Aboard the ISS, dusts are effectively managed by HEPA filters, although floating dust in newly-arrived modules can be a nuisance. Future missions to the moon and to Mars will present additional challenges because of the possibility that external dust will enter the breathing atmosphere of the habitat and reach the crew's respiratory system. Testing with simulated lunar and Martian dust has shown that these materials are toxic when placed into the lungs of test animals. Defining and evaluating the physical and chemical properties of Martian dusts through robotic missions will challenge our ability to prepare better dust simulants and to determine the risk to crew health from exposure to such dusts.

  7. Variability of the Martian thermospheric temperatures during the last 7 Martian Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, François

    2014-05-01

    The temperatures and densities in the Martian upper atmosphere have a significant influence over the different processes producing atmospheric escape. A good knowledge of the thermosphere and its variability is thus necessary in order to better understand and quantify the atmospheric loss to space and the evolution of the planet. Different global models have been used to study the seasonal and interannual variability of the Martian thermosphere, usually considering three solar scenarios (solar minimum, solar medium and solar maximum conditions) to take into account the solar cycle variability. However, the variability of the solar activity within the simulated period of time is not usually considered in these models. We have improved the description of the UV solar flux included on the General Circulation Model for Mars developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-MGCM) in order to include its observed day-to-day variability. We have used the model to simulate the thermospheric variability during Martian Years 24 to 30, using realistic UV solar fluxes and dust opacities. The model predicts and interannual variability of the temperatures in the upper thermosphere that ranges from about 50 K during the aphelion to up to 150 K during perihelion. The seasonal variability of temperatures due to the eccentricity of the Martian orbit is modified by the variability of the solar flux within a given Martian year. The solar rotation cycle produces temperature oscillations of up to 30 K. We have also studied the response of the modeled thermosphere to the global dust storms in Martian Year 25 and Martian Year 28. The atmospheric dynamics are significantly modified by the global dust storms, which induces significant changes in the thermospheric temperatures. The response of the model to the presence of both global dust storms is in good agreement with previous modeling results (Medvedev et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 2013). As expected, the simulated

  8. Polarization of cosmic dust simulated with the rough spheroid model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla; Das, Himadri Sekhar; Dubovik, Oleg; Lapyonok, Tatyana; Yang, Ping

    2015-10-01

    Cosmic dust is a polydisperse mixture of irregular, often aggregated, particles. Previous attempts have tried to simulate polarimetric properties of this dust using aggregate dust models, but it has not been possible to consider particle sizes larger than a couple of microns due to limitations of computer memory and processing power. Attempts have also been made to replace aggregates by polydisperse regular particles (spheres, spheroids, cylinders), but those models could not consistently reproduce the observed photopolarimetric characteristics. In this study, we introduce to the astronomical community the software package developed by Dubovik et al. (2006) for modeling light scattering by a polydisperse mixture of randomly oriented smooth and rough spheroids of a variety of aspect ratios. The roughness of spheroids is defined by a normal distribution of the surface slopes, and its degree depends on the standard deviation of the distribution (which is zero for smooth surface and greater than zero for rough surface). The pre-calculated kernels in the software package allow for fast, accurate, and flexible modeling of different size and shape distributions. We present our results of a systematic investigation of polarization obtained with the rough and smooth spheroid models; we study differences in their phase angle dependence and how those differences change with the particle size distribution. We found that the difference between smooth and rough particles increases with increasing effective size parameter and affects mainly the value and position of the maximum polarization. Negative polarization was found to be typical only for silicate-like refractive indexes and only when the particles have size parameters within 2.5-25. As an example of an application of the rough spheroid model, we made computations for rough spheroids that have a size distribution and composition typical for cometary dust. We found that a mixture of porous rough spheroids made of absorbing

  9. DREAMS: a payload on-board the ExoMars EDM Schiaparelli for the characterization of Martian environment during the statistical dust storm season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molfese, Cesare; Esposito, Francesca; Debei, Stefano; Bettanini, Carlo; Arruego Rodríguez, Ignacio; Colombatti, Giacomo; Harri, Ari-Matty.; Montmessin, Franck; Wilson, Colin; Aboudan, Alessio; Mugnuolo, Raffaele; Pirrotta, Simone; Marchetti, Ernesto; Witasse, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    F. Esposito1, S. Debei2, C. Bettanini2, C. Molfese1, I. Arruego Rodríguez3, G. Colombatti2, A-M. Harri4, F. Montmessin5, C. Wilson6, A. Aboudan2, S. Abbaki5, V. Apestigue3, G. Bellucci7, J-J. Berthelier5, J. R. Brucato8, S. B. Calcutt6, F. Cortecchia1, F. Cucciarrè2, G. Di Achille1, F. Ferri2, F. Forget9, E. Friso2, M. Genzer4, P. Gilbert5, H. Haukka4, J. J. Jiménez3, S. Jiménez10, J-L. Josset11, O. Karatekin12, G. Landis13, R. Lorenz14, J. Martinez3, L. Marty1, V. Mennella1, D. Möhlmann15, D. Moirin5, R. Molinaro1, E. Palomba7, M. Patel16, J-P. Pommereau5, C.I. Popa1, S. Rafkin17, P. Rannou18, N.O. Renno19, P. Schipani1, W. Schmidt4, E. Segato2, S. Silvestro1, F. Simoes20, A. Spiga9, F. Valero21, L. Vázquez21, F. Vivat5, O. Witasse22, R. Mugnuolo23, S. Pirrotta23, E.Marchetti23 1INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy, 2CISAS - Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy, 3INTA, Spain, 4Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI),Helsinki, Finland, 5LATMOS - CNRS/UVSQ/IPSL, France, 6Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, 7INAF - Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), 8INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, 9CNRS, LMD, France, 10Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, 11Space Exploration Institute, Switzerland, 12Royal Observatory of Belgium,Belgium, 13NASA, GRC, USA, 14JHU Applied Physics Lab (JHU-APL), USA, 15DLR PF Leitungsbereich, Berlin, Germany, 16Open University, UK, 17SwRL, Switzerland, 18GSMA, France, 19University of Michigan, USA, 20NASA, GSFC, USA, 21Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain, 22ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 23Italian Space Agency, Italy DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface) package is an integrated multi-sensor scientific payload dedicated to characterizing the landing site environment in dusty conditions. It will measure pressure, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, temperature, the solar irradiance

  10. Simulation of dust streaming in toroidal traps: Stationary flows

    SciTech Connect

    Reichstein, Torben; Piel, Alexander

    2011-08-15

    Molecular-dynamic simulations were performed to study dust motion in a toroidal trap under the influence of the ion drag force driven by a Hall motion of the ions in E x B direction, gravity, inter-particle forces, and friction with the neutral gas. This article is focused on the inhomogeneous stationary streaming motion. Depending on the strength of friction, the spontaneous formation of a stationary shock or a spatial bifurcation into a fast flow and a slow vortex flow is observed. In the quiescent streaming region, the particle flow features a shell structure which undergoes a structural phase transition along the flow direction.

  11. A model for formation of dust, soil, and rock coatings on Mars: Physical and chemical processes on the Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Janice L.; Murchie, Scott L.; Pieters, Carlé M.; Zent, Aaron P.

    2002-11-01

    A model is presented here to explain the generation of surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic, and spectroscopic data from Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise is that the dust/soil units are not derived exclusively from local rocks, but are rather a product of global, and possibly remote, weathering processes. Another assumption in this model is that there are both physical and chemical interactions of the atmosphere with dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different products. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks and drift units, forming physically aggregated layers; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces and cohesive, crusted surface units between rocks, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the dominant components of the dust/soil particles are derived from alteration of volcanic ash and tephra and contain primarily nanophase and poorly crystalline ferric oxide/oxyhydroxide phases as well as silicates. These phases are the alteration products that formed in a low-moisture environment. These dust/soil particles also contain a smaller amount of material that was exposed to more water and contains crystalline ferric oxides/oxyhydroxides, sulfates, and clay silicates. These components could have formed through hydrothermal alteration at steam vents or fumeroles, thermal fluids, or through evaporite deposits. Wet/dry cycling experiments are presented here on Mars soil analogue mixtures containing poorly crystalline and crystalline components dominated by nanophase to ~2 μm diameter particles. Cemented products of these soil mixtures are formed in these experiments, and variation in the surface texture was observed for samples containing smectites, nonhydrated silicates, or sulfates. Reflectance spectra were measured of the initial particulate mixtures, the cemented

  12. A Model for Formation of Dust, Soil and Rock Coatings on Mars: Physical and Chemical Processes on the Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop, Janice; Murchie, Scott L.; Pieters, Carle M.; Zent, Aaron P.

    2001-01-01

    This model is one of many possible scenarios to explain the generation of the current surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic data From Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise of this model is that the dust/soil units are not derived exclusively from local rocks, but are rather a product of global, and possibly remote, weathering processes. Another assumption in this model is that there are physical and chemical interactions of the atmospheric dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different results on the surface. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks and drift units, forming physically-aggregated layers; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces and cohesive, crusted surface units between rocks, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the dominant components of the dust/soil particles are derived from alteration of volcanic ash and tephra, and contain primarily nanophase and poorly crystalline ferric oxides/oxyhydroxide phases as well as silicates. These phases are the alteration products that formed in a low moisture environment. These dust/soil particles also contain a smaller amount of material that was exposed to more water and contains crystalline ferric oxides/oxyhydroxides, sulfates and clay silicates. These components could have formed through hydrothermal alteration at steam vents or fumeroles, thermal fluids, or through evaporite deposits. Wet/dry cycling experiments are presented here on mixtures containing poorly crystalline and crystalline ferric oxides/oxyhydroxides, sulfates and silicates that range in size from nanophase to 1-2 pm diameter particles. Cemented products of these soil mixtures are formed in these experiments and variation in the surface texture was observed for samples containing smectites, non-hydrated silicates or sulfates

  13. Winter polar warming in the Martian middle atmosphere: recent observations and Mars-WRF GCM simulations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDunn, Tamara; Bougher, Stephen; Mischna, Michael; Nelli, Steven

    Winter Polar Warming (WPW) has previously been observed in the Martian atmosphere at both lower and upper altitudes. This phenomenon is an important indicator of the structure of the global circulation on Mars. Therefore, reproducing observed WPW trends is a meaningful validation of a general circulation model (GCM). Accordingly, simulating lower-and upper-atmosphere WPW has been a focus of several modeling efforts to-date. In this talk we show evidence from modern datasets (MRO/MCS, MEx/SPICAM, MGS/Accelerometer, and MRO/Accelerometer) of WPW at middle altitudes. We then explore the capacity of the Mars-WRF GCM to capture the observed signatures of middle-altitude WPW. The Mars-WRF GCM has recently been updated to account for NLTE CO2 15-µm cooling and near-IR heating effects above ˜ 80 km. This allows the model to now operate up to altitudes of ˜ 120 km, which permits simultaneous investigation of WPW at lower, middle, and upper altitudes with one self-consistent model.

  14. Resistance of Antarctic black fungi and cryptoendolithic communities to simulated space and Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Onofri, S; Barreca, D; Selbmann, L; Isola, D; Rabbow, E; Horneck, G; de Vera, J P P; Hatton, J; Zucconi, L

    2008-01-01

    Dried colonies of the Antarctic rock-inhabiting meristematic fungi Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 515, CCFEE 534 and C. minteri CCFEE 5187, as well as fragments of rocks colonized by the Antarctic cryptoendolithic community, were exposed to a set of ground-based experiment verification tests (EVTs) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Köln, Germany). These were carried out to test the tolerance of these organisms in view of their possible exposure to space conditions outside of the International Space Station (ISS). Tests included single or combined simulated space and Martian conditions. Responses were analysed both by cultural and microscopic methods. Thereby, colony formation capacities were measured and the cellular viability was assessed using live/dead dyes FUN 1 and SYTOX Green. The results clearly suggest a general good resistance of all the samples investigated. C. minteri CCFEE 5187, C. antarcticus CCFEE 515 and colonized rocks were selected as suitable candidates to withstand space flight and long-term permanence in space on the ISS in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE programme, European Space Agency). PMID:19287532

  15. Resistance of Antarctic black fungi and cryptoendolithic communities to simulated space and Martian conditions

    PubMed Central

    Onofri, S.; Barreca, D.; Selbmann, L.; Isola, D.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.; de Vera, J.P.P.; Hatton, J.; Zucconi, L.

    2008-01-01

    Dried colonies of the Antarctic rock-inhabiting meristematic fungi Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 515, CCFEE 534 and C. minteri CCFEE 5187, as well as fragments of rocks colonized by the Antarctic cryptoendolithic community, were exposed to a set of ground-based experiment verification tests (EVTs) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Köln, Germany). These were carried out to test the tolerance of these organisms in view of their possible exposure to space conditions outside of the International Space Station (ISS). Tests included single or combined simulated space and Martian conditions. Responses were analysed both by cultural and microscopic methods. Thereby, colony formation capacities were measured and the cellular viability was assessed using live/dead dyes FUN 1 and SYTOX Green. The results clearly suggest a general good resistance of all the samples investigated. C. minteri CCFEE 5187, C. antarcticus CCFEE 515 and colonized rocks were selected as suitable candidates to withstand space flight and long-term permanence in space on the ISS in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE programme, European Space Agency). PMID:19287532

  16. Growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant after exposure to vacuum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, Mayumi; Sato, Seigo; Ohmori, Masayuki; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation on Mars is one of our challenges in this century. The growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant (MRS) was studied with two species of terrestrial cyanobacteria, Nostoc, and one species of other cyanobacterium, Synechosystis. Their vacuum tolerances was examined in order to judge feasibility of the use of cyanobacteria to creat habitable environment on a distant planet. The viability of cyanobacteria tested was evaluated by the microscopic observation after staining by FDA (fluorescein diacetate). A part of them were also re-incubated again in a liquid culture medium, and viability and the chlorophyll production were examined in detail. Nostoc was found to grow for over 140 days with their having normal function of chlorophyll synthesis on the MRS. After the exposure to high vacuum environment (10-5 Pa) for a year, Nostoc sp. started growth. Chlorophyll was produced after this vacuum exposure as well. The A'MED (Arai's Mars Ecosystem Dome, A'MED) is designed to install on Mars for conducting agricultural production in it. We performed the fundamental experiment with MRS. These results show a possibility that cyanobacteria could adapt to MRS, and grow under the low pressure environment expected on Mars.

  17. Insights into Interactions of Water Ice with Regolith under Simulated Martian Conditions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chittenden, Julie; Chevrier, V.; Sears, D. W.; Roe, L. A.; Bryson, K.; Billingsly, L.; Hanley, J.

    2006-09-01

    In order to understand the diffusion process of water vapor through regolith, we have investigated the sublimation process of subsurface ice under varying depths of JSC Mars-1 soil simulant under martian conditions. Measurements were made at 0oC and 5.25 Torr in a CO2 atmosphere. We corrected for variations in temperature of the ice and the difference in gravity of Mars in relation to the Earth. Our results show that for depths up to 40 mm the process is mainly diffusion controlled and that for thicker regolith layers, desorption becomes the main process. After correction for the effect of desorption, we observed a decrease in sublimation rate from 0.625 ± 0.073 mm.h-1 at 5 mm of soil to 0.187 ± 0.093 mm.h-1 for 200 mm of soil. To characterize the diffusion process, we use the Farmer model (1976), which hypothesizes that the sublimation rate is equal to the diffusion coefficient divided by the soil depth. The derived diffusion coefficient from this data is 2.52 ± 0.55 mm2.h-1, or 7.0 ± 1.5 x 10-10 m2.s-1. Knowing the diffusion coefficient in the regolith, we can calculate the survival time, κ, of a layer of ice under a regolith layer which is given by τ = liceL/D, where lice is the thickness of the ice layer. Using this equation, we find that a 10 cm-thick layer of ice buried under 1 m of regolith would last for more than 4 years at 0oC. Therefore, our study indicates that the transport of water through a regolith layer is a complex multi-faceted process that is readily quantified by laboratory investigations. This is especially important in interpreting previous theoretical models and in understanding in situ observations to be performed by martian landers such as Phoenix. The W.M. Keck Foundation funded this research.

  18. Viability and DNA damage of halobacteria under physical stress conditions, including a simulated Martian atmosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidler, G.; Leuko, S.; Radax, C.; Stan-Lotter, H.

    2003-04-01

    Several viable halobacteria were isolated from Alpine rock salt of Permo-Triassic age and described as novel species (1, 2). They have apparently survived in the salt sediments over extremely long periods of time. Halobacteria could therefore be suitable model organisms for exploring the possibility of long-term survival of microorganisms on other planets. In addition, the discovery of extraterrestrial halite makes it plausible to consider a specific search for halophiles, perhaps in the planned sample return missions to Mars. We are developing experimental procedures to test the viability of halobacteria under Martian conditions. Cells of two species of haloarchaea were used: 1. Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, whose whole genome sequence is already known; 2. Halococcus dombrowskii, a novel isolate from Austrian Permo-Triassic rock salt (2). Cells were grown in complex medium, containing up to 4 M NaCl, and were kept at minus 70riptsizeraisebox{1.5ex{o}}C for up to seven days, or freeze-dried in a lyophilizer. In addition, exposure experiments of halobacterial cells in a liquid nitrogen cooled Martian simulation chamber, at the Austrian Academy of Sceinces, were begun, where temperatures from about plus 5 to minus 100riptsizeraisebox{1.5ex{o}}C, pressures of 6-8 mbar, and a carbon dioxide atmosphere (or other gas mixtures) can be produced. Survival of cells was evaluated by determination of colony-forming units, microscopic examination of cellular morphology, and examination of potential strand breaks in DNA using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Results showed a reduction of viable cells, following deep freezing, or lyophilization, respectively, by a factor of about 10 to 100, depending somewhat on the presence of cations, glycerol and other protective substances. Data will be presented on the DNA from stressed halobacterial cells, following digestion by restriction enzymes and separation by PFGE. 1) Stan-Lotter H, McGenity TJ, Legat A, Denner EBM, Glaser K

  19. Polarimetry of Dust in Optically Thin Clouds: Observations and Experimental Simulations of Cometary and Interplanetary Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadamcik, E.; Renard, J.; Levasseur-Regourd, A.; Lasue, J.

    2013-12-01

    Remote polarimetric observations are used to tentatively infer the physical properties of the dust particles in cometary and interplanetary environments. To interpret the results, numerical and experimental simulations are necessary. Light scattering measurements on levitating particles with the PROGRA2 experiment -in dedicated microgravity flights or in the laboratory for low-density particles- provide relevant simulations of the scattering properties of real particles, which can present large size distributions and a large variety of structures and materials (Renard et al., 2002; Hadamcik et al., 2009). Previous systematic experiments, together with numerical models and laboratory analysis of cosmic particles (e.g. Stardust samples) allow to optimize dust particles' properties -such as their structures, sizes, size distributions, and silicate to organics ratios- (Hadamcik et al. 2007a; Zubko et al., 2009; Lasue et al., 2010). We present intensity and polarization images of cometary comae providing evidence for changes in the polarization properties in the internal regions of the coma, linked to the variation of particles properties with nucleus distance and/or rotation phase (Hadamcik et al., 2007a; Hadamcik et al., 2013a; 2013b) and preliminary results of 2013 observations. Associated experimental simulations help us to interpret how particles evolve within different coma regions and at different solar distances (Hadamcik et al. 2007b; 2009; 2011). We expect in situ confirmation of our results during the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014-2015 (Hadamcik et al., 2010). Analyses of observations of the zodiacal light scattered by the interplanetary dust cloud particles have shown local polarisation changes with the solar distance (Levasseur-Regourd et al., 2001). Such changes are interpreted through numerical models to be related to variations in the composition and physical properties of the particles through various processes including

  20. Methane evolution from UV-irradiated spacecraft materials under simulated martian conditions: Implications for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Clausen, Christian; Britt, Daniel

    2011-05-01

    Fifteen organic and three inorganic compounds were tested for methane (CH 4) evolution under simulated martian conditions of 6.9 mbar; UVC (200-280 nm) flux of 4 W m -2; 20 °C; simulated optical depth of 0.1; and a Mars gas composition of CO 2 (95.3%), N 2 (2.7%), Ar (1.7%), O 2 (0.13%), and water vapor (0.03%). All three inorganic compounds (i.e., NaCl, CaCO 3, graphite) failed to evolve methane at the minimum detection level 0.5 ppm, or above. In contrast, all organic compounds evolved methane when exposed to UV irradiation under simulated martian conditions. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, pyrene, released the most methane per unit of time at 0.175 nmol CH 4 g -1 h -1, and a spectral reflectance target material used for the MER rovers and Phoenix lander released the least methane at 0.00065 nmol CH 4 cm -2 h -1. Methane was also released from UV-killed bacterial endospores of Bacillus subtilis. Although all organic compounds evolved methane when irradiated with UV photons under martian conditions, the concentrations of residual organics, biogenic signature molecules, and dead microbial cells should be relatively low on the exterior surfaces of the MSL rover, and, thus, not significant sources of methane contamination. In contrast, kapton tape was found to evolve methane at the rate of 0.00165 nmol CH 4 cm -2 h -1 (16.5 nmol m -2 h -1) under the UV and martian conditions tested. Although the evolution of methane from kapton tape was found to decline over time, the large amount of kapton tape used on the MSL rover (lower bound estimated at 3 m 2) is likely to create a significant source of terrestrial methane contamination during the early part of the mission.

  1. Martian Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, F.

    2012-09-01

    Due to the reported Mars surface environmental conditions (Klein, 1978) (oxidative stress, high UV radiation levels, etc.) the possibility for life development in the surface of the red planet is very small. The identification of water-ice on the subsurface on Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard of the Mars Odyssey (Kieffer and Titus, 2001) and from the High Energy Neutron Detector (Litvak, et al., 2006) has important astrobiological connotations, because in addition to be a potential source for water, these locations are shielding habitats against the harsh conditions existing on the planet, like UV radiation (Gomez, et al., 2007; Gomez, et al., 2012). Martian habitability potential could change in particular located micro-niches. Salt deliquescence and hard environmental parameters modification could be relevant for life under protected niches. An example could be endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light wavelengths. Similar acidic salts deposits are located in Río Tinto extreme environment with shelter life forms which are difficult to localize by eye. Techniques for its localization and study during space missions are needed to develop. Extreme environments are good scenarios where to test and train those techniques and where hypothetical Astrobiological space missions could be simulated for increasing possibilities of micro niches identification. Here we will report some experiments of bacteria exposition to Martian surface conditions in Mars Simulation chamber. Bacteria were shelter and exposed included in simulated salty endolithic micro niches. High percentage of bacteria resistance and adaptation to harsh extreme those conditions was reported (Gómez, F. et al., 2010). These results were used to develop and implement a Habitability Index to study Martian habitability during the next MSL mission to Mars landed on August 2012 on the surface of the red planet.

  2. Electrical Characteristics of Simulated Tornadoes and Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Michael I.; Farrell, William M.; Barth, E. L.; Lewellen, W. S.; Perlongo, N. J.; Jackson, T. L.

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that tornadoes and dust devils have the ability to accumulate significant, visible clouds of debris. Collisions between sand-like debris species produce different electric charges on different types of grains, which convect along different trajectories around the vortex. Thus, significant charge separations and electric currents are possible, which as the vortex fluctuates over time are thought to produce ULF radiation signatures that have been measured in the field. These electric and magnetic fields may contain valuable information about tornado structure and genesis, and may be critical in driving electrochemical processes within dust devils on Mars. In the present work, existing large eddy simulations of debris-laden tornadoes performed at West Virginia University are coupled with a new debris-charging and advection code developed at Goddard Space Flight Center to investigate the detailed (meter-resolution) fluid-dynamic origins of electromagnetic fields within terrestrial vortices. First results are presented, including simulations of the electric and magnetic fields that would be observed by a near-surface, instrument-laden probe during a direct encounter with a tornado.

  3. First-principles simulations of electrostatic interactions between dust grains

    SciTech Connect

    Itou, H. Amano, T.; Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-15

    We investigated the electrostatic interaction between two identical dust grains of an infinite mass immersed in homogeneous plasma by employing first-principles N-body simulations combined with the Ewald method. We specifically tested the possibility of an attractive force due to overlapping Debye spheres (ODSs), as was suggested by Resendes et al. [Phys. Lett. A 239, 181–186 (1998)]. Our simulation results demonstrate that the electrostatic interaction is repulsive and even stronger than the standard Yukawa potential. We showed that the measured electric field acting on the grain is highly consistent with a model electrostatic potential around a single isolated grain that takes into account a correction due to the orbital motion limited theory. Our result is qualitatively consistent with the counterargument suggested by Markes and Williams [Phys. Lett. A 278, 152–158 (2000)], indicating the absence of the ODS attractive force.

  4. Spatial and temporal distributions of Martian north polar cold spots before, during, and after the global dust storm of 2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cornwall, C.; Titus, T.N.

    2009-01-01

    In the 1970s, Mariner and Viking observed features in the Mars northern polar region that were a few hundred kilometers in diameter with 20 fj,m brightness temperatures as low as 130 K (considerably below C02 ice sublimation temperatures). Over the past decade, studies have shown that these areas (commonly called "cold spots") are usually due to emissivity effects of frost deposits and occasionally to active C02 snowstorms. Three Mars years of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data were used to observe autumn and wintertime cold spot activity within the polar regions. Many cold spots formed on or near scarps of the perennial cap, probably induced by adiabatic cooling due to orographic lifting. These topographically associated cold spots were often smaller than those that were not associated with topography. We determined that initial grain sizes within the cold spots were on the order of a few millimeters, assuming the snow was uncontaminated by dust or water ice. On average, the half-life of the cold spots was 5 Julian days. The Mars global dust storm in 2001 significantly affected cold spot activity in the north polar region. Though overall perennial cap cold spot activity seemed unaffected, the distribution of cold spots did change by a decrease in the number of topographically associated cold spots and an increase in those not associated with topography. We propose that the global dust storm affected the processes that form cold spots and discuss how the global dust storm may have affected these processes. ?? 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  5. Survival of spacecraft-associated microorganisms under simulated martian UV irradiation.

    PubMed

    Newcombe, David A; Schuerger, Andrew C; Benardini, James N; Dickinson, Danielle; Tanner, Roger; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2005-12-01

    Spore-forming microbes recovered from spacecraft surfaces and assembly facilities were exposed to simulated Martian UV irradiation. The effects of UVA (315 to 400 nm), UVA+B (280 to 400 nm), and the full UV spectrum (200 to 400 nm) on the survival of microorganisms were studied at UV intensities expected to strike the surfaces of Mars. Microbial species isolated from the surfaces of several spacecraft, including Mars Odyssey, X-2000 (avionics), and the International Space Station, and their assembly facilities were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Forty-three Bacillus spore lines were screened, and 19 isolates showed resistance to UVC irradiation (200 to 280 nm) after exposure to 1,000 J m(-2) of UVC irradiation at 254 nm using a low-pressure mercury lamp. Spores of Bacillus species isolated from spacecraft-associated surfaces were more resistant than a standard dosimetric strain, Bacillus subtilis 168. In addition, the exposure time required for UVA+B irradiation to reduce the viable spore numbers by 90% was 35-fold longer than the exposure time required for the full UV spectrum to do this, confirming that UVC is the primary biocidal bandwidth. Among the Bacillus species tested, spores of a Bacillus pumilus strain showed the greatest resistance to all three UV bandwidths, as well as the total spectrum. The resistance to simulated Mars UV irradiation was strain specific; B. pumilus SAFR-032 exhibited greater resistance than all other strains tested. The isolation of organisms like B. pumilus SAFR-032 and the greater survival of this organism (sixfold) than of the standard dosimetric strains should be considered when the sanitation capabilities of UV irradiation are determined. PMID:16332797

  6. Survival of Spacecraft-Associated Microorganisms under Simulated Martian UV Irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Newcombe, David A.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Benardini, James N.; Dickinson, Danielle; Tanner, Roger; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2005-01-01

    Spore-forming microbes recovered from spacecraft surfaces and assembly facilities were exposed to simulated Martian UV irradiation. The effects of UVA (315 to 400 nm), UVA+B (280 to 400 nm), and the full UV spectrum (200 to 400 nm) on the survival of microorganisms were studied at UV intensities expected to strike the surfaces of Mars. Microbial species isolated from the surfaces of several spacecraft, including Mars Odyssey, X-2000 (avionics), and the International Space Station, and their assembly facilities were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Forty-three Bacillus spore lines were screened, and 19 isolates showed resistance to UVC irradiation (200 to 280 nm) after exposure to 1,000 J m−2 of UVC irradiation at 254 nm using a low-pressure mercury lamp. Spores of Bacillus species isolated from spacecraft-associated surfaces were more resistant than a standard dosimetric strain, Bacillus subtilis 168. In addition, the exposure time required for UVA+B irradiation to reduce the viable spore numbers by 90% was 35-fold longer than the exposure time required for the full UV spectrum to do this, confirming that UVC is the primary biocidal bandwidth. Among the Bacillus species tested, spores of a Bacillus pumilus strain showed the greatest resistance to all three UV bandwidths, as well as the total spectrum. The resistance to simulated Mars UV irradiation was strain specific; B. pumilus SAFR-032 exhibited greater resistance than all other strains tested. The isolation of organisms like B. pumilus SAFR-032 and the greater survival of this organism (sixfold) than of the standard dosimetric strains should be considered when the sanitation capabilities of UV irradiation are determined. PMID:16332797

  7. The viability of photovoltaics on the Martian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.

    1994-01-01

    The viability of photovoltaics (PV) on the Martian surface may be determined by their ability to withstand significant degradation in the Martian environment. Probably the greatest threat is posed by fine dust particles which are continually blown about the surface of the planet. In an effort to determine the extent of the threat, and to investigate some abatement strategies, a series of experiments were conducted in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at NASA Ames Research Center. The effects of dust composition, particle size, wind velocity, angle of attack, and protective coatings on the transmittance of light through PV coverglass were determined. Both initially clear and initially dusted samples were subjected both to clear winds and simulated dust storms in the MARSWIT. It was found that wind velocity, particle size, and angle of attack are important parameters affecting occlusion of PV surfaces, while dust composition and protective coatings were not. Neither induced turbulence nor direct current biasing up to 200 volts were effective abatement techniques. Abrasion diffused the light impinging on the PV cells, but did not reduce total coverglass transmittance by more than a few percent.

  8. Aeolian removal of dust from photovoltaic surfaces on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Marabito, Mark

    1990-01-01

    It is well documented that Mars is totally engulfed in huge dust storms nearly each Martian year. Dust elevated in these global dust storms, or in any of the numerous local dust storms could settle on photovoltaic surfaces and seriously hamper photovoltaic power system performance. Using a recently developed technique to uniformly dust simulated photovoltaic surfaces, samples were subjected to Martian-like winds in an attempt to determine whether natural aeolian processes on Mars would sweep off the settled dust. The effects of wind velocity, angle of attack, height off the Martian surface, and surface coating material were investigated. Principles which can help to guide the design of photovoltaic arrays bound for the Martian surface were uncovered. Most importantly, arrays mounted with an angle of attack approaching 45 deg show the most efficient clearing. Although the angular dependence is not sharp, horizontally mounted arrays required significantly higher wind velocities to clear off the dust. From the perspective of dust-clearing it appears that the arrays may be erected quite near the ground, but previous studies have suggested that saltation effects can be expected to cause such arrays to be covered by sand if they are set up less than about a meter from the ground. Providing that the surface chemistry of Martian dusts is comparable to our test dust, the materials used for protective coating may be optimized for other considerations such as transparency, and chemical or abrasion resistance. The static threshold velocity is low enough that there are regions on Mars which experience winds strong enough to clear off a photovoltaic array if it is properly oriented. Turbulence fences proved to be an ineffective strategy to keep dust cleared from the photovoltaic surfaces.

  9. Interannual variability of global dust storms on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    1986-01-01

    Under the assumption that the cross-equatorial Hadley circulation plays a key role in the onset of Martian global dust storms, numerical simulations indicate that a northern hemisphere dust haze weakens its intensity and, thereby, its contribution to the surface stress in the southern hemisphere. Since this in turn reduces the possibility of global dust storm development, the interannual variability observed is the result of either a competition between circulations in opposite hemispheres, in which case the variability has a random component, or it is the result of dust cycling between hemispheres, so that the variability is related to the characteristics of the global dust storms themselves.

  10. Electric Dust Devils and Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renno, N. O.; Yana, C.

    2004-12-01

    Electrical fields measurements in terrestrial dust devils show that they maintain tremendous charge separation and that their electric fields exceeds the breakdown potential (~10 kV/m) of the Martian atmosphere (Farrell et al., 2002, 2003; Krauss et al., 2002; Renno et al., 2004). Typical Martian dust devils are be up to 100 times larger and much stronger than the small terrestrial analogues. Martian dust devils have higher dust content and may produce even stronger electrical fields. Indeed, the dust devils observed in the Pathfinder images have about 700 times the dust content of the local background atmosphere (Metzger et al., 1999). Thus, strong charge separations and electric-field breakdown are likely to occur on Martian dust devils and dust storms. Our theory (Renno et al., 2004) and laboratory experiments in a Mars chamber shows that collisions between sand and dust particles produce non-thermal microwave radiation. The non-thermal microwave emission allows not only the indirect detection of electric activity but also the determination of the physical properties of Martian sand and dust by remote sensing. Besides being geologically important, electrically charged Martian dust devils and dust storms are potential hazards to Landers and will be dangerous to future astronauts exploring its surface. Indeed, the design of adequate mechanical and electrical systems for these Landers cannot progress effectively without a better understanding of Martian dust devils and dust storms. Moreover, ancillary phenomena associated with electrically charged vortices can ionize atmospheric gases and might have important implications for atmosphere chemistry and even habitability.

  11. Lunar dust simulant charging and transport under UV irradiation in vacuum: Experiments and numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champlain, A.; Matéo-Vélez, J.-C.; Roussel, J.-F.; Hess, S.; Sarrailh, P.; Murat, G.; Chardon, J.-P.; Gajan, A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent high-altitude observations, made by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) experiment on board LADEE orbiting the Moon, indicate that high-altitude (>10 km) dust particle densities are well correlated with interplanetary dust impacts. They show no evidence of high dust density suggested by Apollo 15 and 17 observations and possibly explained by electrostatic forces imposed by the plasma environment and photon irradiation. This paper deals with near-surface conditions below the domain of observation of LDEX where electrostatic forces could clearly be at play. The upper and lower limits of the cohesive force between dusts are obtained by comparing experiments and numerical simulations of dust charging under ultraviolet irradiation in the presence of an electric field and mechanical vibrations. It is suggested that dust ejection by electrostatic forces is made possible by microscopic-scale amplifications due to soil irregularities. At low altitude, this process may be complementary to interplanetary dust impacts.

  12. Effect of Simulant Type on the Absorptance and Emittance of Dusted Thermal Control Surfaces in a Simulated Lunar Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.

    2010-01-01

    During the Apollo program the effects of lunar dust on thermal control surfaces was found to be more significant than anticipated, with several systems overheating due to deposition of dust on them. In an effort to reduce risk to future missions, a series of tests has been initiated to characterize the effects of dust on these surfaces, and then to develop technologies to mitigate that risk. Given the variations in albedo across the lunar surface, one variable that may be important is the darkness of the lunar dust, and this study was undertaken to address that concern. Three thermal control surfaces, AZ-93 white paint and AgFEP and AlFEP second surface mirrors were dusted with three different lunar dust simulants in a simulated lunar environment, and their solar absorptivity and thermal emissivity values determined experimentally. The three simulants included JSC 1AF, a darker mare simulant, NU-LHT-1D, a light highlands simulant, and 1:1 mixture of the two. The response of AZ-93 was found to be slightly more pronounced than that of AgFEP. The increased with fractional dust coverage in both types of samples by a factor of 1.7 to 3.3, depending on the type of thermal control surface and the type of dust. The of the AZ-93 decreased by about 10 percent when fully covered by dust, while that of AgFEP increased by about 10 percent. It was found that alpha/epsilon varied by more than a factor of two depending on the thermal control surface and the darkness of the dust. Given that the darkest simulant used in this study may be significantly lighter than the darkest dust that could be encountered on the lunar surface, it becomes apparent that the performance degradation of thermal control surfaces due to dust on the moon will be strongly dependent on the and of the dust in the specific locality.

  13. Effect of Simulant Type on the Absorptance and Emittance of Dusted Thermal Control Surfaces in a Simulated Lunar Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.

    2010-01-01

    During the Apollo program the effects of lunar dust on thermal control surfaces was found to be more significant than anticipated, with several systems overheating due to deposition of dust on them. In an effort to reduce risk to future missions, a series of tests has been initiated to characterize the effects of dust on these surfaces, and then to develop technologies to mitigate that risk. Given the variations in albedo across the lunar surface, one variable that may be important is the darkness of the lunar dust, and this study was undertaken to address that concern. Three thermal control surfaces, AZ-93 white paint and AgFEP and AlFEP second surface mirrors were dusted with three different lunar dust simulants in a simulated lunar environment, and their integrated solar absorptance ( ) and thermal emittance ( ) values determined experimentally. The three simulants included JSC-1AF, a darker mare simulant, NU-LHT-1D, a light highlands simulant, and 1:1 mixture of the two. The response of AZ-93 was found to be slightly more pronounced than that of AgFEP. The increased with fractional dust coverage in both types of samples by a factor of 1.7 to 3.3, depending on the type of thermal control surface and the type of dust. The of the AZ-93 decreased by about 10 percent when fully covered by dust, while that of AgFEP increased by about 10 percent. It was found that / varied by more than a factor of two depending on the thermal control surface and the darkness of the dust. Given that the darkest simulant used in this study may be lighter than the darkest dust that could be encountered on the lunar surface, it becomes apparent that the performance degradation of thermal control surfaces due to dust on the Moon will be strongly dependent on the and of the dust in the specific locality

  14. Martian Surface Beneath Phoenix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This is an image of the Martian surface beneath NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by Phoenix's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the eighth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 8 (June 2, 2008). The light feature in the middle of the image below the leg is informally called 'Holy Cow.' The dust, shown in the dark foreground, has been blown off of 'Holy Cow' by Phoenix's thruster engines.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  15. Lagrangian dust model simulations for a case of moist convective dust emission and transport in the western Sahara region during Fennec/LADUNEX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodemann, H.; Lai, T. M.; Marenco, F.; Ryder, C. L.; Flamant, C.; Knippertz, P.; Rosenberg, P.; Bart, M.; McQuaid, J. B.

    2015-06-01

    Due to the harshness and inaccessibility of desert regions, the uncertainties concerning the processes of dust mobilization at the surface, airborne transport, and sedimentation are still considerable, limiting the ability to perform model simulations. In June 2011, a comprehensive data set of ground-based and airborne in situ measurements and remote sensing observations was acquired within the Fennec/Lagrangian Dust Source Inversion Experiment (LADUNEX) field campaign in the western Sahara region. Here we evaluate the ability of the state-of-the-art Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART, newly fitted with a dust mobilization capability, to simulate dust transport in this region. We investigate a case where a large mesoscale convective system (MCS) triggered dust emissions in central Mali, which subsequently moved as a large cold pool dust front toward northern Mauritania. Specifying dust mobilization for this case is shown to be an important obstacle to simulating dust transport during this event, since neither the MCS nor the associated cold pool-causing dust emission is represented in the meteorological analysis. Obtaining a realistic dust transport simulation for this case therefore requires an inversion approach using a manual specification of the dust sources supported by satellite imagery. When compared to in situ and remote sensing data from two aircraft, the Lagrangian dust transport simulations represent the overall shape and evolution of the dust plume well. While accumulation and coarse mode dust are well represented in the simulation, giant mode particles are considerably underestimated. Our results re-emphasize that dust emission associated with deep moist convection remains a key issue for reliable dust model simulations in northern Africa.

  16. Numerical simulation of a dust event in northeastern Germany with a new dust emission scheme in COSMO-ART

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deetz, K.; Klose, M.; Kirchner, I.; Cubasch, U.

    2016-02-01

    The dust emission scheme of Shao (2004) has been implemented into the regional atmospheric model COSMO-ART and has been applied to a severe dust event in northeastern Germany on 8th April 2011. The model sensitivity to soil moisture and vegetation cover has been studied. Soil moisture has been found to be relatively high in the model during the investigation period and has been reduced by different degree to investigate the resulting changes in dust emissions. Two different vegetation datasets have been tested as model input: the climatological vegetation cover data of COSMO-ART (ECOCLIMAP) and the SPOT5 remote sensing vegetation cover data for the time of the event. By varying soil moisture, vegetation cover and by restricting the potential emission area, a set of eleven simulations was generated. Vegetation cover during the event was about 24% lower on average compared to the climatological mean. Thus, dust emissions modeled with SPOT5 vegetation exceeded that modeled with climatological data by a factor of about 5. The modeled dust concentrations were compared with in-situ measurements of aerosol concentration. The temporal evolutions of simulations and observations have significant correlations (0.42-0.85) especially in rural backgrounds. The lower correlations at urban sites are attributed to anthropogenic PM10 sources, which are not included in the model. However, a verification of the magnitude of modeled dust concentrations is not possible due to the uncertainty in soil moisture and emission area.

  17. Sensitivity simulations with direct shortwave radiative forcing by aeolian dust during glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, E.; Ganopolski, A.

    2014-07-01

    Possible feedback effects between aeolian dust, climate and ice sheets are studied for the first time with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity over the late Pleistocene period. Correlations between climate and dust deposition records suggest that aeolian dust potentially plays an important role for the evolution of glacial cycles. Here climatic effects from the dust direct radiative forcing (DRF) caused by absorption and scattering of solar radiation are investigated. Key elements controlling the dust DRF are the atmospheric dust distribution and the absorption-scattering efficiency of dust aerosols. Effective physical parameters in the description of these elements are varied within uncertainty ranges known from available data and detailed model studies. Although the parameters can be reasonably constrained, the simulated dust DRF spans a~wide uncertainty range related to the strong nonlinearity of the Earth system. In our simulations, the dust DRF is highly localized. Medium-range parameters result in negative DRF of several watts per square metre in regions close to major dust sources and negligible values elsewhere. In the case of high absorption efficiency, the local dust DRF can reach positive values and the global mean DRF can be insignificantly small. In the case of low absorption efficiency, the dust DRF can produce a significant global cooling in glacial periods, which leads to a doubling of the maximum glacial ice volume relative to the case with small dust DRF. DRF-induced temperature and precipitation changes can either be attenuated or amplified through a feedback loop involving the dust cycle. The sensitivity experiments suggest that depending on dust optical parameters, dust DRF has the potential to either damp or reinforce glacial-interglacial climate changes.

  18. Physical properties of interplanetary dust: laboratory and numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadamcik, Edith; Lasue, Jeremie; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal; Renard, Jean-Baptiste; Buch, Arnaud; Carrasco, Nathalie; Cottin, Hervé; Fray, Nicolas; Guan, Yuan Yong; Szopa, Cyril

    Laboratory light scattering measurements with the PROGRA2 experiment, in A300-CNES and ESA dedicated microgravity flights or in ground based configurations, offer an alternative to models for exploring the scattering properties of particles with structures too complex to be easily handled by computer simulations [1,2]. The technique allows the use of large size distributions (nanometers to hundreds of micrometers) and a large variety of materials, similar to those suspected to compose the interplanetary particles [3]. Asteroids are probably the source of compact particles, while comets have been shown to eject compact and fluffy materials [4]. Moreover giant planets provide further a small number of interplanetary particles. Some interstellar particles are also present. To choose the best samples and size distributions, we consider previous numerical models for the interplanetary particles and their evolution with solar distance. In this model, fluffy particles are simulated by fractal aggregates and compact particles by ellipsoids. The materials considered are silicates and carbonaceous compound. The silicate grains can be coated by the organics. Observations are fitted with two parameters: the size distribution of the particles and the ratio of silicates over carbonaceous compounds. From the light scattering properties of the particles, their equilibrium temperature can be calculated for different structures and composition. The variation of their optical properties and temperatures are studied with the heliocentric distance [5,6]. Results on analogs of cometary particles [7] and powdered meteorites as asteroidal particles will be presented and compared to numerical simulations as well as observations. Organics on cometary grains can constitute distributed sources if degraded by solar UV and heat [8, 9]. The optical properties of CxHyNz compounds are studied after thermal evolution [10]. As a first approach, they are used to simulate the evolution of cometary or

  19. Simulant Materials of Lunar Dust: Requirements and feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, L.

    2005-01-01

    As NASA turns its exploration ambitions towards the Moon once again, the research and development of new technologies for lunar operations face the challenge of meeting the milestones of a fast-pace schedule, reminiscent of the 1960 s Apollo program. While the lunar samples returned by the Apollo and Luna missions have revealed much about the Moon, these priceless materials exist in too scarce quantities to be used for technology development and testing. The need for mineral materials chosen to simulate the characteristics of lunar regoliths is a pressing issue that must be addressed today through the collaboration of scientists, engineers and program managers. While the larger size fraction of the lunar regolith has been reproduced in several simulants in the past, little attention has been paid to the fines fraction, commonly refered to as lunar dust. As reported by McKay, this fraction of the lunar regolith below 20 microns can represent upto 30% by mass of the total regolith mass. The issue of reproducing the properties of these fines for research and technology development purposes was addressed by the recently held Workshop on Lunar Regolith Simulant Materials at Marshall Space Flight Center. Preliminary conclusions from the workshop and con- side-rations concerning the feasibility of producing such materials will be presented here.

  20. Growth of Methanogens on a Mars Soil Simulant Under Simulated Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kral, Timothy A.; Bekkum, Curtis R.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-06-01

    Due to the hostile conditions at the surface, any life forms existing on Mars today would most likely inhabit a subsurface environment where conditions are potentially wetter and warmer, but organic compounds may be lacking and light energy for photosynthesis would be absent. Methanogens, members of the domain Archaea, are microorganisms from planet Earth that can grow under these relatively extreme conditions. We have demonstrated that certain methanogenic species can indeed grow on a Mars soil simulant, JSC Mars-1, with limited amounts of water, under conditions approaching a possible subsurface environment on Mars.

  1. Effects of Subsurface Sampling & Processing on Martian Simulant Containing Varying Quantities of Water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menard, J.; Sangillo, J.; Savain, A.; McNamara, K. M.

    2004-01-01

    The presence of water-ice in the Martian subsurface is a subject of much debate and excited speculation. Recent results from the gammaray spectrometer (GRS) on board NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft indicate the presence of large amounts of hydrogen in regions of predicted ice stability. The combination of chemistry, low gravitational field (3.71 m/s(exp 2)) and a surface pressure of about 6.36 mbar at the mean radius, place limits on the stability of H2O on the surface, however, results from the GRS indicate that the hydrogen rich phase may be present at a depth as shallow as one meter in some locations on Mars. The potential for water on Mars leads directly to the speculation that life may once have existed there, since liquid water is the unifying factor for environments known to support life on Earth. Lubricant-free drilling has been considered as a means of obtaining water-rich subsurface samples on Mars, and two recent white papers sponsored by the Mars Program have attempted to identify the problems associated with this goal. The two major issues identified were: the engineering challenges of drilling into a water-soil mixture where phase changes may occur; and the potential to compromise the integrity of in-situ scientific analysis due to contamination, volatilization, and mineralogical or chemical changes as a result of processing. This study is a first attempt to simulate lubricantfree drilling into JSC Mars-1 simulant containing up to 50% water by weight. The goal is to address the following: 1) Does sample processing cause reactions or changes in mineralogy which will compromise the interpretation of scientific measurements conducted on the surface? 2) Does the presence of water-ice in the sample complicate (1)? 3) Do lubricant-free drilling and processing leave trace contaminants which may compromise our understanding of sample composition? 4) How does the torque/power required for drilling change as a function of water content and does this lead to

  2. Sensitivity simulations with direct radiative forcing by aeolian dust during glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, E.; Ganopolski, A.

    2014-01-01

    Possible feedback effects between aeolian dust, climate and ice sheets are studied for the first time with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity over the late Pleistocene period. Correlations between climate variables and dust deposits suggest that aeolian dust potentially plays an important role for the evolution of glacial cycles. Here climatic effects from the dust direct radiative forcing (DRF) caused by absorption and scattering of solar radiation are investigated. Key factors controlling the dust DRF are the atmospheric dust distribution and the absorption-scattering efficiency of dust aerosols. Effective physical parameters in the description of these factors are varied within uncertainty ranges known from available data and detailed model studies. Although the parameters are reasonably constrained by use of these studies, the simulated dust DRF spans a wide uncertainty range related to nonlinear dependencies. In our simulations, the dust DRF is highly localized. Medium-range parameters result in negative DRF of several W m-2 in regions close to major dust sources and negligible values elsewhere. In case of high absorption efficiency, the local dust DRF can reach positive values and the global mean DRF can be insignificantly small. In case of low absorption efficiency, the dust DRF can produce a significant global cooling in glacial periods which leads to a doubling of the maximum glacial ice volume relative to the case with small dust DRF. DRF-induced temperature and precipitation changes can either be attenuated or amplified through a feedback loop involving the dust cycle. The sensitivity experiments suggest that depending on dust optical parameters the DRF has the potential to either damp or reinforce glacial-interglacial climate changes.

  3. Sensitivity of surface characteristics on the simulation of wind-blown-dust source in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S. H.; Gong, S. L.; Gong, W.; Makar, P. A.; Moran, M. D.; Stroud, C. A.; Zhang, J.

    Recently, a wind-blown-dust-emission module has been built based on a state-of-the-art wind erosion theory and evaluated in a regional air-quality model to simulate a North American dust storm episode in April 2001 (see Park, S.H., Gong, S.L., Zhao, T.L., Vet, R.J., Bouchet, V.S., Gong, W., Makar, P.A., Moran, M.D., Stroud, C., Zhang, J. 2007. Simulation of entrainment and transport of dust particles within North America in April 2001 ("Red Dust episode"). J. Geophys. Res. 112, D20209, doi:10.1029/2007JD008443). A satisfactorily detailed assessment of that module, however, was not possible because of a lack of information on some module inputs, especially soil moisture content. In this paper, the wind-blown-dust emission was evaluated for two additional dust storms using improved soil moisture inputs. The surface characteristics of the wind-blown-dust source areas in southwestern North America were also investigated, focusing on their implications for wind-blown-dust emissions. The improved soil moisture inputs enabled the sensitivity of other important surface characteristics, the soil grain size distribution and the land-cover, to dust emission to be investigated with more confidence. Simulations of the two 2003 dust storm episodes suggested that wind-blown-dust emissions from the desert areas in southwestern North America are dominated by emissions from dry playas covered with accumulated alluvial deposits whose particle size is much smaller than usual desert sands. As well, the source areas in the northwestern Texas region were indicated to be not desert but rather agricultural lands that were "activated" as a wind-blown-dust sources after harvest. This finding calls for revisions to the current wind-blown-dust-emission module, in which "desert" is designated to be the only land-cover category that can emit wind-blown dust.

  4. Laboratory simulation of dust interactions close to lunar surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlu, Jiri; Vysinka, Marek; Richterova, Ivana; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek

    2016-04-01

    Dust grains in space can be frequently found close to exposed surfaces, e.g., at the Moon, asteroids, comets, etc. A broad variety of solar particles-dust interactions plays its role - electrons and UV charge the grains, ions can sputter or somewhat modify the grain structure. While the grain levitating above the surface can rotate along all three axes, thus interacting nearly isotropically, the grain lying on the surface cannot move and it is exposed from one side only. We study spherical micron-sized glass grains as a representative of the silicate-type space dust. Particular interactions were experimentally observed in both an electrodynamic trap (levitating dust) and a scanning electron microscope (dust on the surface). We present a comparison of both approaches together with models of particular processes and situations; we predict and discuss dust behaviour at the lunar surface vicinity.

  5. Mutagenesis in bacterial spores exposed to space and simulated martian conditions: data from the EXPOSE-E spaceflight experiment PROTECT.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson The Protect Team, Wayne L; Horneck, Gerda

    2012-05-01

    As part of the PROTECT experiment of the EXPOSE-E mission on board the International Space Station (ISS), the mutagenic efficiency of space was studied in spores of Bacillus subtilis 168. After 1.5 years' exposure to selected parameters of outer space or simulated martian conditions, the rates of induced mutations to rifampicin resistance (Rif(R)) and sporulation deficiency (Spo(-)) were quantified. In all flight samples, both mutations, Rif(R) and Spo(-), were induced and their rates increased by several orders of magnitude. Extraterrestrial solar UV radiation (>110 nm) as well as simulated martian UV radiation (>200 nm) led to the most pronounced increase (up to nearly 4 orders of magnitude); however, mutations were also induced in flight samples shielded from insolation, which were exposed to the same conditions except solar irradiation. Nucleotide sequencing located the Rif(R) mutations in the rpoB gene encoding the β-subunit of RNA polymerase. Mutations isolated from flight and parallel mission ground reference (MGR) samples were exclusively localized to Cluster I. The 21 Rif(R) mutations isolated from the flight experiment showed all a C to T transition and were all localized to one hotspot: H482Y. In mutants isolated from the MGR, the spectrum was wider with predicted amino acid changes at residues Q469K/L/R, H482D/P/R/Y, and S487L. The data show the unique mutagenic power of space and martian surface conditions as a consequence of DNA injuries induced by solar UV radiation and space vacuum or the low pressure of Mars. PMID:22680692

  6. Variability of the hydrogen in the martian upper atmosphere as simulated by a 3D atmosphere-exosphere coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Leblanc, F.; Modolo, R.; Hess, S.

    2015-01-01

    We present the temporal variability of the atomic and molecular hydrogen density derived from a 3D General Circulation Model describing the martian atmosphere from the surface to the exobase. A kinetic exospheric model is used to compute the hydrogen density above the exobase. We use these models to study the diurnal and seasonal variations of the hydrogen density and the Jeans escape rate as well as their variations with solar activity, assuming a classic dust scenario. We find that the diurnal variations of the hydrogen density are important with a peak in the dawn region during equinoxes and a peak on the nightside during solstices. These features result from the dynamics of the martian upper atmosphere. The variations of the atomic hydrogen Jeans escape with seasons and solar activity are in the range 1.3 × 1025 s-1-4.4 × 1026 s-1. A factor ∼8 is due to the seasonal variations with a maximum during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and a minimum during the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere that we attribute to the variation of the Mars-Sun distance. A factor ∼5 is due to the solar cycle with a maximum escape rate at high solar activity. The variations of the molecular hydrogen Jeans escape with seasons and solar activity are in the range 3 × 1022 s-1-6 × 1024 s-1. A factor ∼10 is due to the seasonal variations with a maximum during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and a minimum during the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. A factor ∼20 is due to the solar cycle with a maximum escape rate at high solar activity. If Jeans escape is the major escape channel for hydrogen, the hydrogen escape is never limited by diffusion. The hydrogen density above 10,000 km presents seasonal and solar cycle variations similar to the Jeans escape rate at all latitudes and local times. This 3D temporal model of the hydrogen thermosphere/exosphere will be useful to interpret future MAVEN observations and the consequences of the

  7. Martian atmospheric radiation budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    A computer model is used to study the radiative transfer of the martian winter-polar atmosphere. Solar heating at winter-polar latitudes is provided predominately by dust. For normal, low-dust conditions, CO2 provides almost as much heating as dust. Most heating by CO2 in the winter polar atmosphere is provided by the 2.7 micron band between 10 km and 30 km altitude, and by the 2.0 micron band below 10 km. The weak 1.3 micron band provides some significant heating near the surface. The minor CO2 bands at 1.4, 1.6, 4.8 and 5.2 micron are all optically thin, and produce negligible heating. O3 provides less than 10 percent of the total heating. Atmospheric cooling is predominantly thermal emission by dust, although CO2 15 micron band emission is important above 20 km altitude.

  8. Biofilm and planktonic lifestyles differently support the resistance of the desert cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis under space and Martian simulations.

    PubMed

    Baqué, Mickael; Scalzi, Giuliano; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Billi, Daniela

    2013-10-01

    When Chroococcidiopsis sp. strain CCMEE 057 from the Sinai Desert and strain CCMEE 029 from the Negev Desert were exposed to space and Martian simulations in the dried status as biofilms or multilayered planktonic samples, the biofilms exhibited an enhanced rate of survival. Compared to strain CCMEE 029, biofilms of strain CCME 057 better tolerated UV polychromatic radiation (5 × 10(5) kJ/m(2) attenuated with a 0.1% neutral density filter) combined with space vacuum or Martian atmosphere of 780 Pa. CCMEE 029, on the other hand, failed to survive UV polychromatic doses higher than 1.5 × 10(3) kJ/m(2). The induced damage to genomic DNA, plasma membranes and photosynthetic apparatus was quantified and visualized by means of PCR-based assays and CLSM imaging. Planktonic samples of both strains accumulated a higher amount of damage than did the biofilms after exposure to each simulation; CLSM imaging showed that photosynthetic pigment bleaching, DNA fragmentation and damaged plasma membranes occurred in the top 3-4 cell layers of both biofilms and of multilayered planktonic samples. Differences in the EPS composition were revealed by molecular probe staining as contributing to the enhanced endurance of biofilms compared to that of planktonic samples. Our results suggest that compared to strain CCMEE 029, biofilms of strain CCMEE 057 might better tolerate 1 year's exposure in space during the next EXPOSE-R2 mission. PMID:23955666

  9. Damage escape and repair in dried Chroococcidiopsis spp. from hot and cold deserts exposed to simulated space and martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Billi, Daniela; Viaggiu, Emanuela; Cockell, Charles S; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Onofri, Silvano

    2011-01-01

    The cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, overlain by 3 mm of Antarctic sandstone, was exposed as dried multilayers to simulated space and martian conditions. Ground-based experiments were conducted in the context of Lichens and Fungi Experiments (EXPOSE-E mission, European Space Agency), which were performed to evaluate, after 1.5 years on the International Space Station, the survival of cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsis), lichens, and fungi colonized on Antarctic rock. The survival potential and the role played by protection and repair mechanisms in the response of dried Chroococcidiopsis cells to ground-based experiments were both investigated. Different methods were employed, including evaluation of the colony-forming ability, single-cell analysis of subcellular integrities based on membrane integrity molecular and redox probes, evaluation of the photosynthetic pigment autofluorescence, and assessment of the genomic DNA integrity with a PCR-based assay. Desiccation survivors of strain CCMEE 123 (coastal desert, Chile) were better suited than CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica) to withstand cellular damage imposed by simulated space and martian conditions. Exposed dried cells of strain CCMEE 123 formed colonies, maintained subcellular integrities, and, depending on the exposure conditions, also escaped DNA damage or repaired the induced damage upon rewetting. PMID:21294638

  10. Damage Escape and Repair in Dried Chroococcidiopsis spp. from Hot and Cold Deserts Exposed to Simulated Space and Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, Daniela; Viaggiu, Emanuela; Cockell, Charles S.; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Onofri, Silvano

    2011-01-01

    The cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, overlain by 3mm of Antarctic sandstone, was exposed as dried multilayers to simulated space and martian conditions. Ground-based experiments were conducted in the context of Lichens and Fungi Experiments (EXPOSE-E mission, European Space Agency), which were performed to evaluate, after 1.5 years on the International Space Station, the survival of cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsis), lichens, and fungi colonized on Antarctic rock. The survival potential and the role played by protection and repair mechanisms in the response of dried Chroococcidiopsis cells to ground-based experiments were both investigated. Different methods were employed, including evaluation of the colony-forming ability, single-cell analysis of subcellular integrities based on membrane integrity molecular and redox probes, evaluation of the photosynthetic pigment autofluorescence, and assessment of the genomic DNA integrity with a PCR-based assay. Desiccation survivors of strain CCMEE 123 (coastal desert, Chile) were better suited than CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica) to withstand cellular damage imposed by simulated space and martian conditions. Exposed dried cells of strain CCMEE 123 formed colonies, maintained subcellular integrities, and, depending on the exposure conditions, also escaped DNA damage or repaired the induced damage upon rewetting.

  11. Dust Devils on Mars: Effects of Surface Roughness on Particle Threshold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neakrase, Lynn D.; Greeley, Ronald; Iversen, James D.; Balme, Matthew L.; Foley, Daniel J.; Eddlemon, Eric E.

    2005-01-01

    Dust devils have been proposed as effective mechanisms for lofting large quantities of dust into the martian atmosphere. Previous work showed that vortices lift dust more easily than simple boundary layer winds. The aim of this study is to determine experimentally the effects of non-erodable roughness elements on vortex particle threshold through laboratory simulations of natural surfaces. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  12. Lunar Dust Chemical, Electrical, and Mechanical Reactivity: Simulation and Characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanderWal, Randy L.

    2008-01-01

    Lunar dust is recognized to be a highly reactive material in its native state. Many, if not all Constellation systems will be affected by its adhesion, abrasion, and reactivity. A critical requirement to develop successful strategies for dealing with lunar dust and designing tolerant systems will be to produce similar material for ground-based testing.

  13. Lunar dust simulant containing nanophase iron and method for making the same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hung, Chin-cheh (Inventor); McNatt, Jeremiah (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A lunar dust simulant containing nanophase iron and a method for making the same. Process (1) comprises a mixture of ferric chloride, fluorinated carbon powder, and glass beads, treating the mixture to produce nanophase iron, wherein the resulting lunar dust simulant contains .alpha.-iron nanoparticles, Fe.sub.2O.sub.3, and Fe.sub.3O.sub.4. Process (2) comprises a mixture of a material of mixed-metal oxides that contain iron and carbon black, treating the mixture to produce nanophase iron, wherein the resulting lunar dust simulant contains .alpha.-iron nanoparticles and Fe.sub.3O.sub.4.

  14. The Dust Management Project: Characterizing Lunar Environments and Dust, Developing Regolith Mitigation Technology and Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hyatt, Mark J.; Straka, Sharon A.

    2010-01-01

    A return to the Moon to extend human presence, pursue scientific activities, use the Moon to prepare for future human missions to Mars, and expand Earth?s economic sphere, will require investment in developing new technologies and capabilities to achieve affordable and sustainable human exploration. From the operational experience gained and lessons learned during the Apollo missions, conducting long-term operations in the lunar environment will be a particular challenge, given the difficulties presented by the unique physical properties and other characteristics of lunar regolith, including dust. The Apollo missions and other lunar explorations have identified significant lunar dust-related problems that will challenge future mission success. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it?s potentially harmful effects on exploration systems and human explorers. The Dust Management Project (DMP) is tasked with the evaluation of lunar dust effects, assessment of the resulting risks, and development of mitigation and management strategies and technologies related to Exploration Systems architectures. To this end, the DMP supports the overall goal of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) of addressing the relevant high priority technology needs of multiple elements within the Constellation Program (CxP) and sister ETDP projects. Project scope, plans, and accomplishments will be presented.

  15. Equations and simulations for multiphase compressible gas-dust flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oran, Elaine; Houim, Ryan

    2014-11-01

    Dust-gas multiphase flows are important in physical scenarios such as dust explosions in coal mines, asteroid impact disturbing lunar regolith, and soft aircraft landings dispersing desert or beach sand. In these cases, the gas flow regime can range from highly subsonic and nearly incompressible to supersonic and shock-laden flow, the grain packing can range from fully packed to completely dispersed, and both the gas and the dust can range from chemically inert to highly exothermic. To cover the necessary parameter range in a single model, we solve coupled sets of Navier-Stokes equations describing the background gas and the dust. As an example, a reactive-dust explosion that results in a type of shock-flame complex is described and discussed. Sponsored by the University of Maryland through Minta Martin Endowment Funds in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and through the Glenn L. Martin Institute Chaired Professorship at the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

  16. Adsorption of Water on Simulated Moon Dust Samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goering, John P.; Sah, Shweta; Burghaus, Uwe; Street, Kenneth W., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    A lunar regolith simulant dust sample (JSC-1a) supported on a silica wafer (SiO2/Si(111)) has been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The adsorption kinetics of water has been studied primarily by thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) and also by collecting isothermal adsorption transients. The support has been characterized by water TDS. JSC-1a consists mostly of aluminosilicate glass and other minerals containing Fe, Na, Ca, and Mg. The particle sizes span the range from a few microns up to 100 microns. At small exposures, H2O TDS is characterized by broad (100 to 450 K) structures; at large exposures distinct TDS peaks emerge that are assigned to amorphous solid water (145 K) and crystalline ice (165 K). Water dissociates on JSC-1a at small exposures but not on the bare silica support. It appears that rather porous condensed ice layers form at large exposures. At thermal impact energies, the initial adsorption probability amounts to 0.92+/-0.05.

  17. Utilizing Model Interoperability and High Performance Computing to Enhance Dust Storm Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Q.; Yang, C.; Xie, J.; Wu, H.; Li, J.

    2009-12-01

    The simulations of dust storm and potential forecasting are of significant interest to public health, environment sciences, and global Earth observation system of systems (GEOSS). To support improved decision making of public health with higher resolution of dust storm forecasting. Model interoperability and high performance computing need to be leveraged to increase the resolution to the zip code level. This poses significant computational challenge for dust storm simulations. This presentation reports our research in utilizing interoperability technologies and high performance computing to enhance dust storm forecasting by facilitating model integration, data discovery, data access, and data utilization in a HPC (High performance computing) environment for a) reducing the computing time, b)lengthening the period of forecast, and c) ingesting large amount of geospatial datasets.DREAM-eta-8p and NMM-dust dust storm simulation models are utilized for the exploration of utilizing Model Interoperability and High Performance Computing to Enhance Dust Storm Forecasting. In our approach, the coarse model (DREAM-eta 8p) is used to identify hotspots of higher predicted dust concentration, and the output results are served as the input for the fine-grain model (NMM-dust) on the hotspot areas. After ingesting the DREAM-eta output the NMM-dust can start simulation. Experimental results demonstrates promising towards a forecasting system of dust storm forecasting. Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Drs. Karl Benedict, Bill Hudspeth of Univ. from New Mexico, Drs. William Sprigg, Goran Pejanovic, Slobodan Nickovic from UofArizona, and Dr. John D. Evans, and Ms. Myra J. Bambacus from NASA GSFC for the collaboration

  18. The link between marine sediment records and changes in Holocene Saharan landscape: simulating the dust cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egerer, Sabine; Claussen, Martin; Reick, Christian; Stanelle, Tanja

    2016-04-01

    Marine sediment records reveal an abrupt and strong increase in dust deposition in the North Atlantic at the end of the African Humid Period about 4.9 to 5.5 ka ago. The change in dust flux has been attributed to varying Saharan land surface cover. Alternatively, the enhanced dust accumulation is linked to enhanced surface winds and a consequent intensification of coastal upwelling. Here we demonstrate for the first time the direct link between dust accumulation in marine cores and changes in Saharan land surface. We simulate the mid-Holocene (6 ka BP) and pre-industrial (1850 AD) dust cycle as a function of Saharan land surface cover and atmosphere-ocean conditions using the coupled atmosphere-aerosol model ECHAM6.1-HAM2.1. Mid-Holocene surface characteristics, including vegetation cover and lake surface area, are derived from proxy data and simulations. In agreement with data from marine sediment cores, our simulations show that mid-Holocene dust deposition fluxes in the North Atlantic were two to three times lower compared with pre-industrial fluxes. We identify Saharan land surface characteristics to be the main control on dust transport from North Africa to the North Atlantic. We conclude that the increase in dust accumulation in marine cores is directly linked to a transition of the Saharan landscape during the Holocene and not due to changes in atmospheric or ocean conditions alone.

  19. The Rebound Condition of Dust Aggregates Revealed by Numerical Simulation of Their Collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Koji; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Suyama, Toru; Kimura, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Tetsuo

    2011-08-01

    Collisional growth of dust aggregates is a plausible root of planetesimals forming in protoplanetary disks. However, a rebound of colliding dust aggregates prevents dust from growing into planetesimals. In fact, rebounding aggregates are observed in laboratory experiments but not in previous numerical simulations. Therefore, the condition of rebound between dust aggregates should be clarified to better understand the processes of dust growth and planetesimal formation. We have carried out numerical simulations of aggregate collisions for various types of aggregates and succeeded in reproducing a rebound of colliding aggregates under specific conditions. Our finding is that in the rebound process, the key factor of the aggregate structure is the coordination number, namely, the number of particles in contact with a particle. A rebound is governed by the energy dissipation along with restructuring of the aggregates and a large coordination number inhibits the restructuring at collisions. Results of our numerical simulation for various aggregates indicate that they stick to each other when the mean coordination number is less than 6, regardless of their materials and structures, as long as their collision velocity is less than the critical velocity for fragmentation. This criterion of the coordination number would correspond to a filling factor of ~0.3, which is somewhat larger than that reported in laboratory experiments. In protoplanetary disks, dust aggregates are expected to have low bulk densities (<0.1 g cm-3) during their growth, which would prevent dust aggregates from rebounding. This result supports the formation of planetesimals with direct dust growth in protoplanetary disks.

  20. Dust Emissions, Transport, and Deposition Simulated with the NASA Finite-Volume General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colarco, Peter; daSilva, Arlindo; Ginoux, Paul; Chin, Mian; Lin, S.-J.

    2003-01-01

    Mineral dust aerosols have radiative impacts on Earth's atmosphere, have been implicated in local and regional air quality issues, and have been identified as vectors for transporting disease pathogens and bringing mineral nutrients to terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. We present for the first time dust simulations using online transport and meteorological analysis in the NASA Finite-Volume General Circulation Model (FVGCM). Our dust formulation follows the formulation in the offline Georgia Institute of Technology-Goddard Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport Model (GOCART) using a topographical source for dust emissions. We compare results of the FVGCM simulations with GOCART, as well as with in situ and remotely sensed observations. Additionally, we estimate budgets of dust emission and transport into various regions.

  1. Glass and Glass-Ceramic Materials from Simulated Composition of Lunar and Martian Soils: Selected Properties and Potential Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, C. S.; Sen, S.; Reis, S. T.; Kim, C. W.

    2005-01-01

    In-situ resource processing and utilization on planetary bodies is an important and integral part of NASA's space exploration program. Within this scope and context, our general effort is primarily aimed at developing glass and glass-ceramic type materials using lunar and martian soils, and exploring various applications of these materials for planetary surface operations. Our preliminary work to date have demonstrated that glasses can be successfully prepared from melts of the simulated composition of both lunar and martian soils, and the melts have a viscosity-temperature window appropriate for drawing continuous glass fibers. The glasses are shown to have the potential for immobilizing certain types of nuclear wastes without deteriorating their chemical durability and thermal stability. This has a direct impact on successfully and economically disposing nuclear waste generated from a nuclear power plant on a planetary surface. In addition, these materials display characteristics that can be manipulated using appropriate processing protocols to develop glassy or glass-ceramic magnets. Also discussed in this presentation are other potential applications along with a few selected thermal, chemical, and structural properties as evaluated up to this time for these materials.

  2. Laboratory Measurements on Martian Soil Simulant JSC Mars-1 Supporting the Calibration of Instruments for Planetary Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simõs, F.; Trautner, R.; Grard, R.; Hamelin, M.

    2004-04-01

    The concentration of water in the Martian regolith is an important parameter in many scientific domains. The abundance and distribution of water in the atmosphere and under the surface of Mars have fundamental significance for the geological, hydrological and climatic history of the planet. Furthermore, water is a fundamental ingredient of life and represents an important potential resource for future manned missions. Water possesses an electrical signature that allows the identification of its presence among other materials, even at very low concentrations. Not only the permittivity, but also the conductivity of permafrost and water-bearing rocks depends upon the presence of water. A laboratory facility has been set up to measure the complex permittivity of soil mixtures as a function of porosity, humidity, and temperature in the frequency range 10 Hz 10 kHz. The experimental technique is presented and the results obtained with the JSC Mars-1 soil simulant are discussed. A measurable gravimetric water content threshold is evaluated. The measurement of the dielectric properties of soil analogues allows estimating conductivity and permittivity of the Martian regolith, and supports the design of instruments for the detection of water and ice.

  3. Electric Activity in Dust Devils and Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renno, R. O.; Yana, C.; Covert, A.; Renno, K.; Wilson, J.

    2005-12-01

    Terrestrial dust devils produce charge separation and electric fields that exceeds the breakdown potential of the thin Martian atmosphere (Farrell et al., 2002, 2003; Krauss et al., 2002; Renno et al., 2004). Typical Martian dust devils are wider, taller and have larger dust content than terrestrial vortices. Thus, charge separation and electric-field breakdown are likely to occur in Martian dust devils and dust storms. We show that theory, laboratory experiments, and field measurements in Arizona suggests that collisions between sand and dust particles at the bottom of dust devils produce non-thermal microwave radiation. The non-thermal microwave emission allows not only the indirect detection of electric activity but could also allow the determination of the physical properties of Martian sand and dust by remote sensing. Besides being geologically important, electrically charged Martian dust devils and dust storms are potential hazards to Landers and at minimum would be an annoyance to future astronauts exploring the planet. Indeed, the design of adequate mechanical and electrical systems for these Landers cannot progress effectively without a better understanding of Martian dust devils and dust storms. Moreover, ancillary phenomena associated with electrically charged vortices can ionize atmospheric gases and might have important implications for atmosphere chemistry and even habitability.

  4. Dust Removal Technolgy for a Mars In Situ Resource Utilization System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Johansen, M. R.; Williams, B. S.; Hogue, M. D.; Mackey, P. J.; Clements, J. S.

    2011-01-01

    Several In Situ Resource Utilization (lSRU) systems being considered to enable future manned exploration of Mars require capture of Martian atmospheric gas to extract oxygen and other commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains relatively large amounts of dust which must be removed in tbe collection systems of the ISRU chambers. The amount of atmospheric dust varies largely with the presence of daily dust devils and the less frequent but much more powerful global dust storms. A common and mature dust removal technology for terrestrial systems is the electrostatic precipitator. With this technology, dust particles being captured are imparted an electrostatic charge by means of a corona discharge. Charged dust particles are then driven to a region of high electric field which forces the particles onto a collector for capture. Several difficulties appear when this technology is adapted to the Martian atmospheric environment At the low atmospheric pressure of Mars, electrical breakdown occurs at much lower voltages than on Earth and corona discharge is difficult to sustain. In this paper, we report on our efforts to obtain a steady corona/glow discharge in a simulated Martian atmosphere of carbon dioxide at 9 millibars of pressure. We also present results on the design of a dust capture system under these atmospheric conditions.

  5. Effect of Lunar Dust Simulant on Human Epithelial Cell Lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Nicholas J.; Wallace, William T.; Jeevarajan, Antony S.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to assess the potential toxicity of lunar dust to cause the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines by human lung cells. Some of this dust is on the scale of 1-2 micrometers and could enter the lungs when astronauts track dust into the habitat and inhale it. This could be a serious problem as NASA plans on going back to the moon for an extended period of time. Literature shows that quartz, which has a known cytoxicity, can cause acute cases of silicosis within 6 months, and in most cases cause silicosis after 3 years. The activation of lunar dust through impacts creates surface based radicals which, upon contact with water create hydroxl radicals and peroxyl radicals which are very reactive and potentially might even be as cytotoxic as quartz. These radicals could then react with lung cells to produce pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-6 and interleukin-8, and TNF-alpha.

  6. Aeolian Removal of Dust Types from Photovoltaic Surfaces on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Marabito, Mark

    1990-01-01

    Dust elevated in local or global dust storms on the Martian surface could settle on photovoltaic (PV) surfaces and seriously hamper their performance. Using a recently developed technique to apply a uniform dust layer, PV surface materials were subjected to simulated Martian winds in an attempt to determine whether natural Aeolian processes on Mars would sweep off the settled dust. Three different types of dust were used; an optical polishing powder, basaltic "trap rock", and iron (III) oxide crystals. The effects of wind velocity, angle of attack, height above the Martian surface, and surface coating material were investigated. It was found that arrays mounted with an angle of attack approaching 45 degrees show the most efficient clearing. Although the angular dependence is not sharp, horizontally mounted arrays required significantly higher wind velocities to clear off the dust. From this test it appears that the arrays may be erected quite near the ground, but previous studies have suggested that saltation effects can be expected to cause such arrays to be covered by soil if they are set up less than about a meter from the ground. Particle size effects appear to dominate over surface chemistry in these experiments, but additional tests are required to confirm this. Providing that the surface chemistry of Martian dusts is not drastically different from simulated dust and that gravity differences have only minor effects, the materials used for protective coatings for photovoltaic arrays may be optimized for other considerations such as transparency, and chemical or abrasion resistance. The static threshold velocity is low enough that there are regions on Mars which experience winds strong enough to clear off a photovoltaic array if it is properly oriented. Turbulence fences proved to be an ineffective strategy to keep dust cleared from the photovoltaic surfaces.

  7. Numerical Simulation of Aluminum Dust Detonations with Different Product Phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, H. H.; Jiang, Z. L.

    Detonation waves are waves of supersonic combustion induced by strong coupling shock and heat release. Detonation research has attracted much attention in recent years owing to its potential applications in hypersonic propulsion. Aluminum (Al) particle detonation is a type of dust detonation, and its research is important in the prevention of industrial explosions. Al dust detonations for flake and spherical particles have been studied , which is found to be very sensitive to the specific area[1].

  8. Martian Feeling: An Analogue Study to Simulate a Round-Trip to Mars using the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felix, C. V.; Gini, A.

    When talking about human space exploration, Mars missions are always present. It is clear that sooner or later, humanity will take this adventure. Arguably the most important aspect to consider for the success of such an endeavour is the human element. The safety of the crew throughout a Martian mission is a top priority for all space agencies. Therefore, such a mission should not take place until all the risks have been fully understood and mitigated. A mission to Mars presents unique human and technological challenges in terms of isolation, confinement, autonomy, reliance on mission control, communication delays and adaptation to different gravity levels. Analogue environments provide the safest way to simulate these conditions, mitigate the risks and evaluate the effects of long-term space travel on the crew. Martian Feeling is one of nine analogue studies, from the Mars Analogue Path (MAP) report [1], proposed by the TP Analogue group of ISU Masters class 2010. It is an integrated analogue study which simulates the psychological, physiological and operational conditions that an international, six-person, mixed gender crew would experience on a mission to Mars. Set both onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth, the Martian Feeling study will perform a ``dress rehearsal'' of a mission to Mars. The study proposes to test both human performance and operational procedures in a cost-effective manner. Since Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is more accessible than other space-based locations, an analogue studies in LEO would provide the required level of realism to a simulated transit mission to Mars. The sustained presence of microgravity and other elements of true spaceflight are features of LEO that are neither currently feasible nor possible to study in terrestrial analogue sites. International collaboration, economics, legal and ethical issues were considered when the study was proposed. As an example of international collaboration, the ISS would

  9. Isolation of rpoB Mutations Causing Rifampicin Resistance in Bacillus subtilis Spores Exposed to Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkins, Amy E.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2008-12-01

    Bacterial spores are considered prime candidates for Earth-to-Mars transport by natural processes and human spaceflight activities. Previous studies have shown that exposure of Bacillus subtilis spores to ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) characteristic of space both increased the spontaneous mutation rate and altered the spectrum of mutation in various marker genes; but, to date, mutagenesis studies have not been performed on spores exposed to milder low pressures encountered in the martian environment. Mutations to rifampicin-resistance (RifR) were isolated in B. subtilis spores exposed to simulated martian atmosphere (99.9% CO2, 710 Pa) for 21 days in a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC) and compared to parallel Earth controls. Exposure in the MSC reduced spore viability by ˜67% compared to Earth controls, but this decrease was not statistically significant (P = 0.3321). The frequency of mutation to RifR was also not significantly increased in the MSC compared to Earth-exposed spores (P = 0.479). Forty-two and 51 RifR mutant spores were isolated from the MSC- and Earth-exposed controls, respectively. Nucleotide sequencing located the RifR mutations in the rpoB gene encoding the β subunit of RNA polymerase at residue V135F of the N-cluster and at residues Q469K/L, H482D/P/R/Y, and S487L in Cluster I. No mutations were found in rpoB Clusters II or III. Two new alleles, Q469L and H482D, previously unreported in B. subtilis rpoB, were isolated from spores exposed in the MSC; otherwise, only slight differences were observed in the spectra of spontaneous RifR mutations from spores exposed to Earth vs. the MSC. However, both spectra are distinctly different from RifR mutations previously reported arising from B. subtilis spores exposed to simulated space vacuum.

  10. Three-dimensional numerical simulation of thermal tides in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, R. John

    1993-01-01

    Analysis of the Mariner 9 IRIS and Viking Orbiter IRTM temperature data and of the time series of surface pressure from the Viking landers has indicated that atmospheric thermal tides are a significant component of the martian general circulation. Classical tidal theory, considering only the Sun synchronous components, has been shown to at least roughly account for the amplitudes of the observed diurnal and semidirunal surface pressure oscillations. In particular, Zurek and Leovy have demonstrated that classical tidal theory can reproduce the observed dependence of the strength of the semidiurnal tide on aerosol optical depth. The high-amplitude topograph of Mars, however, can cause longitudinal distortions in the thermotidal forcing, leading to additional tidal modes that are not Sun synchronous. In particular, observation and theory have suggested the likely presence of a diurnal, zonal wavenumber-1 K wave. Hamilton and Garcia noted that the wavenumber-1 K normal mode has a period of close to 24 hr and may be detectable in surface pressure observations. Zurek has discussed the possibility of this mode being resonantly excited for various atmospheric temperature studies. The semidiurnal wavenumber-2 K mode, with roughly a 12-hr period, could also be resonantly excited. A numerical model with finite amplitude topography and a self-consistent thermotidal forcing resulting from the daily heat flux at the surface and atmospheric absorption of solar radiation by aerosols is used here to explore the influence of topography on martian thermal tides and to examine the possibility of Kelvin wave resonance.

  11. Episode simulation of Asian dust storms with an air quality modeling system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Cui; Zhang, Meigen; Han, Zhiwei; Liu, Yanju

    2011-05-01

    A dust deflation module was developed and coupled with the air quality modeling system RAMS-CMAQ to simultaneously treat all the major tropospheric aerosols (i.e., organic and black carbons, sulfate, nitrate, ammonia, soil dust, and sea salt). Then the coupled system was applied to East Asia to simulate Asian dust aerosol generation, transport and dry/wet removal processes during 14-25 March 2002 when two strong dust storms occurred consecutively. To evaluate model performance and to analyze the observed features of dust aerosols over the East Asian region, model results were compared to concentrations of suspended particulate matter of 10 µm or less (PM10; 1-h intervals) at four remote Japanese stations and daily air pollution index (API) values for PM10 at four large Chinese cities. The modeled values were generally in good agreement with observed data, and the model reasonably reproduced two dust storm outbreaks and generally predicted the dust onset and cessation times at each observation site. In addition, hourly averaged values of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) were calculated and compared with observations at four Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) stations to assess the model's capability of estimating dust aerosol column burden. Analysis shows that modeled and observed AOT values were generally comparable and that the contribution of dust aerosols to AOT was significant only with regard to their source regions and their transport paths.

  12. Determining the necessary conditions for Martian cloud formation: Ice nucleation in an electrodynamic balance (EDB)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berlin, S.; Bauer, A. J.; Cziczo, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    The Martian atmosphere contains water ice clouds similar to Earth's cirrus clouds. These clouds influence the atmospheric temperature profile, alter the balance of incoming and outgoing radiation, and vertically redistribute water and mineral dust. Extrapolations of classical heterogeneous nucleation theory from Earth-like conditions to colder temperature and lower pressure regimes present in extraterrestrial atmospheres may be inaccurate, and thus hydrological models describing these regimes could lack physical meaning. In this project, we use an electrodynamic balance (EDB) to levitate individual aerosol particles and study their freezing properties. We test previously characterized aerosols such as Arizona Test Dust (ATD) and sodium chloride (NaCl). Then, we examine the less well-studied Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) dust, which mimics the composition and size of dust particles found in the Martian atmosphere. A relative humidity, temperature, and inert atmosphere are utilized to emulate conditions found in the Martian atmosphere. We will discuss the supersaturations under which heterogeneous ice nucleation occurs on surrogate Martian ice nuclei at various temperatures.

  13. Boundary Layer Regimes Conducive to Formation of Dust Devils on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, B.; Nair, U. S.

    2014-12-01

    Dust devils on Mars contribute to maintenance of background atmospheric aerosol loading and thus dust radiative forcing, which is an important modulator of Martian climate. Dust devils also cause surface erosion and change in surface albedo which impacts radiative energy budget. Thus there is a need for parameterizing dust devil impacts in Martian climate models. In this context it is important to understand environmental conditions that are favorable for formation of dust devils on Mars and associated implications for diurnal, seasonal, and geographical variation of dust devil occurrence. On earth, prior studies show that thresholds of ratio of convective and friction scale velocities may be used to identify boundary layer regimes that are conducive to formation of dust devils. On earth, a w*/u* ratio in excess of 5 is found to be conducive for formation of dust devils. In this study, meteorological observations collected during the Viking Lander mission are used to constrain Martian boundary layer model simulations, which is then used to estimate w*/u* ratio. The w*/u* ratio is computed for several case days during which dust devil occurrence was detected. A majority of dust devils occurred in convective boundary layer regimes characterized by w*/u* ratios exceeding 10. The above described analysis is being extended to other mars mission landing sites and results from the extended analysis will also be presented.

  14. The feasibility of TEA CO2 laser-induced plasma for spectrochemical analysis of geological samples in simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savovic, Jelena; Stoiljkovic, Milovan; Kuzmanovic, Miroslav; Momcilovic, Milos; Ciganovic, Jovan; Rankovic, Dragan; Zivkovic, Sanja; Trtica, Milan

    2016-04-01

    The present work studies the possibility of using pulsed Transversely Excited Atmospheric (TEA) carbon dioxide laser as an energy source for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysis of rocks under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions. Irradiation of a basaltic rock sample with the laser intensity of 56 MW cm- 2, in carbon-dioxide gas at a pressure of 9 mbar, created target plasma with favorable conditions for excitation of all elements usually found in geological samples. Detection limits of minor constituents (Ba, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, and Zr) were in the 3 ppm-30 ppm range depending on the element. The precision varied between 5% and 25% for concentration levels of 1% to 10 ppm, respectively. Generally, the proposed relatively simple TEA CO2 laser-LIBS system provides good sensitivity for geological studies under reduced CO2 pressure.

  15. Numerical simulation of dust explosions in pneumatic conveyors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bielert, U.; Sichel, M.

    Dust conveyors are used in a wide range of industrial applications. Explosions can be transmitted through dust conveyors to different parts of a processing facility and thus can cause a large amount of damage. In order to study the evolution of dust explosions in such conveyors, a numerical model was developed which combines a front tracking method with a solver for the Euler equations. In this model the effects of the chemical reactions and of the flow turbulence were summarized in the turbulent burning velocity of the dust-air mixture. This approach results in a large reduction of the computational effort and thus allows to study the influence of parameter variations. Here results are presented for corn starch-air mixtures. The numerical model was first calibrated by comparison with one set of experimental data. The model was then tested by comparison with different experimental data and the sensitivity of the model parameters is discussed. Finally calculations were performed for different dust concentrations, flow velocities and tube lengths.

  16. Slow degradation of ATP in simulated martian environments suggests long residence times for the biosignature molecule on spacecraft surfaces on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Fajardo-Cavazos, Patricia; Clausen, Christopher A.; Moores, John E.; Smith, Peter H.; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2008-03-01

    Prelaunch planetary protection protocols on spacecraft are designed to reduce the numbers and diversity of viable bioloads on surfaces in order to mitigate the forward contamination of planetary surfaces. In addition, there is a growing appreciation that prelaunch spacecraft cleaning protocols will be required to reduce the levels of biogenic signature molecules on spacecraft to levels that will not compromise life-detection experiments on landers. The biogenic molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was tested for long-term stability under simulated Mars surface conditions of high UV flux, low temperature, low pressure, Mars atmosphere, and clear-sky dust loading conditions. Data on UV-induced ATP degradation rates were then extrapolated to a diversity of global conditions using a radiative transfer model for UV on Mars. The UV-induced degradation of ATP tested at 4.1 W m -2 UVC (200-280 nm), -10 °C, 7.1 mb, 95% CO 2 gas composition, and an atmospheric opacity of τ=0.1 yielded a half-life for ATP of 1342 kJ m -2; or extrapolated to approximately 22 sols on equatorial Mars with an atmospheric opacity of τ=0.5. Temperature was found to moderately affect ATP degradation rates under martian conditions; tests at -80 or 20 °C yielded ATP half-lives of 2594 or 1183 kJ m -2, respectively. The ATP degradation rates reported here are over 10 orders of magnitude slower than the UV-induced biocidal rates reported in the literature on the inactivation of strongly UV-resistant bacterial spores from Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 [Schuerger, A.C., Richards, J.T., Newcombe, D.A., Venkateswaran, K.J., 2006. Icarus 181, 52-62]. Extrapolating results to global Mars conditions, residence times for a 99% reduction of ATP on spacecraft surfaces ranged from 158 sols on Sun-exposed surfaces to approximately 32,000 sols for the undersides of landers similar to Viking. However, spacecraft materials greatly affected the survival times of ATP under martian conditions. Stainless steel was found

  17. Lunar and Martian soil stimulants have different effects on L-[14C]glutamate binding to brain nerve terminals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Chunihin, Olexander

    Nano-sized particles can be deleterious to human physiology because they may be internalized by lung epithelium and overcome the blood-brain barrier. The health effects from exposure to Lunar and Martian dust are almost completely unknown, whereas they can be deleterious to human physiology. The effects of Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants (Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, USA) on the conductance of planar lipid membrane, membrane potential, acidification of synaptic vesicles, glutamate uptake, and ambient level of glutamate in isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) were studied using photon correlation spectroscopy, Planar Lipid Bilayer technique, spectrofluorimetry, radiolabeled assay, respectively. Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants did not influence the conductance of planar lipid membrane. It was revealed that nerve terminals were not indifferent to the exposure to inorganic particles of Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants. Using Zetasizer Nanosystem (Malvern Instruments) with helium-neon laser for dynamic light scattering (DLS), the synaptosomal size before and after the addition of Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants was measured and the binding of Lunar and Martian Soil Simulants inorganic particles to nerve terminals was demonstrated. Using potential-sensitive fluorescent dye rhodamine 6G, we showed that Lunar and Martian Soil particles did not influence the potential of the plasma membrane of nerve terminals. Acidification of synaptic vesicles of nerve terminals was not changed in the presence of Lunar and Martian Soil particles that was revealed with pH-sensitive fluorescent dye acridine orange. Martian Soil Simulant particles did not change binding of L-[14C]glutamate to brain nerve terminals, in contrast, Lunar ones changed this parameter and this fact may have harmful consequences to human physiology, in particular, glutamate homeostasis in the mammalian CNS.

  18. Extended Survival of Several Microorganisms and Relevant Amino Acid Biomarkers under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions as a Function of Burial Depth

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Adam; Pratt, L.M.; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A; Pfiffner, S. M.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L G; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R.; Rothschild, L.; Rogoff, D.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-01-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  19. 3-D Simulations of the Inner Dust Comae for Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, Raphael; Liao, Ying; Su, Cheng-Chin; Wu, Jong-Shinn; Thomas, Nicolas; Rubin, Martin; Lai, Ian Lin; Ip, Wing-Huen; Keller, Horst Uwe; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kührt, Ekkehard; Skorov, Yuri; Altwegg, Kathrin; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Gicquel, Adeline; Shi, Xian; Sierks, Holger; Naletto, Giampiero

    2015-04-01

    The aims of this study are to (1) model the gas flow-field in the innermost coma for a plausible activity distributions of ROSETTA's target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) using the SHAP2 model, (2) compare this with the ROSINA/COPS gas density (3) investigate the acceleration of dust by gas drag and the resulting dust distribution, (4) produce artificial images of the dust coma brightness as seen from different viewing geometries for a range of heliocentric distances and (5) compare the artificial images quantitatively with observations by the OSIRIS imaging system. We calculate the dust distribution in the coma within the first ten kilometers of the nucleus by assuming the dust to be spherical test particles in the gas field without any back coupling. The motion of the dust is driven by the drag force resulting from the gas flow. We assume a quadratic drag force with a velocity and temperature-dependent drag coefficient. The gravitational force of a point nucleus on the dust is also taken into account which will e.g. determine the maximal liftable size of the dust. Surface cohesion is not included. 40 dust sizes in the range between 8 nm and 0.3 mm are considered. For every dust size the dust densities and velocities are calculated by tracking around one million simulation particles in the gas field. We assume the distribution of dust according to size follows a power law, specifically the number of particles n or a particular radius r is specified by n ~ r-β with usual values of 3 ≤ β ≤ 4 where β = 3 corresponds to the case of equal mass per size and β = 4 to a shift of the mass towards the small particles. For the comparison with images of the high resolution camera OSIRIS on board ESAs ROSETTA spacecraft the viewing geometry of the camera can be specified and a line of sight integration through the dust density is performed. By means of Mie scattering on the particles the dust brightness can be determined. A variety of dust size distributions

  20. Windblown Dust on Mars: Laboratory Simulations of Flux as a Function of Surface Roughness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Robert; Wilson, Gregory; Coquilla, Rachel; White, Bruce; Haberle, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Experiments were conducted to determine the flux of dust (particles less than few microns in diameter) under Martian atmospheric conditions for surface of three aerodynamic roughness (z(sub 0)). For smooth surface on Mars (z(sub 0) = 0.00125 cm corresponding to 0.0125 cm on Mars) suspension threshold was not achieved at the highest velocities run (u(sub 0) = 322 cm/s); for a moderately rough surface (z(sub 0) = 0.010 cm corresponding to 0.01 cm on Mars), flux averaged 1.5 x 10(exp -7)g/sq cm/s; for a rough surface (z(sub 0) = 0.015 cm corresponding to 0.15 cm on Mars), flux averaged 5 x 10(exp -7) g/sq cm/s. Although the results are preliminary, flux varied widely as a function of wind speed and roughness, suggesting that raising dust into suspension on Mars is complex. Nonetheless, using these results as a guide, 9000 Mt of dust could be raised into the atmosphere of Mars per second from only 5% of the surface.

  1. Lunar Dust and Lunar Simulant Activation and Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, W. T.; Hammond, D. K.; Jeevarajan, A. S.

    2008-01-01

    Prior to returning to the moon, understanding the effects of lunar dust on both human physiology and mechanical equipment is a pressing concern, as problems related to lunar dust during the Apollo missions have been well documented (J.R. Gaier, The Effects of Lunar Dust on EVA Systems During the Apollo Missions. 2005, NASA-Glenn Research Center. p. 65). While efforts were made to remove the dust before reentering the lunar module, via brushing of the suits or vacuuming, a significant amount of dust was returned to the spacecraft, causing various problems. For instance, astronaut Harrison Schmitt complained of hay fever effects caused by the dust, and the abrasive nature of the material was found to cause problems with various joints and seals of the spacecraft and suits. It is clear that, in order to avoid potential health and performance problems while on the lunar surface, the reactive properties of lunar dust must be quenched. It is likely that soil on the lunar surface is in an activated form, i.e. capable of producing oxygen-based radicals in a humidified air environment, due to constant exposure to meteorite impacts, UV radiation, and elements of the solar wind. An activated silica surface serves as a good example. An oxygen-based radical species arises from the breaking of Si-OSi bonds. This system is comparable to that expected for the lunar dust system due to the large amounts of agglutinic glass and silicate vapor deposits present in lunar soil. Unfortunately, exposure to the Earth s atmosphere has passivated the active species on lunar dust, leading to efforts to reactivate the dust in order to understand the true effects that will be experienced by astronauts and equipment on the moon. Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is commonly used for the study of radical species, and has been used previously to study silicon- and oxygen-based radicals, as well as the hydroxyl radicals produced by these species in solution (V. Vallyathan, et al., Am. Rev

  2. Simulated changes in atmospheric dust in response to a Heinrich stadial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Lisa N.; Clement, Amy C.; Albani, Samuel; Mahowald, Natalie M.; Swart, Peter; Arienzo, Monica M.

    2014-01-01

    stadials (HS), thought to be triggered by increased ice discharge in the high-latitude North Atlantic at glacial periods, resulted in large freshwater forcing that weakened the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). These events are strongly expressed in paleoclimate records throughout the Atlantic basin and much of the tropics. Compared to the Last Glacial Maximum, recent proxy data suggest HS were much drier and dustier in large parts of the tropics. We use a global climate model coupled to a prognostic dust model to examine the response of dust to changes in climate during HS. Despite some significant changes in regional precipitation patterns in response to the simulated shift in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, we find that changes in winds have a larger effect on dust mobilization and deposition patterns than soil moisture or vegetation changes associated with a weaker AMOC. Although Europe was colder and drier during HS, the annual mean glaciogenic dust emission rate is lower because a southward shift in the Northern Hemisphere jet stream leads to weaker winds and less dust mobilization. The proximity of the westerly wind anomaly associated with the jet stream shift increases gustiness and dust mobilization over northwestern Africa and shifts the African Easterly Jet southward resulting in less African dust transport and deposition over the North Tropical Atlantic. Drier conditions over the Sahel region of North Africa, however, do not lead to increased dust mobilization in our model. When we perturb Sahelian soil characteristics, our results are in better agreement with proxies.

  3. Lunar Dust and Lunar Simulant Activation, Monitoring, Solution and Cellular Toxicity Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, William; Jeevarajan, A. S.

    2009-01-01

    During the Apollo missions, many undesirable situations were encountered that must be mitigated prior to returning humans to the moon. Lunar dust (that part of the lunar regolith less than 20 microns in diameter) was found to produce several problems with mechanical equipment and could have conceivably produced harmful physiological effects for the astronauts. For instance, the abrasive nature of the dust was found to cause malfunctions of various joints and seals of the spacecraft and suits. Additionally, though efforts were made to exclude lunar dust from the cabin of the lunar module, a significant amount of material nonetheless found its way inside. With the loss of gravity correlated with ascent from the lunar surface, much of the finer fraction of this dust began to float and was inhaled by the astronauts. The short visits tothe Moon during Apollo lessened exposure to the dust, but the plan for future lunar stays of up to six months demands that methods be developed to minimize the risk of dust inhalation. The guidelines for what constitutes "safe" exposure will guide the development of engineering controls aimed at preventing the presence of dust in the lunar habitat. This work has shown the effects of grinding on the activation level of lunar dust, the changes in dissolution properties of lunar simulant, and the production of cytokines by cellular systems. Grinding of lunar dust leads to the production of radicals in solution and increased dissolution of lunar simulant in buffers of different pH. Additionally, ground lunar simulant has been shown to promote the production of IL-6 and IL-8, pro-inflammatory cytokines, by alveolar epithelial cells. These results provide evidence of the need for further studies on these materials prior to returning to the lunar surface.

  4. UV irradiation experiments under simulated martian surface conditions: Bio-effects on glycine, phage T7 and isolated T7 DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bérces, Attila; ten Kate, I. L.; Fekete, A.; Hegedus, M.; Garry, J. R. C.; Lammer, Helmut; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Peeters, Zan; Kovacs, G.; Ronto, G.

    Mars is considered as a main target for astrobiologically relevant exploration programmes. In order to explain the non-detection of organic material to a detection level of several parts per billion (ppb) by the Viking landers, several hypotheses have been suggested, including degradation processes occurring on the martian surface and in the martian soil and subsurface. UV exposure experiments have been performed in which thin layers of glycine ( 300 nm), and aqueous suspensions of phage T7 and isolated T7 DNA were irradiated with a Deuterium lamp and for comparison with a Xenon arc lamp, modified to simulate the solar irradiation on the surface of Mars (MarsUV). The glycine sample was subjected to 24 hours of irradiation with MarsUV. The results of this glycine experiment show a destruction rate comparable to the results of previous experiments in which thin layers of glycine were irradiated with a deuterium lamp (ten Kate et al., 2005, 2006). After exposure of different doses of simulated Martian UV radiation a decrease of the biological activity of phages and characteristic changes in the UV absorption spectrum have been detected, indicating the UV damage of isolated and intraphage T7 DNA. The results of our experiments show that intraphage DNA is 4 times more sensitive to simulated martian UV and deuterium lamp radiation than isolated T7 DNA. This result indicates the significant role that phage proteins play in the UV damage. The effect of simulated martian radiation is smaller than the biological defects observed after the exposure with a deuterium lamp for both cases, in intraphage and isolated DNA, despite of the 100 times larger intensity of the MarsUV lamp. The detected spectral differences are about ten times smaller; the biological activity is about 3 - 4 times smaller, indicating that the shorter wavelength UV radiation from the deuterium lamp is more effective in inducing DNA damage, irrespective of being intraphage or isolated.

  5. Resistance of halobacterial isolates from Permian rock salt to physico-chemical extremes, including heat and a simulated Martian atmosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuko, S.; Weidler, G.; Radax, C.; Stan-Lotter, H.

    2003-04-01

    Extremely halophilic archaebacteria (halobacteria) are found today in hypersaline surface waters, such as the brines in solar salterns, or the Dead Sea. However, from Alpine rock salt of Permo-Triassic age several species of halobacteria were isolated during the last years (1, 2). Halobacteria are not known to produce spores or dormant forms; thus it remains enigmatic how they survived in the salt sediments. Extraterrestrial halite has been detected in meteorites from Mars and from the asteroids; in addition, the Jovian moon Europa is thought to contain a salty ocean. Therefore halobacteria would be useful model organisms when considering the search for extraterrestrial life. We are developing experimental protocols to evaluate the effects of physico-chemical stress factors on halobacteria, in particular present-day Martian conditions. But the effect of higher temperatures is also of interest, since Mars may have been warmer in the past, and the Alpine salt sediments are known to have experienced local temperature peaks. Cells of Halococcus dombrowskii (2) and, for comparison, of Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 were grown in complex medium, containing up to 4 M NaCl (2). Aliquots of cultures were kept at minus 70oC for several days, or freeze-dried in a lyophilizer, or incubated at temperatures of 50 to 80oC for 24 hours, respectively. In addition, exposure experiments of halobacterial cells in a liquid nitrogen cooled Martian simulation chamber were begun. Survival of cells was evaluated by determining colony-forming units and by examination of cellular morphology by fluorescence microscopy, following staining with the LIVE-DEAD kit. Results indicated that the LIVE-DEAD kit can be successfully used in the presence of 4 M NaCl, although it was developed for tests at low ionic strength. Data will be presented which show that Hc. dombrowskii survived deep freezing, temperatures of up to 80 oC and Martian atmospheric conditions generally better than Halobacterium sp. NRC-1

  6. Moon Dust may Simulate Vascular Hazards of Urban Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, W. J.

    A long duration mission to the moon presents several potential cardiovascular complications. To the risks of microgravity and hypokinesia, and the fact that pharmaceuticals cannot be always depended upon in the space fight conditions, there is a possible additional risk due to inhalation in the lunar module of ultra-fine dust (<100 nm). This may trigger endothelial dysfunction by mechanisms similar to those shown to precipitate endothelial insults complicating ultra-fine urban dust exposure. Vascular constriction and a significant increase in diastolic blood pressures have been found in subjects inhaling urban dust within just two hours, possibly triggered by oxidative stress, inflammatory effects, and calcium overload with a potential magnesium ion deficit playing an important contributing role. Both Irwin and Scott on Apollo 15, experienced arrhythmias, and in Irwin's case associated with syncope and severe dyspnea with angina during reentry. After the mission both had impairment in cardiac function, and delay in cardiovascular recovery, with Irwin in addition having stress test- induced extremely high blood pressures, with no available stress test results in Scott's case for comparison. It is conceivable that the chemical nature or particle size of the lunar dust is sufficiently variable to account for these complications, which were not described on the other Apollo missions. This could be determined by non-invasive endothelial-dependent flow-mediated dilatation studies in the lunar environment at various sites, thereby determining the site with the least endothelial vulnerability to dysfunction. These studies could be used also to demonstrate possible intensification of endothelial dysfunction from inhalation of ultra-fine moon dust in the lunar module.

  7. Comparison of Morphologies of Apollo 17 Dust Particles with Lunar Simulant, JSC-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yang; Taylor, Lawrence A.; Hill, Eddy; Kihm, Kenneth D.; Day, James D. M.

    2005-01-01

    Lunar dust (< 20 microns) makes up approx.20 wt.% of the lunar soil. Because of the abrasive and adhering nature of lunar soil, a detailed knowledge of the morphology (size, shape and abundance) of lunar dust is important for dust mitigation on the Moon. This represents a critical step towards the establishment of long-term human presence on the Moon (Taylor et al. 2005). Machinery design for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) on the Moon also requires detailed information on dust morphology and general physical/chemical characteristics. Here, we report a morphological study of Apollo 17 dust sample 70051 and compare it to lunar soil stimulant, JSC-1. W e have obtained SEM images of dust grains from sample 70051 soil (Fig. 1). The dust grains imaged are composed of fragments of minerals, rocks, agglutinates and glass. Most particles consist largely of agglutinitic impact glass with their typical vesicular textures (fine bubbles). All grains show sub-angular to angular shapes, commonly with sharp edges, common for crushed glass fragments. There are mainly four textures: (1) ropey-textured pieces (typical for agglutinates), (2) angular shards, (3) blocky bits, and (4) Swiss-cheese grains. This last type with its high concentration of submicron bubbles, occurs on all scales. Submicron cracks are also present in most grains. Dust-sized grains of lunar soil simulant, JSC-1, were also studied. JSC-1 is a basaltic tuff with relatively high glass content (approx.50%; McKay et al. 1994). It was initially chosen in the early 90s to approximate the geotechnical properties of the average lunar soil (Klosky et al. 1996). JSC-1 dust grains also show angular blocky and shard textures (Fig. 2), similar to those of lunar dust. However, the JSC-1 grains lack the Swiss-cheese textured particles, as well as submicron cracks and bubbles in most grains.

  8. Abrasion of Candidate Spacesuit Fabrics by Simulated Lunar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Meador, Mary Ann; Rogers, Kerry J.; Sheehy, Brennan H.

    2009-01-01

    A protocol has been developed that produced the type of lunar soil abrasion damage observed on Apollo spacesuits. This protocol was then applied to four materials (Kevlar (DuPont), Vectran (Kuraray Co., Ltd.), Orthofabric, and Tyvek (DuPont)) that are candidates for advanced spacesuits. Three of the four new candidate fabrics (all but Vectran) were effective at keeping the dust from penetrating to layers beneath. In the cases of Kevlar and Orthofabric this was accomplished by the addition of a silicone layer. In the case of Tyvek, the paper structure was dense enough to block dust transport. The least abrasive damage was suffered by the Tyvek. This was thought to be due in large part to its non-woven paper structure. The woven structures were all abraded where the top of the weave was struck by the abrasive. Of these, the Orthofabric suffered the least wear, with both Vectran and Kevlar suffering considerably more extensive filament breakage.

  9. Prediction of the effect of an extreme solar event on the Martian environment using a 3-D, self consistent hybrid model supplemented by test particle simulations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Kallio, Esa; Dyadechkin, Sergey; Jarvinen, Riku; Janhunen, Pekka

    2010-05-01

    Energetic particle data recorded by the SLED and LET instruments aboard the Phobos-2 spacecraft while in circular orbit about Mars showed the presence from 6 > 26 March, 1989, in association with an extreme solar event, of intense ambient particle radiation (> 30 MeV) punctuated by traveling interplanetary shocks. The response of the Martian environment to the March 1989 solar disturbances is modeled using a 3-D, self-consistent, hybrid model (HYB-Mars) supplemented by test particle simulations. In HYB-Mars ions are modeled as particles while electrons form a massless, charge neutralizing, fluid. The magnetic and electric fields present during the March 1989 activity are each derived from HYB- Mars while the high energy ion populations are analyzed using test particle simulations. Finally, the predictions of the model are validated by comparing the simulated properties of the disturbed Martian environment with the in situ observations.

  10. MECA Worksop on Dust on Mars 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Steven (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Topics addressed include: sedimentary debris; mineralogy; Martian dust cycles; Mariner 9 mission; Viking observations; Mars Observer; atmospheric circulation; aeolian features; aerosols; and landslides.

  11. NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS OF SUPERNOVA DUST DESTRUCTION. I. CLOUD-CRUSHING AND POST-PROCESSED GRAIN SPUTTERING

    SciTech Connect

    Silvia, Devin W.; Smith, Britton D.; Michael Shull, J. E-mail: britton.smith@colorado.ed

    2010-06-01

    We investigate through hydrodynamic simulations the destruction of newly formed dust grains by sputtering in the reverse shocks of supernova (SN) remnants. Using an idealized setup of a planar shock impacting a dense, spherical clump, we implant a population of Lagrangian particles into the clump to represent a distribution of dust grains in size and composition. We then post-process the simulation output to calculate the grain sputtering for a variety of species and size distributions. We explore the parameter space appropriate for this problem by altering the overdensity of the ejecta clumps and the speed of the reverse shocks. Since radiative cooling could lower the temperature of the medium in which the dust is embedded and potentially protect the dust by slowing or halting grain sputtering, we study the effects of different cooling methods over the timescale of the simulations. In general, our results indicate that grains with radii less than 0.1 {mu}m are sputtered to much smaller radii and often destroyed completely, while larger grains survive their interaction with the reverse shock. We also find that, for high ejecta densities, the percentage of dust that survives is strongly dependent on the relative velocity between the clump and the reverse shock, causing up to 50% more destruction for the highest velocity shocks. The fraction of dust destroyed varies widely across grain species, ranging from total destruction of Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} grains to minimal destruction of Fe grains (only 20% destruction in the most extreme cases). C and SiO{sub 2} grains show moderate to strong sputtering as well, with 38% and 80% mass loss. The survival rate of grains formed by early SNe is crucial in determining whether or not they can act as the 'dust factories' needed to explain high-redshift dust.

  12. NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS OF SUPERNOVA DUST DESTRUCTION. II. METAL-ENRICHED EJECTA KNOTS

    SciTech Connect

    Silvia, Devin W.; Smith, Britton D.; Shull, J. Michael E-mail: michael.shull@colorado.edu

    2012-03-20

    Following our previous work, we investigate through hydrodynamic simulations the destruction of newly formed dust grains by sputtering in the reverse shocks of supernova remnants. Using an idealized setup of a planar shock impacting a dense, spherical clump, we implant a population of Lagrangian particles into the clump to represent a distribution of dust grains in size and composition. We vary the relative velocity between the reverse shock and ejecta clump to explore the effects of shock heating and cloud compression. Because supernova ejecta will be metal-enriched, we consider gas metallicities from Z/Z{sub Sun} = 1 to 100 and their influence on the cooling properties of the cloud and the thermal sputtering rates of embedded dust grains. We post-process the simulation output to calculate grain sputtering for a variety of species and size distributions. In the metallicity regime considered in this paper, the balance between increased radiative cooling and increased grain erosion depends on the impact velocity of the reverse shock. For slow shocks (v{sub shock} {<=} 3000 km s{sup -1}), the amount of dust destruction is comparable across metallicities or in some cases is decreased with increased metallicity. For higher shock velocities (v{sub shock} {>=} 5000 km s{sup -1}), an increase in metallicity from Z/Z{sub Sun} = 10 to 100 can lead to an additional 24% destruction of the initial dust mass. While the total dust destruction varies widely across grain species and simulation parameters, our most extreme cases result in complete destruction for some grain species and only 44% dust mass survival for the most robust species. These survival rates are important in understanding how early supernovae contribute to the observed dust masses in high-redshift galaxies.

  13. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: Blowing and Flowing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: BLowing and Flowing included the following topics: 1) Three Decades of Martian Surface Changes; 2) Thermophysical Properties of Isidis Basin, Mars; 3) Intracrater Material in Eastern Arabia Terra: THEMIS, MOC, and MOLA Analysis of Wind-blown Deposits and Possible High-Inertia Source Material; 4) Thermal Properties of Sand from TES and THEMIS: Do Martian Dunes Make a Good Control for Thermal Inertia Calculations? 5) A Comparative Analysis of Barchan Dunes in the Intra-Crater Dune Fields and the North Polar Sand Sea; 6) Diluvial Dunes in Athabasca Valles, Mars: Morphology, Modeling and Implications; 7) Surface Profiling of Natural Dust Devils; 8) Martian Dust Devil Tracks: Inferred Directions of Movement; 9) Numerical Simulations of Anastomosing Slope Streaks on Mars; 10) Young Fans in an Equatorial Crater in Xanthe Terra, Mars; 11) Large Well-exposed Alluvual Fans in Deep Late-Noachian Craters; 12) New Evidence for the Formation of Large Landslides on Mars; and 13) What Can We Learn from the Ages of Valles Marineris Landslides on Martian Impact History?

  14. Effects of Spatial Resolution on the Simulated Dust Aerosol Lifecycle: Implications for Dust Event Magnitude and Timing in the NASA GEOS-5 AGCM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nowottnick, E.; Colarco, Peter R.; daSilva, A.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA GEOS-5 atmospheric transport model simulates global aerosol distributions with an online aerosol module. GEOS-5 may be run at various horizontal spatial resolutions depending on the research application. For example, long integration climate simulations are typically run at 2 deg or 1 deg grid spacing, whereas aerosol reanalysis and forecasting applications may be performed at O.5 deg or 0.25 deg resolutions. In this study, we assess the implications of varying spatial resolution on the simulated aerosol fields, with a particular focus on dust. Dust emissions in GEOS-5 are calculated with one of two parameterizations, one based on the Goddard Chemistry, Aerosol, Radiation, and Transport (GO CART) model and another based on the Dust Entrainment and Deposition (DEAD) model. Emission fluxes are parameterized in terms of the surface wind speed, either the 10-m (GO CART) or friction (DEAD) wind speed. We consider how surface wind speeds and thus the dust emission rates are a function of the model spatial resolution. We find that spatial resolution has a significant effect on the magnitude of dust emissions, as higher resolution versions of the model have typically higher surface wind speeds. Utilizing space-borne observations from MISR, MODIS, and CALIOP, we find that simulated Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) distributions respond differently to spatial resolution over the African and Asian source regions, highlighting the need to regional dust emission tuning. When compared to ground-based observations from AERONET, we found improved timing of dust events with as spatial resolution was increased. In an attempt to improve the representation of the dust aerosol lifecycle at coarse resolutions, we found that incorporating the effects of sub-grid wind variability in a course resolution simulation led to improved agreement with observed AOT magnitudes, but did not impact the timing of simulated dust events.

  15. Use of Combined A-Train Observations to Validate GEOS Model Simulated Dust Distributions During NAMMA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nowottnick, E.

    2007-01-01

    During August 2006, the NASA African Multidisciplinary Analyses Mission (NAMMA) field experiment was conducted to characterize the structure of African Easterly Waves and their evolution into tropical storms. Mineral dust aerosols affect tropical storm development, although their exact role remains to be understood. To better understand the role of dust on tropical cyclogenesis, we have implemented a dust source, transport, and optical model in the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) atmospheric general circulation model and data assimilation system. Our dust source scheme is more physically based scheme than previous incarnations of the model, and we introduce improved dust optical and microphysical processes through inclusion of a detailed microphysical scheme. Here we use A-Train observations from MODIS, OMI, and CALIPSO with NAMMA DC-8 flight data to evaluate the simulated dust distributions and microphysical properties. Our goal is to synthesize the multi-spectral observations from the A-Train sensors to arrive at a consistent set of optical properties for the dust aerosols suitable for direct forcing calculations.

  16. Effects of Subsurface Sampling &Processing on Martian Simulant Containing Varying Quantities of Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menard, J.; Sangillo, J.; Savain, A.; McNamara, K. M.

    2004-03-01

    This study is an attempt to simulate lubricant-free drilling into JSC Mars-1 simulant containing up to 50% water by weight and assess the impact of processing parameters on interpretation of in-situ compositional and mineralogical measurements.

  17. Aeolian Removal of Dust Types from Photovoltaic Surfaces on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.

    1990-01-01

    Dust elevated in local or global dust storms on the Martian surface could settle on photovoltaic (PV) surfaces and seriously hamper their performance. Using a recently developed technique to apply a uniform dust layer, PV surface materials were subjected to simulated Martian winds in an attempt to determine whether natural aeolian processes on Mars would sweep off the settled dust. Three different types of dust were used. The effects of wind velocity, angle of attack, height above the Martian surface, and surface coating material were investigated. It was found that arrays mounted on an angle of attack approaching 45 deg show the most efficient clearing. Although the angular dependence is not sharp, horizontally mounted arrays required much higher wind velocities to clear off the dust. From this test it appears that the arrays may be erected quite near the ground, but previous studies have suggested that saltation effects can be expected to cause such arrays to be covered by soil if they are set up less than about a meter from the ground. Particle size effect appear to dominate over surface chemistry in these experiments, but additional tests are required to confirm this.

  18. Accelerating Dust Storm Simulation by Balancing Task Allocation in Parallel Computing Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gui, Z.; Yang, C.; XIA, J.; Huang, Q.; YU, M.

    2013-12-01

    Dust storm has serious negative impacts on environment, human health, and assets. The continuing global climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of dust storm in the past decades. To better understand and predict the distribution, intensity and structure of dust storm, a series of dust storm models have been developed, such as Dust Regional Atmospheric Model (DREAM), the NMM meteorological module (NMM-dust) and Chinese Unified Atmospheric Chemistry Environment for Dust (CUACE/Dust). The developments and applications of these models have contributed significantly to both scientific research and our daily life. However, dust storm simulation is a data and computing intensive process. Normally, a simulation for a single dust storm event may take several days or hours to run. It seriously impacts the timeliness of prediction and potential applications. To speed up the process, high performance computing is widely adopted. By partitioning a large study area into small subdomains according to their geographic location and executing them on different computing nodes in a parallel fashion, the computing performance can be significantly improved. Since spatiotemporal correlations exist in the geophysical process of dust storm simulation, each subdomain allocated to a node need to communicate with other geographically adjacent subdomains to exchange data. Inappropriate allocations may introduce imbalance task loads and unnecessary communications among computing nodes. Therefore, task allocation method is the key factor, which may impact the feasibility of the paralleling. The allocation algorithm needs to carefully leverage the computing cost and communication cost for each computing node to minimize total execution time and reduce overall communication cost for the entire system. This presentation introduces two algorithms for such allocation and compares them with evenly distributed allocation method. Specifically, 1) In order to get optimized solutions, a

  19. 35 GHz Measurements of CO2 Crystals for Simulating Observations of the Martian Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J. L.; Chang, A. T. C.; Hall, D. K.; Tait, A. B.; Barton, J. S.

    1998-01-01

    In order to learn more about the Martian polar caps, it is important to compare and contrast the behavior of both frozen H2O and CO2 in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Relatively little attention has been given, thus far, to observing the thermal microwave part of the spectrum. In this experiment, passive microwave radiation emanating from within a 33 cm snowpack was measured with a 35 GHz hand-held radiometer, and in addition to the natural snow measurements, the radiometer was used to measure the microwave emission and scattering from layers of manufactured CO2 (dry ice). A 1 m x 2 m plate of aluminum sheet metal was positioned beneath the natural snow so that microwave emissions from the underlying soil layers would be minimized. Compared to the natural snow crystals, results for the dry ice layers exhibit lower' microwave brightness temperatures for similar thicknesses, regardless of the incidence angle of the radiometer. For example, at 50 degree H (horizontal polarization) and with a covering of 21 cm of snow and 18 cm of dry ice, the brightness temperatures were 150 K and 76 K, respectively. When the snow depth was 33 cm, the brightness temperature was 144 K, and when the total thickness of the dry ice was 27 cm, the brightness temperature was 86 K. The lower brightness temperatures are due to a combination of the lower physical temperature and the larger crystal sizes of the commercial CO2 Crystals compared to the snow crystals. As the crystal size approaches the size of the microwave wavelength, it scatters microwave radiation more effectively, thus lowering the brightness temperature. The dry ice crystals in this experiment were about an order of magnitude larger than the snow crystals and three orders of magnitude larger than the CO2 Crystals produced in the cold stage of a scanning electron microscope. Spreading soil, approximately 2 mm in thickness, on the dry ice appeared to have no effect on the brightness temperatures.

  20. Consistent response of Indian summer monsoon to Middle East dust in observations and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Q.; Wei, J.; Yang, Z.-L.; Pu, B.; Huang, J.

    2015-06-01

    The response of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) circulation and precipitation to Middle East dust aerosols on sub-seasonal timescales is studied using observations and the Weather Research and Forecasting model with chemistry (WRF-Chem). Satellite data shows that the ISM rainfall in coastal southwest India, central and northern India, and Pakistan are closely associated with Middle East dust aerosols. The physical mechanism behind this dust-ISM rainfall connection is examined through ensemble simulations with and without dust emission. Each ensemble includes 16 members with various physical and chemical schemes to consider the model uncertainties in parameterizing shortwave radiation, the planetary boundary layer, and aerosol chemical mixing rules. Experiments show that dust aerosols increase rainfall by about 0.44 mm day-1 (~ 10%) in coastal southwest India, central and northern India, and northern Pakistan, a pattern consistent with the observed relationship. The ensemble mean rainfall response over India shows much stronger spatial correlation with the observed rainfall response than any of the ensemble members. The largest modeling uncertainties are from the boundary layer schemes, followed by shortwave radiation schemes. In WRF-Chem, the dust AOD over the Middle East shows the strongest correlation with the ISM rainfall response when dust AOD leads rainfall response by about 11 days. Further analyses show that the increased ISM rainfall is related to the enhanced southwesterly flow and moisture transport from the Arabian Sea to the Indian subcontinent, which are associated with the development of an anomalous low pressure system over the Arabian Sea, the southern Arabian Peninsula, and the Iranian Plateau due to dust-induced heating in the lower troposphere (800-500 hPa). This study demonstrates a thermodynamic mechanism that links remote desert dust emission in the Middle East to the ISM circulation and precipitation variability on sub-seasonal timescales

  1. Survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis on spacecraft surfaces under simulated martian environments: . implications for the forward contamination of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.; Kern, Roger G.; Rothschild, Lynn J.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2003-10-01

    Experiments were conducted in a Mars simulation chamber (MSC) to characterize the survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis under high UV irradiation and simulated martian conditions. The MSC was used to create Mars surface environments in which pressure (8.5 mb), temperature (-80, -40, -10, or +23 °C), gas composition (Earth-normal N 2/O 2 mix, pure N 2, pure CO 2, or a Mars gas mix), and UV-VIS-NIR fluence rates (200-1200 nm) were maintained within tight limits. The Mars gas mix was composed of CO 2 (95.3%), N 2 (2.7%), Ar (1.7%), O 2 (0.2%), and water vapor (0.03%). Experiments were conducted to measure the effects of pressure, gas composition, and temperature alone or in combination with Mars-normal UV-VIS-NIR light environments. Endospores of B. subtilis, were deposited on aluminum coupons as monolayers in which the average density applied to coupons was 2.47×10 6 bacteria per sample. Populations of B. subtilis placed on aluminum coupons and subjected to an Earth-normal temperature (23 °C), pressure (1013 mb), and gas mix (normal N 2/O 2 ratio) but illuminated with a Mars-normal UV-VIS-NIR spectrum were reduced by over 99.9% after 30 sec exposure to Mars-normal UV fluence rates. However, it required at least 15 min of Mars-normal UV exposure to reduce bacterial populations on aluminum coupons to non-recoverable levels. These results were duplicated when bacteria were exposed to Mars-normal environments of temperature (-10 °C), pressure (8.5 mb), gas composition (pure CO 2), and UV fluence rates. In other experiments, results indicated that the gas composition of the atmosphere and the temperature of the bacterial monolayers at the time of Mars UV exposure had no effects on the survival of bacterial endospores. But Mars-normal pressures (8.5 mb) were found to reduce survival by approximately 20-35% compared to Earth-normal pressures (1013 mb). The primary implications of these results are (a) that greater than 99.9% of bacterial populations on sun

  2. Photoelectric Charging of Dust in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickafoose, A. A.; Robertson, S.; Colwell, J. E.; Horanyi, M.

    1999-09-01

    Illumination of surfaces in space by solar ultraviolet light produces photoelectrons which form a plasma sheath near the surface. Dust particles on the surface can acquire a charge and be transported horizontally and vertically by electric fields within the sheath. On the moon, suspended dust grains have been observed on multiple occasions, and there is evidence for horizontal lunar dust transport. Photoelectron production and dust particle charging are also expected to be significant near the surface of Mars. Understanding the photoelectric charging properties of dust can help explain the observed dynamics of lunar dust and help predict the behavior of dust on surfaces of planetary satellites, asteroids, planetary ring particles, and planetesimals. In addition, any human or spacecraft activity on planetary bodies is affected by dust dynamics near the surface. We have examined the photoelectric charging of dust dropped through UV illumination and dust dropped past a UV illuminated surface having a photoelectron sheath. Experiments are performed in vacuum with illumination from a 1 kW Hg-Xe arc lamp. The lamp produces a spectrum down to ~ 200 nm ( ~ 6.2 eV), and the photoemitter is a 12 cm diameter zirconium plate. Dust dropped through UV illumination loses electrons due to photoemission, while dust dropped past an illuminated surface gains electrons from the photoelectron sheath. Initial results are consistent with expected charge calculated from the work function of the materials, the energy of incoming photons, and the capacitance of the grains. Photoelectric charging experiments have been done for several different kinds of dust 90-106 mu m in diameter. We will present the results of these experiments and compare the charging properties of zinc, copper, graphite, Martian regolith simulant (JSC Mars-1), lunar regolith simulant (JSC-1), and lunar soil from an Apollo 17 sample. This research is supported by NASA.

  3. Simulation of windblown dust transport from a mine tailings impoundment using a computational fluid dynamics model

    PubMed Central

    Stovern, Michael; Felix, Omar; Csavina, Janae; Rine, Kyle P.; Russell, MacKenzie R.; Jones, Robert M.; King, Matt; Betterton, Eric A.; Sáez, A. Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Dust emissions and dispersion of dust and aerosol from the Iron King Mine tailings in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computational fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic. Using a computational fluid dynamics model, we model dust transport from the mine tailings to the surrounding region. The model includes gaseous plume dispersion to simulate the transport of the fine aerosols, while individual particle transport is used to track the trajectories of larger particles and to monitor their deposition locations. In order to improve the accuracy of the dust transport simulations, both regional topographical features and local weather patterns have been incorporated into the model simulations. Results show that local topography and wind velocity profiles are the major factors that control deposition. PMID:25621085

  4. Simulation of windblown dust transport from a mine tailings impoundment using a computational fluid dynamics model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stovern, Michael; Felix, Omar; Csavina, Janae; Rine, Kyle P.; Russell, MacKenzie R.; Jones, Robert M.; King, Matt; Betterton, Eric A.; Sáez, A. Eduardo

    2014-09-01

    Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Dust emissions and dispersion of dust and aerosol from the Iron King Mine tailings in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computational fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic. Using a computational fluid dynamics model, we model dust transport from the mine tailings to the surrounding region. The model includes gaseous plume dispersion to simulate the transport of the fine aerosols, while individual particle transport is used to track the trajectories of larger particles and to monitor their deposition locations. In order to improve the accuracy of the dust transport simulations, both regional topographical features and local weather patterns have been incorporated into the model simulations. Results show that local topography and wind velocity profiles are the major factors that control deposition.

  5. Abrasion of Candidate Spacesuit Fabrics by Simulated Lunar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Meador, Mary Ann; Rogers, Kerry J.; Sheehy, Brennan H.

    2009-01-01

    A protocol has been developed that produced the type of lunar soil abrasion damage observed on Apollo spacesuits. This protocol was then applied to four materials (Kevlar(Registered TradeMark), Vectran(Registered TradeMark), Orthofabric, and Tyvek(Registered TradeMark)) that are candidates for advanced spacesuits. Three of the four new candidate fabrics (all but Vectran(Registered TradeMark)) were effective at keeping the dust from penetrating to layers beneath. In the cases of Kevlar(Registered TradeMark) and Orthofabric this was accomplished by the addition of a silicone layer. In the case of Tyvek , the paper structure was dense enough to block dust transport. The least abrasive damage was suffered by the Tyvek(Registered TradeMark). This was thought to be due in large part to its non-woven paper structure. The woven structures were all abraded where the top of the weave was struck by the abrasive. Of these, the Orthofabric suffered the least wear, with both Vectran(Registered TradeMark) and Kevlar(Registered TradeMark) suffering considerably more extensive filament breakage.

  6. An improved radiance simulation for hyperspectral infrared remote sensing of Asian dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Hyo-Jin; Sohn, Byung-Ju; Huang, Hung-Lung; Weisz, Elisabeth; Saunders, Roger; Takamura, Tamio

    2012-05-01

    The fast Radiative Transfer for Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (RTTOV) (Version 9.3) model was used for simulating the effect of East Asian dust on top of atmosphere radiances. The size distribution of Asian dust was retrieved from nine years of sky radiometer measurements at Dunhunag located in the east of Taklimakan desert of China. The default surface emissivity in RTTOV was replaced by the geographically and monthly varying data from University of Wisconsin (UW)/Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) infrared surface spectral emissivities. For a given size distribution and surface emissivity, the effects of three refractive indices of Optical Properties of Aerosols and Clouds (OPAC) mineral aerosol, dust-like aerosol by Volz, and High Resolution Transmission (HITRAN) quartz were examined. Results indicate that the specification of surface emissivity using geographically and monthly varying UW/CIMSS data significantly improved the performance of the simulation of AIRS brightness temperature (TB) difference (BTD) between window channels, in comparison to the results from the use of default emissivity value of 0.98 in the RTTOV model, i.e., increase of the correlation coefficient from 0.1 to 0.83 for BTD between 8.9 μm and 11 μm, and from 0.31 to 0.61 for BTD between 3.8 μm and 11 μm. On the other hand, the use of Asian dust size distributions contributed to a general reduction of radiance biases over dust-sensitive window bands. A further improvement of the TB simulations has been made by considering the Volz refractive index, suggesting that hyperspectral infrared remote sensing of Asian dust can be improved using the proper optical properties of the dust and surface emissivity.

  7. Characterizing the thermal infrared spectral effects of optically thin surface dust: Implications for remote-sensing and in situ measurements of the martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Hernandez, Frances; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Ruff, Steven W.; Wolff, Michael J.

    2015-12-01

    A spectral contribution different from that observed for thick dust mantles has been identified in many of the in situ measurements of rocks and regolith acquired by the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). This spectral contribution is thought to be caused by optically thin surface dust and if not corrected can greatly hinder the mineralogical interpretation of rock surfaces. The focus of this study is the characterization of key radiative processes that are necessary to understand the spectral contributions produced by optically thin surface dust. An understanding of these radiative processes is important to be able to reproduce, predict, and correct their contribution in thermal infrared (TIR; ∼200-2000 cm-1; 5-50 μm) datasets. By combining TIR spectroscopic laboratory measurements and radiative transfer (RT) modeling, we have reproduced and quantified the spectral contributions produced by optically thin surface dust in the TIR spectral range. TIR laboratory measurements were acquired of basaltic rocks and gold diffuse reflectors (GDR) mantled with varying amounts of optically thin dust. The spectral contributions of optically thin dust as observed by Mini-TES were not observed in the laboratory measurements of the dusty basaltic rocks, but were observed in the measurements of the dusty GDR's. For the dust to contribute spectral features the dust must maintain a thermal contrast with the underlying surface. This thermal contrast was not achieved for the dusty basaltic rocks. Using our RT model, laboratory spectra of the dusty basaltic rocks and GDR's were reproduced. Our RT model appears to reproduce the spectral features attributed to the dust in the laboratory measurements to first order and can quantify the relationship between dust coatings and measured radiance. After validating the RT model against the TIR laboratory measurements, it was then used in an initial application to reproduce

  8. Laboratory simulations under martian environmental conditions: water vs. brine flowing over a sloping substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, Susan; Gourronc, Marrine; Patel, Manish

    2013-04-01

    There are many observations that indicate that liquid water has been recently flowing on Mars' surface: for example at the present day 10m-scale lobate flows have been observed to occur each spring, termed "recurring slope linae" [1] and kilometre-scale gullies [2] are known to have been active in the recent past (<5 Ma) [3-4]. However, the temperature and pressure are too low, at present for liquid water to be stable, and similar conditions are thought to extend into the recent past. A possible solution to this paradox is that these flows are not pure water, but brines, that are stable under much lower temperature conditions. The static behaviour of brines at low pressure and low temperature has already been investigated [e.g. 5]; however the interaction of such brines flowing over sediment has not yet been explored. In this suite of experiments we aim to repeat the experiments performed by Conway et al. [6], in which a fixed volume of pure water was passed over an unstaturated, cold (-25°C) sediment bed (1x0.5m) at low pressure (7 mbar), but with brines of different concentrations. Our aims are to answer the following questions: 1.Are different quantities of water required to produce flows with the same runout length (measurable from orbit) but mediated by water or brine? 2. Do flows mediated by brine produce any distinctive behaviour or morphology that we could recognise at the martian surface? The suite of experiments are ongoing, but our initial experiments have already shown that for a given quantity of water, brine-flows are able to flow for much greater distances than pure water. Brine mediated flows are more than 4 times wider than their pure water counterparts. Once the flows are complete they freeze - this leaves a trace that has the same tone as the surrounding sediment in the case of water. In the case of brine there are both darker and lighter toned areas depending on the position in the flow-trace. Future analysis includes quantifying the amount of

  9. Optical Dust Characterization in Manned Mars Analogue Research Stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bos, B. J.; Krebs, Carolyn (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Martian dust has been identified as a potentially serious hazard to any manned Mars landing mission. NASA and other organizations realize this risk and continue to support Martian dust research through the Matador project led by researchers at the University of Arizona. The Mars Society can contribute to this work by beginning a regimen of monitoring and measuring dust properties at its Mars analogue research stations. These research facilities offer the unique opportunity to study the transport and distribution of dust particles within a crewed habitat supporting active geologic exploration. Information regarding the amount, location and size of dust particles that may accumulate in a Mars habitat will be required to design a real Mars habitat and habitat equipment. Beginning such an effort does not require a large outlay of equipment and can be accomplished using crewmembers experienced with station operations. Various optical techniques, such as dark-field illumination, coupled with image processing algorithms enable the collection of dust grain relative size and frequency information. Such approaches can be applied in several different zones within the research stations to evaluate the various dust reduction and isolation procedures implemented during a particular crew rotation. As the stations simulation fidelity increases, the applicability of such data to a functional Mars lander will increase. This presentation describes the optical equipment and procedures for measuring dust properties in Mars analogue research stations that can be implemented during the next field season.

  10. Development of a high-resolution interstellar dust engineering model - technical implementation for fast simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strub, P.; Sterken, V. J.; Soja, R. H.; Srama, R.; Krüger, H.; Grün, E.

    2013-09-01

    nterstellar dust (ISD) is one of the constituents of the dust population observed in the solar system. Beyond 3 AU heliocentric distance, it represents the dominant component of the total dust population (cf. Abstract V.J. Sterken). Due to the modulation by the solar magnetic field, the ISD exhibits a pronounced spatial and temporal variability. A high-resolution model of the Interstellar Dust (ISD) component has been developed to predict the densities and velocity field for a range of sizes and optical properties (radiation pressure factor β) of dust particles. To achieve the required resolution of 0.25 AU at a sufficient S/N ratio, a high number of trajectories had to be integrated numerically. Therefore the simulation has been adapted to make full use of the available computing cluster hardware. Here we discuss the details of the model, the influence of different solar magnetic field prescriptions and of the physical properties used, the numerical approach, and the model's limitations. We also demonstrate the predictions of dust impact rates and velocities for present and future space missions, including heliocentric distances from ≤1AU to˜10AU.

  11. Developing Subdomain Allocation Algorithms Based on Spatial and Communicational Constraints to Accelerate Dust Storm Simulation.

    PubMed

    Gui, Zhipeng; Yu, Manzhu; Yang, Chaowei; Jiang, Yunfeng; Chen, Songqing; Xia, Jizhe; Huang, Qunying; Liu, Kai; Li, Zhenlong; Hassan, Mohammed Anowarul; Jin, Baoxuan

    2016-01-01

    Dust storm has serious disastrous impacts on environment, human health, and assets. The developments and applications of dust storm models have contributed significantly to better understand and predict the distribution, intensity and structure of dust storms. However, dust storm simulation is a data and computing intensive process. To improve the computing performance, high performance computing has been widely adopted by dividing the entire study area into multiple subdomains and allocating each subdomain on different computing nodes in a parallel fashion. Inappropriate allocation may introduce imbalanced task loads and unnecessary communications among computing nodes. Therefore, allocation is a key factor that may impact the efficiency of parallel process. An allocation algorithm is expected to consider the computing cost and communication cost for each computing node to minimize total execution time and reduce overall communication cost for the entire simulation. This research introduces three algorithms to optimize the allocation by considering the spatial and communicational constraints: 1) an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) based algorithm from combinational optimization perspective; 2) a K-Means and Kernighan-Lin combined heuristic algorithm (K&K) integrating geometric and coordinate-free methods by merging local and global partitioning; 3) an automatic seeded region growing based geometric and local partitioning algorithm (ASRG). The performance and effectiveness of the three algorithms are compared based on different factors. Further, we adopt the K&K algorithm as the demonstrated algorithm for the experiment of dust model simulation with the non-hydrostatic mesoscale model (NMM-dust) and compared the performance with the MPI default sequential allocation. The results demonstrate that K&K method significantly improves the simulation performance with better subdomain allocation. This method can also be adopted for other relevant atmospheric and numerical

  12. Developing Subdomain Allocation Algorithms Based on Spatial and Communicational Constraints to Accelerate Dust Storm Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Gui, Zhipeng; Yu, Manzhu; Yang, Chaowei; Jiang, Yunfeng; Chen, Songqing; Xia, Jizhe; Huang, Qunying; Liu, Kai; Li, Zhenlong; Hassan, Mohammed Anowarul; Jin, Baoxuan

    2016-01-01

    Dust storm has serious disastrous impacts on environment, human health, and assets. The developments and applications of dust storm models have contributed significantly to better understand and predict the distribution, intensity and structure of dust storms. However, dust storm simulation is a data and computing intensive process. To improve the computing performance, high performance computing has been widely adopted by dividing the entire study area into multiple subdomains and allocating each subdomain on different computing nodes in a parallel fashion. Inappropriate allocation may introduce imbalanced task loads and unnecessary communications among computing nodes. Therefore, allocation is a key factor that may impact the efficiency of parallel process. An allocation algorithm is expected to consider the computing cost and communication cost for each computing node to minimize total execution time and reduce overall communication cost for the entire simulation. This research introduces three algorithms to optimize the allocation by considering the spatial and communicational constraints: 1) an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) based algorithm from combinational optimization perspective; 2) a K-Means and Kernighan-Lin combined heuristic algorithm (K&K) integrating geometric and coordinate-free methods by merging local and global partitioning; 3) an automatic seeded region growing based geometric and local partitioning algorithm (ASRG). The performance and effectiveness of the three algorithms are compared based on different factors. Further, we adopt the K&K algorithm as the demonstrated algorithm for the experiment of dust model simulation with the non-hydrostatic mesoscale model (NMM-dust) and compared the performance with the MPI default sequential allocation. The results demonstrate that K&K method significantly improves the simulation performance with better subdomain allocation. This method can also be adopted for other relevant atmospheric and numerical

  13. Pathfinder Spies Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This set of images from NASA's 1997 Pathfinder mission highlight the dust devils that gust across the surface of Mars. The right image shows the dusty martian sky as our eye would see it. The left image has been enhanced to expose the dust devils that lurk in the hazy sky.

  14. Path selection system simulation and evaluation for a Martian roving vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frederick, D. K.

    1975-01-01

    A comprehensive digital computer simulation program has been developed for evaluating the path-selection system performance of an autonomous roving vehicle being designed for the exploration of Mars. Vehicle performance over realistic three-dimensional terrains in the presence of random motion disturbances and sensor measurement noise is simulated and plotted on a terrain contour map. In addition, a numerical figure-of-merit is computed automatically for each run.

  15. Modeling the total dust production of Enceladus from stochastic charge equilibrium and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, Patrick; Motschmann, Uwe; Schmidt, Jürgen; Spahn, Frank; Hill, Thomas W.; Dong, Yaxue; Jones, Geraint H.; Kriegel, Hendrik

    2015-12-01

    Negatively and positively charged nano-sized ice grains were detected in the Enceladus plume by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS). However, no data for uncharged grains, and thus for the total amount of dust, are available. In this paper we estimate this population of uncharged grains based on a model of stochastic charging in thermodynamic equilibrium and on the assumption of quasi-neutrality in the plasma-dust system. This estimation is improved upon by combining simulations of the dust component of the plume and simulations for the plasma environment into one self-consistent model. Calibration of this model with CAPS data provides a total dust production rate of about 12 kg s-1, including larger dust grains up to a few microns in size. We find that the fraction of charged grains dominates over that of the uncharged grains. Moreover, our model reproduces densities of both negatively and positively charged nanograins measured by Cassini CAPS. In Enceladus' plume ion densities up to ~104cm-3 are required by the self-consistent model, resulting in an electron depletion of about 50% in the plasma, because electrons are attached to the negatively charged nanograins. These ion densities correspond to effective ionization rates of about 10-7s-1, which are about two orders of magnitude higher than expected.

  16. The martian surface.

    PubMed

    Opik, E J

    1966-07-15

    smaller than the "saturation density" of lunar highlands. Many primeval craters, those from the last impacts which formed the planet, must have become erased, either by late impacts of preferentially surviving large asteroids or by a primeval atmosphere which rapidly escaped. The tenuous Martian atmosphere may have originated entirely from outgassing of surface rocks by asteroidal impacts, which also could have produced some molten lava. The role of genuine volcanism on Mars must have been insignificant, if any. The large amplitude in temperature indicates that the Martian upper soil, equally in the bright and the dark areas, is of a porous unconsolidated structure, with a thermal conductivity as low as that of atmospheric air. Limb darkening at full phase in green, yellow, and red light indicates absorption by atmospheric haze, aerosols, and dust. The loss of contrast in the blue and violet is caused by stronger absorptivity of the haze, which is almost as dark as soot, and not by a true decrease in contrast of the surface markings. Photometric measurementsin the blue reveal a residual contrast of 5 to 7 percent between the markings in 1958, invisible to the eye at a time when there was no "blue clearing." The surface brightness of the maria was surprisingly uniform in 1958 (late summer in the southern hemisphere), while the continentes showed considerable variation. In view of the spotty microstructure of the Martian surface as revealed by Mariner IV, and the lack of a sharp border between a mare and a continens, it seems that all the difference consists in the relative number of small dark and bright areas in the surface mosaic. If there is vegetation on Mars, it should be concentrated in the darkarea elements, measuring 10 to 100 kilometers. Vegetation is the best hypothesis to account for seasonal changes in the maria and for the persistence of these formations despite dust storms of global extent. Survival of vegetation in the extreme dryness of the Martian climate

  17. Chemical reactivity of the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Mckay, C. P.

    1992-01-01

    The Viking life sciences experimental packages detected extraordinary chemical activity in the martian soil, probably the result of soil-surface chemistry. At least one very strong oxidant may exist in the martian soil. The electrochemical nature of the martian soil has figured prominently in discussions of future life sciences research on Mars. Putative oxidants in the martian soil may be responsible for the destruction of organic material to considerable depth, precluding the recovery of reducing material that may be relic of early biological forms. Also, there have been serious expressions of concern regarding the effect that soil oxidants may have on human health and safety. The concern here has centered on the possible irritation of the respiratory system due to dust carried into the martian habitat through the air locks.

  18. Effect of nontronite smectite clay on the chemical evolution of several organic molecules under simulated martian surface ultraviolet radiation conditions.

    PubMed

    Poch, Olivier; Jaber, Maguy; Stalport, Fabien; Nowak, Sophie; Georgelin, Thomas; Lambert, Jean-François; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2015-03-01

    Most of the phyllosilicates detected at the surface of Mars today are probably remnants of ancient environments that sustained long-term bodies of liquid water at the surface or subsurface and were possibly favorable for the emergence of life. Consequently, phyllosilicates have become the main mineral target in the search for organics on Mars. But are phyllosilicates efficient at preserving organic molecules under current environmental conditions at the surface of Mars? We monitored the qualitative and quantitative evolutions of glycine, urea, and adenine in interaction with the Fe(3+)-smectite clay nontronite, one of the most abundant phyllosilicates present at the surface of Mars, under simulated martian surface ultraviolet light (190-400 nm), mean temperature (218 ± 2 K), and pressure (6 ± 1 mbar) in a laboratory simulation setup. We tested organic-rich samples that were representative of the evaporation of a small, warm pond of liquid water containing a high concentration of organics. For each molecule, we observed how the nontronite influences its quantum efficiency of photodecomposition and the nature of its solid evolution products. The results reveal a pronounced photoprotective effect of nontronite on the evolution of glycine and adenine; their efficiencies of photodecomposition were reduced by a factor of 5 when mixed at a concentration of 2.6 × 10(-2) mol of molecules per gram of nontronite. Moreover, when the amount of nontronite in the sample of glycine was increased by a factor of 2, the gain of photoprotection was multiplied by a factor of 5. This indicates that the photoprotection provided by the nontronite is not a purely mechanical shielding effect but is also due to stabilizing interactions. No new evolution product was firmly identified, but the results obtained with urea suggest a particular reactivity in the presence of nontronite, leading to an increase of its dissociation rate. PMID:25734356

  19. An Eddy-Diffusivity/Mass-Flux Turbulence Parameterization: Application to Dust Convection on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witek, M. L.; Teixeira, J.; Richardson, M. I.; Mischna, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Eddy-diffusivity/Mass-flux (EDMF) parameterization has been extremely successful in simulating the evolution of terrestrial atmospheric boundary layers. It is particularly suited for representing strong and moderate convection, where turbulence organizes in coherent structures and transports heat, humidity and pollution throughout the extent of the boundary layer. The EDMF's ability to explicitly represent turbulent updrafts and associated fluxes is key to a proper depiction of the thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere. It is the most appropriate tool currently available to address the outstanding issues in the Mars atmosphere and dust modeling on a global and regional scale. Dust is one of the most important moderators of the Martian climate. Basic theoretical arguments and observations such as high-altitude dust maxima, dust layering, and transport in plumes during dust storm onset—none of which are currently captured in general circulation models (GCMs)—all demonstrate the vital importance of representing dust vertical mixing by plumes. Most GCMs, however, only consider local, Mellor-Yamada-type diffusion, which is insufficient to capture the evolving dust distribution and hence the Martian climate system correctly. Here, we developed an EDMF parameterization for the Martian convective boundary layer. We report on details of the parameterization and its performance as compared against large-eddy simulations. We investigate a downdraft contribution to turbulent fluxes and the importance of mass-flux transport of TKE. Furthermore, we investigate the role of plume heating—through absorption of solar radiation by uplifted dust particles—on the plume evolution (a mechanisms that could act as a surrogate of the latent heat release in terrestrial clouds). Our results shed light on the reasons behind the presence of elevated dust layers in the Martian atmosphere.

  20. Impact of improved soil climatology and intialization on WRF-chem dust simulations over West Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omid Nabavi, Seyed; Haimberger, Leopold; Samimi, Cyrus

    2016-04-01

    Meteorological forecast models such as WRF-chem are designed to forecast not only standard atmospheric parameters but also aerosol, particularly mineral dust concentrations. It has therefore become an important tool for the prediction of dust storms in West Asia where dust storms have the considerable impact on living conditions. However, verification of forecasts against satellite data indicates only moderate skill in prediction of such events. Earlier studies have already indicated that the erosion factor, land use classification, soil moisture, and temperature initializations play a critical role in the accuracy of WRF-chem dust simulations. In the standard setting the erosion factor and land use classification are based on topographic variations and post-processed images of the advanced very high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) during the period April 1992-March 1993. Furthermore, WRF-chem is normally initialized by the soil moisture and temperature of Final Analysis (FNL) model on 1.0x1.0 degree grids. In this study, we have changed boundary initial conditions so that they better represent current changing environmental conditions. To do so, land use (only bare soil class) and the erosion factor were both modified using information from MODIS deep blue AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth). In this method, bare soils are where the relative frequency of dust occurrence (deep blue AOD > 0.5) is more than one-third of a given month. Subsequently, the erosion factor, limited within the bare soil class, is determined by the monthly frequency of dust occurrence ranging from 0.3 to 1. It is worth to mention, that 50 percent of calculated erosion factor is afterward assigned to sand class while silt and clay classes each gain 25 percent of it. Soil moisture and temperature from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) were utilized to provide these initializations in higher resolution of 0.25 degree than in the standard setting. Modified and control simulations were

  1. Self-Consistent Simulation of the Brownian Stage of Dust Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kempf, S.; Pfalzner, S.; Henning, Th.

    1996-01-01

    It is a widely accepted view that in proto-planetary accretion disks the collision and following sticking of dust particles embedded in the gas eventually leads to the formation of planetesimals (coagulation). For the smallest dust grains, Brownian motion is assumed to be the dominant source of their relative velocities leading to collisions between these dust grains. As the dust grains grow they eventually couple to the turbulent motion of the gas which then drives the coagulation much more efficiently. Many numerical coagulation simulations have been carried out to calculate the fractal dimension of the aggregates, which determines the duration of the ineffective Brownian stage of growth. Predominantly on-lattice and off-lattice methods were used. However, both methods require simplification of the astrophysical conditions. The aggregates found by those methods had a fractal dimension of approximately 2 which is equivalent to a constant, mass-independent friction time. If this value were valid for the conditions in an accretion disk, this would mean that the coagulation process would finally 'freeze out' and the growth of a planetesimal would be impossible within the lifetime of an accretion disk. In order to investigate whether this fractal dimension is model independent, we simulate self-consistently the Brownian stage of the coagulation by an N-particle code. This method has the advantage that no further assumptions about homogeneity of the dust have to be made. In our model, the dust grains are considered as aggregates built up of spheres. The equation of motion of the dust grains is based on the probability density for the diffusive transport within the gas atmosphere. Because of the very low number density of the dust grains, only 2-body-collisions have to be considered. As the Brownian stage of growth is very inefficient, the system is to be simulated over long periods of time. In order to find close particle pairs of the system which are most likely to

  2. Variability of the thermospheric temperatures of Mars during 9 Martian Years as given by a ground-to-exosphere Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Forget, Francois; Garcia-Comas, Maya; Millour, Ehouarn; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel; Montabone, Luca

    2016-07-01

    The temperature of the Martian upper thermosphere is one of the main factors affecting the rate of the different escape to space processes which shape the Martian atmosphere and its long-term evolution. A good knowledge of the variability of this parameter is thus very important in order to gain a deeper understanding of the present-day escape rate and of the evolutive history of Mars. We have used a ground-to-exosphere Global Climate Model, the LMD-MGCM, to simulate the variability of the temperatures at the Martian exobase during the last 9 Martian Years (MY24-MY32, approximately 17 terrestrial years). The simulations include for the first time a realistic day-to-day variability of the UV solar flux. The simulated temperatures are in good agreement with the exospheric temperatures derived from Precise Orbit Determination of Mars Global Surveyor. A significant inter-annual variability of the temperatures, due to both the 11 year solar cycle and the variability of the dust load in the lower atmosphere, is predicted by the model. The variation in the solar output produced by the 27 day solar rotation cycle is seen in the simulated exobase temperatures. We also find that the global dust storms in MY25 and MY28 significantly impact the temperatures at the exobase. These results underline the importance of properly taking into account the dust and solar variabilities to simulate the upper atmosphere of Mars.

  3. Simulation of the plasma interaction with thin dust clouds

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, G.R.

    1987-01-01

    The rings of Saturn, being immersed in a plasma and exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, will be electrically charged. The charging of the rings is studied through the numerical solution of the Boltzmann equation. The work includes the effect of plasma loss and photoelectron production within the rings. Several aspects of the rings' structure (thickness, average particle size, cross sectional profile, and optical depth) can be varied to illustrate the effect of these parameters on the resulting charge. The solution for several cases at low plasma density (0.01 cm/sup -3/) and high plasma density (100.0 cm/sup -3/) are presented. Results have implications for several processes occurring in the rings. The amount of current carried by the rings may be an order of magnitude larger than the amount estimated by charging studies that use a flat-plate description of the rings. If spokes form by the theory of Goertz and Morfill (1983), the rings must be very thin with tightly packed particles. The disruption and accretion of small dust grains within the rings may be greatly enhanced by the strong electric fields there. The charging processes considered are probably not the source of the Saturn Electrostatic Discharge radio emissions, although they may contribute the lower-frequency portion of the Saturn Kilometric Radiation emissions.

  4. Detailed cloud resolving model simulations of the impacts of Saharan air layer dust on tropical deep convection - Part 1: Dust acts as ice nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, W.; Min, Q.; Li, R.; Teller, A.; Joseph, E.; Morris, V.

    2010-05-01

    Observational studies suggest that the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), an elevated layer (850-500 hPa) of Saharan air and mineral dust, has strong impacts on the microphysical as well as dynamical properties of tropical deep convective cloud systems along its track. In this case study, numerical simulations using a two-dimensional Detailed Cloud Resolving Model (DCRM) were carried out to investigate the dust-cloud interactions in the tropical deep convection, focusing on the dust role as Ice Nuclei (IN). The simulations showed that mineral dust considerably enhanced heterogeneous nucleation and freezing at temperatures warmer than -40 °C, resulting in more ice hydrometeors number concentration and reduced precipitating size of ice particles. Because of the lower in the saturation over ice as well as more droplet freezing, total latent heating increased, and consequently the updraft velocity was stronger. On the other hand, the increased ice deposition consumed more water vapor at middle troposphere, which induces a competition for water vapor between heterogeneous and homogeneous freezing and nucleation. As a result, dust suppressed the homogeneous droplet freezing and nucleation due to the heterogeneous droplet freezing and the weakened transport of water vapor at lower stratosphere, respectively. These effects led to decreased number concentration of ice cloud particles in the upper troposphere, and consequently lowered the cloud top height during the stratus precipitating stage. Acting as IN, mineral dust also influenced precipitation in deep convection. It initiated earlier the collection because dust-related heterogeneous nucleation and freezing at middle troposphere occur earlier than homogeneous nucleation at higher altitudes. Nevertheless, the convective precipitation was suppressed by reduced collection of large graupel particles and insufficient fallout related to decreased sizes of precipitating ice hydrometeors. On the contrary, dust increased the

  5. An ensemble Kalman filter data assimilation system for the martian atmosphere: Implementation and simulation experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, Matthew J.; Greybush, Steven J.; John Wilson, R.; Gyarmati, Gyorgyi; Hoffman, Ross N.; Kalnay, Eugenia; Ide, Kayo; Kostelich, Eric J.; Miyoshi, Takemasa; Szunyogh, Istvan

    2010-10-01

    The local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF) is applied to the GFDL Mars general circulation model (MGCM) to demonstrate the potential benefit of an advanced data assimilation method. In perfect model (aka identical twin) experiments, simulated observations are used to assess the performance of the LETKF-MGCM system and to determine the dependence of the assimilation on observational data coverage. Temperature retrievals are simulated at locations that mirror the spatial distribution of the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) retrievals from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). The LETKF converges quickly and substantially reduces the analysis and subsequent forecast errors in both temperature and velocity fields, even though only temperature observations are assimilated. The LETKF is also found to accurately estimate the magnitude of forecast uncertainties, notably those associated with the phase and amplitude of baroclinic waves along the boundary of the polar ice cap during Northern Hemisphere winter.

  6. Consistent response of Indian summer monsoon to Middle East dust in observations and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Q.; Wei, J.; Yang, Z.-L.; Pu, B.; Huang, J.

    2015-09-01

    The response of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) circulation and precipitation to Middle East dust aerosols on sub-seasonal timescales is studied using observations and the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with online chemistry (WRF-Chem). Satellite data show that the ISM rainfall in coastal southwest India, central and northern India, and Pakistan is closely associated with the Middle East dust aerosols. The physical mechanism behind this dust-ISM rainfall connection is examined through ensemble simulations with and without dust emissions. Each ensemble includes 16 members with various physical and chemical schemes to consider the model uncertainties in parameterizing short-wave radiation, the planetary boundary layer, and aerosol chemical mixing rules. Experiments show that dust aerosols increase rainfall by about 0.44 mm day-1 (~10 % of the climatology) in coastal southwest India, central and northern India, and north Pakistan, a pattern consistent with the observed relationship. The ensemble mean rainfall response over India shows a much stronger spatial correlation with the observed rainfall response than any other ensemble members. The largest modeling uncertainties are from the boundary layer schemes, followed by short-wave radiation schemes. In WRF-Chem, the dust aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Middle East shows the strongest correlation with the ISM rainfall response when dust AOD leads rainfall response by about 11 days. Further analyses show that increased ISM rainfall is related to enhanced southwesterly monsoon flow and moisture transport from the Arabian Sea to the Indian subcontinent, which are associated with the development of an anomalous low-pressure system over the Arabian Sea, the southern Arabian Peninsula, and the Iranian Plateau due to dust-induced heating in the troposphere. The dust-induced heating in the mid-upper troposphere is mainly located in the Iranian Plateau rather than the Tibetan Plateau. This study

  7. Laboratory simulation and modeling of size, shape distributed interstellar graphite dust analogues: A comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boruah, Manash J.; Gogoi, Ankur; Ahmed, Gazi A.

    2016-06-01

    The computation of the light scattering properties of size and shape distributed interstellar graphite dust analogues using discrete dipole approximation (DDA) is presented. The light scattering properties of dust particles of arbitrary shapes having sizes ranging from 0.5 to 5.0 μm were computed using DDSCAT 7.3.0 software package and an indigenously developed post-processing tool for size and shape averaging. In order to model realistic samples of graphite dust and compute their light scattering properties using DDA, different target geometries were generated to represent the graphite particle composition in terms of surface smoothness, surface roughness and aggregation or their combination, for using as the target for DDSCAT calculations. A comparison of the theoretical volume scattering function at 543.5 nm and 632.8 nm incident wavelengths with laboratory simulation is also presented in this paper.

  8. Simulation of Dust Charging and Shielding in the Presence of a Magnetic Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichtl, Chris; Delzanno, Gian Luca; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2006-10-01

    We explore the charging of a dust particle immersed in a plasma in the presence of a magnetic field. The dust particle charges due to the flowing electrons and ions within the plasma and is allowed to emit electrons via thermionic emission and photoemission. Several parameters are obtained and compared with basic simulations without the magnetic field using the 2-D, 3-V DEMOCRITUS code developed at LANL. Next we look at the effect of this dust particle charging in the presence of another dust particle. Delzanno, et al. [1] showed that for a thermionically emitting particle immersed in a plasma, an attractive potential well can form. This leads to the attraction of particles with like charges, such as another dust grain. We explore the attractive forces between two particles as a function of their separation. If the attractive potential well is deep enough, the two particles will combine, thereby creating macro-particles. We study this in an astrophysical sense, looking at this phenomenon as a possible source of galactic formation. [1] G.L. Delzanno, G. Lapenta, and M. Rosenberg, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (3), 035002 (2004)

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Interactions Between Tungsten Dust and Beryllium Plasma-Facing Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Guojian; Li, Xiaochun; Xu, Qian; Yang, Zhongshi; Luo, Guangnan

    2015-12-01

    In the present research, molecular dynamics simulation is applied to study the interactions between tungsten dusts and a beryllium plasma-facing material surface. Calculation results show that it is quite difficult for nanometer-size dust particles to damage the plasma-facing material surface, which is different from the micrometer-size ones. The reason may be the size difference between dust and crystal grains. The depth of dust penetration into plasma-facing materials is closely related to the incident velocity, and the impacting angle also plays an important role. Dust and material surface damage is also investigated. Results show that both incident velocity and angle can significantly influence the damage. supported by the National Magnetic Confinement Fusion Science Program of China (Nos. 2013GB105001, 2013GB105002, and 2015GB109001), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11205198, 11305213 and 11405201), as well as Technological Development Grant of Hefei Science Center of CAS (No. 2014TDG-HSC003)

  10. Comparison of dust charging between orbital-motion-limited theory and particle-in-cell simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Delzanno, Gian Luca Tang, Xian-Zhu

    2015-11-15

    The Orbital-Motion-Limited (OML) theory has been modified to predict the dust charge and the results were contrasted with the Whipple approximation [X. Z. Tang and G. L. Delzanno, Phys. Plasmas 21, 123708 (2014)]. To further establish its regime of applicability, in this paper, the OML predictions (for a non-electron-emitting, spherical dust grain at rest in a collisionless, unmagnetized plasma) are compared with particle-in-cell simulations that retain the absorption radius effect. It is found that for large dust grain radius r{sub d} relative to the plasma Debye length λ{sub D}, the revised OML theory remains a very good approximation as, for the parameters considered (r{sub d}/λ{sub D} ≤ 10, equal electron and ion temperatures), it yields the dust charge to within 20% accuracy. This is a substantial improvement over the Whipple approximation. The dust collected currents and energy fluxes, which remain the same in the revised and standard OML theories, are accurate to within 15%–30%.

  11. Impact of Lunar Dust on the Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stubbs, T. J.; Vondrak, R. R.; Farrell, W. M.

    2005-01-01

    From the Apollo era it is known that dust on the Moon can cause serious problems for exploration activities. Such problems include adhering to clothing and equipment, reducing external visibility on landings, and causing difficulty to breathing and vision within the spacecraft. An important step in dealing with dust-related problems is to understand how dust grains behave in the lunar environment. All astronauts who walked on the Moon reported difficulties with lunar dust. Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, stated that one of the most aggravating, restricting facets of lunar surface exploration is the dust and its adherence to everything no matter what kind of material, whether it be skin, suit material, metal, no matter what it be and it's restrictive friction-like action to everything it gets on. Dust has also been highlighted as a priority by the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG): 1A. Characterize both aeolian dust and particulates that would be kicked up from the martian regolith by surface operations of a human mission with fidelity sufficient to establish credible engineering simulation labs and/or software codes on Earth. We shall briefly describe the properties of lunar dust and its impact on the Apollo astronauts, and then summarize three main problems areas for understanding its behavior: Dust Adhesion and Abrasion, Surface Electric Fields and Dust Transport. These issues are all inter-related and must be well understood in order to minimize the impact of dust on lunar surface exploration.

  12. Survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis on spacecraft surfaces under simulated martian environments: implications for the forward contamination of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.; Kern, Roger G.; Rothschild, Lynn J.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2003-01-01

    Experiments were conducted in a Mars simulation chamber (MSC) to characterize the survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis under high UV irradiation and simulated martian conditions. The MSC was used to create Mars surface environments in which pressure (8.5 mb), temperature (-80, -40, -10, or +23 degrees C), gas composition (Earth-normal N2/O2 mix, pure N2, pure CO2, or a Mars gas mix), and UV-VIS-NIR fluence rates (200-1200 nm) were maintained within tight limits. The Mars gas mix was composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.7%), O2 (0.2%), and water vapor (0.03%). Experiments were conducted to measure the effects of pressure, gas composition, and temperature alone or in combination with Mars-normal UV-VIS-NIR light environments. Endospores of B. subtilis, were deposited on aluminum coupons as monolayers in which the average density applied to coupons was 2.47 x 10(6) bacteria per sample. Populations of B. subtilis placed on aluminum coupons and subjected to an Earth-normal temperature (23 degrees C), pressure (1013 mb), and gas mix (normal N2/O2 ratio) but illuminated with a Mars-normal UV-VIS-NIR spectrum were reduced by over 99.9% after 30 sec exposure to Mars-normal UV fluence rates. However, it required at least 15 min of Mars-normal UV exposure to reduce bacterial populations on aluminum coupons to non-recoverable levels. These results were duplicated when bacteria were exposed to Mars-normal environments of temperature (-10 degrees C), pressure (8.5 mb), gas composition (pure CO2), and UV fluence rates. In other experiments, results indicated that the gas composition of the atmosphere and the temperature of the bacterial monolayers at the time of Mars UV exposure had no effects on the survival of bacterial endospores. But Mars-normal pressures (8.5 mb) were found to reduce survival by approximately 20-35% compared to Earth-normal pressures (1013 mb). The primary implications of these results are (a) that greater than 99.9% of bacterial populations on

  13. Simulation of the Dust Aerosol and its Climatic Effect over East Asia using WRF-Chem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, S.; Huang, J.; Zhao, C.; Qian, Y.; Ruby, L.

    2015-12-01

    WRF-Chem model is used to investigate the seasonal and inter-annual variations of mineral dust over East Asia during 2007-2011, with a focus on the dust mass balance and its direct radiative forcing and climatic impact. A variety of in-situ measurements and satellite observations have been used to evaluate the simulation results. Generally, WRF-Chem reasonably reproduces not only the column variability but also the vertical profile and size distribution of mineral dust over and near the dust source regions. In addition, the dust lifecycle and processes that control the seasonal and spatial variations of dust mass balance are investigated in seven sub-regions. Dust direct radiative forcing in a surface cooling of up to -14 and -10 W m-2, atmospheric warming of up to 9 and 2 W m-2, and TOA cooling of -5 and -8 W m-2, respectively. The ability of WRF-Chem to capture the measured features of dust optical and radiative properties and dust mass balance over East Asian provides confidence for future investigation of East Asia dust impact on regional or global climate. Over the Tibetan Plateau, dust modifies the atmospheric heating profiles and cloud properties, leading to a decrease of snowfall and hence snow coverage on the ground. These results are from a reduction of surface albedo and increased surface temperature, further accelerating snowmelt. This impact is smallest in summer, when the snow coverage is relative low. Over the East China-Korea-Japan regions, dust modifies the atmospheric heating profiles and cloud properties. Dust induces significant changes in the magnitudes and diurnal variations of surface temperature. Cloud liquid water content is also significantly impacted, as reflected in changes of cloud forcing at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) with a maximum in summer. The dust impacts on spatial distribution of precipitation and wind circulation are also investigated, showing distinct seasonality of dust impact on the regional climate over East Asia.

  14. Martian seismicity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.; Grimm, Robert E.

    1991-01-01

    The design and ultimate success of network seismology experiments on Mars depends on the present level of Martian seismicity. Volcanic and tectonic landforms observed from imaging experiments show that Mars must have been a seismically active planet in the past and there is no reason to discount the notion that Mars is seismically active today but at a lower level of activity. Models are explored for present day Mars seismicity. Depending on the sensitivity and geometry of a seismic network and the attenuation and scattering properties of the interior, it appears that a reasonable number of Martian seismic events would be detected over the period of a decade. The thermoelastic cooling mechanism as estimated is surely a lower bound, and a more refined estimate would take into account specifically the regional cooling of Tharsis and lead to a higher frequency of seismic events.

  15. The electrical properties of Mars analogue dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merrison, J.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.; Mugford, R.; Nørnberg, P.

    2004-03-01

    Dust is a major environmental factor on the surface and in the atmosphere of Mars. Knowing the electrical charge state of this dust would be of both scientific interest and important for the safety of instruments on the Martian surface. In this study the first measurements have been performed of dust electrification using suspended Mars analogue material. This has been achieved by attracting suspended dust onto electrodes placed inside a Mars simulation wind tunnel. The Mars analogue used was from Salten Skov in Denmark, this contained a high concentration of ferric oxide precipitate. Once suspended, this dust was found to consist of almost equal quantities of negatively (46±6%) and positively (44±15%) charged grains. These grains were estimated to typically carry a net charge of around 10 5e, this is sufficient to dominate the processes of adhesion and cohesion of this suspended dust. Evidence is presented for electrostatic aggregation of the dust while in suspension. Development of a simple instrument for measuring electrical charging of the suspended dust on Mars will be discussed.

  16. Effects of Lunar Dust Simulant (JSC-1A-vf) on WI-38 Human Embryonic Lung Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Stephen; Hammond, Dianne; Jeevarajan, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    In order to develop appropriate countermeasures for NASA's return mission to the moon, the potential toxicity of lunar dust needs to be examined. Due to its abrasiveness, reactivity, composition and small size, lunar dust may pose a serious health risk to astronauts who inhale it. This project focuses on the toxicity of lunar dust simulant (JSC-1A-vf) using WI-38 human embryonic lung cells. Past results show that the simulant has toxic effects on small animals using intratracheal instillation. Earlier studies in this lab suggest that the dust remaining in media after low speed centrifugation is toxic. In order to better assess its toxicity, the simulant has been diluted in media, filtered with a 5 micron filter before combining it with media. This filtered dust is compared with dust centrifuged in media. Whole dust toxicity is also tested. Toxicity is estimated using a 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) toxicity test which measures the activity of reducing enzymes in the mitochondria of viable cells. Preliminary results suggest that simulant which is diluted in media at different concentrations is slightly toxic. Interestingly, the cells appear to sweep up and collect the simulant. Whether this contributes to its toxicity is unclear. This project provides possible toxicity testing protocols for lunar dust and contributes to the knowledge of nanosize particle toxicity.

  17. Dust transport and abrasion assessment within simulated standing vegetation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residues are useful in protecting the top soil from depletion and abrasion due to wind erosion. A wind tunnel study was done to measure sand transport and abrasion energies within the simulated artificial standing vegetation. Wind profiles, relative abrasion energies and rates of sand dischar...

  18. Dust Layering in the Atmosphere of Mars Observed by the Phoenix LIDAR and Explained Using a General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteway, J. A.; Daerden, F.; Komguem, L.; Neary, L.

    2014-12-01

    The LIDAR instrument on the Phoenix mission obtained measurements of atmospheric dust and clouds from the surface in the Arctic region of Mars during late-spring through mid-summer. The observed vertical distribution of dust indicated that the planetary boundary layer (PBL) was evenly mixed up to heights of 4 km by daytime convection and turbulence. The dust loading within the PBL was a maximum around summer solstice and then declined over the next 60 Martian days (sols). Detached layers of dust were also detected above the top of the PBL around summer solstice. An atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) was applied to simulate the variability in the total dust loading and the detached layers. The model showed that the enhanced dust loading and the detached layers around summer solstice could be traced back to dust storm activity near the edge of the north polar ice cap. The mechanisms for producing the detached dust layers will be described.

  19. Martian Magnets Under the Microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this microscopic imager view of its capture magnet on sol 92 (April 6, 2004). Both Spirit and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity are equipped with a number of magnets. The capture magnet, as seen here, has a stronger charge than its sidekick, the filter magnet. The lower-powered filter magnet captures only the most magnetic airborne dust with the strongest charges, while the capture magnet picks up all magnetic airborne dust.

    The magnets' primary purpose is to collect the martian magnetic dust so that scientists can analyze it with the rovers' Moessbauer spectrometers. While there is plenty of dust on the surface of Mars, it is difficult to confirm where it came from, and when it was last airborne. Because scientists are interested in learning about the properties of the dust in the atmosphere, they devised this dust-collection experiment.

    The capture magnet is about 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter and is constructed with a central cylinder and three rings, each with alternating orientations of magnetization. Scientists have been monitoring the continual accumulation of dust since the beginning of the mission with panoramic camera and microscopic imager images. They had to wait until enough dust accumulated before they could get a Moessbauer spectrometer analysis. The results of that analysis, performed on sol 92, have not been sent back to Earth yet.

  20. What Are the Origins of Detached Layers of Dust on Mars ? Investigation with Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, T.; Spiga, A.; Forget, F.

    2014-12-01

    The climate on Mars is strongly controlled by the amount of dust lifted and transported in the atmosphere, which causes fluctuations of air opacity and affects temperatures and winds. Recently, observations of the vertical dust distribution of the Martian atmosphere by the Mars Climate Sounder on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed a phenomenon which is still poorly understood: the formation of detached layers of dust. These detached layers, also confirmed by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer on-board the Mars Global Surveyor, reside above the planetary boundary layer typically at altitudes between 20 and 40 km and have been mostly observed at low latitudes. These detached layers of dust are not reproduced by Global Climate Models (GCM) and different atmospheric processes are discussed and can be combined to explain their origin, such as small-scale lifting, upslope topographic winds, scavenging by water ice clouds, dust storms… Here we use the Martian GCM developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) to simulate the formation of detached layers of dust. To start, we developed a new implementation of the water cycle, taking into account nucleation on dust particles, ice particle growth, and scavenging of dust particles due to the condensation of ice. However, this method didn't yield to satisfying results in the GCM. Then, we performed the parameterization in the GCM of the so-called "rocket dust storms", governed by deep convection and able to inject dust at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere. By coupling this new parameterization with general circulation of the GCM, we succeed to model detached layers of dust. Here we present this parameterization and we discuss about the spatial and temporal variability of the detached layers of dust, in comparison with observations.

  1. Lunar Dust and Lunar Simulant Activation, Monitoring, Solution and Cellular Toxicity Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeevarajan, A.S.; Wallace, W.T.

    2009-01-01

    During the Apollo missions, many undesirable situations were encountered that must be mitigated prior to returning humans to the moon. Lunar dust (that part of the lunar regolith less than 20 m in diameter) was found to produce several problems with astronaut s suits and helmets, mechanical seals and equipment, and could have conceivably produced harmful physiological effects for the astronauts. For instance, the abrasive nature of the dust was found to cause malfunctions of various joints and seals of the spacecraft and suits. Additionally, though efforts were made to exclude lunar dust from the cabin of the lunar module, a significant amount of material nonetheless found its way inside. With the loss of gravity correlated with ascent of the lunar module from the lunar surface to rendezvous with the command module, much of the major portions of the contaminating soil and dust began to float, irritating the astronaut s eyes and being inhaled into their lungs. Our goal has been to understand some of the properties of lunar dust that could lead to possible hazards for humans. Due to the lack of an atmosphere, there is nothing to protect the lunar soil from ultraviolet radiation, solar wind, and meteorite impacts. These processes could all serve to activate the soil, or produce reactive surface species. In order to understand the possible toxic effects of the reactive dust, it is necessary to reactivate the dust, as samples returned during the Apollo missions were exposed to the atmosphere of the Earth. We have used grinding and UV exposure to mimic some of the processes occurring on the Moon. The level of activation has been monitored using two methods: fluorescence spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). These techniques allow the monitoring of hydroxyl radical production in solution. We have found that grinding of lunar dust produces 2-3 times the concentration of hydroxyl radicals as lunar simulant and 10 times that of quartz. Exposure

  2. Modeling, simulation, and high-autonomy control of a Martian oxygen production plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schooley, L. C.; Cellier, F. E.; Wang, F.-Y.; Zeigler, B. P.

    1992-01-01

    Progress on a project for the development of a high-autonomy intelligent command and control architecture for process plants used to produce oxygen from local planetary resources is reported. A distributed command and control architecture is being developed and implemented so that an oxygen production plant, or other equipment, can be reliably commanded and controlled over an extended time period in a high-autonomy mode with high-level task-oriented teleoperation from one or several remote locations. During the reporting period, progress was made at all levels of the architecture. At the remote site, several remote observers can now participate in monitoring the plant. At the local site, a command and control center was introduced for increased flexibility, reliability, and robustness. The local control architecture was enhanced to control multiple tubes in parallel, and was refined for increased robustness. The simulation model was enhanced to full dynamics descriptions.

  3. Laboratory Simulations of Permeability Pertaining to Biosignature Development and Preservation Potential for Martian Subsurface Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perl, S. M.; Corsetti, F. A.; Berelson, W.; Nealson, K. H.; Bhartia, R.

    2014-12-01

    Sedimentological and mineralogical observations indicate that sandstones within the Eagle and Endurance crater sections of the Burns Formation of Meridiani Planum, Mars, were derived from sulfate-bearing altered basalt, possibly from a playa lake, and deposited by eolian and locally subaqueous processes in a eolian dune - sand sheet - interdune setting. Abrasion of rocks within the outcrop outlining Endurance Crater by the MER rover Opportunity revealed void spaces later determined to be secondary pore space created from the dissolution of soluble minerals from multiple groundwater movement (recharge) events. Previous investigations into the secondary porosity and permeability of rocks within the Karatepe section showed that the ability for fluid movement through the vertical sedimentary section was greatest between the Upper and Middle units at the Whatanga contact within Endurance Crater, where secondary porosity was measured to be ~40% of the rock. Our investigations into quantifying subsurface habitability involve simulating the paleo-groundwater environments on the micro-to-mesoscale (sub mm-scale to cm-scale) to determine how preservation potential changes with repeated water-rock interaction, varying fluid chemistry (pH, salinity, T, others), and pressure changes under Earth and Mars conditions. In addition to fluids, microbes (extremophiles) will be introduced into our simulation to observe how changing experimental input conditions impact the growth and development of biotic interactions and eventually biosignatures left behind within sedimentary microtextures. Moreover, detection of biosignatures using visual and UV methods will help inform the M2020 rover mission regarding in-situ analysis of abraded rock outcrops. Finally, results of this work will use terrestrial rocks and fluids from a known Mars analogue (the Rio Tinto basin) in order to aid in determining habitability and survivability in acidic and high saline conditions that are similar to

  4. Thermal cracking of CO2 slab ice as the main driving force for albedo increase of the martian seasonal polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, S.; Schmitt, B.; Beck, P.; Brissaud, O.

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the microphysical processes occuring on the Martian seasonal cap is critical since their radiative properties can affect the martian climate. A well documented phenomenom is the albedo increase of the Martian seasonal caps during spring, Fig.1. There are a lot of hypotheses that have been proposed as an explanation for this observation : the decrease of the CO2 grain size [2], a cleaning process of the CO2 slab that would imply either the sinking or the ejection of the dust contained in its volume ([1], [2], [5]), a water-layer accumulation on the top of the slab [5], the role played by aerosols [2] etc ... So far, no experimental simulations have been realized to discriminate between these processes. We designed an experiment to investigate the hypothesis of CO2 ice grain size decrease through thermal cracking as well as that of dust segregation as the possible reasons for albedo increase.

  5. Some effects of global dust storms on the atmospheric circulation of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Leovy, C. B.; Pollack, J. B.

    1982-01-01

    A zonally symmetric primitive equation modelled on a sphere is used to numerically simulate the Martian atmosphere's response to various dust loads, as well as the ability of its meridional circulation to transport dust globally, where the circulation is driven by heating due to the absorption of solar and IR radiation by dust and CO2, in addition to sensible heat exchange with the ground. A preliminary experiment shows the model distribution of winds and temperature to compare favorably with zonally averaged values from a general circulation model. Experiments simulating the evolution of global dust storms show that dust is effectively transported by the zonal mean circulation, which rapidly intensifies as the dust spreads, and that the basic structure of the circulation is relatively insensitive to details, being mostly dependent on the heating of the tropical and subtropical atmosphere.

  6. A Model for Generation of Martian Surface Dust, Soil and Rock Coatings: Physical vs. Chemical Interactions, and Palagonitic Plus Hydrothermal Alteration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Murchie, S.; Pieters, C.; Zent, A.

    1999-01-01

    This model is one of many possible scenarios to explain the generation of the current surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic data from Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise is that there are physical and chemical interactions of the atmospheric dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different results. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks, forming physical rock coatings, and on the surface between rocks forming soil units; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces or duricrust surface units, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the mineral components of the dust/soil particles are derived from a combination of "typical" palagonitic weathering of volcanic ash and hydrothermally altered components, primarily from steam vents or fumeroles. Both of these altered materials are composed of tiny particles, about 1 micron or smaller, that are aggregates of silicates and iron oxide/oxyhydroxide/sulfate phases. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. Effects of Palagonitic Dust Coatings on Thermal Emission Spectra of Rocks and Minerals: Implications for Mineralogical Characterization of the Martian Surface by MGS-TES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, T. G.; Morris, R.; Christensen, P.

    2001-01-01

    Thermal emission measurements on dust-coated rocks and minerals show that a 300 5m thick layer is required to mask emission from the substrate and that non-linear effects are present. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Radon-222 and Polonium-210 in the Martian Atmosphere: A New Insight into the Exchange of Volatiles and the Dust Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Sabroux, J.-C.; Chassefière, E.; Pineau, J.-F.

    2007-03-01

    We expose how 222radon and 210polonium can be used as geochemical probes to characterize the subsurface (water and 238U content, gas exchange) and the dust cycle. We present the first evidence of 210Po on Mars and make comparisons with the Moon.

  9. The DREAMS Experiment of the ExoMars 2016 Mission for the Study of Martian Environment During the Dust Storm Season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, F.; Debei, S.; Bettanini, C.; Molfese, C.; Arruego Rodriguez, I.; Colombatti, G.; Harri, A. M.; Montmessin, F.; Wilson, C.; Aboudan, A.; Abbaki, S.; Apestigue, V.; Bellucci, G.; Berthelier, J. J.; Brucato, J. R.; Calcutt, S. B.; Cortecchia, F.; Cucciarrè, F.; Di Achille, G.; Ferri, F.; Forget, F.; Friso, E.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.; Jimènez, J. J.; Jimènez, S.; Josset, J. L.; Karatekin, O.; Landis, G.; Lorenz, R.; Marchetti, E.; Martinez, J.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Möhlmann, D.; Moirin, D.; Molinaro, R.; Palomba, E.; Patel, M.; Pommereau, J. P.; Popa, C. I.; Rafkin, S.; Rannau, P.; Renno, N. O.; Schipani, P.; Schmidt, W.; Segato, E.; Silvestro, S.; Simoes, F.; Spiga, A.; Valero, F.; Vázquez, L.; Vivat, F.; Witasse, O.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.

    2014-07-01

    DREAMS is a meteorological experiment with the additional capability to measure the electric properties of the atmosphere of Mars. It will fly to Mars aboard ExoMars 2016 mission. It will land on the planet during the dust storm season.

  10. Walking in simulated Martian gravity: influence of the portable life support system's design on dynamic stability.

    PubMed

    Scott-Pandorf, Melissa M; O'Connor, Daniel P; Layne, Charles S; Josić, Kresimir; Kurz, Max J

    2009-09-01

    With human exploration of the moon and Mars on the horizon, research considerations for space suit redesign have surfaced. The portable life support system (PLSS) used in conjunction with the space suit during the Apollo missions may have influenced the dynamic balance of the gait pattern. This investigation explored potential issues with the PLSS design that may arise during the Mars exploration. A better understanding of how the location of the PLSS load influences the dynamic stability of the gait pattern may provide insight, such that space missions may have more productive missions with a smaller risk of injury and damaging equipment while falling. We explored the influence the PLSS load position had on the dynamic stability of the walking pattern. While walking, participants wore a device built to simulate possible PLSS load configurations. Floquet and Lyapunov analysis techniques were used to quantify the dynamic stability of the gait pattern. The dynamic stability of the gait pattern was influenced by the position of load. PLSS loads that are placed high and forward on the torso resulted in less dynamically stable walking patterns than loads placed evenly and low on the torso. Furthermore, the kinematic results demonstrated that all joints of the lower extremity may be important for adjusting to different load placements and maintaining dynamic stability. Space scientists and engineers may want to consider PLSS designs that distribute loads evenly and low, and space suit designs that will not limit the sagittal plane range of motion at the lower extremity joints. PMID:19725694

  11. textbf{Mesoscale simulations of pollen and agricultural soil dust containing bacteria as ice nucleators}

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hummel, M.; Hoose, C.; Steinke, I.; Jäger, S.; Oehm, C.; Möhler, O.; Vogel, H.; Schurgers, G.

    2012-04-01

    One of the greatest uncertainties in climate impacts is the one caused by atmospheric aerosols. This is because of the variety in aerosols as well as in their influences. Little is known about the contribution of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP). This project focuses on PBAP influences on mixed phase clouds simulated with the regional atmospheric model COSMO-ART. PBAPs are directly emitted into the atmosphere from different sources and are pollen grains, fungal spores, bacteria or leaf fragments for example. A suggested influence of PBAPs on clouds consists in their ability to act as ice nuclei, which are required to initiate freezing of atmospheric cloud droplets at temperatures above homogeneous nucleation. In laboratory experiments some PBAPs have been identified as efficient ice nuclei at relatively warm temperatures. Here we present simulations including birch and pine pollen grains as well as agricultural soil dust containing bacteria. The emission fluxes are weighed with the individual coverage of birch or pine trees or cropland, respectively. For soil dust all cropland area is assumed to lie follow and is allowed to contribute to the emissions. Thus, this simulation is a sensitivity study to estimate the maximum possible contribution of dust particles from agricultural areas. The model domain includes most part of Europe with a horizontal resolution of 13.4 km and terrain-following model layers. The selected time period, beginning of April 2008, falls into the birch pollen season as determined from observed pollen counts. An empirical ice nucleation parameterization is implemented into the model, assuming that heterogeneous freezing follows the singular hypothesis. This implies that each particle has a distribution of actives sites depending on temperature. The ice active surface site densities are based on measurements for ice nucleation on soil dust and different pollen at the local AIDA chamber. In our simulations diagnostic ice nuclei from

  12. Dust aerosol and optical properties over North Africa simulated with the ALADIN numerical prediction model from 2006 to 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokhtari, M.; Tulet, P.; Fischer, C.; Bouteloup, Y.; Bouyssel, F.; Brachemi, O.

    2015-02-01

    The seasonal cycle and optical properties of mineral dust aerosols in North Africa were simulated for the period from 2006 to 2010 using the numerical atmospheric model ALADIN coupled to the surface scheme SURFEX. The particularity of the simulations is that the major physical processes responsible for dust emission and transport, as well as radiative effects, are taken into account at short timescales and mesoscale resolution. The aim of these simulations is to quantify the dust emission and deposition, locate the major areas of dust emission and establish a climatology of aerosol optical properties in North Africa. The mean monthly Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) simulated by ALADIN is compared with the AOTs derived from the standard Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) algorithms of the Aqua-MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) products over North Africa, and with a set of sun photometer measurements located at Banizoumbou, Cinzana, Soroa, Mbour and Capo Verde. The vertical distribution of dust aerosol represented by extinction profiles is also analysed using CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) observations. The annual dust emission simulated by ALADIN over North Africa is 878 Tg year-1. The Bodélé depression appears to be the main area of dust emission in North Africa, with an average estimate of about 21.6 Tg year-1. The simulated AOTs are in good agreement with satellite and sun photometer observations. The positions of the maxima of the modelled AOTs over North Africa match the observed positions, and the ALADIN simulations satisfactorily reproduce the various dust events over the 2006-2010 period. The AOT climatology proposed in this paper provides a solid database of optical properties and consolidates the existing climatology over this region derived from satellites, the AERONET network and Regional Climate Models. Moreover, the three-dimensional distribution of the simulated AOTs also provides information about the

  13. Reexamination of Lunar Exospheric Dust Estimates Using Discrete Dipole Scattering Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, T. J.; Glenar, D. A.; Richard, D. T.; Feldman, P. D.; Retherford, K. D.

    2014-12-01

    Analysis of Apollo regolith samples showed that lunar dust grains consist of a diverse set of shapes. Consequently, the optical scattering properties of these grains will differ from those predicted using the Mie approximation, which strictly applies only for spheres. Because it is analytically convenient and without shape ambiguity, Mie theory has been used routinely to estimate the concentration of dust or it's upper limits in the lunar exosphere from brightness measurements acquired during orbital dust searches. Utilizing the Discrete Dipole Approximation (DDA), we have computed a more realistic set of scattering parameters for a collection of sub-micron grain shapes that represents the ultra-fine fraction of lunar soil. Included in this suite are spheroids (oblate and prolate) and irregular geometries resembling isolated grains observed in Apollo samples. A subset of these models includes the addition of nanophase iron, in order to examine the influence of space weathering. Wavelength coverage of the DDA scattering computations extends from far-UV to near-IR. This range is diagnostic of grain size and shape, since scattering efficiency depends on both of these parameters. This collection of grain scattering models is used, together with an observing simulation code, to reexamine some prior estimates of exospheric dust concentration derived from Apollo-era limb brightness measurements (e.g., Apollo 15 coronal photography), as well as the subsequent Clementine star tracker search and a search for lunar horizon glow by LRO Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP). We compare our revised estimates of exospheric dust abundance with the results of these previous dust searches.

  14. Accuracy of core mass estimates in simulated observations of dust emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malinen, J.; Juvela, M.; Collins, D. C.; Lunttila, T.; Padoan, P.

    2011-06-01

    Aims: We study the reliability of the mass estimates obtained for molecular cloud cores using sub-millimetre and infrared dust emission. Methods: We use magnetohydrodynamic simulations and radiative transfer to produce synthetic observations with spatial resolution and noise levels typical of Herschel surveys. We estimate dust colour temperatures using different pairs of intensities, calculate column densities with opacity at one wavelength, and compare the estimated masses with the true values. We compare these results to the case when all five Herschel wavelengths are available. We investigate the effects of spatial variations of dust properties and the influence of embedded heating sources. Results: Wrong assumptions of dust opacity and its spectral index β can cause significant systematic errors in mass estimates. These are mainly multiplicative and leave the slope of the mass spectrum intact, unless cores with very high optical depth are included. Temperature variations bias the colour temperature estimates and, in quiescent cores with optical depths higher than for normal stable cores, masses can be underestimated by up to one order of magnitude. When heated by internal radiation sources, the dust in the core centre becomes visible and the observations recover the true mass spectra. Conclusions: The shape, although not the position, of the mass spectrum is reliable against observational errors and biases introduced in the analysis. This changes only if the cores have optical depths much higher than expected for basic hydrostatic equilibrium conditions. Observations underestimate the value of β whenever there are temperature variations along the line of sight. A bias can also be observed when the true β varies with wavelength. Internal heating sources produce an inverse correlation between colour temperature and β that may be difficult to separate from any intrinsic β(T) relation of the dust grains. This suggests caution when interpreting the observed

  15. Effects of lunar and mars dust simulants on HaCaT keratinocytes and CHO-K1 fibroblasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehders, Maren; Grosshäuser, Bianka B.; Smarandache, Anita; Sadhukhan, Annapurna; Mirastschijski, Ursula; Kempf, Jürgen; Dünne, Matthias; Slenzka, Klaus; Brix, Klaudia

    2011-04-01

    Exposure to lunar dust during Apollo missions resulted in occasional reports of ocular, respiratory and dermal irritations which showed that lunar dust has a risk potential for human health. This is caused by its high reactivity as well as its small size, leading to a wide distribution also inside habitats. Hence, detailed information regarding effects of extraterrestrial lunar dusts on human health is required to best support future missions to moon, mars or other destinations. In this study, we used several methods to assess the specific effects of extraterrestrial dusts onto mammalian skin by exposing HaCaT keratinocytes and CHO-K1 fibroblasts to dusts simulating lunar or mars soils. These particular cell types were chosen because the skin protects the human body from potentially harmful substances and because a well orchestrated program ensures proper wound healing. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts were exposed to the dusts for different durations of time and their effects on morphology and viability of the cells were determined. Cytotoxicity was measured using the MTT assay and by monitoring culture impedance, while phalloidin staining of the actin cytoskeleton was performed to address structural integrity of the cells which was also investigated by propidium iodide intake. It was found that the effects of the two types of dust simulants on the different features of both cell lines varied to a considerable extent. Moreover, proliferation of HaCaT keratinocytes, as analyzed by Ki67 labeling, was suppressed in sub-confluent cultures exposed to lunar dust simulant. Furthermore, experimental evidence is provided for a delay in regeneration of keratinocyte monolayers from scratch-wounding when exposed to lunar dust simulant. The obtained results will facilitate further investigations of dust exposure during wound healing and will ease risk assessment studies e.g., for lunar lander approaches. The investigations will help to determine safety measures to be taken during

  16. Developing Glassy Magnets from Simulated Composition of Martian Soil for Exploration Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, Narayanan; Ray, Chandra; Rogers, Jan

    2004-01-01

    The long-term exploration goals of NASA include developing human habitation on Mars and conducting scientific investigations on Mars and other planetary bodies. In situ resource processing is a key objective in this area We focus OR the possibility of making magnetic glasses in situ for potential applications development. The paper will focus on ongoing work at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on making magnetic glass h m Mars soil simulants and its characterization. Analysis of the glass morphology, strength, chemistry and resulting magnetic properties will provide a fi.mdamenta1 understanding ofthe synthesized materiai that can be used for pomtiai appiications cieveiopment. In an effort to characterize the magnetic properbes of the Mars glasses, a series of tests were performed at NASA MSFC. Preliminary tests indicated that the glasses were attracted to a magnet and also had a small amount of residual magnetism. They were opaque (almost black in color). As the first step, a sample of Mars 1 glass (-lm x lmm x 5 mm length) was machined, weighed and its hysteresis curve was measured using a Vibration Sample Magnetometer 0. Next, a small furnace was designed and built and the sample was baked in a graphite (reducing agent) crucible at 800 C in an Argon atmosphere for 3 hours in the presence of a uniform, transverse (transverse to the 5mm length of the sample) magnetic field of 0.37 Tesla. The treated sample showed reddening on the outside and showed substantially increased residual magnetism. This sample was again analyzed in the VSM. The data clearly showed that some chemical change occurred during the heat treatment (color change) and that both the glasses have useful magnetic properties. Although no orientation effects of the magnetic field were considered, the data showed the following: 1. Both glass samples are primarily soft magnets and display ferromagnetic behavior (hysteresis, saturation, etc.) 2. The treated glass has improved saturation magnetism (order

  17. Developing Glassy Magnets from Simulated Composition of Martian Soil for Exploration Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Ray, C. S.; Rogers, J. R.

    2004-01-01

    The long-term exploration goals of NASA include developing human habitation on Mars and conducting scientific investigations on Mars and other planetary bodies. In situ resource processing is a key objective in this area. We focus on the possibility of making magnetic glasses in situ for potential applications development. The paper will focus on ongoing work at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on making magnetic glass from Mars soil simulants and its characterization. Analysis of the glass morphology, strength, chemistry and resulting magnetic properties will provide a fundamental understanding of the synthesized material that can be used for potential applications development. in an effort to characterize the magnetic properties of the Mars glasses, a series of tests were performed at NASA MSFC. Preliminary tests indicated that the glasses were attracted to a magnet and also had a small amount of residual magnetism. They were opaque (almost black in color). As the first step, a sample of Mars 1 glass (approx.1 mm x 1 mm x 5 mm length) was machined, weighed and its hysteresis curve was measured using a Vibration Sample Magnetometer (VSM). Next, a small furnace was designed and built and the sample was baked in a graphite (reducing agent) crucible at 800 C in an Argon atmosphere for 3 hours in the presence of a uniform, transverse (transverse to the 5mm length of the sample) magnetic field of 0.37 Tesla. The treated sample showed reddening on the outside and showed substantially increased residual magnetism. This sample was again analyzed in the VSM. The data clearly showed that some chemical change occurred during the heat treatment (color change) and that both the glasses have useful magnetic properties. Although no orientation effects of the magnetic field were considered, the data showed the following: 1. Both glass samples are primarily soft magnets and display ferromagnetic behavior (hysteresis, saturation, etc.) 2. The treated glass has improved saturation

  18. The chemical effects of the Martian environment on power system component materials: A theoretical approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.

    1990-01-01

    In the foreseeable future, an expedition may be undertaken to explore the planet Mars. Some of the power source options being considered for such a mission are photovoltaics, regenerative fuel cells and nuclear reactors. In addition to electrical power requirements, environmental conditions en route to Mars, in the planetary orbit and on the Martian surface must be simulated and studied in order to anticipate and solve potential problems. Space power systems components such as photovoltaic arrays, radiators, and solar concentrators may be vulnerable to degradation in the Martian environment. Natural characteristics of Mars which may pose a threat to surface power systems include high velocity winds, dust, ultraviolet radiation, large daily variation in temperature, reaction to components of the soil, atmosphere and atmospheric condensates as well as synergistic combinations. Most of the current knowledge of the characteristics of the Martian atmosphere and soil composition was obtained from the Viking 1 and 2 missions in 1976. A theoretical study is presented which was used to assess the effects of the Martian atmospheric conditions on the power systems components. A computer program written at NASA-Lewis for combustion research that uses a free energy minimization technique was used to calculate chemical equilibrium for assigned thermodynamic states of temperature and pressure. The power system component materials selected for this study include: silicon dioxide, silicon, carbon, copper, and titanium. Combinations of environments and materials considered include: (1) Mars atmosphere with power surface material, (2) Mars atmosphere and dust component with power surface material, and (3) Mars atmosphere and hydrogen peroxide or superoxide or superoxide with power system material. The chemical equilibrium calculations were performed at a composition ratio (oxidant to reactant) of 100. The temperature for the silicon dioxide material and silicon, which simulate

  19. Simulation of the electrostatic charging of Philae on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and of its interaction with the dusts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, S. L. G.; Sarrailh, P.; Matéo-Vélez, J.-C.; Forest, J.; Jeanty-Ruard, B.; Cipriani, F.

    2015-12-01

    ROSETTA's probe Philae landed on a dust covered soil. This dust may be ejected from the ground through many mechanisms (other than spacecraft landing) : micro-meteorite impacts, electrostatic charging and soil outgassing. In any cases, the dust grains charge electrostatically in the ambient plasma and this charge impacts the dust interaction with the spacecraft, which is itself differentially charged due to its partial exposure to the solar UV light. Using the DUST addition to the Spacecraft-Plasma Interaction Software (SPIS) routinely used to compute the charge state of the spacecraft surfaces, we simulate the electrostatic charging of Philae as well as its dust environment. SPIS-DUST allows one to compute the electrostatic charging of the dust grains on the ground and in the plasma, and to model their ejection and their recollection by the probe. We simulated one cometary day of the Philae environment at different distances from the sun to observe the variation of the dust collection with Philae's local time.

  20. A Martian acoustic anemometer.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Don; Schindel, David W; Tarr, Steve; Dissly, Richard W

    2016-08-01

    An acoustic anemometer for use on Mars has been developed. To understand the processes that control the interaction between surface and atmosphere on Mars, not only the mean winds, but also the turbulent boundary layer, the fluxes of momentum, heat and molecular constituents between surface and atmosphere must be measured. Terrestrially this is done with acoustic anemometers, but the low density atmosphere on Mars makes it challenging to adapt such an instrument for use on Mars. This has been achieved using capacitive transducers and pulse compression, and was successfully demonstrated on a stratospheric balloon (simulating the Martian environment) and in a dedicated Mars Wind Tunnel facility. This instrument achieves a measurement accuracy of ∼5 cm/s with an update rate of >20 Hz under Martian conditions. PMID:27586767

  1. Martian Biosignatures: Tantalizing Evidence Within Martian Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, E. K.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2016-05-01

    Several of the martian meteorites offer a unique opportunity to study possible biosignatures over the history of Mars. Reduced carbon components have been found within the pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration phases (iddingsite) of martian meteorites.

  2. Three-dimensional simulation of gas and dust in Io's Pele plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDoniel, William J.; Goldstein, David B.; Varghese, Philip L.; Trafton, Laurence M.

    2015-09-01

    Io's giant Pele plume rises high above the moon's surface and produces a complex deposition pattern. We use the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method to model the flow of SO2 gas and silicate ash from the surface of the lava lake, into the umbrella-shaped canopy of the plume, and eventually onto the surface where the flow leaves black "butterfly wings" surrounded by a large red ring. We show how the geometry of the lava lake, from which the gas is emitted, is responsible for significant asymmetry in the plume and for the shape of the red deposition ring by way of complicated gas-dynamic interactions between parts of the gas flow arising from different areas in the lava lake. We develop a model for gas flow in the immediate vicinity of the lava lake and use it to show that the behavior of ash particles of less than about 2 μm in diameter in the plume is insensitive to the details of how they are introduced into the flow because they are coupled to the gas at low altitudes. We simulate dust particles in the plume to show how particle size determines the distance from the lava lake at which particles deposit on the surface, and we use this dependence to find a size distribution of black dust particles in the plume that provides the best explanation for the observed black fans to the east and west of the lava lake. This best-fit particle size distribution suggests that there may be two distinct mechanisms of black dust creation at Pele, and when two log-normal distributions are fit to our results we obtain a mean particle diameter of 88 nm. We also propose a mechanism by which the condensible plume gas might overlay black dust in areas where black coloration is not observed and compare this to the observed overlaying of Pillanian dust by Pele's red ring.

  3. Martian Fingerprints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    9 April 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows patterned ground on the martian northern plains. The circular features are buried meteor impact craters; the small dark dots associated with them are boulders. The dark feature at left center is a wind streak.

    Location near: 75.1oN, 303.0oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  4. Sampling Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Scientists were using the Moessbauer spectrometer on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit when something unexpected happened. The instrument's contact ring had been placed onto the ground as a reference point for placement of another instrument, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, for analyzing the soil. After Spirit removed the Moessbauer from the target, the rover's microscopic imager revealed a gap in the imprint left behind in the soil. The gap, about a centimeter wide (less than half an inch), is visible on the left side of this mosaic of images. Scientists concluded that a small chunk of soil probably adhered to the contact ring on the front surface of the Moessbauer. Before anyone saw that soil may have adhered to the Moessbauer, that instrument was placed to analyze martian dust collected by a magnet on the rover. The team plans to take images to see if any soil is still attached to the Moessbauer. Spirit took these images on the rover's 240th martian day, or sol (Sept. 4, 2004).

  5. The linkage between marine sediment records and changes in Holocene Saharan landscape: simulating the dust cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egerer, Sabine; Claussen, Martin; Reick, Christian; Stanelle, Tanja

    2016-04-01

    Marine sediment records reveal an abrupt and strong increase in dust deposition in the North Atlantic at the end of the African Humid Period about 4.9 ka to 5.5 ka ago (deMenocal et al., 2000; McGee et al., 2013). The change in dust flux has been attributed to varying Saharan land surface cover. Alternatively, the enhanced dust accumulation is linked to enhanced surface winds and a consequent intensification of coastal upwelling. We present simulation results from a recent sensitivity study, where we demonstrate for the first time the direct link between dust accumulation in marine cores and changes in Saharan land surface during the Holocene. We have simulated timeslices of he mid-Holocene (6 ka BP) and pre-industrial (1850 AD) dust cycle as a function of Saharan land surface cover and atmosphere-ocean conditions using the coupled atmosphere-aerosol model ECHAM6.1-HAM2.1. We prescribe mid-Holocene vegetation cover based on a vegetation reconstruction from pollen data (Hoelzmann et al., 1998) and mid-Holocene lake surface area is determined using a water routing and storage model (Tegen et al., 2002). In agreement with data from marine sediment cores, our simulations show that mid-Holocene dust deposition fluxes in the North Atlantic were two to three times lower compared with pre-industrial fluxes. We identify Saharan land surface characteristics to be the main control on dust transport from North Africa to the North Atlantic. We conclude that the variation in dust accumulation in marine cores is likely related to a transition of the Saharan landscape during the Holocene and not due to changes in atmospheric or ocean conditions alone. Reference: deMenocal, P., Ortiz, J., Guilderson, T., Adkins, J., Sarnthein, M., Baker, L., and Yarusinsky, M.: Abrupt onset and termination of the African Humid Period:: rapid climate responses to gradual insolation forcing, Quaternary Science Reviews, 19, 347-361, 2000. Hoelzmann, P., Jolly, D., Harrison, S. P., Laarif, F

  6. DSMC Dusty Flow Simulation for Non-stop Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozawa, T.; Suzuki, T.; Takayanagi, H.; Fujita, K.

    2011-05-01

    At Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, a non-stop Mars sample return project has been planned. In the project, sampling of Martian dust particles is planned between 35 and 45 km, and the impact of Martian dust particles on a shock structure and aerodynamics for a spacecraft must be clarified. In this work, a mechanism for hypersonic dusty flow simulations in DSMC has been developed, and hypersonic dusty flows were simulated for clear weather and dust storm conditions using two dust-surface interaction models at the descent altitude. It was found that although the impact of dust particles on the shock structure and drag is negligible, the total heat flux is increased with the consideration of dust particles.

  7. Numerical simulation of a dust event in northeastern Germany with a new dust emission scheme in COSMO-ART

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The dust emission scheme of Shao (2004) has been implemented into the regional atmospheric model COSMO-ART and has been applied to a severe dust event in northeastern Germany on 8th April 2011. The model sensitivity to soil moisture and vegetation cover has been studied. Soil moisture has been found...

  8. HEAVY DUST OBSCURATION OF z = 7 GALAXIES IN A COSMOLOGICAL HYDRODYNAMIC SIMULATION

    SciTech Connect

    Kimm, Taysun; Cen, Renyue

    2013-10-10

    Hubble Space Telescope observations with the Wide Field Camera 3/Infrared reveal that galaxies at z ∼ 7 have very blue ultraviolet (UV) colors, consistent with these systems being dominated by young stellar populations with moderate or little attenuation by dust. We investigate UV and optical properties of the high-z galaxies in the standard cold dark matter model using a high-resolution adaptive mesh refinement cosmological hydrodynamic simulation. For this purpose, we perform panchromatic three-dimensional dust radiative transfer calculations on 198 galaxies of stellar mass 5 × 10{sup 8}-3 × 10{sup 10} M{sub ☉} with three parameters: the dust-to-metal ratio, the extinction curve, and the fraction of directly escaped light from stars (f{sub esc}). Our stellar mass function is found to be in broad agreement with Gonzalez et al., independent of these parameters. We find that our heavily dust-attenuated galaxies (A{sub V} ∼ 1.8) can also reasonably match modest UV-optical colors, blue UV slopes, as well as UV luminosity functions, provided that a significant fraction (∼10%) of light directly escapes from them. The observed UV slope and scatter are better explained with a Small-Magellanic-Cloud-type extinction curve, whereas a Milky-Way-type curve also predicts blue UV colors due to the 2175 Å bump. We expect that upcoming observations by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array will be able to test this heavily obscured model.

  9. An atmospheric process to explain the formation of the detached layers of dust on Mars: GCM modelling, validation and comparison with observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chao; Bertrand, Tanguy; Forget, François; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn

    2015-04-01

    Dust is the crucial component of the Martian atmosphere. Its motion, horizontal and vertical transportation, is of great importance to Martian meteorology and climate. Recently, detached layers of dust are confirmed by the observations of the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) as well as the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The origin of the detached layers has remained debated. They cannot be reproduced by traditional Global Climate Models (GCM) including a dust cycle. Several possible interpretations were proposed to explain the origins of the detached layers of dust, such as small-scale dust lifting, upslope topographic winds, scavenging by water ice clouds, dust storms... Scavenging has been shown to be unable to form of dust detached layer through the simulations using the GCM developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD). In the present study, a new parameterization called 'rocket dust storms' in the LMD Martian GCM were implemented on the basis of mesoscale model simulations. The parameterization works like this: In the GCM, when a strong dust opacity gradient is observed, a local (subgrid scale) dust storm will be produced. Because of the difference of radiative heating rates between inside and outside of the dust storm, the dust particles inside the dust storm will be transported to high altitudes due to the vertical velocity of the dust which is directly deduced from the extra dust radiative heating, since we have found that this heating is almost integrally converted to adiabatic heating . The dust particles injected in the high layers are then horizontally transported by the large scale winds in the GCM. In the present study, the validation of the 'rocket dust storm' parameterization and the comparison between model outputs and MCS observations is implemented. To do so, case studies of the dust storm are performed to see how the dust were lifted and transported and how the detached layers formed in the upper atmosphere. We find that the

  10. Improving Simulations of Fine Dust Surface Concentrations over the Western United States by Optimizing the Particle Size Distribution

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Li; Kok, Jasper F.; Henze, Daven; Li, Qinbin; Zhao, Chun

    2013-06-28

    To improve estimates of remote contributions of dust to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the western United States, new dust particle size distributions (PSDs) based upon scale-invariant fragmentation theory (Kok_PSD) with constraints from in situ measurements (IMP_PSD) are implemented in a chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). Compared to initial simulations, this leads to reductions in the mass of emitted dust particles with radii <1.8 mm by 40%-60%. Consequently, the root-mean-square error in simulated fine dust concentrations compared to springtime surface observations in the western United States is reduced by 67%-81%. The ratio of simulated fine to coarse PM mass is also improved, which is not achievable by reductions in total dust emissions. The IMP_PSD best represents the PSD of dust transported from remote sources and reduces modeled PM2.5 concentrations up to 5 mg/m3 over the western United States, which is important when considering sources contributing to nonattainment of air quality standards. Citation: Zhang, L., J. F. Kok, D. K. Henze, Q. Li, and C. Zhao (2013), Improving simulations of fine dust surface concentrations over the western United States by optimizing the particle size distribution, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3270-3275, doi:10.1002/grl.50591.

  11. Simulating Martian Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchanan, Randy K.

    2003-09-01

    The Mars Electrostatic Chamber (MEC) was designed to provide for research and testing relative to future missions to Mars. Environmental characteristics of Mars were emulated, including pressure, atmospheric composition, and temperature. Existing and newly acquired hardware were integrated with a centralized controller to bring about successful near-autonomous operation and temperature control. The MEC is principally comprised of systems that control atmospheric pressure, atmospheric content, and chamber temperature. The temperature co