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Sample records for martian dust simulation

  1. Martian Dust Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuray, Monica; Houston, Karrie; Lorentson, Chris

    2008-01-01

    The Martian Dust Simulator (MDS) was designed to investigate the contamination effects of Martian soil and rock on the performance and function of flight-like microvalves and flight-like filters located within the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. The SAM instrument suite, which houses over fifty percent of the science payload, is located on-board the Mars exploration rover. The mission objective of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover is to determine the past, present, and future habitability of Mars. It will serve as a robot geologist, traveling the Mars surface for a period of one Martian year (equivalent to two earth years). The microvalves were designed as a conduit to control the flow of Martian gas to the science instruments. If exposed to particle sizes greater than half a micron, both the science instruments and science equipment, including forty-seven microvalves, could experience performance degradation. As a result, filters were used at various gas inlets to protect flight hardware from particulate degradation. Additionally, the filters serve as the only interface between the Martian environment and the mechanisms within SAM. The MDS operates at 7 Torr (0.135 psi) with a gas flow rate of 0 to 20 m/s. Iron (III) Oxide was the only dust particle specimen used, although several others were initially considered (i.e. JSC-Mars-1, Corundum Powder (Al2O3), Hydrated Sulfate, and Belville (Basalt)). The overarching goal of the MDS is to demonstrate that the Mars exploration program is adequately designed and prepared for the Martian mission environment.

  2. Martian Dust Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuray, Monica; Houston, Karrie; Lorentson, Chris

    2008-01-01

    The Martian Dust Simulator (MDS) was designed to investigate the contamination effects of Martian soil and rock on the performance and function of flight-like microvalves and flight-like filters located within the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. The SAM instrument suite, which houses over fifty percent of the science payload, is located on-board the Mars exploration rover. The mission objective of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover is to determine the past, present, and future habitability of Mars. It will serve as a robot geologist, traveling the Mars surface for a period of one Martian year (equivalent to two earth years). The microvalves were designed as a conduit to control the flow of Martian gas to the science instruments. If exposed to particle sizes greater than half a micron, both the science instruments and science equipment, including forty-seven microvalves, could experience performance degradation. As a result, filters were used at various gas inlets to protect flight hardware from particulate degradation. Additionally, the filters serve as the only interface between the Martian environment and the mechanisms within SAM. The MDS operates at 7 Torr (0.135 psi) with a gas flow rate of 0 to 20 m/s. Iron (III) Oxide was the only dust particle specimen used, although several others were initially considered (i.e. JSC-Mars-1, Corundum Powder (Al2O3), Hydrated Sulfate, and Belville (Basalt)). The overarching goal of the MDS is to demonstrate that the Mars exploration program is adequately designed and prepared for the Martian mission environment.

  3. 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.

  4. Aeolian behavior of dust in a simulated Martian environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Bruce R.; Lacchia, B. Michele; Greeley, Ronald; Leach, Rod N.

    1997-11-01

    The behavior of aeolian dust, particles 1-2 microns (μm) in diameter, was analyzed in a simulated Martian environment. Three main areas have been investigated: (1) characterizing spectral and aeolian properties of Martian particles and natural wind-blown terrestrial dust in order to identify a suitable surrogate Martian dust, (2) emplacement of the material in the simulated Martian environment, and (3) experimental procedures and testing in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT). The first phase of the study involved choosing a terrestrial dust that closely resembled Martian dust. Data accumulated from various sources suggest that Martian dust is derived from the weathering of basaltic parent material, nontronite clay being a good candidate composition. A commercial clay, Carbondale Red Clay (CRC), was determined to be an appropriate surrogate Martian dust. Using a compressed air-dust ejection system, an air-entrained dust cloud was generated which settled to cover the test section in the MARSWIT. This method best replicated the natural aerodynamic settling process presumed to exist on Mars. Low-pressure experiments were performed in the MARSWIT facility located at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. Two separate wind tunnel floors were used for these experiments; one provided an aerodynamically smooth-surface flow, and the other was an aerodynamically rough-surface flow. Initial and momentary particle movement was recorded at friction velocities as low as 2 m/s. However, the ``dust'' never reached fluid saltation threshold because individual particles less than 10 μm typically do not saltate, but pass into suspension. An estimated dust flux of 3.7×10-7g/cm2s was determined for a friction velocity of 2 m/s. This flux could suspend about 10,000 metric tons of dust per second over the surface of Mars. The dust behavior on the smooth surface was markedly different than on the rough surface under Martian conditions. Application of the

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Martian dust devils: Laboratory simulations of particle threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-05-01

    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 μm 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 ~65 mbar follow this trend for sand-sized particles. However, smaller particles (i.e., dust) and all particles at very low pressures (~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 ~2 μm in diameter (i.e., Martian dust sizes) are about half those required for entrainment by boundary layer winds on both Earth and Mars.

  8. 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.

  9. Enrichment of Inorganic Martian Dust Simulant with Carbon Component can Provoke Neurotoxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Pastukhov, Artem; Dudarenko, Marina; Borysov, Arsenii; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasia; Borisova, Tatiana

    2017-02-01

    Carbon is the most abundant dust-forming element in the interstellar medium. Tremendous amount of meteorites containing plentiful carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily. National Institute of Health panel accumulates evidences that nano-sized air pollution components may have a significant impact on the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the CNS. Based on above facts, here we present the study, the aims of which were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust simulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds and carbon dots; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded simulant on key characteristics of synaptic neurotransmission; and 3) to compare above effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) and [3H]GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The extracellular level of both neurotransmitters increased in the presence of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues. These effects were associated with action of carbon components of upgraded Martian dust simulant, but not with its inorganic constituent. This fact indicates that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate and GABA homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamate- and GABA-ergic neurotransmission disballansing exitation and inhibition.

  10. Enrichment of Inorganic Martian Dust Simulant with Carbon Component can Provoke Neurotoxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Pastukhov, Artem; Dudarenko, Marina; Borysov, Arsenii; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasia; Borisova, Tatiana

    2017-01-01

    Carbon is the most abundant dust-forming element in the interstellar medium. Tremendous amount of meteorites containing plentiful carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily. National Institute of Health panel accumulates evidences that nano-sized air pollution components may have a significant impact on the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the CNS. Based on above facts, here we present the study, the aims of which were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust simulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds and carbon dots; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded simulant on key characteristics of synaptic neurotransmission; and 3) to compare above effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) and [3H]GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The extracellular level of both neurotransmitters increased in the presence of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues. These effects were associated with action of carbon components of upgraded Martian dust simulant, but not with its inorganic constituent. This fact indicates that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate and GABA homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamate- and GABA-ergic neurotransmission disballansing exitation and inhibition.

  11. [Impact of Martian and Lunar dust simulants on cellular inflammation in human skin wounds ex vivo].

    PubMed

    Ahmadli, G; Schnabel, R; Jokuszies, A; Vogt, P M; Zier, U; Mirastschijski, U

    2014-12-01

    In 2006 NASA published its plans to build a manned lunar station in order to undertake missions to Mars in the future. Thus research projects have been conducted on the influence of Lunar and Martian dust on human health. The present study investigated the effect of Lunar and Martian dust simulants (LDS, MDS) in comparison with earth dust (ED) on viability, migration and inflammatory reaction during wound closure in an ex vivo human skin wound model. 6 mm full-thickness skin explants, with a central 3 mm epidermal wound were cultured with LDS, MDS or ED for 4 and 8 days and compared to wound closure without dust exposure. Tissue and conditioned medium were submitted to histological, immunohistochemical (Ki67, Caspase-3) and biochemical analyses (hydroxyproline assay, zymography, IL-6, TNF-α and TGF-β ELISA). All dusts increased proinflammatory markers with significant increases in MDS-treated samples (IL-6: p<0.05; MMP-9: p<0.005) and reduced MMP-2 (p<0.05) compared to no dust controls over time. No significant differences were found regarding wound closure, proliferation, apoptosis and tissue degradation. Highly oxidative Martian dust may cause increased cutaneous inflammation. As is currently advocated for wounds contaminated with earth dust, surgical wound debridement should be performed to ensure uncompromised wound healing. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  12. 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.

  13. The Role of Spatially-variable Surface Dust in GCM Simulations of the Martian Dust Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. John

    An outstanding problem for simulating the present Mars climate is representing the spatial and temporal variability of aerosols and the feedbacks that connect dust raising and transport with the evolving atmospheric circulation. A particular challenge has been the inability of Mars global circulation models (MGCMs) to realistically simulate interannual variability, most notably in the occurrence of major dust storms. The threshold for dust lifting by resolved surface stresses plays a central role in the current parameterizations of dust lifting used in these simulations. In the results to be presented, the GFDL MGCM is run with fairly typical representations of convective ("dust devils") and wind stress lifting. A new type of negative feedback has been introduced to the model climate system by providing a finite surface dust reservoir and allowing the stress threshold for dust lifting is vary as a function of the surface dust depth. The simulated surface dust typically evolves toward a relatively statistically-stable distribution that reflects the seasonally-integrated effects of stress dust lifting. Dust is preferentially depleted in regions with unusually high stress but surfaces are never stripped clean. Thus the stress lifting scheme continues to allow dust to be raised in these regions, but on a more episodic basis that is dependent on the replenishment by local and remote dust lifting activity. This work provides support for the concept, first proposed in a pair of papers by A. Pankine and A. Ingersoll, that surface/atmosphere dust interactions are able to organize to yield aperiodic global dust storm activity. The influence of an equilibrated finite dust reservoir with a spatially variable surface stress lifting threshold will additionally be illustrated in simulations of the 2001 planet-encircling dust storm.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A Laboratory Scale Vortex Generator for Simulation of Martian Dust Devils.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balme, M.; Greeley, R.; Mickelson, B.; Iversen, J.; Beardmore, G.; Metzger, S.

    2001-12-01

    Martian dust particles are a few microns in diameter. Current Martian ambient wind speeds appear to be insufficient to lift such fine particles and are marginal to entrain even the optimum particles sizes for threshold (100-160mm diameter). Instead, dust devils were suggested as a local source of airborne particles and have been observed on Mars both from orbit and from lander data. Dust devils lift particles through enhanced local wind speeds and by a pressure drop often associated with the vortex which provides `lift'. This study seeks to 1) quantify the relative importance of enhanced wind speed versus pressure drop lift in dust devil entrainment threshold; 2) measure the mass transport potential of dust devils; 3) investigate the effects of surface roughness and topography on dust devil morphology; 4) quantify the overall effects of low atmospheric pressure on the formation, structure and entrainment processes of dust devils. To investigate the particle lifting properties of dust devils, a laboratory vortex generator was fabricated. It consists of a large vertical cylinder (45 and 75cm in diameter) containing a motor-driven rotor comprised of four vertical blades. Beneath the cylinder is a 2.4 by 2.4 m tabletop containing 14 differential pressure transducer ports used to measure the surface pressure structure of the vortex. Both the distance between the cylinder and the tabletop and the height of the blades within the cylinder can be varied. By controlling these variables and the angular velocity of the blades, a wide range of geometries and intensities of atmospheric vortices can be achieved. The apparatus is portable for use both under terrestrial atmospheric conditions and in the NASA-Ames Research Center Mars Surface Wind Tunnel facility to simulate Martian atmospheric conditions. The laboratory simulation is preferable to a numerical model because direct measurements of dust lifting threshold can be made and holds several advantages over terrestrial field

  20. 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.

  1. Martian global dust storms - Zonally symmetric numerical simulations including size-dependent particle transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-02-01

    A zonally symmetric primitive-equation grid-point model of the Martian atmosphere is coupled with an aerosol transport/microphysical model in order to numerically investigate the size-dependent transport of dust particles in the Martian atmosphere. The coupled model accounts for diabatic heating due to a radiatively active evolving dust field, but neglects feedbacks between atmosphere-surface interactions and surface dust lifting. The differing suspension lifetimes of dust particles of various sizes (radius = 1-80 microns), in conjunction with spatially varying atmospheric dynamics, result in latitudinal differences in several measurements of the column integrated particle concentration. This work indicates the importance of considering the full range of particle sizes (and shapes) of the suspended dust during Martian global dust storms and their impact upon the spatial extent and wavelength-dependent radiative influence of such storms.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Dust Mitigation for Martian Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Blakeley Shay

    2011-01-01

    One of the efforts of the In-Situ Resource Utilization project is to extract oxygen, fuel, and water from the Martian air. However, the surface of Mars is covered in a layer of dust, which is uploaded into the atmosphere by dust devils and dust storms. This atmospheric dust would be collected along with the air during the conversion process. Thus, it is essential to extract the dust from the air prior to commencing the conversion. An electrostatic precipitator is a commonly used dust removal technology on earth. Using this technology, dust particles that pass through receive an electrostatic charge by means of a corona discharge. The particles are then driven to a collector in a region of high electric field at the center of the precipitator. Experiments were conducted to develop a precipitator that will function properly in the Martian atmosphere, which has a very low pressure and is made up . of primarily carbon dioxide.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. Mariner-9 based simulation of radiative convective temperature changes in the Martian dust-laden atmosphere-soil system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dannevik, W. P.; Pallmann, A. J.

    1974-01-01

    A numerical simulation of radiative, conductive, and convective heat transfer of the Martian dust-laden atmosphere-soil system is presented with particular emphasis given to heating/cooling in regions of sharp variation in temperature or absorption and its resultant impact on outgoing planetary spectral radiance, as measured by the Mariner 9 IRIS. Thermal coupling between the ground and atmospheric subsystems is modeled by the total heat flux balance at the interface. In the simulation procedure, local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) is assumed, and a combined strong-weak line transmission function permits short- and long-range exchanges of energy from the surface toward space. Direct absorption of insolation in the near-IR bands by both silicate dust and CO2 is incorporated.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Gamma Rays from Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arabshahi, Shahab; Majid, Walid; Dwyer, Joseph; Rassoul, Hamid

    2017-04-01

    Martian dust storms are suggested to be able to generate electric fields close to the breakdown values for Mars' atmosphere, i.e. 25 kV/m [Farrel et al. 2006]. Such electric fields could initiate large electrostatic discharges on Mars [Ruf et al. 2009]. Additionally, similar to terrestrial thunderstorms, they might also be able to produce bright bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. On Earth, thunderstorm electric fields could produce avalanche of energetic electrons from single seed electron, through Møller scattering with air atoms and molecules. The process is called Relativistic Runaway Electron Avalanche (RREA), and can then generate large flux of X-rays and gamma rays through bremsstrahlung scattering. In this presentation, we have used detailed Monte Carlo simulations to study the possibility of producing large flux of energetic photon from a RREA-like mechanism inside Martian dust storms.

  16. Electric Field Generation in Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 Marsin 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 MacroscopicTriboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric ModelingSystem (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.

  17. Electric Field Generation in Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 Marsin 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 MacroscopicTriboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric ModelingSystem (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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Diurnal variation in martian dust devil activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, R. M.; Lewis, S. R.; Balme, M.; Steele, L. J.

    2017-08-01

    We show that the dust devil parameterisation in use in most Mars Global Circulation Models (MGCMs) results in an unexpectedly high level of dust devil activity during morning hours. Prior expectations of the diurnal variation of Martian dust devils are based mainly upon the observed behaviour of terrestrial dust devils: i.e. that the majority occur during the afternoon. We instead find that large areas of the Martian surface experience dust devil activity during the morning in our MGCM, and that many locations experience a peak in dust devil activity before mid-sol. We find that the diurnal variation in dust devil activity is governed by near-surface wind speeds. Within the range of daylight hours, higher wind speeds tend to produce higher levels of dust devil activity, rather than the activity simply being governed by the availability of heat at the planet's surface, which peaks in early afternoon. Evidence for whether the phenomenon we observe is real or an artefact of the parameterisation is inconclusive. We compare our results with surface-based observations of Martian dust devil timings and obtain a good match with the majority of surveys. We do not find a good match with orbital observations, which identify a diurnal distribution more closely matching that of terrestrial dust devils, but orbital observations have limited temporal coverage, biased towards the early afternoon. We propose that the generally accepted description of dust devil behaviour on Mars is incomplete, and that theories of dust devil formation may need to be modified specifically for the Martian environment. Further surveys of dust devil observations are required to support any such modifications. These surveys should include both surface and orbital observations, and the range of observations must encompass the full diurnal period and consider the wider meteorological context surrounding the observations.

  3. Geopolymers from lunar and Martian soil simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexiadis, Alessio; Alberini, Federico; Meyer, Marit E.

    2017-01-01

    This work discusses the geopolymerization of lunar dust simulant JSC LUNAR-1A and Martian dust simulant JSC MARS-1A. The geopolymerization of JSC LUNAR-1A occurs easily and produces a hard, rock-like, material. The geopolymerization of JSC MARS-1A requires milling to reduce the particle size. Tests were carried out to measure, for both JSC LUNAR-1A and JSC MARS-1A geopolymers, the maximum compressive and flexural strengths. In the case of the lunar simulant, these are higher than those of conventional cements. In the case of the Martian simulant, they are close to those of common building bricks.

  4. Seasonal Temperature Pattern Indicating Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-06-09

    This graphic shows Martian atmospheric temperature data related to seasonal patterns in occurrence of large regional dust storms. The data shown here were collected by the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of one-half of a Martian year, during 2012 and 2013. The color coding indicates daytime temperatures of a layer of the atmosphere centered about 16 miles (25 kilometers) above ground level, corresponding to the color-key bar at the bottom of the graphic. Three regional dust storms indicated by increased temperatures are labeled A, B and C. A similar sequence of three large regional dust storms has been seen in atmosphere-temperature data from five other Martian years. The vertical axis is latitude on Mars, from the north pole at the top to south pole at the bottom. Each graphed data point is an average for all Martian longitudes around the planet. The horizontal axis is the time of year, spanning from the beginning of Mars' southern-hemisphere spring (on the left) to the end of southern-hemisphere summer. This is the half of the year when large Martian dust storms are most active. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20746

  5. Instruments for the Analysis of the Martian Dust Aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merrison, J. P.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.; Nørnberg, P.; Rasmussen, K. R.

    2004-04-01

    Dust is a dominant component in the Martian environment, featuring significantly in the atmosphere and covering most of the planets surface. The origin of this dust is of great scientific interest in the study of the Martian climate and its history. It also poses a serious hazard to both instrumentation and biological systems alike. Accurate measurements of the physical nature of the dust, the local wind flow and dust concentration are necessary for modelling the transport of this dust. Using a unique re-circulating Mars simulation wind tunnel a series of miniaturised instruments are being developed which would allow direct, in-situ measurements of a wide variety of physical properties of the Martian aerosol. Specifically three prototype instruments have been constructed and successfully tested, these were a miniature laser anemometer, which determines velocity and suspended dust concentration, an optoelectronics device for quantification of dust deposition and an instrument which collects electrically charged wind-blown dust. These instruments will be presented and the possibility for integration discussed.

  6. The Effect of Dust on the Martian Polar Vortices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce transient vortex warming events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  7. The effect of dust on the martian polar vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-11-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce "transient vortex warming" events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  8. 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.

  9. Regarding Electrified Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W. M.

    2017-06-01

    We examine the dynamic competition between dust devil/storm charging currents and dissipating atmospheric currents. A question: Can high-current lightning be a dissipation product of this competition? Most likely not but there are exceptions.

  10. Diurnal Variation of Martian Dust Opacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, T. Z.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2005-08-01

    Recent MER Spirit rover observations of dust devils crossing the plains of Gusev crater demonstrate the similarity of that Martian desert to terrestrial sites. Near-surface thermal contrast builds during the day and promotes growth of dust- raising vortices. Evidence for corresponding transient thermal behavior has been shown in MER MiniTES profiles. How prevalent is such dust activity? Is the raised dust sufficient to modify the column dust opacity? The answers have implications for mission operations as well as for atmospheric science. We have expanded the scope of diurnal dust monitoring by going back to Viking Orbiter IR Thermal Mapper data, for which highly elliptical orbits gave good diurnal coverage (Martin, T., Icarus 45, p. 427, 1981). We examine the Spirit site and equatorial regions of similar surface character. Dust opacity is inferred from IRTM data by comparing brightness temperature within the 6-8 um range (T7), as continuum, with that in the 8-10 um band (T9), where silicate dust absorption and emission is stronger. During the daytime, when the surface is warmer than overlying dust, the spectral contrast in these two bands allows computation of opacity if a thermal profile is assumed. This research was funded by the JPL Research and Technology development program and carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Martian Dust Toxicity: Should We Believe the Headlines?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, J. T.; Ryder, V. E.; Lam, C. W.; Scully, R. R.; Romoser, A. A.

    2017-06-01

    Martian dust has received significant attention, and with good reason. However, it is important to keep toxicity in proper context, and to avoid overstating crew health risks. Are perchlorates and other stressors really martian show-stoppers?

  14. 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.

  15. Sensitivity of Simulated Martian Atmospheric Temperature to Prescribed Dust Opacity Distribution. Comparisons of Model Results With Reconstructed Data From Past Mars Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natarajan, M.; Dwyer Cianciolo, A. M.; Fairlie, T. D.; Richardson, M. I.; McConnochie, T. H.

    2014-12-01

    Characterization of atmospheric variability is crucial to the design of the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) activities at Mars. The distribution of dust in the Martian atmosphere has a significant impact on the atmospheric structure and variability. Information obtained through reconstruction of EDL data from past missions can be used in studying the performance of a model used in preflight atmospheric characterization for future missions. We use the Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) General Circulation Model to simulate the atmospheric temperature during the landing time periods of Mars Exploration Rovers MER-A and MER-B in 2004. The multi-scale capability of MarsWRF is useful for conducting high- resolution nested simulation centered at the landing site. This version of MarsWRF includes a high spectral accuracy "k-distribution" radiative transfer model. We use the IR dust opacity profile data from the Thermal Emission spectrometer (TES) limb scan data as well as the TES Nadir data to prescribe the dust opacity distribution. Data from MY 26, which corresponds to the year of MER landing, and data from a climatology based on the median of 4 years (MY24 to MY27) of TES data are used. Model temperature profiles are compared with the reconstructions from EDL data and TES observations. Sensitivity of the model simulation to variations in the input opacity data are shown.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.

    2016-12-01

    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 recently deployed detection engine 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.

  19. Dust Assimilation in a Martian Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Tao; Montabone, Luca; Read, Peter; Lewis, Stephen

    2013-04-01

    With spacecraft, including Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), in orbit about Mars in sequence since 1997, there are now measurements of atmospheric temperature and dust extending over nearly 7 Martian years with unprecedented spatial coverage. Although those observations have greatly developed our understanding of the evolution, structure and climate of the Red Planet, the intermittent nature of the measurements still limits our ability to study the full details of the circulation, especially relating to dust activity. A numerical model, on the other hand, can provide continuous simulated data with high temporal and spatial resolutions, but typically fails to produce some significant features of dust storms, as well as their interannual variability. In this context, we make use of data assimilation into a Martian Global Climate Model (MGCM). This approach is able to provide a complete, four-dimensional solution consistent with both observations and with physical constraints and balances represented by the numerical model. The MGCM we use combines a spectral dynamical solver, a tracer transport scheme and dust lifting routines developed in the UK and the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD; Paris, France) Mars GCM physics package, developed in collaboration with Oxford, The Open University and Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Granada, Spain). Previous attempts at data assimilation for Mars have been conducted without explicitly advecting a dust tracer field, mainly because the Mars Global Surveyor/Thermal Emission Spectrometer (MGS/TES) did not provide information on the dust distribution in the vertical direction. The newly-available Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) data, however, provides relatively detailed information in the vertical direction, and accordingly here we describe a new data assimilation scheme with full assimilation of both temperature and dust measurements. The resulting assimilated reanalysis is

  20. Field Measurements of Terrestrial and Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Jim; Steakley, Kathryn; Balme, Matt; Deprez, Gregoire; Esposito, Francesca; Kahanpää, Henrik; Lemmon, Mark; Lorenz, Ralph; Murdoch, Naomi; Neakrase, Lynn; Patel, Manish; Whelley, Patrick

    2016-11-01

    Surface-based measurements of terrestrial and martian dust devils/convective vortices provided from mobile and stationary platforms are discussed. Imaging of terrestrial dust devils has quantified their rotational and vertical wind speeds, translation speeds, dimensions, dust load, and frequency of occurrence. Imaging of martian dust devils has provided translation speeds and constraints on dimensions, but only limited constraints on vertical motion within a vortex. The longer mission durations on Mars afforded by long operating robotic landers and rovers have provided statistical quantification of vortex occurrence (time-of-sol, and recently seasonal) that has until recently not been a primary outcome of more temporally limited terrestrial dust devil measurement campaigns. Terrestrial measurement campaigns have included a more extensive range of measured vortex parameters (pressure, wind, morphology, etc.) than have martian opportunities, with electric field and direct measure of dust abundance not yet obtained on Mars. No martian robotic mission has yet provided contemporaneous high frequency wind and pressure measurements. Comparison of measured terrestrial and martian dust devil characteristics suggests that martian dust devils are larger and possess faster maximum rotational wind speeds, that the absolute magnitude of the pressure deficit within a terrestrial dust devil is an order of magnitude greater than a martian dust devil, and that the time-of-day variation in vortex frequency is similar. Recent terrestrial investigations have demonstrated the presence of diagnostic dust devil signals within seismic and infrasound measurements; an upcoming Mars robotic mission will obtain similar measurement types.

  1. Curiosity Observes Whirlwinds Carrying Martian Dust

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-27

    Dust devils dance in the distance in this frame from a sequence of images taken by the Navigation Camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 12, 2017, during the summer afternoon of the rover's 1,607th Martian day, or sol. Within a broader context view, the rectangular area outlined in black was imaged multiple times over a span of several minutes to check for dust devils. Images from the period with most activity are shown in the inset area. The images are in pairs that were taken about 12 seconds apart, with an interval of about 90 seconds between pairs. Timing is accelerated and not fully proportional in this animation. One dust devil appears at the right edge of the inset -- toward the south from the rover -- in the first few frames. Another appears on the left -- toward south-southeast -- later in the sequence. Contrast has been modified to make frame-to-frame changes easier to see. A black frame is added between repeats of the sequence. Portions of Curiosity are visible in the foreground. The cylindrical UHF (ultra-high frequency) antenna on the left is used for sending data to Mars orbiters, which relay the data to Earth. The angled planes to the right of this antenna are fins of the rover's radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which provides the vehicle's power. The post with a knob on top at right is a low-gain, non-directional antenna that can be used for receiving transmissions from Earth, as backup to the main high-gain antenna (not shown here) used for that purpose. On Mars as on Earth, dust devils are whirlwinds that result from sunshine warming the ground, prompting convective rising of air that has gained heat from the ground. Observations of Martian dust devils provide information about wind directions and interaction between the surface and the atmosphere. An animation is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21482

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. ChemCam analysis of Martian fine dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Mangold, Nicolas; Cousin, Agnes; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Wiens, Roger; Gasnault, Olivier; Rapin, William; Schroder, Susanne; Ollila, Ann; Fabre, Cécile; Berger, Gilles; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Dehouck, Erwin; Forni, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre; Anderson, Ryan; Bridges, Nathan; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Samuel; d'Uston, Claude; Goetz, Walter; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Lanza, Nina; Madsen, Morten; Melikechi, Noureddine; Newsom, Horton; Sautter, Violaine; Martin-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; MSL Science Team

    2016-10-01

    In this work, we examine the chemical composition of dust observed by the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover at Gale Crater. The Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique analyses samples without preparation, which allows detection of the elemental composition of surface deposits. Mars aeolian fine dust (<2-3 microns) composition is analyzed on the first shot of each Mars target. It is reproducible over time and present a composition characteristic of the global martian fine dust, which covers the entire planet and contributes to the local geology analyzed by MSL. Its composition can also be retrieved on the ChemCam Calibration Targets (CCCT) by subtraction of the well characterized CCCT spectra. The CCCT include eight glasses and ceramics that have been generated to simulate Martian rocks of interest and two targets of a single element (graphite for carbon and an alloy of titanium). ChemCam passive spectroscopy also indicates varying deposition of the dust cover on the CCCT.Major elements are quantified and shown to be very similar to the fine soils encountered at Gale crater. The composition is also similar to the soils and fine dust measured by APXS for the elements common to both instruments. The minor elements quantified by ChemCam (Ba, Sr, Rb, Li, Mn, Cr) are within the range of soil surveys, but we see a higher concentration of Li than in other types of remotely characterized targets. Sulfur is possibly detected at the ChemCam limit of detection. Hydrogen is clearly identified, indicating that this fine dust is a contributor to the H content of the martian soils, as also detected by the SAM and CheMin instruments, and provides constraints as to which fraction of the Martian surface is hydrated and altered. In conclusion, the finest fraction of dust particles on the surface of Mars contains hydrated components mixed intimately within the fine aeolian dust fraction, suggesting that this dust likely

  5. 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.

  6. Transport of dust to high northern latitudes in a Martian polar warming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, Jeffrey R.

    1990-01-01

    The transport of dust in the Martian atmosphere into high northern latitudes as a result of a Martian polar-warming (and global-dust-storm) event was investigated using a simplified transport model in conjunction with a beta-plane dynamical model to simulate the transport of dust. Numerical experiments were performed to examine the influence of different warming dynamics and to assess the sensitivity of the transport to the initial dust distribution. Results indicate that substantial amounts of dust could be transported and deposited at high northern latitudes (extending to the pole) in a polar-warming event. The potential for the transport of water was also examined through simulations, with results indicating that large amounts of water could be transported to the north polar region in a warming, on the condition that substantial condensation and precipitation do not take place in the subpolar regions. However, the warmth of the Martian atmosphere during global dust storms makes the latter possible.

  7. Martian surface simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaskell, R. W.

    1992-01-01

    Current scenarios for a Mars landing involve the extensive analysis of the surface near the landing site. Pinpoint landing, for example, requires a detailed mapping of the area from orbit for landmark identification and landing site selection, and the use by the lander of its own imaging data to recognize these landmarks and to guide itself safely to the surface. Hazard avoidance requires sufficient orbital imaging to ensure that safe landing sites exist, with the lander using its sensory data to find one of them. Once on the surface, a rover must be able to avoid or surmount obstacles, travel across surfaces with varying compositions and slopes, and navigate to a desired destination. Computer simulated Martian surfaces are being constructed to aid in the development of these exploration technologies. These surface simulations attempt to mimic the specific geologic episodes that built the surface, such as cratering, lava flows, and aeolian activity. Each episode takes a preexisting surface as a starting point, alters it in some way, and stores the new surface for further processing. This modular construction makes it possible for new processes to be included without altering existing software.

  8. 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.

  9. The Martian dust storms of 1973 - A polarimetric analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dollfus, A.; Bowell, E.; Ebisawa, S.

    1984-05-01

    Telescopic optical polarimetry made it possible to detect very faint residual dust pollution in the Martian atmosphere and to follow the evolution of dust storms. The present investigation is concerned with two events observed in 1973, which were not recorded by any spacecraft or space-borne instrumentation. Attention is given to the 1973-74 Mars polarimetric survey, the determination of the optical depth of the dust layer, the first dust-storm activity from July to September 1973, the second dust-storm from October to December 1973, and the last phase of dust settling. It was found that the Martian atmosphere recovered its transparency by the end of December.

  10. Active Lifting During Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-09

    This false-color scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity documents movement of dust as a regional dust storm approached the rover's location on Feb. 24, 2017, during the 4,653rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. Key to detecting the movement is that Pancam color images are combinations of different images taken a short time apart through different color filters. Note that along the horizon, the left portion of the image has a bluish band (with label and arrow in Figure 1). The component image admitting blue light was taken about 150 seconds after the component image admitting red light. A layer of dust-carrying wind hadn't reached this location by the earlier exposure, but had by the later one. This Sol 4653 Opportunity view is toward the north from the rover's location on the western rim of Endeavour Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21485

  11. How Do Martian Dust Devils Vary Throughout the Sol?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, R.; Lewis, S.; Balme, M. R.; Steele, L.

    2016-12-01

    Dust devils are vortices of air made visible by entrained dust particles. Dust devils have been observed on Earth and captured in many Mars lander and orbiter images. Martian dust devils may be important to the global climate and are parameterised within Mars Global Circulation Models (MGCMs). We show that the dust devil parameterisation in use within most MGCMs results in an unexpectedly high level of dust devil activity during morning hours. In contrast to expectations, based on the observed behaviour of terrestrial dust devils and the diurnal maximum thermal contrast at the surface, we find that large areas of the modelled Martian surface experience dust devil activity during the morning as well as in the afternoon, and that many locations experience a peak in dust devil activity before mid-sol. Using the UK MGCM, we study the amount of surface dust lifted by dust devils throughout the diurnal cycle as a proxy for the level of dust devil activity occurring. We compare the diurnal variation in dust devil activity with the diurnal variation of the variables included in the dust devil parameterisation. We find that the diurnal variation in dust devil activity is strongly modulated by near-surface wind speeds. Within the range of daylight hours, higher wind speeds tend to produce more dust devil activity, rather than the activity simply being governed by the availability of heat at the planet's surface, which peaks in early afternoon. We compare our results with observations of Martian dust devil timings and obtain a good match with the majority of surface-based surveys. We do not find such a good match with orbital observations, but these data tend to be biased in their temporal coverage. We propose that the generally accepted description of dust devil behaviour on Mars is incomplete, and that theories of dust devil formation may need to be modified specifically for the Martian environment. Further dust devil observations are required to support any such

  12. Experimental Results of Fractionation of HDO and H2O with simulated Martian Dust: Implications for the interpretation of past climate on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moores, J. E.; Smith, P.; Brown, R.; Lauretta, D.; Boynton, W.

    2009-05-01

    Climate change on Mars has been greatly debated in recent years. This has been motivated by the results from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Phoenix Lander and ground-based spectroscopic studies which have found mounting evidence that not only may Mars have had a wet and warm past, but those conditions inclement to life may also have been present more recently. On Mars, this is largely a story of water transport and, as on the Earth, isotopic analysis presents a key to understanding and decoding the Martian paleoclimate. For Mars, the major fractionation observed is in HDO, analogous to the Oxygen-18 cycle on Earth, and observations have shown that the D/H ratio of the planet is enriched by a factor of 5 to 6 from comparable terrestrial values. The conventional explanation is that a great deal of water has been lost to space over geologic time. However, previous studies have not taken into account the ability of present-day Mars to fractionate water as it moves from the polar caps to the polar layered deposits through the atmosphere, potentially masking any climate signal which may exist. In this presentation, we shall report on a series of Mars analogue experiments completed at the relevant ranges of pressure and temperature. Two different scenarios were simulated: the sublimation of dusty water ice and the sublimation of clean water ice through a simulated regolith/dust lag. In both cases, we have found that the system is dominated by adsorption of water. However, the simulant dust (JSC-1) appears to be an extremely efficient vehicle for fractionating water at cold temperatures, as different desorption rates have been recorded for HDO and H2O. This, when coupled with the relatively small amount of water exchanging today implies heavy fractionations in the current Mars system without requiring significant water losses to space.

  13. Bacteria under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Young, R S; Deal, P H; Bell, J; Allen, J L

    1964-01-01

    The behavior of organisms in simulated Martian conditions is of great importance to exobiology for two reasons: (1) Because of the extreme environment of Mars, the likelihood of contamination of the planet by earth organisms is considered slight by some scientists. To date, there has been little evidence to contradict this supposition. Such evidence is presented. (2) The selection and adaptation of earth bacteria to Martian conditions is potentially significant in understanding Martian life, if it exists, and may be helpful in designing life-detection techniques and devices. Of course, simulation attempts, based on current knowledge of the Mars environment, may be far from the actual conditions, and extrapolations made from such situations of no real significance. However, generalizations can be made and cautious interpretation of the results of those experiments seems well worth reporting. A new technique for simulation of known parameters of the Martian environment is discussed along with possible biological implications. The response of bacteria to such simulation is demonstrated in terms of survival and growth, showing that certain bacteria will not only survive, but grow during simulated Martian freeze-thaw cycling if water is present. Ways are demonstrated in which water can be present on Mars although not detectable with current technology. Plans for future experimentation are discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. On production of gamma rays and relativistic runaway electron avalanches from Martian dust storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arabshahi, Shahab; Majid, Walid A.; Dwyer, Joseph R.; Rassoul, Hamid K.

    2017-08-01

    Production of runaway electron avalanches and gamma rays originating inside Martian dust storms are studied using Monte Carlo simulations. In the absence of in situ measurements, we use theoretical predictions of electric fields inside dust storms. Electrons are produced through the relativistic runaway electron avalanches process, and energetic photons are results of the bremsstrahlung scattering of the electrons with the air. Characteristic lengths of the runaway electron avalanche for different electric fields and the energy spectrum of electrons are derived and compared to their terrestrial counterparts. It is found that it is possible for Martian dust storms to develop energetic electron avalanches and produce large fluxes of gamma ray photons similar to terrestrial gamma ray flashes from Earth's thunderstorms. The phenomenon could be called Martian gamma ray flash, and due to the very thin atmosphere on Mars, it can be observed by both ground-based instruments or satellites orbiting the planet.

  16. Martian Dust Storm, Nov. 18, 2012

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-21

    This nearly global mosaic of observations from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 18, 2012, shows a dust storm in Mars southern hemisphere. Small white arrows outline the area where dust from the storm is apparent in the atmosphere.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-27

    This image from an animation shows effects of one Martian day of wind blowing sand underneath NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on a non-driving day for the rover. Each image was taken just after sundown by the rover's downward-looking Mars Descent Imager (MARDI). The area of ground shown in the images spans about 3 feet (about 1 meter) left-to-right. The first image was taken on Jan. 23, 2017, during the 1,587th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. Figure 1 above is the image with a scale bar in centimeters. The second was taken on Jan. 24, 2017 (Sol 1588). The day-apart images by MARDI were taken as a part of investigation of wind's effects during Martian summer, the windiest time of year in Gale Crater. An animation is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21143

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Study of clouds and dust aerosols in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen-Chen, H.; Pérez-Hoyos, S.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.

    2017-03-01

    Observation of Mars’ atmosphere has evolved to a state of permanent monitoring of its main components. In this work, we focus on the study of clouds and dust aerosols in the Martian atmosphere by means of spacecraft observations, particularly VMC on-board Mars Express, and surface vehicles, mainly cameras on the MSL rover. Orbiting instrument observations provide a general view of the planet, which allows covering a huge area in a short time. This is very interesting, for example, to study global dust events in Mars. On the other hand, ground-based instruments are better suited to analyse local properties of dust particles from in-situ acquired first hand data.

  4. 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.

  5. Measurements of Martian dust devil winds with HiRISE

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    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. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrison, R. G.; Barth, E.; Esposito, F.; Merrison, J.; Montmessin, F.; Aplin, K. L.; Borlina, C.; Berthelier, J J.; Deprez, G.; Farrell, William M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric transport and suspension of dust frequently brings electrification, which may be substantial. Electric fields of 10 kV m(exp. -1) to 100 kV m(exp. -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(exp. -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.

  12. 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.

    2016-11-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A model of a Martian Great dust storm.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gierasch, P. J.; Goody, R. M.

    1973-01-01

    The great Martian 1971 dust storm is described using Carrier's (1971) model of a terrestrial hurricane with a somewhat modified thermodynamic drive. The model predicts the course of development and the time elapsing in three different phases: growth, maturity, decay. All the predictions correspond reasonably well to the observed phenomena. Explanations are offered for the rarity of the storms and the time of year and location at which they most commonly commence.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Martian dust storm of Sol 1742

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, H. J.

    1985-11-01

    After nearly five earth years on Mars, the Mutch Memorial Station (Viking Lander 1) finally witnessed a local dust storm that eroded trenches, conical piles, and other disturbed surfaces in the sample field and near the Lander. The event, called the Dust Storm of Sol 1742, occurred late in the third winter of Lander observations between Sols 1728 and 1757. Analyses of tiny new wind tails and movement of materials indicate that the eroding winds were variable but northeasterly than those that had previously shaped the surface. Pebbly residues and movement of 4-5 mm clods suggest drag velocities or friction speeds of the winds were about 2.2-4.0 m/s. Wind speeds at the height of the meteorology boom (1.6 m) were probably about 40-50 m/s. Much of the observed erosion could have occurred in a few to several tens of seconds, but somewhat longer times are suggested by analogy with the erosion of terrestrial soils. Most of the erosion occurred where preexisting equilibrium conditions of surface configurations and surface material properties had been altered by the Lander during landing and during surface-sampler activities, but thin layers of bright fine-grained dust were also removed and redistributed. Surfaces where preexisting equilibrium conditions were unaltered appeared to be uneroded.

  19. Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-09

    This frame from a movie clip of hundreds of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a global map of Mars with atmospheric changes from Feb. 18, 2017 through March 6, 2017, a period when two regional-scale dust storms appeared. It combines hundreds of images from the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The date for each map in the series is given at upper left. Dust storms appear as pale tan. In the opening frames, one appears left of center, near the top (north) of the map, then grows in size as it moves south, eventually spreading to about half the width of the map after reaching the southern hemisphere. As the dust from that first storm becomes more diffuse in the south, another storm appears near the center of the map in the final frames. In viewing the movie, it helps to understand some of the artifacts produced by the nature of MARCI images when seen in animation. MARCI acquires images in swaths from pole-to-pole during the dayside portion of each orbit. The camera can cover the entire planet in just over 12 orbits, and takes about one day to accumulate this coverage. The individual swaths for each day are assembled into a false-color, map-projected mosaic for the day. Equally spaced blurry areas that run from south-to-north result from the high off-nadir viewing geometry in those parts of each swath, a product of the spacecraft's low orbit. Portions with sharper-looking details are the central part of an image, viewing more directly downward through less atmosphere than the obliquely viewed portions. MARCI has a 180-degree field of view, and Mars fills about 78 percent of that field of view when the camera is pointed down at the planet. However, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter often is pointed to one side or the other off its orbital track in order to acquire targeted observations by other imaging systems on the spacecraft. When such rolls exceed about 20 degrees, gaps occur in the mosaic of MARCI swaths. Other

  20. Chemical, Mineralogical, and Physical Properties of Martian Dust and Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-01-01

    Global and regional dust storms on Mars have been observed from Earth-based telescopes, Mars orbiters, and surface rovers and landers. Dust storms can be global and regional. Dust is material that is suspended into the atmosphere by winds and has a particle size of 1-3 micrometer. Planetary scientist refer to loose unconsolidated materials at the surface as "soil." The term ''soil'' is used here to denote any loose, unconsolidated material that can be distinguished from rocks, bedrock, or strongly cohesive sediments. No implication for the presence or absence of organic materials or living matter is intended. Soil contains local and regional materials mixed with the globally distributed dust by aeolian processes. Loose, unconsolidated surface materials (dust and soil) may pose challenges for human exploration on Mars. Dust will no doubt adhere to spacesuits, vehicles, habitats, and other surface systems. What will be the impacts on human activity? The objective of this paper is to review the chemical, mineralogical, and physical properties of the martian dust and soil.

  1. Complex refractive index of Martian dust - Wavelength dependence and composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pang, K.; Ajello, J. M.

    1977-01-01

    The size distribution and complex refractive index of Martian dust-cloud particles observed in 1971 with the Mariner 9 UV spectrometer are determined by matching the observed single-scattering albedo and phase function with Mie-scattering calculations for size distributions of spheres. Values of phase function times single-scattering albedo are presented for 12 wavelength intervals in the range from 190 to 350 nm, and best-fit values are obtained for the absorption index. It is found that the absorption index of the dust particles increases with decreasing wavelength from 350 to about 210 nm and then drops off shortward of 210 nm, with a structural shoulder occurring in the absorption spectrum between 240 and 250 nm. A search for a candidate material that can explain the strong UV absorption yields TiO2, whose anatase polymorph has an absorption spectrum matching that of the Martian dust. The TiO2 content of the dust particles is estimated to be a few percent or less.

  2. Investigations of the variability of dust particle sizes in the martian atmosphere using the NASA Ames General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Haberle, Robert M.; Murphy, James R.

    2008-06-01

    We present a Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) numerical investigation of the physical processes (i.e., wind stress and dust devil dust lifting and atmospheric transport) responsible for temporal and spatial variability of suspended dust particle sizes. Measurements of spatial and temporal variations in airborne dust particles sizes in the martian atmosphere have been derived from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectral and emission phase function data [Wolff, M.J., Clancy, R.T., 2003. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 108 (E9), doi:10.1029/2003JE002057. 1-1; Clancy, R.T., Wolff, M.J., Christensen, P.R., 2003. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 108 (E9), doi:10.1029/2003JE002058. 2-1]. The range of dust particle sizes simulated by the NASA Ames GCM is qualitatively consistent with TES-derived observations of effective dust particle size variability. Model results suggest that the wind stress dust lifting scheme (which produces regionally confined dust lifting) is the process responsible for the majority of the dust particle size variability in the martian atmosphere. Additionally, model results suggest that atmospheric transport processes play an important role in the evolution of atmospheric dust particles sizes during substantial dust storms on Mars. Finally, we show that including the radiative effects of a spatially variable particle size distribution significantly influences thermal and dynamical fields during the dissipation phase of the simulated global dust storm.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Light scattering by the Martian dust analog, palagonite, modeled with ellipsoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merikallio, Sini; Nousiainen, Timo; Kahnert, Michael; Harri, Ari-Matti

    2013-07-01

    We have investigated the suitability of the ellipsoidal model particles to mimic scattering by Martian dust particles by comparing simulations against laboratory data for palagonite, a Mars analog sample. By optimizing the shape distribution of ellipsoids, a very good match with a laboratory-measured scattering matrix was obtained. Even an equiprobable distribution of ellipsoids performed well. The asymmetry parameter and single-scattering albedo were found to depend on the assumed shape distribution as much as on the typical uncertainties associated with refractive indices and size, suggesting that shape is an important parameter that potentially influences remote retrievals of dust particle properties.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Lifting particles in martian dust devils by pressure excursions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koester, Marc; Wurm, Gerhard

    2017-10-01

    The passage of a dust devil vortex goes along with a pressure reduction above ground. This leads to a sub-soil overpressure. It has been suggested that this enhances the lift on particles and facilitates dust entrainment by dust devils. We quantify the necessary pressure difference to lift fine sand from sand beds with thickness of 50, 150, and 250 mm in laboratory experiments with basalt samples consisting of 63-125 μm grains. The absolute pressure was varied between 1,300 and 3,600 Pa. In general, a pressure differences of about 30 Pa per mm depth is needed to lift sand grains. With slight systematic variations this is in agreement to simply accounting for the weight of a lifted particle layer. On Mars observed absolute pressure difference are several Pa. This limits particle lift to a layer smaller than 100 μm . However, it clearly allows Δp lifting if the top layer has a decreased permeability. This might be the case for dust layers sitting on top of a coarse grained sand bed. These measurements support the idea of enhanced dust entrainment due to the Δp -effect in Martian dust devils under certain conditions.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Three Faces of Martian Dust: Dust for Cover, Dust to Breathe, and Dust Everywhere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spry, J. A.; Rummel, J. D.; Race, M. S.; Conley, C. A.

    2017-06-01

    While detailed approaches are mature for robotic missions, only guidelines are available for how planetary protection might be implemented on human missions. More dust-related data is needed before adequate mitigations can be identified and deployed.

  16. Large-Eddy Simulations of Dust Devils and Convective Vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Barth, Erika; Gu, Zhaolin; Hoffmann, Fabian; Ito, Junshi; Jemmett-Smith, Bradley; Klose, Martina; Nishizawa, Seiya; Raasch, Siegfried; Rafkin, Scot; Takemi, Tetsuya; Tyler, Daniel; Wei, Wei

    2016-11-01

    In this review, we address the use of numerical computations called Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) to study dust devils, and the more general class of atmospheric phenomena they belong to (convective vortices). We describe the main elements of the LES methodology. We review the properties, statistics, and variability of dust devils and convective vortices resolved by LES in both terrestrial and Martian environments. The current challenges faced by modelers using LES for dust devils are also discussed in detail.

  17. 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.

  18. The H 2O and CO 2 adsorption properties of phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic dust and smectites under martian environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, Jochen; Morris, Richard V.; Bish, David L.; Janssen, Mareike; Hellwig, Udo

    2009-04-01

    The recent detection of up to ˜10 wt% water-equivalent H heterogeneously distributed in the upper meter of the equatorial regions of the martian surface and the presence of the 3-μm hydrations feature across the entire planet raises the question whether martian surficial dust can account for this water-equivalent H. We have investigated the H 2O and CO 2 adsorption properties of palagonitic dust (<5 μm size fraction of phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic tephra HWMK919) as a martian dust analog and two smectites under simulated martian equatorial surface conditions. Our results show that the palagonitic dust, which contains hydrated and hydroxylated volcanic glass of basaltic composition, accommodates significantly more H 2O under comparable humidity and temperature conditions than do the smectites nontronite and montmorillonite.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of atmospheric dust loading on martian albedo measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinzi, Angelo; Palomba, Ernesto; Rinaldi, Giovanna; D'Amore, Mario

    2010-08-01

    This work is devoted to the analysis of the variation of albedo measured by orbiting instruments with atmospheric opacity on Mars. The study has been conduced by analysing Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (MGS-TES) data from martian regions with different surface albedo. In support of these data, synthetic spectra with different surface albedo and atmospheric opacities have been computed, so that a comparison has been performed. The synthetic spectra have been retrieved by using two different grain sizes for suspended dust (0.5 and 1.2 μm), allowing a comparison between the two models and the observations. Using the DCI, a parameter describing the quantity of dust deposited on the surface, the effectiveness of the single scattering approximation has been tested for low atmospheric opacity by analysing the quality of the linear fit up to different atmospheric opacity. For more opaque conditions two kinds of fits have been applied to the data, linear and second-order degree polynomial. In this case, we found that the polynomial fit better describes the observations. The analysis of these data made it possible to notice a peculiar trend, already reported by Christensen (1988), of the albedo over Syrtis Major after the occurrence of dust storms, but, differently from that work, now the study of DCI together with atmospheric opacity and albedo allowed us to robustly confirm the hypothesis made by Christensen. Finally, the comparison between observations and synthetic spectra computed with models with different particles grain sizes indicates that dust particles of 0.5 μm diameter are the most effective to change the aerosol atmospheric opacity on Mars.

  4. Martian dust devil electron avalanche process and associated electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Electrostatic precipitation of dust in the Martian atmosphere: Implications for the utilization of resources during future manned exploration missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calle, C. I.; Thompson, S. M.; Cox, N. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Williams, B. S.; Hogue, M. D.; Clements, J. S.

    2011-12-01

    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 charge, precipitate and collect 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 transitions to a glow/streamer discharge, 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Summary of Martian Dust Filtering Challenges and Current Filter Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Hara, William J., IV

    2017-01-01

    Traditional air particulate filtering in manned spaceflight (Apollo, Shuttle, ISS, etc.) has used cleanable or replaceable catch filters such as screens and High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters. However, the human mission to Mars architecture will require a new approach. It is Martian dust that is the particulate of concern but the need also applies to particulates generated by crew. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) high-lighted this concern in its Mars Science, Goals, Objectives, Investigations and Priorities document [7], by saying specifically that one high priority investigation will be to "Test ISRU atmospheric processing systems to measure resilience with respect to dust and other environmental challenge performance parameters that are critical to the design of a full-scale system." By stating this as high priority the MEPAG is acknowledging that developing and adequately verifying this capability is critical to success of a human mission to Mars. This architecture will require filtering capabilities that are highly reliable, will not restrict the flow path with clogging, and require little to no maintenance. This paper will summarize why this is the case, the general requirements for developing the technology, and the status of the progress made in this area.

  11. 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.

  12. Laboratory simulation of Martian atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, M. K. D.; Lewis, S. R.; Mason, N. J.; Patel, M. R.

    2012-09-01

    Measurements of the yield of important trace gas species such as ozone, evolved during photolytic reactions have been made under Martian environmental conditions in one of the The Open University's Mars simulation chambers. The simulation chamber can mimic Martian temperatures and pressures and a UV solar simulator can be added to irradiate a Marslike gas mixture within the chamber to drive chemical reactions. The concentration of trace gases is measured in situ using a Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR). The data obtained will be invaluable in improving the qualitative and quantitative representation of chemical species calculated using Mars global circulation models (MGCMs) and in interpreting a new suite of observational data such as from ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

  13. 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

  14. Martian Dust and Its Interaction with Human Physiology: An Emergency Physician's Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sim, P. A.

    2017-06-01

    Martian dust has known physical and chemical characteristics which portend adverse effects when humans are exposed. An emergency physician briefly summarizes the potentially harmful components and offers some mitigating and treatment measures.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The H2O Sorption Properties of a Martian Dust Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Morris, R. V.; Bish, D. L.; Hellwig, U.

    2009-03-01

    Palagonitic dust is a geologically reasonable hydrated phase on the surface of Mars. Its presence as dust may account for the presence of the 3 μm absorption band as seen by OMEGA and CRISM at the martian surface for the entire planet.

  20. 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

  1. Microscopy of Analogs for Martian Dust and Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, M. A.; Pike, W. T.; Weitz, C. M.

    1999-01-01

    The upcoming Mars 2001 lander will carry an atomic force microscope (AFM) as part of the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) payload. By operating in a tapping mode, the AFM is capable of sub-nanometer resolution in three dimensions and can distinguish between substances of different compositions by employing phase-contrast imaging. Phase imaging is an extension of tapping-mode AFM that provides nanometer-scale information about surface composition not revealed in the topography. Phase imaging maps the phase of the cantilever oscillation during the tapping mode scan, hence detecting variations in composition, adhesion, friction, and viscoelasticity. Because phase imaging highlights edges and is not affected by large-scale height differences, it provides for clearer observation of fine features, such as grain edges, which can be obscured by rough topography. To prepare for the Mars 01 mission, we are testing the AFM on a lunar soil and terrestrial basaltic glasses to determine the AFMOs ability to define particle shapes and sizes and grain-surface textures. The test materials include the Apollo 17 soil 79221, which is a mixture of agglutinates, impact and volcanic beads, and mare and highland rock and mineral fragments. The majority of the lunar soil particles are less than 100 microns in size, comparable to the sizes estimated for Martian dust. The terrestrial samples are millimeter size basaltic glasses collected on Black Pointe at Mono Lake, just north of the Long Valley caldera in California. The basaltic glass formed by a phreatomagmatic eruption 13,000 years ago beneath a glacier that covered the Mono Lake region. Because basaltic glass formed by reworking of pyroclastic deposits may represent a likely source for Martian dunes, these basaltic glass samples represent plausible analogs to the types of particles that may be studied in sand dunes by the 01 lander and rover. We have used the AFM to examine several different soil particles at various

  2. Effects of Martian dust storms on ionization profiles and surface dose rates from cosmic rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    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 impingent on Mars. To model the effect of dust storms on the Martian ionization profile, the Badhwar-O'Neill cosmic ray spectrum model has been adapted to Mars and used as an input in the 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 solar maximum and solar minimum conditions during both dust storms and quiet times are reported. The contribution of heavy ions and secondary particles to the ionization profile are also reported. Dose rates at the surface due to cosmic radiation are shown to not vary significantly due to the dust storms.

  3. 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.

  4. 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°.

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of Angular Shapes on Optical properties of Martian Dust and Ice grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarnato, B. V.; Colaprete, A.; Iraci, L. T.

    2012-12-01

    Dust, ice clouds and their interaction are now recognized as playing important roles in atmospheric thermal heating, in driving atmospheric dynamics and therefore in affecting martian climate and weather. However, simulation results depend strongly on dust and cloud optical properties, which depend on assumptions made on particle size, shape, number and composition (e.g. ice impurities). In radiative transfer calculations which are used to interpret space or ground-based observations of Mars, various assumptions are made regarding the aerosol optical properties; it is common to approximate aerosol shape to homogeneous spherical particles. The optical properties of spherical particles can, however, differ significantly from those of irregularly shaped particles, even if their composition and/or size distribution is the same. Therefore, assuming spherical instead of irregularly shaped angular particles in radiative transfer calculations can lead to significant errors in climate modeling and in retrieved atmospheric parameters, such as the aerosol type, optical thickness and particle size distributions. For irregularly shaped particles, which are very common in nature, the optical properties can be calculated with numerical methods such as the Discrete Dipole Approximation (DDA) method. We present a sensitivity study of the effect of angular shapes on optical properties of suspended dust aerosol and water ice particles (type 1 and 2) with and without a dust inclusion. We assess a plausible range of variability of the optical properties (e.g., mass extinction, scattering and absorption coefficients, single scattering albedo, phase function and polarization) over an extended spectral range, between 200 nm and 50 microns. Optical properties of dust and water ice grains with different angular shapes are also compared with more commonly used shapes like spheres, spheres with a concentric spherical inclusion (core-shell) and spheroids.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Experimental Simulations to Understand the Lunar and Martian Surficial Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y. Y. S.; Li, X.; Tang, H.; Li, Y.; Zeng, X.; Chang, R.; Li, S.; Zhang, S.; Jin, H.; Mo, B.; Li, R.; Yu, W.; Wang, S.

    2016-12-01

    In support with China's Lunar and Mars exploration programs and beyond, our center is dedicated to understand the surficial processes and environments of planetary bodies. Over the latest several years, we design, build and optimize experimental simulation facilities and utilize them to test hypotheses and evaluate affecting mechanisms under controlled conditions particularly relevant to the Moon and Mars. Among the fundamental questions to address, we emphasize on five major areas: (1) Micrometeorites bombardment simulation to evaluate the formation mechanisms of np-Fe0 which was found in lunar samples and the possible sources of Fe. (2) Solar wind implantation simulation to evaluate the alteration/amorphization/OH or H2O formation on the surface of target minerals or rocks. (3) Dusts mobility characteristics on the Moon and other planetary bodies by excitation different types of dust particles and measuring their movements. (4) Mars basaltic soil simulant development (e.g., Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1)) and applications for scientific/engineering experiments. (5) Halogens (Cl and Br) and life essential elements (C, H, O, N, P, and S) distribution and speciation on Mars during surficial processes such as sedimentary- and photochemical- related processes. Depending on the variables of interest, the simulation systems provide flexibility to vary source of energy, temperature, pressure, and ambient gas composition in the reaction chambers. Also, simulation products can be observed or analyzed in-situ by various analyzer components inside the chamber, without interrupting the experimental conditions. In addition, behavior of elements and isotopes during certain surficial processes (e.g., evaporation, dissolution, etc.) can be theoretically predicted by our theoretical geochemistry group with thermodynamics-kinetics calculation and modeling, which supports experiment design and result interpretation.

  10. 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.

  11. Determination of Net Martian Polar Dust Flux from MGS-TES Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blackmon, M. A.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Using atmospheric dust abundance and atmospheric temperature observation data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), the net flux of dust into and out of the Martian polar regions will be examined. Mars polar regions possess layered terrain , believed to be comprised of a mixture of ice and dust, with the different layers possibly representing different past climate regimes. These changes in climate may reflect changes in the deposition of dust and volatiles through impacts, volcanism, changes in resources of ice and dust, and response to Milankovitch type cycles (changes in eccentricity of orbit, obliquity and precession of axis). Understanding how rapidly such layers can be generated is an important element to understanding Mars climate history. This study uses the observed vertical temperature data and dust content measurements from TES to analyze the sign (gain or loss) of dust at high latitudes.

  12. Development of a detailed microphysical model for Martian dust and ice clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daerden, F.; Verhoeven, C.; Larsen, N.; Mateshvili, N.; Fussen, D.; Akingunola, D.; McConell, J. C.; Kaminski, J. W.

    2007-08-01

    Although water vapor is a minor constituent in the composition of the Martian atmosphere, water ice clouds have been observed for more than thirty years. They seem to play an important role in the atmospheric transport of water and dust. A careful and detailed modeling study of these clouds is therefore important to better understand the Martian climate. Marsbox is a new microphysical boxmodel for the dust and water ice clouds on Mars. This model has been adapted from PSCbox, a detailed model for polar stratospheric clouds in the Earth's atmosphere which has been developed at the Danish Meteorological Institute [1, 2]. Marsbox takes into account the following processes: • heterogeneous nucleation of ice particles by water vapor deposition on dust particles, • condensation and evaporation of water vapor to and from the ice particles, causing growth and shrinking of the particles, • gravitational sedimentation of the cloud particles, • eddy diffusion, which describes the vertical mixing of the cloud particles and the water vapor. Each particle type is described by a binned size distribution for the number density and composition. The model calculates the evolution in time of these size distributions, of the mixing ratio of water vapor, and of the mass of condensed water. The model uses the ambient air temperature and pressure and the partial pressure of water vapor as input. The initial size distribution of the cloud particles is assumed to follow a lognormal distribution. The model has a variable internal timestep because the microphysical processes may require computational timescales much smaller than the driver's timestep. We present the first simulations with this new model using input fields from GEMMars (or GM3), a recently developed global circulations model (GCM) for the Martian atmosphere which has been developed at York University, Toronto, Canada [3]. These first results will be compared to cloud retrievals from the SPICAM instrument on Mars

  13. Chamber for Simulating Martian and Terrestrial Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2009-01-01

    An apparatus for simulating the environment at the surface of Mars has been developed. Within the apparatus, the pressure, gas composition, and temperature of the atmosphere; the incident solar visible and ultraviolet (UV) light; and the attenuation of the light by dust in the atmosphere can be simulated accurately for any latitude, season, or obliquity cycle over the entire geological history of Mars. The apparatus also incorporates instrumentation for monitoring chemical reactions in the simulated atmosphere. The apparatus can be used for experiments in astrobiology, geochemistry, aerobiology, and aerochemistry related to envisioned robotic and human exploration of Mars. Moreover, the apparatus can be easily adapted to enable similar experimentation under environmental conditions of (1) the surfaces of moons, asteroids, and comets, and (2) the upper atmospheres of planets other than Mars: in particular, it can be made to simulate conditions anywhere in the terrestrial atmosphere at altitudes up to about 100 km.

  14. 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.

  15. Organic degradation under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Stoker, C R; Bullock, M A

    1997-05-25

    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 angstroms was measured to be 1.46 +/- 1.0 x 10(-6) molecules/photon. Scaled to Mars, this represents an organic destruction rate of 2.24 +/- 1.2 x 10(-4) g of C m-2 yr-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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ice Melting by Radiantly Heated Dust Grains on the Martian Northern Pole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, A.; Czechowski, L.; Velbel, M. A.

    2014-09-01

    We present results of the numerical modeling of melting of ice within the martian northern ice cap as a result of radiant heating of a single dust grain exposed within the south-facing side of the spiral trench. Ice can be melted.

  18. 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.

  19. The Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche: Laboratory Measurements of the E-Field Fortifying Effects of Dust-Electron Absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, W. M.; McLain, J. L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.

    2017-01-01

    Analogous to terrestrial dust devils, charged dust in Mars dust devils should become vertically stratified in the convective features, creating large scale E-fields. This E-field in a Martian-like atmosphere has been shown to stimulate the development of a Townsend discharge (electron avalanche) that acts to dissipate charge in regions where charge build-up occurs. While the stratification of the charged dust is a source of the electrical energy, the uncharged particulates in the dust population may absorb a portion of these avalanching electrons, thereby inhibiting dissipation and leading to the development of anomalously large E-field values. We performed a laboratory study that does indeed show the presence of enhanced E-field strengths between an anode and cathode when dust-absorbing filaments (acting as particulates) are placed in the avalanching electron flow. Further, the E-field threshold condition to create an impulsive spark discharge increases to larger values as more filaments are placed between the anode and cathode. We conclude that the spatially separated charged dust creates the charge centers and E-fields in a dust devil, but the under-charged portion of the population acts to reduce Townsend electron dissipation currents, further fortifying the development of larger-than-expected E-fields.

  20. The opacity of some local Martian dust storms observed by the Viking IRTM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, G. E.; Mitchell, E. A.; Peterfreund, A. R.

    1980-03-01

    In this paper some Viking infrared thermal mapping (IRTM) measurements of local Martian dust storms observed in the southern tropical region of the planet between solar longitudes of 225 and 262 deg are analyzed. The derived opacities of these storms show that in the most opaque regions of the cloud, the optical thickness may be approximately 6. Away from the individual clouds, the opacity is approximately 2, which is still about four times the background level of dustiness in the Martian atmosphere. Considerable structure in the derived opacity is found which will create corresponding variations in the atmospheric heating, which in turn may have an important feedback upon the local winds.

  1. Thermal Emission Spectra of Altered Tephras and Constraints on the Composition of Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, Victoria E.; Morris, Richard V.

    2003-01-01

    We have begun to create a comprehensive set of thermal infrared (TIR, approx. 1650-200/cm, approx. 6-50 microns) spectra of palagonitic and hydrothermally altered soils that exhibit a range of mineralogical and chemical compositions for use in analyzing MGS TES data. Palagonite, a phyllosilicate-poor hydrolytically altered tephra, has been suggested as a possible component of the martian soil/dust based on visible and near infrared (VNIR) spectral similarities with martian dusty regions. The chemistry and crystallinity of altered tephras are highly variable depending on the parent material and local environmental conditions, and are important indicators of alteration processes.

  2. 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.

  3. Summary of Martian Dust Filtering Challenges and Current Filter Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Hara, W. J.

    2017-06-01

    Precursor and manned mission ISRU systems, habitat and rover ECLS systems, and airlock systems will include dust filtering in their design. This paper summarizes the challenges of filter development, and the status of the progress made in this area.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Simulation of the atmospheric thermal circulation of a martian volcano using a mesoscale numerical model.

    PubMed

    Rafkin, Scot C R; Sta Maria, Magdalena R V; Michaels, Timothy I

    2002-10-17

    Mesoscale (<100 km) atmospheric phenomena are ubiquitous on Mars, as revealed by Mars Orbiter Camera images. Numerical models provide an important means of investigating martian atmospheric dynamics, for which data availability is limited. But the resolution of general circulation models, which are traditionally used for such research, is not sufficient to resolve mesoscale phenomena. To provide better understanding of these relatively small-scale phenomena, mesoscale models have recently been introduced. Here we simulate the mesoscale spiral dust cloud observed over the caldera of the volcano Arsia Mons by using the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modelling System. Our simulation uses a hierarchy of nested models with grid sizes ranging from 240 km to 3 km, and reveals that the dust cloud is an indicator of a greater but optically thin thermal circulation that reaches heights of up to 30 km, and transports dust horizontally over thousands of kilometres.

  12. Interannual perturbations of the Martian surface heat flow by atmospheric dust opacity variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plesa, A.-C.; Grott, M.; Lemmon, M. T.; Müller, N.; Piqueux, S.; Siegler, M. A.; Smrekar, S. E.; Spohn, T.

    2016-10-01

    The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission will perform the first Martian in situ heat flow measurement by deploying the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) onto the Martian surface. In order to estimate the heat flow coming from the planetary interior, HP3 will measure the local subsurface thermal gradient as well as the local thermal conductivity to a depth of up to 5 m. From these measurements, local heat flow can be determined, but this will in general differ from the heat flow emanating from the planetary interior due to atmosphere-induced perturbations. Here we quantify heat flow perturbation induced by dust loading of the Martian atmosphere using dust opacity data obtained by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Dust opacity data span the time period between Mars year (MY) 27 and MY 32, thus incorporating the global dust storm event of MY 28 as a signal. We consider two end-member cases for the regolith thermal conductivity and find that the background planetary heat flow is superposed by atmosphere-induced perturbations of less than 1.5 mW m-2 at depths below 2 m if regolith thermal conductivity is low and around 0.025 W m-1 K-1 on average. If thermal conductivity is high and around 0.05 W m-1 K-1 on average, perturbations are less than 2.5 mW m-2 at depths below 3 m. Overall, the influence of interannual variability on subsurface heat flow is found to be moderate following a global dust storm. Considerably smaller perturbations are introduced by regional dust storms, which are of shorter duration and smaller magnitude.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The apparatus "Photostat-I" for simulating Martian environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Zaar, E I; Zelikson, V G; Kitaigorodsky, M G; Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Koshelev, G V; Rybin, M A

    1970-01-01

    One of the main tasks of exobiology is to determine conditions required for life on different planets of our solar system. At present, experimental ecological methods permitting the study of responses of living systems to extreme influences and, in particular, to simulated environmental Martian conditions, are widely used. To study the reaction of Earth organisms, special chambers and mechanisms are used which allow the modelling of conditions different from ours, mainly Martian. Existing devices capable of simulating the Martian environment. Our apparatus "Photostat-I" permits the simulation of pressure and visible light illumination (up to 60,000 lux), the irradiation of biological objectives in UV light (220-400 nm) and the production of a daily temperature cycle typical of Mars with a high degree of accuracy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. 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.

  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. Simulating Meteor Shower Observations In The Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAuliffe, J. P.; Christou, A. A.

    2005-08-01

    It is known that fast meteoroids entering the martian atmosphere give rise to bright, detectable meteors (Adolfsson et al, Icarus 119, 144, 1996). Although single meteors have already been detected at Mars (Selsis et al., Nature 435, 581, 2005), the characterisation of the martian meteor year will require a large number of detections. Experience at the Earth suggests that data storage and bandwidth resources to conduct such surveys will be substantial, and may be prohibitive. In an attempt to quantify the problem in detail, we have simulated meteor shower detection in the martian and terrestrial atmospheres. For a given shower, we assume a meteoroid stream flux, size distribution and velocity based on current knowledge of Earth streams as well as the proximity of certain comets' orbits to that of Mars. A numerical code is used to simulate meteoroid ablation in a model martian and terrestrial atmosphere. Finally, using the same baseline detector characteristics (limiting magnitude, sky coverage) we generate detection statistics for the two planets. We will present results for different types of showers, including strong annual activity and episodic outbursts from Halley-type and Jupiter family comets. We will show how detection efficiency at Mars compares to the Earth for these showers and discuss optimum strategies for monitoring the martian atmosphere for meteor activity. Astronomy research at Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. Experimental simulation of early Martian volcanic lightning.

    PubMed

    Segura, A; Navarro-Gonzalez, R

    2001-01-01

    A mixture of possible Martian volcanic gases were reproduced and irradiated by a high-energy infrared laser to reproduce the effects of lightning on the production of prebiotic molecules. The analysis of products were performed by a gas chromatograph interfaced in parallel with a FTIR-detector and a quadrupole mass spectrometer equipped with an electron impact and chemical ionization modes. The main products identified were hydrocarbons and an uncharacterized yellow film deposit. Preliminary results indicate the presence of hydrogen cyanide among the resultant compounds.

  11. The Simulation of Transient Eddies and Frontal Systems in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J.; Wang, H.; Smith, M. D.; Hinson, D. P.

    2005-05-01

    The initiation and evolution of a number of regional scale dust storms has been documented in detail with MOC imagery and with TES temperature and dust opacity observations. These storms are evidently associated with traveling waves embedded in the strong westerly jet that is present in the northern hemisphere in the fall, winter and spring seasons. The most prominent storms occurred in the low topography regions (Acidalia, Arcadia and Utopia) within two seasonal windows (Ls=200-240 and Ls =305-340) before and after northern winter solstice. In particular, a large regional storm was observed in early December 2003 (Ls=309). This storm originated in the northern hemisphere and moved southward to the equator in the longitude sector east of Tharsis in the same fashion as storms in preceding years. Upon reaching low latitudes, this dust storm rapidly intensified and spread, yielding the highest dust optical depths at low to mid southern latitudes. It appears that these flushing storms are present in most Mars years and significantly contribute to the seasonally-varying envelope of background dust opacity and global mean temperature. We will present a study of the climatology of traveling baroclinic wave behavior present in annual cycle simulations of the martian atmosphere using the GFDL Mars general circulation model (MGCM). In general, we find that zonal waves 2 and 3 are favored in the NH fall and late winter seasons, as observed, and that these waves are modulated by topography to favor storm development in the low elevation regions. We will also show high-resolution simulations with surface stress dependent interactive dust lifting that provide insight into the storm intensification stage as dust is transported southward in these basins. The inclusion of predicted water ice clouds provides an additional means of comparing the simulated circulations with observed dust and water ice cloud morphologies.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Oxidant Enhancement in Martian Dust Devils and Storms: Implications for Life and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atreya, Sushil K.; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Sentman, David 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Retrieval of Martian dust properties by surface observations and radiative transfer models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemppinen, O.; Merikallio, S.; Crisp, D.; Harri, A.

    2013-12-01

    We present the investigations of the properties of Martian dust based on observed changes in atmospheric opacity and surface temperature by using fast and accurate radiative transfer models. We utilize large amounts of atmospheric data, such as the data from Viking Landers recently re-processed by Finnish Meteorological Institute, and select periods of time when there are sudden changes in the observed atmospheric opacity. Then, we will automatically fine-tune the dust and other optical parameters in a radiative transfer model and other models to reproduce the observed effect in the atmospheric temperature. This will result in a large number of required computations, which dictates that the models need to be computationally fast, while also being accurate and flexible. Due to these restrictions, we will be using the SMART model developed by Dr. David Crisp. As is usual for inverse problems with several free parameters, there will likely be an infinite number of possible solutions. We hope to limit the valid solution space by using a large amount of separate instances of opacity changes. We will also utilize a priori information based on the current knowledge of Martian dust to achieve additional accuracy on top of the purely computational approach.

  17. 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.

  18. Response of microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment.

    PubMed

    Hawrylewicz, E J; Hagen, C A; Ehrlich, R

    1965-01-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether terrestrial microorganisms can survive in a simulated Martian environment. The ultimate objective is to establish whether earth organisms can contaminate Mars. In addition, any demonstration of survival and growth in a simulated Martian environment will provide information relating to the biology of Mars. In the experimental design, exhaustive consideration was given to the duplication of the known and the theoretical environmental parameters of Mars. These included composition of the soil and the atmosphere, barometric pressure, moisture content, solar radiation, and diurnal temperature extremes. Based upon these considerations, a simulated Martian summer environment was defined and used in the experiments. One group of microorganisms was selected from culture collections on the basis of their known characteristics. The other group was made of microorganisms isolated from soils. The soil samples were obtained from the Antarctic, from New Mexico, and California deserts, and from the Colorado tundra. The studies showed that a number of microorganisms can survive the simulated Martian environment. However, no substantial growth under such conditions could be demonstrated. The ability of microorganisms to form spores as a mechanism for survival will be discussed. Also, experiments utilizing augmented environments to establish minimum environmental conditions which will permit growth will be described.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Schwartzkopf, S H; Mancinelli, R 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.

  2. Retrieving cloud, dust and ozone abundances in the Martian atmosphere using SPICAM/UV nadir spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willame, Y.; Vandaele, A. C.; Depiesse, C.; Lefèvre, F.; Letocart, V.; Gillotay, D.; Montmessin, F.

    2017-08-01

    We present the retrieval algorithm developed to analyse nadir spectra from SPICAM/UV aboard Mars-Express. The purpose is to retrieve simultaneously several parameters of the Martian atmosphere and surface: the dust optical depth, the ozone total column, the cloud opacity and the surface albedo. The retrieval code couples the use of an existing complete radiative transfer code, an inversion method and a cloud detection algorithm. We describe the working principle of our algorithm and the parametrisation used to model the required absorption, scattering and reflection processes of the solar UV radiation that occur in the Martian atmosphere and at its surface. The retrieval method has been applied on 4 Martian years of SPICAM/UV data to obtain climatologies of the different quantities under investigation. An overview of the climatology is given for each species showing their seasonal and spatial distributions. The results show a good qualitative agreement with previous observations. Quantitative comparisons of the retrieved dust optical depths indicate generally larger values than previous studies. Possible shortcomings in the dust modelling (altitude profile) have been identified and may be part of the reason for this difference. The ozone results are found to be influenced by the presence of clouds. Preliminary quantitative comparisons show that our retrieved ozone columns are consistent with other results when no ice clouds are present, and are larger for the cases with clouds at high latitude. Sensitivity tests have also been performed showing that the use of other a priori assumptions such as the altitude distribution or some scattering properties can have an important impact on the retrieval.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Simulations of Mineral Dust Content With CHIMERE-Dust Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmechtig, C.; Marticorena, B.; Menut, L.; Bergametti, G.

    2006-12-01

    Simulations of the mineral dust cycle have been performed whith CHIMERE-Dust model over a domain that includes North Africa, the Mediterranean basin and the North Tropical Atlantic Ocean (10S-60N and 90W-90E) with a 1°x1° resolution using the ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) meteorological fields for two years, 2000 and 2001. As a validation, we compare the simulated dust concentration fields with photometric data from the AERONET network. From the comparisons between the simulated and measured aerosol optical depth for several stations of the Mediterranean basin, the model appears to reproduce correctly the intensity and occurrences of the dust events. Over Western Africa, the results are not as satisfying since some of the most intense dust events observed on the continent and downwind are not captured by the model. In addition, the simulated events are generally underestimated compared to the measured ones. It appears that these differences in the model performances are connected to the origin of the dust plumes. For example, dust plumes coming from Libya are well simulated while dust plumes originating from the Bodélé depression not as frequent as intense as the observations suggest. Soil properties in these two regions are comparable and typical of very erodible surfaces. We thus focused on the comparison between the ECMWF 10m wind speed fields and 10m wind speed measured at the meteorological stations located in both areas. We noticed that over Libya, the measured and ECMWF 10m wind speed are in very good agreement, while the meteorological model does not reproduce the extrema of the measured wind speed in the Bodélé depression. We found that a crude empirical correction of the 10m wind field in the Bodélé Depression significantly improve the simulations in terms of occurrence and of intensity.

  7. Numerical simulation of the radiation environment on Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, L.

    2015-12-01

    The radiation environment on the Martian surface is significantly different from that on earth. Existing observation and studies reveal that the radiation environment on the Martian surface is highly variable regarding to both short- and long-term time scales. For example, its dose rate presents diurnal and seasonal variations associated with atmospheric pressure changes. Moreover, dose rate is also strongly influenced by the modulation from GCR flux. Numerical simulation and theoretical explanations are required to understand the mechanisms behind these features, and to predict the time variation of radiation environment on the Martian surface if aircraft is supposed to land on it in near future. The high energy galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) which are ubiquitous throughout the solar system are highly penetrating and extremely difficult to shield against beyond the Earth's protective atmosphere and magnetosphere. The goal of this article is to evaluate the long term radiation risk on the Martian surface. Therefore, we need to develop a realistic time-dependent GCR model, which will be integrated with Geant4 transport code subsequently to reproduce the observed variation of surface dose rate associated with the changing heliospheric conditions. In general, the propagation of cosmic rays in the interplanetary medium can be described by a Fokker-Planck equation (or Parker equation). In last decade,we witnessed a fast development of GCR transport models within the heliosphere based on accurate gas-dynamic and MHD backgrounds from global models of the heliosphere. The global MHD simulation produces a more realistic pattern of the 3-D heliospheric structure, as well as the interface between the solar system and the surrounding interstellar space. As a consequence, integrating plasma background obtained from global-dependent 3-D MHD simulation and stochastic Parker transport simulation, we expect to produce an accurate global physical-based GCR modulation model. Combined

  8. The Simulation of Transient Eddies and Frontal Systems in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J.

    2006-12-01

    The initiation and evolution of a number of regional scale dust storms has been documented in detail with MOC imagery and with TES temperature and dust opacity observations. These storms are evidently associated with traveling waves embedded in the strong westerly jet that is present in the northern hemisphere in the fall, winter and spring seasons. The most prominent storms occurred in the low topography regions (Acidalia, Arcadia and Utopia) within two seasonal windows (Ls=200-240 and Ls =305-340) before and after northern winter solstice. In a number of cases these storms move southward to the equator where they rapidly intensify and spread, yielding the highest dust optical depths at low to mid southern latitudes. These "flushing" storms are present in most Mars years and significantly contribute to the seasonally-varying envelope of background dust opacity and global mean temperature. We will present a study of the climatology of traveling baroclinic wave behavior present in annual cycle simulations of the martian atmosphere using the GFDL Mars general circulation model. In general, we find that zonal waves 2 and 3 are favored in the NH fall and late winter seasons, and that these waves are modulated by topography to favor storm development in the low elevation regions. The inclusion of predicted water ice clouds provides an additional means of comparing the simulated circulations with observed dust and water ice cloud morphologies. The radiative effects of polar hood clouds can have a significant effect on the traveling wave climatology by modifying the temperature gradient across the polar vortex. We will also show high- resolution simulations with surface stress-dependent interactive dust lifting that provide insight into the storm intensification stage as dust is transported southward in these basins.

  9. 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.

  10. Thermal structure and dust loading of the Martian atmosphere during late southern summer - Mariner 9 revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santee, M.; Crisp, D.

    1993-02-01

    Thermal emission spectra recorded by the Mariner 9 IR interferometer spectrometer (IRIS) are used to investigate the temperature structure and dust loading of the Martian atmosphere. The analysis is restricted to a subset of the IRIS data consisting of approximately 2400 spectra in a 12-day period extending from LS of 343 to 348 deg, corresponding to late southern summer on Mars. The largest column-integrated 9-micron dust optical depths (about 0.4) occur over the equatorial regions. The highest atmospheric temperatures (greater than 260 K) are found at low altitudes near the subsolar latitude (about 6 deg S), while the coldest temperatures (less than 150 K) are found at levels near 1.0 mbar over the winter pole. The existence of a net zonally averaged meridional circulation with rising motion at low latitudes, poleward flow at altitudes above 40 km, and subsidence over the poles is suggested.

  11. Thermal structure and dust loading of the Martian atmosphere during late southern summer - Mariner 9 revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santee, Michelle; Crisp, David

    1993-01-01

    Thermal emission spectra recorded by the Mariner 9 IR interferometer spectrometer (IRIS) are used to investigate the temperature structure and dust loading of the Martian atmosphere. The analysis is restricted to a subset of the IRIS data consisting of approximately 2400 spectra in a 12-day period extending from LS of 343 to 348 deg, corresponding to late southern summer on Mars. The largest column-integrated 9-micron dust optical depths (about 0.4) occur over the equatorial regions. The highest atmospheric temperatures (greater than 260 K) are found at low altitudes near the subsolar latitude (about 6 deg S), while the coldest temperatures (less than 150 K) are found at levels near 1.0 mbar over the winter pole. The existence of a net zonally averaged meridional circulation with rising motion at low latitudes, poleward flow at altitudes above 40 km, and subsidence over the poles is suggested.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Single Scattering Albedo of Martian Atmospheric Dust in the 290-500 nm Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, M. J.; Bell, J. F.; Sohl-Dickstein, J.

    2002-12-01

    Despite multiple previous investigations, the detailed wavelength-dependence of Martian atmospheric dust absorption at ultraviolet (UV) and near-UV wavelengths is not particularly well-known. Several efforts have made some progress (e.g., Pang and Ajello, Icarus, 30, 63, 1977; Clancy et al., JGR, 100, 5251, 1995; Wolff et al., JGR, 104, 9027, 1999), but observational or instrumental constraints have severely limited the amount of detail retrievable. Ideally, one would observe an isolated dust signature with moderate spectral resolution and adequate spectral coverage. In essence, one would like to obtain data of a large-scale, optically-thick dust storm with a well-calibrated spacecraft-based spectrometer. Such a set of data has very recently been obtained, albeit somewhat fortuitously. Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument to perform high resolution imaging spectroscopy of Mars during the 2001 opposition, the combination of an electronics failure and an unusually early onset of a global dust storm, we have observations of Martian atmospheric dust with a minimal-to-undetectable surface contribution. Our 2001 observations utilized the G430L grating to cover 289 to 590 nm at 0.27 nm/channel. The STIS 0.2 arcec slit was pushbroom-scanned across the 13-16 arcsec diameter planet in ~70 adjacent steps, yielding a 3-dimensional image cube in 1024 wavelengths and at ~20x80 km spatial resolution per spectrum. This was done during four visits on 2001 August 9, 10, 14, and September 4 (LS=211°\\ to 227°). We will present the derived dust absorption spectra (i.e., single scattering albedo) which has resulted from our multiple-scattering, radiative transfer analyses of the STIS data. Our results will be compared to analogous efforts of Goguen et al. (personal communication, 2002) using nearly-contemporaneous observations in the 230-300 nm range (STIS/G230L). In addition, in order to better constrain the dust properties

  15. S.A.M., the Italian Martian simulation chamber.

    PubMed

    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 repairing). 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.

  16. Martian Dust Characteristics From Tes Data: A Confirmation of Albite Presence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maturilli, A.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.

    +39-6-49934382) TES data are used here to characterise the spectral aspect of Martian dust, providing important indications on its composition. TES is an infrared Fourier spectrometer on board of Mars Global Surveyor mission. Its spectra cover the range [200;1650] cm- 1; in this region, an important dust band centered at 1100 cm-1 exists. Following the guidelines of our previous work on IRIS Mariner 9 data, departure from ideal planckian behavior inside this band is measured quantitatively by a parameter D. This parameter allows us to classify a huge number of spectra on the basis of apparent dust band intensity, once measurements with high emission angle, low surface temperature or evident water ice features are rejected. Spectra are grouped in different classes on the basis of D value and averaged together, in order to achieve a very high signal to noise ratio (each class containing about 50000 spectra) and enhance the features of suspended material. A subsequent filtering on the average spectra shows a number of minor features, diagnostic on dust composition. Previous results about presence of feldspars (albite in particular) are confirmed through extensive comparison with mineral transmittances libraries.

  17. Sulfate Brine Stability Under a Simulated Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevrier, Vincent; Denson, J.; Sears, D.

    2006-09-01

    Brines have long been suggested to account for possible current liquid water activity on the surface of Mars. Recently obtained spectral data by Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rovers has added additional support to evidence that dates back to the Viking era of the presence of sulfates on the Martian surface. In order to investigate the stability of MgSO4 brines under simulated Martian conditions and elucidate their potential for serving as a possible source of subsurface water a series of evaporative experiments was performed in the Andromeda chamber, a vacuum chamber designed to simulate the martian surface environment. Brine concentrations ranged from 5 to 25 wt% MgSO4. The evaporation rates of the lesser concentrated brines (5-15 wt%) correlated well with the predicted rates for sulfate brines under the exact same conditions based on a modification of the classic Ingersol equation to account for the sulfates affect on the water activity. However the high wt% solutions (20-25 wt%) exhibited a dramatic decrease in evaporation rate. This decrease was greater than what was predicted by simply altering the Ingersol equation to account for the presence of the sulfates. In addition crystallization of the sulfates was observed within these highly concentrated brines. We hypothesize that the crystallization process itself affects the evaporation rate of the brine solutions. These results suggest that highly concentrated brines have a dramatic effect on the stability of water under Martian conditions. This study provides initial evidence that sulphate minerals could conceivably serve as a reservoir of subsurface water on the Martian surface. This program was funded by The W.M. Keck Foundation, NASA, and the University of Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Response of terrestrial microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment.

    PubMed

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

    1978-04-01

    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 degrees C for 16 h and 24 degrees 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. Psychotrophic 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; 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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Dava J.; Alexander, Harold L.

    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, VO 2, 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.

  4. Toward an Understanding of the Time Dependent Responses of the Martian Upper Atmosphere to Dust Storm Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, S. W.; Pawlowski, D. J.; Murphy, J. R.

    2011-12-01

    Mars spacecraft datasets reveal that its thermosphere-ionosphere (~100-200 km) is significantly impacted by the passage of regional or global dust storm events (e.g. Kliore et al., 1972; Zhang et al., 1990; Keating et al., 1998; Bougher et al, 1999; 2011; Baird et al., 2007). The time evolving responses correspond to the rapid onset phase (~2-10 sols) of a dust event, and its gradual decay (~50 sols or more). Thermospheric responses during the regional Noachis storm (1997) during its onset include: (a) a factor of 3 enhancement of MGS Accelerometer mass densities (~5-15 kg/km3) at 130 km at ~38 N latitude, (b) a factor of 2.5 enhancement of corresponding zonal winds (~100-250 m/s) near ~120-130 km, and (c) the associated ~8 km rise in the height of the 1.26-nbar reference pressure level. These features correspond to a rapidly warming (and 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. In addition, many years of monitoring the F1-ionospheric peak confirms that this atmospheric inflation is consistently manifested in rising ionosphere peak heights. These upper atmosphere responses to dust events, and the associated feedbacks in atmospheric energetics, dynamics, and chemistry, provide excellent constraints for the further validation and testing of Mars whole atmosphere general circulation models. This paper utilizes the recently developed and initially validated 3-D Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (M-GITM) (e.g. Bougher et al., 2008; 2011; Pawlowski et al., 2010) to investigate these feedbacks and the responses of the Mars thermosphere-ionosphere for a sample dust storm event. The M-GITM code simulates the conditions of the Martian atmosphere from the surface to the exosphere (~0-250 km). Physical processes (e.g. radiative transfer), formulations and subroutines required

  5. Properties of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere from the Imager on Mars Pathfinder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegryn, E.; Tomasko, M. G.; Doose, L.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, P. H.

    1998-09-01

    than 0.2 to 0.5 or more. A real refractive index of 1.5 was assumed throughout our calculations. Overall, the results are in remarkably good argreement with those obtained by Pollack et al. (J.G.R. 100, 5235, 1995) for the observations made by Viking 20 years earlier. This suggests that stable mechanisms exist to control the size of the Martian dust particles suspended in the atmosphere.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Galaxy simulation with dust formation and destruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoyama, Shohei; Hou, Kuan-Chou; Shimizu, Ikkoh; Hirashita, Hiroyuki; Todoroki, Keita; Choi, Jun-Hwan; Nagamine, Kentaro

    2017-04-01

    We perform smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of an isolated galaxy with a new treatment for dust formation and destruction. To this aim, we treat dust and metal production self-consistently with star formation and supernova (SN) feedback. For dust, we consider a simplified model of grain size distribution by representing the entire range of grain sizes with large and small grains. We include dust production in stellar ejecta, dust destruction by SN shocks, grain growth by accretion and coagulation and grain disruption by shattering. We find that the assumption of fixed dust-to-metal mass ratio becomes no longer valid when the galaxy is older than 0.2 Gyr, at which point the grain growth by accretion starts to contribute to the non-linear rise of dust-to-gas ratio. As expected in our previous one-zone model, shattering triggers grain growth by accretion since it increases the total surface area of grains. Coagulation becomes significant when the galaxy age is greater than ∼ 1 Gyr; at this epoch, the abundance of small grains becomes high enough to raise the coagulation rate of small grains. We further compare the radial profiles of dust-to-gas ratio (D) and dust-to-metal ratio (D/Z, i.e. depletion) at various ages with observational data. We find that our simulations broadly reproduce the radial gradients of dust-to-gas ratio and depletion. In the early epoch (≲ 0.3 Gyr), the radial gradient of D follows the metallicity gradient with D/Z determined by the dust condensation efficiency in stellar ejecta, while the D gradient is steeper than the Z gradient at the later epochs because of grain growth by accretion. The framework developed in this paper is applicable to any SPH-based galaxy evolution simulations including cosmological ones.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. SURVIVAL OF MICROORGANISMS IN A SIMULATED MARTIAN ENVIRONMENT. I. BACILLUS SUBTILIS VAR. GLOBIGII.

    PubMed

    HAGEN, C A; HAWRYLEWICZ, E J; EHRLICH, R

    1964-05-01

    Survival of Bacillus subtilis var. globigii in a simulated Martian environment was demonstrated. Previous contact with the simulated Martian soil or atmosphere reduced germination or outgrowth of unheated spores, or both. Inoculation into simulated Martian soil and then flushing with a simulated Martian atmosphere were lethal to both vegetative cells and spores. After one diurnal temperature cycle (26 to -60 C), the majority of of cells present were spores. No further effect of the diurnal cycle on survival was noted in any of the experimental samples.

  18. Experimental simulation of martian gully forms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, K. A.; Dixon, J. C.; Howe, K. L.; Roe, L. A.; Chevrier, V.

    2009-05-01

    Gullies are widespread on slopes on the surface of Mars and have been investigated by numerous authors, yet their formation processes remain elusive. In an attempt to understand the possibility of a water-based origin for these forms, we undertook a series of flume experiments at Earth surface temperatures and pressures. Our objectives were to produce forms that resemble those most commonly observed on Mars, documenting their morphometric characteristics and identifying any statistically significant relationships between form and controlling factors of slope and flow rate. Experiments were conducted in a 1×1.5 m 2 flume filled with medium grain size sand. The experiments were run over a slope angle range of 10-30°, corresponding to the range for gullies on Mars. Water from a constant-head tank fed through 5 mm silicone hose to a rotameter and then released just below the surface at the top of the slope. Gullies were produced at slope angle values of 10°, 20°, and 30° and flow rate values of 445, 705, 965, and 1260 mL min -1 at each angle. Eighteen parameters were identified and subsequently measured on each gully produced in the flume. Gully forms were successfully reproduced and displayed development of the fundamental morphological components observed on Mars: alcove, channel, and apron. Slope-gully form relationships for each component revealed the following results: higher slope angles formed shorter gullies with thicker apron deposits. Moreover, longer gullies were seen at higher flow rates. We concluded that forms visually similar to those observed on Mars can be created by water in the laboratory flume under terrestrial conditions. Morphometric parameters can be measured and permit identification of controlling factors. Experimental simulation of gullies appears possible with proper scaling of experimental parameters. Although not directly scalable to Mars, flume gully parameters may be used to develop numerical models in the future.

  19. Magnetic levitation-based Martian and Lunar gravity simulator.

    PubMed

    Valles, J M; 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Low-Cost, Low-Risk Mission Concept for the Return of Martian Atmospheric Dust: Relevance to Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadhwa, M.; Leshin, L.; Clark, B.; Jones, S.; Jurewicz, A.; McLennan, S.; Mischna, M.; Ruff, S.; Squyres, S.; Westphal, A.

    2017-06-01

    We present a low-cost, low-risk mission concept for return of martian atmospheric dust. Such a mission would serve as a scientific, technological and operational pathfinder for future surface sample return and human exploration to Mars.

  5. Derivation of the VNIR (0.4-4.0 µm) Optical Constants of Nontronite and an Application to Mars: Modeling Single Scattering Albedo of Candidate Martian Dust Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roush, T. L.; Brown, A. J.

    2008-03-01

    We derive optical constants of nontronite using two scattering theories. Mie scattering models compare palagonite and nontronite as putative martian atmospheric dust and show the importance of knowing these optical contants for quantitative interpretation of CRISM spectra.

  6. Simulation and Comparison of Martian Surface Ionization Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. Y.; Zeitlin, C. J.; Hassler, D.; Cucinotta, F.

    2013-12-01

    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, which

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. UV resistance of a halophilic archaeon in simulated martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Kate, Il; van Sluis, Ca; Selch, F.; Garry, Jrc; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    Mars is thought to have had liquid water at its surface for geologically long periods. The progressive desiccation of the surface would have led to an increase in the salt content of remaining bodies of water. If life had developed on Mars, then some of the mechanisms evolved in terrestrial halophilic bacteria to cope with high salt content may have been similar to those existing in martian organisms. We have exposed samples of the halophilic Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 (Nr. strain HG-1) to conditions of ultraviolet radiation (UV) similar to those of the present-day martian environment. Furthermore, the effects of low temperature and low pressure on Nr. strain HG-1 have been investigated. To simulate a more Mars-like environment and investigate the effect of water in the atmosphere Nr. strain HG-1 has been irradiated when placed in a low pressure CO2 environment, static as well as flowing. The results, obtained by monitoring growth curves, indicate that the present UV radiation at the surface of Mars is a significant hazard for this organism. Exposure of the cells to high vacuum inactivates ~50 % of the cells. Freezing to -20 ° C and -80 ° C kills ~80 % of the cells. When desiccated and embedded in a salt crust, cells are somewhat more resistant to UV radiation than when suspended in an aqueous solution. The cell inactivation by UV is wavelength dependent. It cannot be excluded that they can survive when embedded in the soil or buried underneath rocks.

  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. Estimating Dust and Water Ice Content of the Martian Atmosphere From THEMIS Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bandfield, Joshua

    2007-01-01

    Researchers at JPL and Arizona State University conducted a comparative study of three candidate algorithms for estimating components of the Martian atmosphere, using raw (uncalibrated) data collected by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). THEMIS is an instrument onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft that acquires image data in five visible and nine infrared (IR) wavelength bands. The algorithms under study used data collected from eight of the nine IR bands to estimate the dust and water ice content of the atmosphere. Such an algorithm could be used in onboard data processing to trigger other algorithms that search for features of scientific interest and to reduce the volume of data transmitted to Earth. The algorithms studied were based on regression models. In the study, the optical depths estimated by these algorithms were compared with optical depths estimated in ground-based processing using fully calibrated data from both THEMIS and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). TES is an instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft that also observes the planet at infrared wavelengths, but at a lower spatial resolution than THEMIS does. Of the algorithms studied, the one that performed best was based on a Gaussian Support Vector Machine regression model. The test results indicated that this algorithm, operating on the raw data, had error rates that were within the uncertainty associated with the estimates obtained by the groundbased analysis of the fully calibrated data. This level of fidelity demonstrates that these algorithms are sufficiently accurate for use in an onboard setting.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

    For the study of the responses of organisms to space environment and for the future exploration of Mars as another planet which has had the potential for the evolution of life the survivability of terrestrial resistant microbial forms, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites) was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting Foton satellites (BIOPAN I - III missions). The results of these 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 very energy-rich short wavelengths of the UVB and UVC. 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 anaerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of Bacillus subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment - MARSTOX -during the FOTON M-1 mission scheduled for the end of 2002. 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 used 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 DLR together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed at

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 under simulated martian surface conditions.

    PubMed

    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 degrees 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/m(2) UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5 degrees C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO(2) (95.3%), N(2) (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O(2) (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 CO(2) atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO(2)-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.

  2. Inter-Annual Repeatability of Regional Dust Storms During the Martian Dusty Season (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We investigate the annual pattern of large (regional) dust storms during the martian dusty season--southern spring and summer (Ls 180° to 360°)--and find a repeatable pattern of three distinct storms each Mars year without a global dust storm. We use a 200 K contour in the zonal mean climatology at 50 Pa from TES/MGS and MCS/MRO to identify the regional and global dust storms and then to characterize their extent and evolution. Observations from the two instruments cover the dusty season of five mars years without a global storm: MY24, MY26, MY29, MY30 and MY31. The exact timing, duration and peak temperatures vary somewhat from year to year, but each of the three storms has distinct characteristics and behavior, and overall the years follow a very similar pattern. Each year starts with an 'A' storm pre-perihelion (between Ls 210° and 240°) in the southern mid-latitudes. It lasts for 15° to 40° of Ls and ends no later than the solstice. The storm takes 2° to 12° of Ls to reach its peak zonal mean temperatures between 210 K and 230 K. The second storm ('B' storm) each year occurs as the 'A' storm is decaying. It starts around the perihelion along the southern seasonal polar cap edge and lasts until between Ls 285° and 295°. While the storm often has the strongest warming for the year (with zonal mean peak temperatures between 210 K and 225 K), the storm's impact remains south of the tropics. The final storm each year ('C' storm) starts between Ls 305° and 320°. It lasts a relatively short 3° to 15° of Ls. However, the later the storm starts seasonally, the longer it tends to last. The peak temperatures are quite variable for the 'C' storm, ranging from 200 K to 225 K. In MY26, the 'C' storm has the highest zonal mean temperatures for the season.

  3. 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.

  4. Martian environmental simulation for a deployable lattice mast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warden, Robert M.

    1994-11-01

    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.

  5. A new model to simulate the Martian mesoscale and microscale atmospheric circulation: Validation and first results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Forget, François

    2009-02-01

    The Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Mesoscale Model is a new versatile simulator of the Martian atmosphere and environment at horizontal scales ranging from hundreds of kilometers to tens of meters. The model combines the National Centers for Environmental Prediction(NCEP)-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) fully compressible nonhydrostatic Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW-WRF) dynamical core, adapted to Mars, with the LMD-general circulation model (GCM) comprehensive set of physical parameterizations for the Martian dust, CO2, water, and photochemistry cycles. Since LMD-GCM large-scale simulations are also used to drive the mesoscale model at the boundaries of the chosen domain of interest, a high level of downscaling consistency is reached. To define the initial state and the atmosphere at the domain boundaries, a specific ``hybrid'' vertical interpolation from the coarse-resolution GCM fields to the high-resolution mesoscale domain is used to ensure the stability and the physical relevancy of the simulations. Used in synoptic-scale mode with a cyclic domain wrapped around the planet, the mesoscale model correctly replicates the main large-scale thermal structure and the zonally propagating waves. The model diagnostics of the near-surface pressure, wind, and temperature daily cycles in Chryse Planitia are in accordance with the Viking and Pathfinder measurements. Afternoon gustiness at the respective landing sites is adequately accounted for on the condition that convective adjustment is turned off in the mesoscale simulations. On the rims of Valles Marineris, intense daytime anabatic (~30 m s-1) and nighttime katabatic (~40 m s-1) winds are predicted. Within the canyon corridors, topographical channeling can amplify the wind a few kilometers above the ground, especially during the night. Through large-eddy simulations in Gusev Crater, the model describes the mixing layer growth during the afternoon, and the

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Researchers Analyze a Moon Dust Simulation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1960-06-21

    NASA Researchers view a demonstration of the moon dust simulator in the 8- by 6-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel facility at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center. The researchers were studying the effect of the lunar lander’s retrorockets on the loose dust on the lunar surface. There was some concern that the retrorockets would kick up so much dust that the crew would lose the ability to see. They also did not know how the dust’s behavior would be affected by the space atmosphere. This small vacuum tank was built for very preliminary investigations into this matter. The pipe entering the top of the tank supplied the airflow to the lander model, which was affixed to the pipe. The researchers altered the vacuum levels and speed of the airflow.

  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. 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.

  12. Non-Ohmic Discharge Characteristics of JSC Mars-1 Martian Regolith Simulant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buhler, C. R.; Calle, C. I.; Hirschmann, A.; Denning, D.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    The charge decay characteristics of Martian soil simulant are presented. The decay is non-ohmic as seen from experimental measurements of the current-voltage curves. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Comparing wind directions inferred from Martian dust devil tracks analysis with those predicted by the Mars Climate Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, T.; Pina, P.; Silva, E. A.; Nervis Frigeri, Ary Vinicius; Neto, Frederico Gallon

    2016-10-01

    We have calculated the prevailing dust devil tracks direction as a means of verifying the Mars Climate Database (MCD) predicted wind directions accuracy. For that purpose we have applied an automatic method based on morphological openings for inferring the prevailing tracks direction in a dataset comprising 200 Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Narrow Angle (NA) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the Martian surface, depicting regions in the Aeolis, Eridania, Noachis, Argyre and Hellas quadrangles. The prevailing local wind directions were calculated from the MCD predicted speeds for the WE and SN wind components. The results showed that the MCD may not be able to predict accurately the locally dominant wind direction near the surface. In adittion, we confirm that the surface wind stress alone cannot produce dust lifting in the studied sites, since it never exceeds the threshold value of 0.0225 Nm-2 in the MCD.

  17. 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.

  18. Investigating the effects of simulated martian ultraviolet radiation on Halococcus dombrowskii and other extremely halophilic archaebacteria.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    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 14522(T) 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/m(2), and they resumed growth in liquid medium with lag phases of 12 days or more after exposure up to 148 kJ/m(2). The estimated D(37) (dose of 37 % survival) for Hcc. dombrowskii was > or = 400 kJ/m(2). However, exposure of cells to UV flux while in liquid culture reduced D(37) by 2 orders of magnitude (to about 1 kJ/m(2)); 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Performance evaluation of CESM in simulating the dust cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parajuli, S. P.; Yang, Z. L.; Kocurek, G.; Lawrence, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Mineral dust in the atmosphere has implications for Earth's radiation budget, biogeochemical cycles, hydrological cycles, human health and visibility. Mineral dust is injected into the atmosphere during dust storms when the surface winds are sufficiently strong and the land surface conditions are favorable. Dust storms are very common in specific regions of the world including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which contains more than 50% of the global dust sources. In this work, we present simulation of the dust cycle under the framework of CESM1.2.2 and evaluate how well the model captures the spatio-temporal characteristics of dust sources, transport and deposition at global scale, especially in dust source regions. We conducted our simulations using two existing erodibility maps (geomorphic and topographic) and a new erodibility map, which is based on the correlation between observed wind and dust. We compare the simulated results with MODIS satellite data, MACC reanalysis data, and AERONET station data. Comparison with MODIS satellite data and MACC reanalysis data shows that all three erodibility maps generally reproduce the spatio-temporal characteristics of dust optical depth globally. However, comparison with AERONET station data shows that the simulated dust optical depth is generally overestimated for all erodibility maps. Results vary greatly by region and scale of observational data. Our results also show that the simulations forced by reanalysis meteorology capture the overall dust cycle more realistically compared to the simulations done using online meteorology.

  3. Dust properties of Lyman-break galaxies in cosmological simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, Hidenobu; Nagamine, Kentaro; Thompson, Robert; Choi, Jun-Hwan

    2014-04-01

    Recent observations have indicated the existence of dust in high-redshift galaxies, however, the dust properties in them are still unknown. Here we present theoretical constraints on dust properties in Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z = 3 by post-processing a cosmological smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation with radiative transfer calculations. We calculate the dust extinction in 2800 dark matter haloes using the metallicity information of individual gas particles in our simulation. We use only bright galaxies with rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) magnitude M1700 < -20 mag, and study the dust size, dust-to-metal mass ratio, and dust composition. From the comparison of calculated colour excess between B and V band [i.e. E(B - V)] and the observations, we constrain the typical dust size, and show that the best-fitting dust grain size is ˜ 0.05 μm, which is consistent with the results of theoretical dust models for Type II supernova. Our simulation with the dust extinction effect can naturally reproduce the observed rest-frame UV luminosity function of LBGs at z = 3 without assuming an ad hoc constant extinction value. In addition, in order to reproduce the observed mean E(B - V), we find that the dust-to-metal mass ratio needs to be similar to that of the local galaxies, and that the graphite dust is dominant or at least occupy half of dust mass.

  4. Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) Observations of Martian Dust — A Decade-Long Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, D. M.; McCleese, D. J.; Kleinböhl, A.; Schofield, J. T.; Heavens, N. G.

    2017-06-01

    We describe the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) observations of atmospheric dust. The instrument acquires infrared observations to produce a 5.75 Mars Year (>10 earth year) climatology global of dust, including its vertical distribution.

  5. 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.

  6. PHOBOS and Deimos as Sources of Martian Dust Ring/Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, S.

    1996-03-01

    Orbits of circumplanetary dust particles are largely controlled by solar radiation pressure and planetary oblateness. Around Mars, orbital eccentricity of particles from Phobos and Deimos is enhanced greatly and smaller dust particles (< 20 micron) are quickly captured by Mars. Collisions of ring particles onto the satellites are the most important dust source, and the erosion of Phobos should set the upper limit on the dust production efficiency controlling this self-sustaining mechanism.

  7. Development of a Martian regolith simulant for in-situ resource utilization testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, A. N.; Oze, C.; Tang, Y.; O'Loughlin, A.

    2017-02-01

    Long-term human habitation of Mars will require in situ resources for construction and infrastructure development. In order to determine how to utilize in situ resources, such as Martian regolith, these materials need to be synthesized on Earth for testing and development. Here we address the process of synthesizing a targeted Martian simulant (i.e., Gusev Crater regolith near the Columbia Hills region on Mars) in sufficient quantities required for infrastructure development studies using volcanic material obtained from Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. Martian simulant produced via crushing, sieving, washing and blending of basalts and volcanic glass resulted in accurately reproducing material similar in particle size, chemistry and mineralogy to Gusev Crater regolith. Overall, our applied approach to synthesizing Martian regolith will aid in creating suitable quantities of material that can be used for a variety of research applications such as assessing aggregates for use in the production of construction materials.

  8. A survey of Martian dust devil activity using Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Jenny A.; Richardson, Mark I.; Newman, Claire E.; Szwast, Mark A.; Graf, Chelsea; Basu, Shabari; Ewald, Shawn P.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Wilson, R. John

    2005-03-01

    A survey of dust devils using the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide- and narrow-angle (WA and NA) images has been undertaken. The survey comprises two parts: (1) sampling of nine broad regions from September 1997 to July 2001 and (2) a focused seasonal monitoring of variability in the Amazonis region, an active dust devil site, from March 2001 to April 2004. For part 1, dust devils were identified in NA and WA images, and dust devil tracks were identified in NA images. Great spatial variability in dust devil occurrence is highlighted, with Amazonis Planitia being the most active region examined. Other active regions included Cimmerium, Sinai, and Solis. Numerous dust devil tracks, but very few dust devils, were observed in Casius. This may suggest dust devils here occur at local times other than that of the MGS orbit (~2 pm). Alternatively, variations in surface properties may affect the ability of dust devils to leave visible tracks. The seasonal campaign within Amazonis shows a relatively smooth variation of dust devil activity with season, peaking in mid northern summer and falling to zero in southern spring and summer. This pattern of activity correlates well with the boundary layer maximum depth and hence the vigor of convection. Global maps of boundary layer depth and surface temperature do not predict that Amazonis should be especially active, potentially suggesting a role for mesoscale circulations. Measurement of observed dust devils yields heights of up to 8 km and widths in excess of 0.5 km.

  9. The effects of atmospheric dust on observations of Martian surface albedo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, S. W.; Clancy, R. T.

    1991-01-01

    The Mariner 9 and Viking missions provided abundant evidence that aeolian processes are active over much of surface of Mars. A radiative transfer model was developed which allows the effects of atmospheric dust loading and variable surface albedo to be investigated. This model incorporated atmospheric dust opacity, the single scattering albedo, and particle phase function of atmospheric dust, the bidirectional; reflectance of the surface, and variable lighting and viewing geometry. The Cerberus albedo feature was examined in detail using this technique.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Simulating the dust content of galaxies: successes and failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, Ryan; Torrey, Paul; Vogelsberger, Mark; Hayward, Christopher C.; Marinacci, Federico

    2017-06-01

    We present full-volume cosmological simulations, using the moving-mesh code arepo to study the coevolution of dust and galaxies. We extend the dust model in arepo to include thermal sputtering of grains and investigate the evolution of the dust mass function, the cosmic distribution of dust beyond the interstellar medium and the dependence of dust-to-stellar mass ratio on galactic properties. The simulated dust mass function is well described by a Schechter fit and lies closest to observations at z = 0. The radial scaling of projected dust surface density out to distances of 10 Mpc around galaxies with magnitudes 17 < i < 21 is similar to that seen in Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, albeit with a lower normalization. At z = 0, the predicted dust density of Ωdust ≈ 1.3 × 10-6 lies in the range of Ωdust values seen in low-redshift observations. We find that the dust-to-stellar mass ratio anticorrelates with stellar mass for galaxies living along the star formation main sequence. Moreover, we estimate the 850 μm number density functions for simulated galaxies and analyse the relation between dust-to-stellar flux and mass ratios at z = 0. At high redshift, our model fails to produce enough dust-rich galaxies, and this tension is not alleviated by adopting a top-heavy initial mass function. We do not capture a decline in Ωdust from z = 2 to 0, which suggests that dust production mechanisms more strongly dependent on star formation may help to produce the observed number of dusty galaxies near the peak of cosmic star formation.

  15. 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.

  16. Developing a new controllable lunar dust simulant: BHLD20

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Hao; Yi, Min; Shen, Zhigang; Zhang, Xiaojing; Ma, Shulin

    2017-07-01

    Identifying and eliminating the negative effects of lunar dust are of great importance for future lunar exploration. Since the available lunar samples are limited, developing terrestrial lunar dust simulant becomes critical for the study of lunar dust problem. In this work, beyond the three existing lunar dust simulants: JSC-1Avf, NU-LHT-1D, and CLDS-i, we developed a new high-fidelity lunar dust simulant named as BHLD20. And we concluded a methodology that soil and dust simulants can be produced by variations in portions of the overall procedure, whereby the properties of the products can be controlled by adjusting the feedstock preparation and heating process. The key ingredients of our innovative preparation route include: (1) plagioclase, used as a major material in preparing all kinds of lunar dust simulants; (2) a muffle furnace, applied to expediently enrich the glass phase in feedstock, with the production of some composite particles; (3) a one-step sand-milling technique, employed for mass pulverization without wasting feedstock; and (4) a particle dispersant, utilized to prevent the agglomeration in lunar dust simulant and retain the real particle size. Research activities in the development of BHLD20 can help solve the lunar dust problem.

  17. 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

  18. The Martian polar cap - Radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1990-01-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. A lunar dust simulant: CLDS-i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Hong; Li, Xiongyao; Zhang, Sensen; Wang, Shijie; Liu, Jianzhong; Li, Shijie; Li, Yang; Wu, Yanxue

    2017-02-01

    Lunar dust can make serious damage to the spacecrafts, space suits, and health of astronauts, which is one of the most important problems faced in lunar exploration. In the case of rare lunar dust sample, CLDS-i with high similarity to the real lunar dust is an important objective for studying dust protection and dust toxicity. The CLDS-i developed by the Institute of Geochemistry Chinese Academy Sciences contains ∼75 vol% glass and a little nanophase metal iron (np-Fe0), and with a median particle size about 500 nm. The CLDS-i particles also have complicated shape and sharp edges. These properties are similar to those of lunar dust, and make the CLDS-i can be applied to many fields such as the scientific researches, the treatment technology and toxicological study of lunar dust.

  1. Polarimetric analysis of the Martian dust storms and clouds in 1971

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dollfus, A.; Ebisawa, S.; Bowell, E.

    1984-02-01

    When the atmosphere was free of flying dust, a thin haze was permanently detected by means of polarimetry for several weeks along the morning limb. It is noted that the polarization signature was consistent with an ice crystal cloud, forming every night and dissolving after sunrise. In similar fashion, an evening haze continuously formed a few hours before sunset. From August to December of that year, the large basin Hellas had a yellow-white hue and polarized, lightlike dust clouds. For five months it was continuously overcast by airborne dust. On July 11, a first small localized dust cloud was discovered by imagery over the northern border of Hellas expanding with a horizontal velocity of 100 km/h. After a few days the cloud settled, but polarimetry indicated that the atmosphere remained laden, on a global scale, with a small amount of airborne dust for several weeks. The major dust storm event began on September 22 at the same location as its precursor. In 10 days it had expanded into a planet-wide and complete obscuration of all surface features.

  2. The albedo of martian dunes: Insights into aeolian activity and dust devil formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, K. A.; Fenton, L.; Bell, J. F.

    2017-06-01

    Wind is the primary geologic process currently active on the surface of Mars. Albedo variations at eight dune fields were tested based on the hypothesis that a dune's ripple migration rate is correlated to its albedo. On Mars, where the atmospheric pressure is low, dust is removed from the surface of a dune by saltating sand. Therefore, more active dunes should remove dust more efficiently than less active dunes. A dune's albedo was found to be low in the first half of the Mars year (Ls = 0-180°) and high in the second half (Ls = 180-360°) during the dusty season. Both dunes with fast- and slow-moving ripples exhibit low albedos, whereas dunes with ripples that migrate at intermediate speeds exhibit high albedos. A dune's minimum albedo does not have a simple correlation with its ripple migration rate. Instead, we propose that dust devils remove dust on slow-moving and immobile dunes, whereas saltating sand caused by strong winds removes dust on faster dunes. Albedo should not be used as a proxy for migration rate of ripples or dune activity, as it may be difficult to distinguish between fast- and slow-moving ripples on dunes that have the same albedo. The presence of dust devil tracks on a dune could indicate the dune and/or its ripples are either immobile or migrating slowly. We also propose that albedo variations on individual dune fields can reveal insight into the local wind regime.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mars Orbiter Camera observations of Martian dust devils and their tracks (September 1997 to January 2006) and evaluation of theoretical vortex models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, Bruce A.; Kanak, Katharine M.; Edgett, Kenneth S.

    2006-12-01

    A multiyear, planet-wide survey of Martian dust devils was conducted using observations from Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera, acquired through 21 January 2006. A total of 223,350 images were surveyed and 11,456 dust devils were seen in 0.4% of the images, 11.5% in the Southern and 88.5% in the Northern Hemisphere. Dust devils were observed at latitudes from 71.9°S to 62.2°N, over a range of surface albedos (Am~0.11-0.22) and elevations from Hellas (-8750 m) to Arsia Mons (+17,250 m). The light- and dark-toned streaks created by dust devils were observed from 80°S to 80°N and changed on timescales as short as 1 month. At mid-to-high latitudes, seasonal changes in streak patterns contribute to the seasonal ``wave of darkening'' observed telescopically from Earth. Dust devils were observed in all seasons in both hemispheres with the exception of Ls = 202.8°-281.5° in the north. Peak activity occurred during midsummer in each hemisphere. Five regions in Amazonis, Syria-Claritas, Meridiani, and Gusev were monitored regularly. Amazonis had the largest dust devils and was the most active planet-wide, with annual activity occurring from Ls~8.5°-197°. Interannual variability resulted from dust storms and planet-encircling dust hazes, which were observed to initiate and abate dust devil activity. There was no evidence suggesting dust devils cause or lead to initiation of dust storms. Model-derived tangential wind speeds of large vortices were >20 m s-1 at 20 m above the surface. Dust flux calculations suggest that dust devils are a contributor to the background dust opacity observed through northern spring and summer.

  6. Thermophoresis and dust devils on the planet Mars.

    PubMed

    Gheynani, Babak T; Emami-Razavi, Mohsen; Taylor, Peter A

    2011-11-01

    In the Martian atmosphere dust is abundant and is continuously replenished by the entrainment of materials and sediments from the surface of the planet. The sediment concentrations are particularly high and noticeable in whirlwinds, also known as dust devils. Assuming the thermophoresis force as the main driver of dust particles lifting from the surface, the dust process of the Martian atmosphere and its naturally formed dust devils are investigated for the northern polar region of the planet. Our simulated convective boundary layer shows that it may be unlikely that visible dust devils are formed only due to thermophoresis effects and some other lifting mechanisms are required.

  7. Thermophoresis and dust devils on the planet Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gheynani, Babak T.; Emami-Razavi, Mohsen; Taylor, Peter A.

    2011-11-01

    In the Martian atmosphere dust is abundant and is continuously replenished by the entrainment of materials and sediments from the surface of the planet. The sediment concentrations are particularly high and noticeable in whirlwinds, also known as dust devils. Assuming the thermophoresis force as the main driver of dust particles lifting from the surface, the dust process of the Martian atmosphere and its naturally formed dust devils are investigated for the northern polar region of the planet. Our simulated convective boundary layer shows that it may be unlikely that visible dust devils are formed only due to thermophoresis effects and some other lifting mechanisms are required.

  8. 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.

  9. Interannual Similarity in the Martian Atmosphere During the Dust Storm Season

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 (approximately 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of long-term simulated martian conditions on a freeze-dried and homogenized bacterial permafrost community.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Aviaja A; Jensen, 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.

  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.

  13. Survival of methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost under simulated Martian thermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Morozova, Daria; Möhlmann, Diedrich; Wagner, Dirk

    2007-04-01

    Methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost complementary to the already well-studied methanogens from non-permafrost habitats were exposed to simulated Martian conditions. After 22 days of exposure to thermo-physical conditions at Martian low- and mid-latitudes up to 90% of methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost survived in pure cultures as well as in environmental samples. In contrast, only 0.3%-5.8% of reference organisms from non-permafrost habitats survived at these conditions. This suggests that methanogens from terrestrial permafrost seem to be remarkably resistant to Martian conditions. Our data also suggest that in scenario of subsurface lithoautotrophic life on Mars, methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost could be used as appropriate candidates for the microbial life on Mars.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Stability of Water Ice Beneath Porous Dust Layers of the Martian South Polar Terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, H. U.; Skorov, Yu. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    2000-08-01

    The analysis of the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) data show that the surface layers of the Mars south polar layered deposits have very low thermal inertia between 75 and 125 J/(sq m)(s-1/2)(K-1). This is consistent with the assumption that the surface is covered by a porous layer of fine dust. Paige and Keegan determined a slightly higher value based on a thermal model similar to that of Kieffer et al. In this model the heat transfer equation is used to estimate the thickness of the layer that protects the ground ice from seasonal and diurnal temperature variations. The physical properties of the layer are unimportant as long as it has a low thermal inertia and conductivity and keeps the temperature at the ice boundary low enough to prevent sublimation. A thickness between 20 and 4 cm was estimated. This result can be considered to be an upper limit. We assume the surface to be covered by a porous dust layer and consider the gas diffusion through it, from the ground ice and from the atmosphere. Then the depth of the layer is determined by the mass flux balance of subliming and condensing water and not by the temperature condition. The dust particles in the atmosphere are of the order 1 gm. On the surface we can expect larger grains (up to sand size). Therefore assuming an average pore size of 10 gm, a volume porosity of 0.5, a heat capacity of 1300 J/(kg-1)(K-1) leads to a thermal inertia of approx. 80 J/(sq m)(s-1/2)(K-1). With these parameters a dust layer of only 5 mm thickness is found to establish the flux balance at the ice-dust interface during spring season in the southern hemisphere at high latitudes (where Mars Polar Lander arrived). The diurnal temperature variation at the ice-dust surface is shown. The maximum of 205 K well exceeds the sublimation temperature of water ice at 198 K under the atmospheric conditions. The corresponding vapour flux during the last day is shown together with the flux condensing from the atmosphere. The calculations

  17. Multiplication of certain soil micro-organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Imshenetsky, A A; Kusjurina, L A; Jakshina, V M

    1970-01-01

    According to earlier observations, severe UV irradiation kills all micro-organisms in a chamber with simulated Martian conditions. However, even a thin soil layer protects buried micro-organisms from UV irradiation. The chief limiting factor for microbial multiplication under simulated Martian conditions seems to be soil humidity. Several micro-organisms were isolated from harsh environments (e.g., from Arctic, Antarctic desert and high-mountain soil samples). A strain of an oligonitrophilic mycococcus, isolated from Dixon Island, proved to be most resistant to low humidity. It multiplied in a mixture of limonite (maximal hygroscopical humidity 3.8%) + 2% (w/w) garden soil kept in a chamber simulating Martian conditions. Total cell count increased 7.6-fold and, in some experiments, 26-fold in 14 days. The oligonitrophilic mycococcus was able to grow even at a humidity level of 2.5%, that is less than maximal hygroscopical (3.8%). Under these conditions cell count increased 10-fold in 36 days. Thus, it was shown that even in Earth soils there are xerophytic micro-organisms which are able to multiply in limonite of low humidity. These data might correct our current concepts concerning microbial water requirements. One might speculate that Martian micro-organisms belong to xerophytic species.

  18. Some potentialities of living organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Bychenkova, V N; Zaar, E I; Levin, V L; Rumyantseva, V M

    1971-01-01

    Temperature, humidity, pressure, composition of the atmosphere and radiation are the main factors conditioning life on the surface of Mars. When studying the Martian ecology, one must know the total effect of these factors. One may expect that, as a result of adaptation to low temperatures, there is a corresponding shift in the temperature optimum of enzymatic activity. Dryness is the main obstacle to active life. We suggest the presence of some soil moisture and water vapour. Moreover, there can be areas of permafrost. This minimum supply of water and periodic fluctuations of humidity may create conditions for the existence of drought-resistant organisms. Decreased atmospheric pressure alone does not affect micro-organisms, plants, protozoa and even insects. Ciliates reproduce in a flowing atmosphere of pure nitrogen containing 0.0002-0.0005% oxygen as an impurity. Protozoa may also develop in an atmosphere of 98-99% carbon dioxide mixed with 1% O2. Therefore, even traces of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere would be sufficient for aerobic unicellular organisms. Cells and organisms on earth have acquired various ways of protection from uv light, and therefore may increase their resistance further by adaptation or selection. The resistance of some organisms to ionizing radiation is high enough to enable them to endure hard ionizing radiation of the sun. Experiments with unicellular [correction of unicellar] organisms show that the effect of short wave uv radiation depends on the intensity of visible light, long-wave solar uv radiation, temperatures, cell repair processes, and the state of cell components, i.e. whether the cell was frozen, dried or hydrated.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Weather and Large-Scale Dust Activity during Martian Northern Spring and Summer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, David M.; Kleinboehl, Armin; McCleese, Daniel J.; Schofield, John Tim; Smith, Michael D.; Heavens, Nicholas

    2016-10-01

    Observations from MCS, TES and THEMIS now span the northern spring and summer seasons (Ls 0° to 180°) of 10 consecutive Mars Years (MY 24 through MY 33). These observations show very similar behavior each year. However, there are also noticeable differences and clear signs of inter-annual variability. To best study the three datasets, we examine zonal mean observations of the lower atmosphere (50 Pa, or ~25 km). This region was selected to provide the best quality from all three instruments. We separate the daytime (afternoon) and nighttime (early morning) data in the analysis.The climate at these seasons is dominated by the aphelion cloud belt, and 50 Pa is often close to the peak opacities in the clouds. There is also a strong diurnal thermal tide signature throughout the season at this altitude. The overall behavior is a rapid cooling at the start of the year (as the dust from the dusty season sediments out of the atmosphere) over the the first ~30° of Ls. The coldest temperatures then last until about the solstice and are followed by a slow warming trend through most of the rest of the season. The last ~30° prior to the fall equinox show a more rapid warming trend and significant inter-annual variability. In about half of the years, there is a warming event of the 50 Pa temperatures in the second half of northern summer. The warming is the signature of dust being lofted above the boundary layer, into the lower atmosphere. Due to the relatively clear atmosphere overall, even modest amounts of dust will create noticeable temperature changes. The temperature signature of the dust is more pronounced in the northern hemisphere.

  4. Simulating Galaxy Clusters with Dust Formation and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gjergo, Eda; Granato, Gian Luigi; Murante, Giuseppe; Ragone-Figueroa, Cinthia

    2017-07-01

    In order to investigate basic properties of galaxies, such as the star formation rate and the masses of baryonic components, it is important to account for dust reprocessing. Dust particles absorb and scatter the stars' optical/UV emission, and they re-radiate thermally in the infrared. A combination of simulations and post-processing radiative transfer computations can produce mock data, which can be compared directly to observations. Until now, however, dust properties have only been included in our simulations by means of post-processing assumptions, leaving room for uncertainties, particularly significant at wavelengths shorter than 100 microns. To reduce these uncertainties, we implemented a state-of-the-art treatment of the production and evolution of dust grains within our simulation code, P-GADGET3. This model traces the creation, evolution, and destruction of dust through various processes. It accounts for the diameter of dust particles with a two-grain-size approximation proposed by H. Hirashita. We will present a first result of our new code applied to zoom-in simulations of massive (M_{200} > 3 × 10^4 M_{⊙}) galaxy clusters, focusing in particular to the early stages of assembly of the cluster at high redshift, around z = 2, where the SF activity is at its maximum and the proto-cluster regions are rich of cold, dust-polluted gas.

  5. 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.

  6. Simulation of the Martian UV radiation climate and its effect on Deinococcus radiodurans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pogoda de La Vega, U.; Rettberg, P.

    The question of putative life on Mars has been the topic of several studies Early works had to rely on the physical data that have been gained during the 1970s with the help of the Viking missions More recently several Mars-related missions have provided numerous and more precise data to establish a realistic simulation of the Martian climate Our focus is directed at the diurnal temperature variations and the atmospheric pressure and composition the so called thermo-physical conditions which are typical for the Martian mid- and low latitudes The resistance of terrestrial microorganisms under the thermo-physical conditions on Mars was studied for the understanding and assessment of potential life processes on Mars In order to accomplish a targeted search for life on other planets e g Mars it is necessary to know the limiting physical and chemical parameters of terrestrial life Therefore the polyextremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans was chosen as test organism for these investigations For the simulation studies at the Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities PSI at DLR Cologne Germany conditions that are present during the southern summer at latitude of 60 r on Mars were applied We could simulate several environmental parameters of Mars vacuum low pressure anoxic atmosphere and diurnal cycles in temperature energy-rich UV radiation as well as shielding by different Martian soil analogue materials These parameters have been applied both single and in different combinations in laboratory experiments

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evolution of dust extinction curves in galaxy simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Kuan-Chou; Hirashita, Hiroyuki; Nagamine, Kentaro; Aoyama, Shohei; Shimizu, Ikkoh

    2017-07-01

    To understand the evolution of extinction curve, we calculate the dust evolution in a galaxy using smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations incorporating stellar dust production, dust destruction in supernova shocks, grain growth by accretion and coagulation, and grain disruption by shattering. The dust species are separated into carbonaceous dust and silicate. The evolution of grain size distribution is considered by dividing grain population into large and small grains, which allows us to estimate extinction curves. We examine the dependence of extinction curves on the position, gas density and metallicity in the galaxy, and find that extinction curves are flat at t ≲ 0.3 Gyr because stellar dust production dominates the total dust abundance. The 2175 Å bump and far-ultraviolet (FUV) rise become prominent after dust growth by accretion. At t ≳ 3 Gyr, shattering works efficiently in the outer disc and low-density regions, so extinction curves show a very strong 2175 Å bump and steep FUV rise. The extinction curves at t ≳ 3 Gyr are consistent with the Milky Way extinction curve, which implies that we successfully included the necessary dust processes in the model. The outer disc component caused by stellar feedback has an extinction curve with a weaker 2175 Å bump and flatter FUV slope. The strong contribution of carbonaceous dust tends to underproduce the FUV rise in the Small Magellanic Cloud extinction curve, which supports selective loss of small carbonaceous dust in the galaxy. The snapshot at young ages also explains the extinction curves in high-redshift quasars.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Martian Atmosphere Profiles

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-08-26

    The Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter maps the vertical distribution of temperatures, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere as the orbiter flies a near-polar orbit.

  16. Simulating Snowfall: Modeling Water Deposition on the Martian Northern Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durbin, Allyn J.; Brown, A.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahre, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    Every spring on the Martian northern ice cap, a retreat of the carbon dioxide ice reveals the permanent layer of water ice below. Data obtain by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on the Mars Global Surveyor during this retreat detected the presence of both carbon dioxide and water ice. However, the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected only water ice in the same location. It is theorized this discrepancy can be explained by the Houben process, first described in Houben, et al. (1997), which is a mechanism that provides the northward transfer of water ice onto the retreating carbon dioxide ice cap. In this project, we attempted to simulate Houben events using the NASA Ames Mars Climate Model. We have been able to replicate and verify some events indicative of the Houben process, providing a basis for the obscuration of carbon dioxide ice by water ice on Martian northern polar ice cap.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Structure and dynamics of the Martian lower and middle atmosphere as observed by the Mars Climate Sounder: Seasonal variations in zonal mean temperature, dust, and water ice aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCleese, D. J.; Heavens, N. G.; Schofield, J. T.; Abdou, W. A.; Bandfield, J. L.; Calcutt, S. B.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinböhl, A.; Lewis, S. R.; Paige, D. A.; Read, P. L.; Richardson, M. I.; Shirley, J. H.; Taylor, F. W.; Teanby, N.; Zurek, R. W.

    2010-12-01

    The first Martian year and a half of observations by the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed new details of the thermal structure and distributions of dust and water ice in the atmosphere. The Martian atmosphere is shown in the observations by the Mars Climate Sounder to vary seasonally between two modes: a symmetrical equinoctial structure with middle atmosphere polar warming and a solstitial structure with an intense middle atmosphere polar warming overlying a deep winter polar vortex. The dust distribution, in particular, is more complex than appreciated before the advent of these high (˜5 km) vertical resolution observations, which extend from near the surface to above 80 km and yield 13 dayside and 13 nightside pole-to-pole cross sections each day. Among the new features noted is a persistent maximum in dust mass mixing ratio at 15-25 km above the surface (at least on the nightside) during northern spring and summer. The water ice distribution is very sensitive to the diurnal and seasonal variation of temperature and is a good tracer of the vertically propagating tide.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of a simulated martian UV flux on the cyanobacterium, Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029.

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

    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.

  2. Laboratory simulations of Martian gullies on sand dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Védie, E.; Costard, F.; Font, M.; Lagarde, J. L.

    2008-11-01

    Small gullies, observed on Mars, could be formed by groundwater seepage from an underground aquifer or may result from the melting of near-surface ground ice at high obliquity. To test these different hypotheses, a cold room-based laboratory simulation has been performed. The experimental slope was designed to simulate debris flows on sand dune slopes at a range of angles, different granulometry and permafrost characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that the typical morphology of gullies observed on Mars can best be reproduced by the formation of linear debris flows related to the melting of a near-surface ground ice with silty materials. This physical modelling highlights the role of the periglacial conditions, especially the active-layer thickness during debris-flow formation.

  3. Numerical simulation of dust events in the Middle East

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidi, Mehdi; Kavianpour, Mohammad Reza; Shao, Yaping

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, the severe dust event of 3-8 July 2009 in the Middle East is simulated using the WRF-DuMo model. To improve the model capacity in dust emission estimates, the effect of soil salt on threshold friction velocity for wind erosion is taken into consideration. A soil-salt propagation map and the other input parameters are compiled based on remote sensing and a Geographic Information System. The satellite images and synoptic data are used for the validation of the model results. Synoptic analysis is done for the Middle East and the synoptic systems for the severe dust event are identified. Comparison of the model results with the observed data shows that in the Aral-Caspian Sea area, central Iran and the Dead Sea Basin, dust emission is suppressed due to the high soil-salt content. The model shows better performances when the soil-salt effect is considered.

  4. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, R.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; Di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; Harri, A.-M.; Montmessin, F.; Wilson, C.; Arruego Rodriguez, I.; Abbaki, S.; Apestigue, V.; Bellucci, G.; Berthelier, J. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Forget, F.; Genzer, M.; Gilbert, P.; Haukka, H.; Jimenez, J. J.; Jimenez, S.; Josset, J. L.; Karatekin, O.; Landis, G.; Lorenz, R.; Martinez, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Moirin, D.; Palomba, E.; Pateli, M.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Popa, C. I.; Rafkin, S.; Rannou, P.; Renno, N. O.; Schmidt, W.; Simoes, F.; Spiga, A.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Vivat, F.; Witasse, O.

    2017-08-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) experiment on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification, to measure for the first time key parameters linked to hazard conditions for future manned explorations. Although with very limited mass and energy resources, DREAMS would be able to operate autonomously for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing in a very harsh environment as it was supposed to land on Mars during the dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) relying on its own power supply. ExoMars mission was successfully launched on 14th March 2016 and Schiaparelli entered the Mars atmosphere on October 20th beginning its 'six minutes of terror' journey to the surface. Unfortunately, some unexpected behavior during the parachuted descent caused an unrecoverable critical condition in navigation system of the lander driving to a destructive crash on the surface. The adverse sequence of events at 4 km altitude triggered the transition of the lander in surface operative mode, commanding switch on the DREAMS instrument, which was therefore able to correctly power on and send back housekeeping data. This proved the nominal performance of all DREAMS hardware before touchdown demonstrating the highest TRL of the unit for future missions. This paper describes this experiment in terms of scientific goals, design, performances, testing and operational capabilities with an overview of in flight performances and available mission data.

  5. 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

  6. Simulation of absorbing aerosol indices for African dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshioka, Masaru; Mahowald, Natalie; Dufresne, Jean-Louis; Luo, Chao

    2005-09-01

    It has been speculated that the vegetation change and human land use have modulated the dust sources in North Africa and contributed to the observed increase of desert dust since 1960s. However, the roles of surface disturbances on dust generation are not well constrained because of limitations in the available data and models. This study addresses this issue by simulating the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Absorbing Aerosol Indices (AAIs) for model-predicted dust and comparing them with the observations. Model simulations are conducted for natural topographic depression sources with and without adding sources due to vegetation change and cultivation over North Africa. The simulated AAIs capture the previously reported properties of TOMS AAI as well as observed magnitude and spatial distribution reasonably well, although there are some important disagreements with observations. Statistical analyses of spatial and temporal patterns of simulated AAI suggest that simulations using only the natural topographic source capture the observed patterns better than those using 50% of surface disturbance sources. The AAI gradients between Sahara (north) and Sahel (south) suggest that the best mixture of surface disturbance sources is 20-25%, while spatial and temporal correlations suggest that the optimum mixture is 0-15% with the upper bound of 25-40%. However, sensitivity studies show that uncertainties associated with meteorology and source parameterization are large and may undermine the findings derived from the simulations. Additional uncertainties will arise because of model errors in sources, transport, and deposition. Such uncertainties in the model simulations need to be reduced in order to constrain the roles of different types of dust sources better using AAI simulation.

  7. 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

  8. Survival and death of the haloarchaeon Natronorubrum strain HG-1 in a simulated martian environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peeters, Z.; Vos, D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Selch, F.; van Sluis, C. A.; Sorokin, D. Yu.; Muijzer, G.; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2010-11-01

    Halophilic archaea are of interest to astrobiology due to their survival capabilities in desiccated and high salt environments. The detection of remnants of salty pools on Mars stimulated investigations into the response of haloarchaea to martian conditions. Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 is an extremely halophilic archaeon with unusual metabolic pathways, growing on acetate and stimulated by tetrathionate. We exposed Natronorubrum strain HG-1 to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, similar to levels currently prevalent on Mars. In addition, the effects of low temperature (4, -20, and -80 °C), desiccation, and exposure to a Mars soil analogue from the Atacama desert on the viability of Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cultures were investigated. The results show that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive for more than several hours when exposed to UV radiation equivalent to that at the martian equator. Even when protected from UV radiation, viability is impaired by a combination of desiccation and low temperature. Desiccating Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cells when mixed with a Mars soil analogue impaired growth of the culture to below the detection limit. Overall, we conclude that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive the environment currently present on Mars. Since other halophilic microorganisms were reported to survive simulated martian conditions, our results imply that survival capabilities are not necessarily shared between phylogenetically related species.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Kombucha Multimicrobial Community under Simulated Spaceflight and Martian Conditions.

    PubMed

    Podolich, O; Zaets, I; Kukharenko, O; Orlovska, I; Reva, O; Khirunenko, L; Sosnin, M; Haidak, A; Shpylova, S; Rabbow, E; Skoryk, M; Kremenskoy, M; Demets, R; Kozyrovska, N; de Vera, J-P

    2017-05-01

    Kombucha microbial community (KMC) produces a cellulose-based biopolymer of industrial importance and a probiotic beverage. KMC-derived cellulose-based pellicle film is known as a highly adaptive microbial macrocolony-a stratified community of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the framework of the multipurpose international astrobiological project "BIOlogy and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX)," which aims to study the vitality of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and the stability of selected biomarkers in low Earth orbit and in a Mars-like environment, a cellulose polymer structural integrity will be assessed as a biomarker and biotechnological nanomaterial. In a preflight assessment program for BIOMEX, the mineralized bacterial cellulose did not exhibit significant changes in the structure under all types of tests. KMC members that inhabit the cellulose-based pellicle exhibited a high survival rate; however, the survival capacity depended on a variety of stressors such as the vacuum of space, a Mars-like atmosphere, UVC radiation, and temperature fluctuations. The critical limiting factor for microbial survival was high-dose UV irradiation. In the tests that simulated a 1-year mission of exposure outside the International Space Station, the core populations of bacteria and yeasts survived and provided protection against UV; however, the microbial density of the populations overall was reduced, which was revealed by implementation of culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Reduction of microbial richness was also associated with a lower accumulation of chemical elements in the cellulose-based pellicle film, produced by microbiota that survived in the post-test experiments, as compared to untreated cultures that populated the film. Key Words: BIOlogy and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX)-Kombucha multimicrobial community-Biosignature-Biofilm-Bacterial cellulose. Astrobiology 17, 459-469.

  13. Kombucha Multimicrobial Community under Simulated Spaceflight and Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podolich, O.; Zaets, I.; Kukharenko, O.; Orlovska, I.; Reva, O.; Khirunenko, L.; Sosnin, M.; Haidak, A.; Shpylova, S.; Rabbow, E.; Skoryk, M.; Kremenskoy, M.; Demets, R.; Kozyrovska, N.; de Vera, J.-P.

    2017-05-01

    Kombucha microbial community (KMC) produces a cellulose-based biopolymer of industrial importance and a probiotic beverage. KMC-derived cellulose-based pellicle film is known as a highly adaptive microbial macrocolony—a stratified community of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the framework of the multipurpose international astrobiological project "BIOlogy and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX)," which aims to study the vitality of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and the stability of selected biomarkers in low Earth orbit and in a Mars-like environment, a cellulose polymer structural integrity will be assessed as a biomarker and biotechnological nanomaterial. In a preflight assessment program for BIOMEX, the mineralized bacterial cellulose did not exhibit significant changes in the structure under all types of tests. KMC members that inhabit the cellulose-based pellicle exhibited a high survival rate; however, the survival capacity depended on a variety of stressors such as the vacuum of space, a Mars-like atmosphere, UVC radiation, and temperature fluctuations. The critical limiting factor for microbial survival was high-dose UV irradiation. In the tests that simulated a 1-year mission of exposure outside the International Space Station, the core populations of bacteria and yeasts survived and provided protection against UV; however, the microbial density of the populations overall was reduced, which was revealed by implementation of culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Reduction of microbial richness was also associated with a lower accumulation of chemical elements in the cellulose-based pellicle film, produced by microbiota that survived in the post-test experiments, as compared to untreated cultures that populated the film.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Simulation of Martian EVA at the Mars Society Arctic Research Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pletser, V.; Zubrin, R.; Quinn, K.

    The Mars Society has established a Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) on Devon Island, North of Canada, in the middle of the Haughton crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite several million years ago. The site was selected for its similarities with the surface of the Mars planet. During the Summer 2001, the MARS Flashline Research Station supported an extended international simulation campaign of human Mars exploration operations. Six rotations of six person crews spent up to ten days each at the MARS Flashline Research Station. International crews, of mixed gender and professional qualifications, conducted various tasks as a Martian crew would do and performed scientific experiments in several fields (Geophysics, Biology, Psychology). One of the goals of this simulation campaign was to assess the operational and technical feasibility of sustaining a crew in an autonomous habitat, conducting a field scientific research program. Operations were conducted as they would be during a Martian mission, including Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) with specially designed unpressurized suits. The second rotation crew conducted seven simulated EVAs for a total of 17 hours, including motorized EVAs with All Terrain Vehicles, to perform field scientific experiments in Biology and Geophysics. Some EVAs were highly successful. For some others, several problems were encountered related to hardware technical failures and to bad weather conditions. The paper will present the experiment programme conducted at the Mars Flashline Research Station, the problems encountered and the lessons learned from an EVA operational point of view. Suggestions to improve foreseen Martian EVA operations will be discussed.

  17. Biological contamination of Mars. I. Survival of terrestrial microorganisms in simulated Martian environments.

    PubMed

    Scher, S; Packer, E; Sagan, C

    1964-01-01

    It has been postulated that the accidental introduction of terrestrial microorganisms to other planets during the course of space exploration might impede or bias the detection of organic matter and possible indigenous organisms, and thereby confuse subsequent studies of extraterrestrial life. To assess the likelihood of biological contamination of Mars, we have applied the principle of natural selection on a laboratory scale. Terrestrial microorganisms were collected from a variety of environments, including regions of high alkalinity, low mean daily temperature, and low annual rainfall. The air-dried soils were then subjected to a simulated Martian environment involving 12-hour freeze-thaw cycles from about -60 degrees C to about +20 degrees C; atmospheres of 95 per cent nitrogen, 5 percent carbon dioxide and low moisture content: < or = 0.1 atm pressure; and a total ultraviolet dose at 2537 angstrom of 10(9) erg cm-2. In some experiments, organic supplements were provided. Survivors were scored on supplemented agar. Preliminary results indicate a wide variety of survivors, even when no organic supplements were introduced. Survivors included obligate and facultative anaerobic spore-formers and non-spore-forming facultative anaerobic bacteria. Diurnal freezing and thawing was continued for six months. There was no significant loss of viability after the first freeze-thaw cycle. An extensive literature survey shows that survival of terrestrial microorganisms under individual simulated Martian conditions has been known for decades. The present investigation shows the absence of pronounced synergistic effects inhibiting survival. The probable existence of organic matter and moisture on Mars, at least in restricted locales and times, makes it especially likely that terrestrial microorganisms can also reproduce on Mars. The demonstration that all samples of terrestrial soil tested contain a population of microorganisms which survive in simulated Martian environments

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Computational Tools for Simulating Thermal-hydrological-chemical Conditions in the Martian Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Painter, S.; Boice, D.; Browning, L.; Dinwiddie, C.; Pickett, D.

    2002-09-01

    Methods for simulating non-isothermal, multiphase flow and geochemical transport in unsaturated porous media have matured in recent years, and are now used in a range of advanced terrestrial applications. Similar computational tools have a range of potential applications in Mars research. They may be used, for example, to support data analysis, to test hypotheses regarding the evolution and current state of subsurface hydrological systems, and to understand the potential for undesirable perturbations during future drilling or sample collection activities. We describe ongoing efforts to adapt computational hydrology tools to the conditions of the Martian subsurface in a new simulation code MARSFLO. Initial versions of MARSFLO will simulate heat transport, the dynamics of multiple fluid phases (ice, water, water vapor, and CO2), and the evolution of solute concentration in the absence of geochemical reactions. The general modeling strategy is to use equilibrium constraints to reduce the system to four highly non-linear coupled conservation equations, which are then solved using an integral-finite-difference method and fully implicit time stepping. The required constitutive relationships are developed from the theory of freezing terrestrial soils and modified for Martian conditions. Data needs, potential applications, and plans to include multi-component reactive transport are also discussed. This work was funded by the Southwest Research Initiative on Mars (SwIM).

  3. 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.

  4. Dust devil sediment flux on Earth and Mars: Laboratory simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neakrase, Lynn D. V.; Greeley, Ronald

    2010-03-01

    Laboratory simulations using the Arizona State University Vortex Generator (ASUVG) were run to simulate sediment flux in dust devils in terrestrial ambient and Mars-analog conditions. The objective of this study was to measure vortex sediment flux in the laboratory to yield estimations of natural dust devils on Earth and Mars, where all parameters may not be measured. These tests used particles ranging from 2 to 2000 μm in diameter and 1300 to 4800 kg m -3 in density, and the results were compared with data from natural dust devils on Earth and Mars. Typically, the cores of dust devils (regardless of planetary environment) have a pressure decrease of ˜0.1-1.5% of ambient atmospheric pressure, which enhances the lifting of particles from the surface. Core pressure decreases in our experiments ranged from ˜0.01% to 5.00% of ambient pressure (10 mbar Mars cases and 1000 mbar for Earth cases) corresponding to a few tenths of a millibar for Mars cases and a few millibars for Earth cases. Sediment flux experiments were run at vortex tangential wind velocities of 1-45 m s -1, which typically correspond to ˜30-70% above vortex threshold values for the test particle sizes and densities. Sediment flux was determined by time-averaged measurements of mass loss for a given vortex size. Sediment fluxes of ˜10 -6-10 0 kg m -2 s -1 were obtained, similar to estimates and measurements for fluxes in dust devils on Earth and Mars. Sediment flux is closely related to the vortex intensity, which depends on the strength of the pressure decrease in the core (Δ P). This study found vortex size is less important for lifting materials because many different diameters can have the same Δ P. This finding is critical in scaling the laboratory results to natural dust devils that can be several orders of magnitude larger than the laboratory counterparts.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Survival of Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Fungi in Simulated Martian Conditions On Board the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Onofri, Silvano; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Zucconi, Laura; Selbmann, Laura; Scalzi, Giuliano; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J; Rabbow, Elke; de la Torre, Rosa; Horneck, Gerda

    2015-12-01

    Dehydrated Antarctic cryptoendolithic communities and colonies of the rock inhabitant black fungi Cryomyces antarcticus (CCFEE 515) and Cryomyces minteri (CCFEE 5187) were exposed as part of the Lichens and Fungi Experiment (LIFE) for 18 months in the European Space Agency's EXPOSE-E facility to simulated martian conditions aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Upon sample retrieval, survival was proved by testing colony-forming ability, and viability of cells (as integrity of cell membrane) was determined by the propidium monoazide (PMA) assay coupled with quantitative PCR tests. Although less than 10% of the samples exposed to simulated martian conditions were able to proliferate and form colonies, the PMA assay indicated that more than 60% of the cells and rock communities had remained intact after the "Mars exposure." Furthermore, a high stability of the DNA in the cells was demonstrated. The results contribute to assessing the stability of resistant microorganisms and biosignatures on the surface of Mars, data that are valuable information for further search-for-life experiments on Mars. Endoliths-Eukaryotes-Extremophilic microorganisms-Mars-Radiation resistance.

  8. Chaotic Oscillations of the Martian Atmospheric Circulation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-09-01

    We present a simplified model of the global circulation-dust interaction aimed at explaining the interannual variability of martian global dust storms. The model is described by the system of the Lorenz equations (Lorenz, 1963) with an additional term that represents seasonal forcing.The results of the Mars GCM simulations (Pollack et al., 1990) are used to define the values of the model parameters. For some parameter values the model exhibits rapid oscillations in atmospheric circulation and dust loading during early summer in both hemispheres. The oscillations are non periodic and may represent the observed global dust storms. The solutions are consistent with the time of occurrence and the duration of the observed global dust storms, but contradict the occurrence of global storms only in the southern hemisphere. We suggest that physical processes not related to the global circulation are responsible for these discrepancies. These processes may include redistribution of the dust on the surface (Haberle, 1986) or water ice condensation on the dust particles (Clancy et al., 1996). The duration of the dust storms in our model is independent of the dust settling time, suggesting that the global circulation plays important role in the dust storm decay. We think that the results of our simulations may help in distinguishing between processes that are crucial for the Martian dust cycle and can provide guidance for the Mars GCM simulations. References: Lorenz, E. N., 1963. Deterministic non periodic flow, J. Atmos. Sci., 20, 130-141. Pollack, J. B., R. M. Haberle, J. Schaeffer, H. Lee, 1990. Simulation of the general circulation of the martian atmosphere. 1. Polar process. J. Geophys. Res., 95(B2), 1473- 1447. Clancy, R. T., A. W. Grossman, M. J. Wolff, P. B. James, D. J. Rudy, Y. N. Billawala, B. J. Sandor, S. W. Lee, and D. O. Muhleman, 1996. Water vapor saturation at low altitudes around Mars aphelion: a key to Mars climate? Icarus, 122, 36 62. Haberle, R. M., 1986

  9. High-resolution multifluid simulations of flux ropes in the Martian magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harnett, E. M.

    2009-01-01

    Three-dimensional multifluid simulations of the Martian magnetosphere show the development and dynamics of flux ropes. One flux rope, which is analyzed in detail, initiates at a reconnection region near the dusk terminator and travels tailward with a speed on the order of 40 km s-1. The reconnection region forms close to the planet at an altitude of 700 km. Both the location of the reconnection and energy spectra of the plasma in the reconnection region agree with Mars Global Surveyor observations of reconnection. The largest flux ropes have a spatial extent on the order of 2000 km. Energy spectra taken through the flux ropes show an inverted-V type structure similar to those measured by Mars Express, suggesting that some inverted-V observations may be transits through flux ropes. The simulations indicate that the formation of flux ropes can lead to enhanced loss of heavy ions from the atmosphere.

  10. 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

  11. Dust effects on LGRB host galaxies in cosmological simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bignone, L. A.; Pellizza, L. J.; Tissera, P. B.

    2016-08-01

    The very energetic long gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) constitute an extremely important tool to study the cosmological evolution of the Universe up to very high redshift. In this work we study the properties of LGRB host galaxies using numerical simulations of galaxy formation. We combine the galaxy catalogue of a hydrodynamical cosmological simulation with a model for LGRBs, which includes constrains for the mass and metallicity of their progenitors. This allows us to analyse the chemical and physical properties of both LGRBs and their hosts. A current problem is to disentangle the bias introduced on the observed host properties by a possible metallicity dependence of the progenitors, from the selection effects produced by dust obscuration in the hosts. We explore this issue by modelling the effect of dust in host galaxies, using radiative transfer codes. In this work we present preliminary results of this research line.

  12. Determining the source locations of martian meteorites: Hapke mixture models applied to CRISM simulated data of igneous mineral mixtures and martian meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Jennifer; Grindrod, Peter

    2017-04-01

    At present, martian meteorites represent the only samples of Mars available for study in terrestrial laboratories. However, these samples have never been definitively tied to source locations on Mars, meaning that the fundamental geological context is missing. The goal of this work is to link the bulk mineralogical analyses of martian meteorites to the surface geology of Mars through spectral mixture analysis of hyperspectral imagery. Hapke radiation transfer modelling has been shown to provide accurate (within 5 - 10% absolute error) mineral abundance values from laboratory derived hyperspectral measurements of binary [1] and ternary [2] mixtures of plagioclase, pyroxene and olivine. These three minerals form the vast bulk of the SNC meteorites [3] and the bedrock of the Amazonian provinces on Mars that are inferred to be the source regions for these meteorites based on isotopic aging. Spectral unmixing through the Hapke model could be used to quantitatively analyse the Martian surface and pinpoint the exact craters from which the SNC meteorites originated. However the Hapke model is complex with numerous variables, many of which are determinable in laboratory conditions but not from remote measurements of a planetary surface. Using binary and tertiary spectral mixtures and martian meteorite spectra from the RELAB spectral library, the accuracy of Hapke abundance estimation is investigated in the face of increasing constraints and simplifications to simulate CRISM data. Constraints and simplifications include reduced spectral resolution, additional noise, unknown endmembers and unknown particle physical characteristics. CRISM operates in two spectral resolutions, the Full Resolution Targeted (FRT) with which it has imaged approximately 2% of the martian surface, and the lower spectral resolution MultiSpectral Survey mode (MSP) with which it has covered the vast majority of the surface. On resampling the RELAB spectral mixtures to these two wavelength ranges it was

  13. 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.

  14. 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%.

  15. 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.

  16. Simulation of the environmental climate conditions on martian surface and its effect on Deinococcus radiodurans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Vega, U. Pogoda; Rettberg, P.; Reitz, G.

    The resistance of terrestrial microorganisms under the thermo-physical conditions of Mars (diurnal temperature variations, UV climate, atmospheric pressure and gas composition) at mid-latitudes was studied for the understanding and assessment of potential life processes on Mars. In order to accomplish a targeted search for life on other planets, e.g. Mars, it is necessary to know the limiting physical and chemical parameters of terrestrial life. Therefore the polyextremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans was chosen as test organism for these investigations. For the simulation studies at the Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities (PSI) at DLR, Cologne, Germany, conditions that are present during the southern summer at latitude of 60° on Mars were applied. We could simulate several environmental parameters of Mars in one single experiment: vacuum/low pressure, anoxic atmosphere and diurnal cycles in temperature and relative humidity, energy-rich ultraviolet (UV) radiation as well as shielding by different martian soil analogue materials. These parameters have been applied both single and in different combinations in laboratory experiments. Astonishingly the diurnal Mars-like cycles in temperature and relative humidity affected the viability of D. radiodurans cells quite severely. But the martian UV climate turned out to be the most deleterious factor, though D. radiodurans is red-pigmented due to carotenoids incorporated in its cell wall, which have been assigned not only a possible role as free radical scavenger but also as a UV-protectant. An additional UV-protection was accomplished by mixing the bacteria with nano-sized hematite.

  17. Survival of Deinococcus geothermalis in Biofilms under Desiccation and Simulated Space and Martian Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frösler, Jan; Panitz, Corinna; Wingender, Jost; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Rettberg, Petra

    2017-05-01

    Biofilm formation represents a successful survival strategy for bacteria. In biofilms, cells are embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). As they are often more stress-tolerant than single cells, biofilm cells might survive the conditions present in space and on Mars. To investigate this topic, the bacterium Deinococcus geothermalis was chosen as a model organism due to its tolerance toward desiccation and radiation. Biofilms cultivated on membranes and, for comparison, planktonically grown cells deposited on membranes were air-dried and exposed to individual stressors that included prolonged desiccation, extreme temperatures, vacuum, simulated martian atmosphere, and UV irradiation, and they were exposed to combinations of stressors that simulate space (desiccation + vacuum + UV) or martian (desiccation + Mars atmosphere + UV) conditions. The effect of sulfatic Mars regolith simulant on cell viability during stress was investigated separately. The EPS produced by the biofilm cells contained mainly polysaccharides and proteins. To detect viable but nonculturable (VBNC) cells, cultivation-independent viability indicators (membrane integrity, ATP, 16S rRNA) were determined in addition to colony counts. Desiccation for 2 months resulted in a decrease of culturability with minor changes of membrane integrity in biofilm cells and major loss of membrane integrity in planktonic bacteria. Temperatures between -25°C and +60°C, vacuum, and Mars atmosphere affected neither culturability nor membrane integrity in both phenotypes. Monochromatic (254 nm; ≥1 kJ m-2) and polychromatic (200-400 nm; >5.5 MJ m-2 for planktonic cells and >270 MJ m-2 for biofilms) UV irradiation significantly reduced the culturability of D. geothermalis but did not affect cultivation-independent viability markers, indicating the induction of a VBNC state in UV-irradiated cells. In conclusion, a substantial proportion of the D. geothermalis population remained viable under

  18. 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.

  19. Simulating STARDUST: Reproducing Impacts of Interstellar Dust in the Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postberg, F.; Srama, R.; Hillier, J. K.; Sestak, S.; Green, S. F.; Trieloff, M.; Grün, E.

    2008-09-01

    Our experiments are carried out to support the analysis of interstellar dust grains, ISDGs, brought to earth by the STARDUST mission. Since the very first investigations, it has turned out that the major problem of STARDUST particle analysis is the modification (partly even the destruction) during capture when particles impact the spacecraft collectors with a velocity of up to 20 km/s. While it is possible to identify, extract, and analyse cometary grains larger than a few microns in aerogel and on metal collector plates, the STARDUST team is not yet ready for the identification, extraction, and analysis of sub-micron sized ISDGs with impact speeds of up to 20 km/s. Reconstructing the original particle properties requires a simulation of this impact capture process. Moreover, due to the lack of laboratory studies of high speed impacts of micron scale dust into interstellar STARDUST flight spares, the selection of criteria for the identification of track candidates is entirely subjective. Simulation of such impact processes is attempted with funds of the FRONTIER program within the framework of the Heidelberg University initiative of excellence. The dust accelerator at the MPI Kernphysik is a facility unique in the world to perform such experiments. A critical point is the production of cometary and interstellar dust analogue material and its acceleration to very high speeds of 20 km/s, which has never before been performed in laboratory experiments. Up to now only conductive material was successfully accelerated by the 2 MV Van de Graaf generator of the dust accelerator facility. Typical projectile materials are Iron, Aluminium, Carbon, Copper, Silver, and the conducting hydrocarbon Latex. Ongoing research now enables the acceleration of any kind of rocky planetary and interstellar dust analogues (Hillier et al. 2008, in prep.). The first batch of dust samples produced with the new method consists of micron and submicron SiO2 grains. Those were successfully

  20. Correcting for variable laser-target distances of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements with ChemCam using emission lines of Martian dust spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Cousin, A.; Lanza, N. L.; Lasue, J.; Clegg, S. M.; Berger, G.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Tokar, R. L.; Bender, S.; Forni, O.; Breves, E. A.; Dyar, M. D.; Frydenvang, J.; Delapp, D.; Gasnault, O.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A. M.; Lewin, E.; Clark, B. C.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Blaney, D.; Fabre, C.

    2014-06-01

    As part of the Mars Science Laboratory, the ChemCam instrument acquires remote laser induced breakdown spectra at distances that vary between 1.56 m and 7 m. This variation in distance affects the intensities of the measured LIBS emission lines in non-trivial ways. To determine the behavior of a LIBS emission line with distance, it is necessary to separate the effects of many parameters such as laser energy, laser spot size, target homogeneity, and optical collection efficiency. These parameters may be controlled in a laboratory on Earth but for field applications or in space this is a challenge. In this paper, we show that carefully selected ChemCam LIBS emission lines acquired from the Martian dust can be used to build an internal proxy spectroscopic standard. This in turn, allows for a direct measurement of the effects of the distance of various LIBS emission lines and hence can be used to correct ChemCam LIBS spectra for distance variations. When tested on pre-launch LIBS calibration data acquired under Martian-like conditions and with controlled and well-calibrated targets, this approach yields much improved agreement between targets observed at various distances. This work lays the foundation for future implementation of automated routines to correct ChemCam spectra for differences caused by variable distance.

  1. Regionality of Dust Haze Transport in the Mars Atmosphere Revealed by Ensemble Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogohara, K.

    2017-06-01

    Regionality of dust haze transport in the Mars atmosphere is investigated by ensemble simulations using a GCM. It is turned out that processes of dust haze dispersion by advection are categorized into a few cases.

  2. 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

  3. Inferring the interplanetary dust properties. from remote observations and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, J.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Fray, N.; Cottin, H.

    2007-10-01

    Context: Since in situ studies and interplanetary dust collections only provide a spatially limited amount of information about the interplanetary dust properties, it is of major importance to complete these studies with properties inferred from remote observations of scattered and emitted light, with interpretation through simulations. Aims: Physical properties of the interplanetary dust in the near-ecliptic symmetry surface, such as the local polarization, temperature, and composition, together with their heliocentric variations, may be derived from scattered and emitted light observations, giving clues to the respective contribution of the particle sources. Methods: A model of light scattering by a cloud of solid particles constituted by spheroidal grains and aggregates thereof is used to interpret the local light-scattering data. Equilibrium temperature of the same particles allows us to interpret the temperature heliocentric variations. Results: A good fit of the local polarization phase curve, Pα, near 1.5 AU from the Sun is obtained for a mixture of silicates and more absorbing organic material (≈40% in mass) and for a realistic size distribution typical of the interplanetary dust in the 0.2 μm to 200 μm size range. The contribution of dust particles of cometary origin is at least 20% in mass. The same size distribution of particles gives a dependence of the temperature with the solar distance, R, in R-0.45 that is different than the typical black body behavior. The heliocentric dependence of Pα=90° is interpreted as a progressive disappearance of solid organic (such as HCN polymers or amorphous carbon) towards the Sun.

  4. 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.

  5. Simulations of the general circulation of the Martian atmosphere. II - Seasonal pressure variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, J. B.; Haberle, R. M.; Murphy, J. R.; Schaeffer, J.; Lee, H.

    1993-02-01

    The CO2 seasonal cycle of the Martian atmosphere and surface is simulated with a hybrid energy balance model that incorporates dynamical and radiation information from a large number of general circulation model runs. This information includes: heating due to atmospheric heat advection, the seasonally varying ratio of the surface pressure at the two Viking landing sites to the globally averaged pressure, the rate of CO2 condensation in the atmosphere, and solar heating of the atmosphere and surface. The predictions of the energy balance model are compared with the seasonal pressure variations measured at the two Viking landing sites and the springtime retreat of the seasonal polar cap boundaries. The following quantities are found to have a strong influence on the seasonal pressures at the Viking landing sites: albedo of the seasonal CO2 ice deposits, emissivity of this deposit, atmospheric heat advection, and the pressure ratio.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Simulating US agriculture in a modern Dust Bowl drought.

    PubMed

    Glotter, Michael; Elliott, Joshua

    2016-12-12

    Drought-induced agricultural loss is one of the most costly impacts of extreme weather(1-3), and without mitigation, climate change is likely to increase the severity and frequency of future droughts(4,5). The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the driest and hottest for agriculture in modern US history. Improvements in farming practices have increased productivity, but yields today are still tightly linked to climate variation(6) and the impacts of a 1930s-type drought on current and future agricultural systems remain unclear. Simulations of biophysical process and empirical models suggest that Dust-Bowl-type droughts today would have unprecedented consequences, with yield losses ∼50% larger than the severe drought of 2012. Damages at these extremes are highly sensitive to temperature, worsening by ∼25% with each degree centigrade of warming. We find that high temperatures can be more damaging than rainfall deficit, and, without adaptation, warmer mid-century temperatures with even average precipitation could lead to maize losses equivalent to the Dust Bowl drought. Warmer temperatures alongside consecutive droughts could make up to 85% of rain-fed maize at risk of changes that may persist for decades. Understanding the interactions of weather extremes and a changing agricultural system is therefore critical to effectively respond to, and minimize, the impacts of the next extreme drought event.

  14. Simulating US Agriculture in a Modern Dust Bowl Drought

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glotter, Michael; Elliott, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    Drought-induced agricultural loss is one of the most costly impacts of extreme weather, and without mitigation, climate change is likely to increase the severity and frequency of future droughts. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the driest and hottest for agriculture in modern US history. Improvements in farming practices have increased productivity, but yields today are still tightly linked to climate variation and the impacts of a 1930s-type drought on current and future agricultural systems remain unclear. Simulations of biophysical process and empirical models suggest that Dust-Bowl-type droughts today would have unprecedented consequences, with yield losses approx.50% larger than the severe drought of 2012. Damages at these extremes are highly sensitive to temperature, worsening by approx.25% with each degree centigrade of warming. We find that high temperatures can be more damaging than rainfall deficit, and, without adaptation, warmer mid-century temperatures with even average precipitation could lead to maize losses equivalent to the Dust Bowl drought. Warmer temperatures alongside consecutive droughts could make up to 85% of rain-fed maize at risk of changes that may persist for decades. Understanding the interactions of weather extremes and a changing agricultural system is therefore critical to effectively respond to, and minimize, the impacts of the next extreme drought event.

  15. A treecode to simulate dust-plasma interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, D. M.; Holgate, J. T.

    2017-02-01

    The interaction of a small object with surrounding plasma is an area of plasma-physics research with a multitude of applications. This paper introduces the plasma octree code pot, a microscopic simulator of a spheroidal dust grain in a plasma. pot uses the Barnes-Hut treecode algorithm to perform N-body simulations of electrons and ions in the vicinity of a chargeable spheroid, employing also the Boris particle-motion integrator and Hutchinson’s reinjection algorithm from SCEPTIC; a description of the implementation of all three algorithms is provided. We present results from pot simulations of the charging of spheres in magnetised plasmas, and of spheroids in unmagnetized plasmas. The results call into question the validity of using the Boltzmann relation in hybrid PIC codes. Substantial portions of this paper are adapted from chapters 4 and 5 of the first author’s recent PhD dissertation.

  16. Analytic and Simulation Studies of Dust Grain Interaction and Structuring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampe, Martin; Joyce, Glenn; Ganguli, Gurudas

    For dust grains in stationary plasma, a quantitative assessment is made of the effect of centrifugal potential barriers on ion trajectories near a grain. It is shown that in most situations of interest the barriers are weak and only marginally affect the validity of the orbital-motion-limited (OML) theory. The OML theory is then used to show that the electrostatic interaction between grains is always repulsive. The ion-shadowing force is calculated, and it is shown that this force can lead to a weak net attraction between grains at long range, under certain conditions with large grains, dense plasma, and/or low gas pressure. For grains in streaming plasma at or near the sheath, it is shown that nonlinear effects are weak and the grains can be represented as dressed particles interacting via the dynamically shielded Coulomb interaction, which includes wakefields, Landau damping, and collisional damping. The Dynamically Shielded Dust (DSD) simulation code, which is based on this model, is described and a simulation is shown for strongly coupled grains in flowing plasma. The simulation shows ordering of the grains into rigid strings aligned with the ion flow, and looser glass-like organization of the strings in the transverse plane. The presence of strings with odd and even numbers of grains results in stratification of the grains into planes with an alternating structure.

  17. 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.

  18. Survival of Deinococcus geothermalis in Biofilms under Desiccation and Simulated Space and Martian Conditions.

    PubMed

    Frösler, Jan; Panitz, Corinna; Wingender, Jost; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Rettberg, Petra

    2017-05-01

    Biofilm formation represents a successful survival strategy for bacteria. In biofilms, cells are embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). As they are often more stress-tolerant than single cells, biofilm cells might survive the conditions present in space and on Mars. To investigate this topic, the bacterium Deinococcus geothermalis was chosen as a model organism due to its tolerance toward desiccation and radiation. Biofilms cultivated on membranes and, for comparison, planktonically grown cells deposited on membranes were air-dried and exposed to individual stressors that included prolonged desiccation, extreme temperatures, vacuum, simulated martian atmosphere, and UV irradiation, and they were exposed to combinations of stressors that simulate space (desiccation + vacuum + UV) or martian (desiccation + Mars atmosphere + UV) conditions. The effect of sulfatic Mars regolith simulant on cell viability during stress was investigated separately. The EPS produced by the biofilm cells contained mainly polysaccharides and proteins. To detect viable but nonculturable (VBNC) cells, cultivation-independent viability indicators (membrane integrity, ATP, 16S rRNA) were determined in addition to colony counts. Desiccation for 2 months resulted in a decrease of culturability with minor changes of membrane integrity in biofilm cells and major loss of membrane integrity in planktonic bacteria. Temperatures between -25°C and +60°C, vacuum, and Mars atmosphere affected neither culturability nor membrane integrity in both phenotypes. Monochromatic (254 nm; ≥1 kJ m(-2)) and polychromatic (200-400 nm; >5.5 MJ m(-2) for planktonic cells and >270 MJ m(-2) for biofilms) UV irradiation significantly reduced the culturability of D. geothermalis but did not affect cultivation-independent viability markers, indicating the induction of a VBNC state in UV-irradiated cells. In conclusion, a substantial proportion of the D. geothermalis

  19. 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

  20. Dust and the Mars Polar Vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, S.; Waugh, D.; Toigo, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dust is a highly variable forcing mechanism altering martian atmospheric dynamics. The greatest variability in atmospheric dust opacity occurs during Mars' northern hemisphere fall and winter, the canonical "dust storm season". The northern polar vortex develops during this season and can be stretched, weakened, or strengthened by variations in atmospheric dust. Additionally, Mars' north polar vortex manifests as an annulus of high potential vorticity around the geographic pole, which is distinctly different than Earth's stratospheric polar vortices where potential vorticity peaks at the pole. We examine the role of dust in shaping and altering the martian polar vortices in a series of idealized MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. Increasing dust loading disrupts the northern polar vortex near the winter solstice leading to a "mid-winter warming", and this is also seen in observations from the Mars Climate Sounder and Thermal Emission Spectrometer during large dust events. These appear loosely analogous with terrestrial "sudden stratospheric warming" events, where the strong westerly jet around the pole weakens and air inside the vortex quickly warms. The southern hemisphere winter polar vortex is distinctly different from that of the northern hemisphere, and we show that the fundamental "handedness" of the current martian climactic regime makes the southern hemisphere vortex less sensitive to dust forcing.

  1. Dust emission in simulated dwarf galaxies using GRASIL-3D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Santos, I. M.; Domínguez-Tenreiro, R.; Granato, G. L.; Brook, C. B.; Obreja, A.

    2017-03-01

    Recent Herschel observations of dwarf galaxies have shown a wide diversity in the shapes of their IR-submm spectral energy distributions as compared to more massive galaxies, presenting features that cannot be explained with the current models. In order to understand the physics driving these differences, we have computed the emission of a sample of simulated dwarf galaxies using the radiative transfer code GRASIL-3D. This code separately treats the radiative transfer in dust grains from molecular clouds and cirri. The simulated galaxies have masses ranging from 10^6-10^9 M_⊙ and have evolved within a Local Group environment by using CLUES initial conditions. We show that their IR band luminosities are in agreement with observations, with their SEDs reproducing naturally the particular spectral features observed. We conclude that the GRASIL-3D two-component model gives a physical interpretation to the emission of dwarf galaxies, with molecular clouds (cirri) as the warm (cold) dust components needed to recover observational data.

  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. Biological responses to the simulated Martian UV radiation of bacteriophages and isolated DNA.

    PubMed

    Fekete, Andrea; Kovács, Gáspár; Hegedüs, Márton; Módos, Károly; Lammer, Helmut

    2008-08-21

    Mars is considered as a main target for astrobiologically relevant exploration programmes. In this work the effect of simulated Martian solar UV radiation was examined on bacteriophage T7 and on isolated T7 DNA. A decrease of the biological activity of phages, characteristic changes in the absorption spectrum and in the electrophoretic pattern of isolated DNA/phage and the decrease of the amount of PCR products were detected indicating damage of isolated and intraphage T7 DNA by UV radiation. Further mechanistic insights into the UV-induced formation of intraphage/isolated T7 DNA photoproducts were gained from the application of appropriate enzymatic digestion and neutral/alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis. Our results showed that intraphage DNA was about ten times more sensitive to simulated Martian UV radiation than isolated T7 DNA indicating the role of phage proteins in the DNA damage. Compared to solar UV radiation the total amount of DNA damage determined by QPCR was about ten times larger in isolated DNA and phage T7 as well, and the types of the DNA photoproducts were different, besides cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD), double-strand breaks (dsb), and single-strand breaks (ssb), DNA-protein cross-links were produced as well. Surprisingly, energy deposition as low as 4-6 eV corresponding to 200-400 nm range could induce significant amount of ssb and dsb in phage/isolated DNA (in phage the ratio of ssb/dsb was approximately 23%/12% and approximately 32%/19% in isolated DNA). 5-8% of the CPD, 3-5% of the AP (apurinic/apyrimidinic) sites were located in clusters in DNA/phage, suggesting that clustering of damage occur in the form of multiple damaged sites and these can have a high probability to produce strand breaks. The amount of total DNA damage in samples which were irradiated in Tris buffer was reduced by a factor approximately 2, compared to samples in phosphate buffer, suggesting that some of the photoproducts were produced via radicals.

  5. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The Martian Atmospheric Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrosyan, A.; Galperin, B.; Larsen, S. E.; Lewis, S. R.; Määttänen, A.; Read, P. L.; Renno, N.; Rogberg, L. P. H. T.; Savijärvi, H.; Siili, T.; Spiga, A.; Toigo, A.; Vázquez, L.

    2011-09-01

    The planetary boundary layer (PBL) represents the part of the atmosphere that is strongly influenced by the presence of the underlying surface and mediates the key interactions between the atmosphere and the surface. On Mars, this represents the lowest 10 km of the atmosphere during the daytime. This portion of the atmosphere is extremely important, both scientifically and operationally, because it is the region within which surface lander spacecraft must operate and also determines exchanges of heat, momentum, dust, water, and other tracers between surface and subsurface reservoirs and the free atmosphere. To date, this region of the atmosphere has been studied directly, by instrumented lander spacecraft, and from orbital remote sensing, though not to the extent that is necessary to fully constrain its character and behavior. Current data strongly suggest that as for the Earth's PBL, classical Monin-Obukhov similarity theory applies reasonably well to the Martian PBL under most conditions, though with some intriguing differences relating to the lower atmospheric density at the Martian surface and the likely greater role of direct radiative heating of the atmosphere within the PBL itself. Most of the modeling techniques used for the PBL on Earth are also being applied to the Martian PBL, including novel uses of very high resolution large eddy simulation methods. We conclude with those aspects of the PBL that require new measurements in order to constrain models and discuss the extent to which anticipated missions to Mars in the near future will fulfill these requirements.

  9. Evidence for Martian electrostatic charging and abrasive wheel wear from the Wheel Abrasion Experiment on the Pathfinder Sojourner rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Dale C.; Kolecki, Joseph C.; Siebert, Mark W.; Wilt, David M.; Matijevic, Jacob R.

    1999-04-01

    The Wheel Abrasion Experiment (WAE) on the Mars Pathfinder rover was designed to find out how abrasive the Martian dust would be on strips of pure metals attached to one of the wheels. A specially modified wheel, with 15 thin film samples (five each of three different metals), specularly reflected sunlight to a photovoltaic sensor. When the wheel was rotated to present the different sample surfaces to the sensor, the resulting signal was interpreted in terms of dust adhesion and abrasive wear. Many data sequences were obtained. Ground tests of similar wheels in a simulated Martian environment showed that static charging levels of 100-300 V could be expected. To prevent the possibility of Paschen discharge in the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, charge dissipation points were added to the Sojourner rover and were shown in ground tests to keep charging levels at 80 V or less. Nevertheless, significant dust accumulations on Sojourner's wheels may be interpreted as evidence for electrostatic charging. Simple considerations of the expected maximum level of charging and electrostatic dust adhesion lead to an estimate for the size of the adhering dust grains. From the WAE data, it is hypothesized that the photoelectric effect is the most important mechanism for slow discharge in Martian daylight. Sensor signals obtained late in the Pathfinder mission show that significant wheel wear was seen on the metal wheel strips, with the most wear on the thinnest aluminum samples and the least on the thickest nickel and platinum samples. An estimate is made of the reflectance of the adhering Martian dust. The depth of dig of the WAE wheel shows that the dust is in some places very loose and in others tightly packed. Finally, comparison of the WAE results with ground test results makes possible a comparison of the Martian soil with mineral grain types and sizes found on Earth and show that the Martian dust is fine-grained and of limited hardness.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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).

  13. Performance of a 16.6 Meter Diameter Modified Ringsail Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1968-01-01

    Performance of a 16.6 Meter Diameter Modified Ringsail Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment. Inflation, drag, and stability characteristics of a 54.5 -foot nominal-diameter (16.6-meter) modified ringsail parachute deployed in the wake of a 15-foot-diameter (4.6-meter) spacecraft traveling at a Mach number of 1.6 and a dynamic pressure equal to 11.6 psf (555 N/m(exp 2)) were obtained from the third balloon-launched flight test of the Planetary Entry Parachute Program. After deployment, the parachute inflated rapidly to a full condition, partially collapsed, and reinflated to a stable configuration. After reinflation, an average drag coefficient near 0.6 based on nominal surface area was obtained. During descent, an aerodynamic trim angle was observed in a plane near several torn sails. Amplitude of the trim was approximately 15 degrees and oscillation about trim was less than 11 degrees. [Entire movie available on DVD from CASI as Doc ID 20070030996. Contact help@sti.nasa.gov

  14. Performance of 26 Meter Diameter Ringsail Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1967-01-01

    Performance of 26 Meter Diameter Ringsail Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment. Inflation, drag, and stability characteristics of an 85.3-foot (26-meter) nominal diameter ringsail parachute deployed at a Mach number of 1.15 and at an altitude of 132,600 feet (40.42 kilometers) were obtained from the first flight test of the Planetary Entry Parachute Program. After deployment, the parachute inflated to the reefed condition. However, the canopy was unstable and produced low drag in the reefed condition. Upon disreefing and opening to full inflation, a slight instability in the canopy mouth was observed initially. After a short time, the fluctuations diminished and a stable configuration was attained. Results indicate a loss in drag during the fluctuation period prior to stable inflation. During descent, stability characteristics of the system were such that the average pitch-yaw angle from the local vertical was less than 10 degrees. Rolling motion between the payload and parachute canopy quickly damped to small amplitude. [Entire movie available on DVD from CASI as Doc ID 20070031003. Contact help@sti.nasa.gov

  15. Performance of a 16.6 Meter Diameter Cross Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1968-01-01

    Performance of a 16.6 Meter Diameter Cross Parachute in a Simulated Martian Environment. Inflation and drag characteristics of a 54.4-foot (16.6 meter) nominal-diameter cross parachute, deployed at a Mach number of 1.65 and a dynamic pressure of 12.68 lb/sq f t (607.1 N/m(exp2)), were obtained from the fourth balloon-launched flight test of the Planetary Entry Parachute Program (PEPP). After deployment, the parachute quickly inflated to a full condition, partially collapsed, and then gradually reinflated while undergoing rapid oscillations between over-inflation and under-inflation. The oscillations began while the parachute was still at supersonic speeds and continued to low subsonic speeds well below an altitude of 90,000 feet (27.4 km). These canopy instabilities produced large cyclic variations in the parachute's drag coefficient. The average value of drag coefficient was about 0.8 to 0.9 at subsonic speeds and slightly lower at supersonic speeds. These drag coefficient values were based on the actual fabric surface area of the parachute canopy. The parachute sustained minor damage consisting of two canopy tears and abrasions and tears on the riser line. It is believed that this damage did not produce a significant change in the performance of the parachute. [Entire movie available on DVD from CASI as Doc ID 20070030995. Contact help@sti.nasa.gov

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

    PubMed

    Oró, J; Holzer, G

    1979-12-01

    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 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 pyrozable content of the Murchison meteroite. 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.

  18. The Martian diffuse aurora: Monte Carlo simulations and comparison with IUVS-MAVEN observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerard, J. C. M. C.; Soret, L.; Schneider, N. M.; Shematovich, V.; Bisikalo, D.; Bougher, S. W.; Jain, S.; Lillis, R. J.; Mitchell, D. L.; Jakosky, B. M.; Deighan, J.; Larson, D. E.

    2016-12-01

    A new type of Martian aurora, characterized by an extended spatial distribution, an altitude lower than the discrete aurora and electron precipitation up to 200 keV has been observed following solar activity on several occasions with the IUVS on board the MAVEN spacecraft. We describe the results of Monte Carlo simulations of the production of several ultraviolet and visible auroral emissions for initial electron energies from 0.1 to 200 keV. These include the CO2+ ultraviolet doublet (UVD) at 288.3 and 289.6 nm and the Fox-Duffendack-Barker (FDB) bands, CO Cameron and Fourth Positive bands, OI 130.4 and 297.2 nm and CI 156.1 nm and 165.7 nm multiplets. We calculate the nadir and limb intensities of several of these emissions for a unit precipitated energy flux. Our results indicate that electrons in the range 100-200 keV produce maximum CO2+ UVD emission near 75 km. We combine SWEA and SEP electron energy spectra measured during diffuse aurora to calculate the volume emission rates and compare with IUVS observations of the emission limb profiles. The strongest predicted emissions are the CO2+ FDB, UVD and the CO Cameron bands. The metastable a 3Π state which radiates the Cameron bands is deactivated by collisions below 110 km. As a consequence, we show that the CO2+ UVD to the Cameron bands ratio increases at low altitude in the energetic diffuse aurora.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A detailed framework to incorporate dust in hydrodynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, T.; Bovino, S.; Haugbølle, T.; Schleicher, D. R. G.

    2017-04-01

    Dust plays a key role in the evolution of the interstellar medium and its correct modelling in numerical simulations is therefore fundamental. We present a new and self-consistent model that treats grain thermal coupling with the gas, radiation balance, and surface chemistry for molecular hydrogen self-consistently. This method can be applied to any dust distribution with an arbitrary number of grain types without affecting the overall computational cost. In this paper, we describe in detail the physics and the algorithm behind our approach, and in order to test the methodology, we present some examples of astrophysical interest, namely (i) a one-zone collapse with complete gas chemistry and thermochemical processes, (ii) a 3D model of a low-metallicity collapse of a minihalo starting from cosmological initial conditions, and (iii) a turbulent molecular cloud with H-C-O chemistry (277 reactions), together with self-consistent cooling and heating solved on the fly. Although these examples employ the publicly available code KROME, our approach can easily be integrated into any computational framework.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A Dust Particle Accelerator for Laboratory Simulations of Cosmic Dust Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manning, H. L. K.

    2001-11-01

    Dusty environments in the solar system such as around comets and interstellar dust are the focus of many current investigations. Instruments performing in-situ measurements of dust particles require laboratory testing and calibrating prior to their launch. This laboratory testing is most often done with a high-speed dust particle accelerator. In addition, studies of physical processing of planetary surfaces and spacecraft materials due to micro-dust particle impacts can also be performed with a dust particle accelerator. In 1975, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota acquired a 2MeV dust particle accelerator from NASA/GSFC which is still fully functioning and currently being updated. Improvements to the electronic detection system have also been undertaken. We have designed a means to detect and record the charge and velocity of the dust particles with a computer system. Prior to these modifications, we had no means of correlating the particle's properties with the time the particles were detected. Other improvements to the vacuum system are slated. Besides improvements to the facilities, we have improved the performance characteristics of the accelerator. Our traditional dust material is 1-5 micron carbonyl iron. With this dust source, particles acquire velocities up to 14 km/sec. We have successfully used 70nm copper dust resulting in particles with speeds of 22km/sec and possibly higher.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Martian Winter Hemisphere Noncondensable Atmospheric Gas Abundance Enhancement: Numerical Simulations And Investigation Of Dynamical Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Jim; Nelli, S.; Sprague, A.; Boynton, W.; Kerry, K.; Janes, D.; Metzger, A.

    2006-09-01

    The enhancement at winter polar latitudes of noncondensable gases in Mars’ atmosphere is investigated with a global-scale numerical model. Mars Odyssey gamma ray spectrometer observations indicate a six-fold increase in noncondensable column-integrated gas relative abundance at high southern latitudes during early southern winter, and a three-fold increase at high northern latitudes during early northern winter [Sprague et al., 2006, JGR-Planets, accepted]. The enhancement arises from the condensation of the primary atmospheric gas, CO2, which falls as `snow’ to the surface (or directly condenses there) and forms the seasonal polar cap. The condensing CO2 "leaves behind” in the atmosphere noncondensable gases such as nitrogen and argon. Atmospheric simulations qualitatively reproduce the nocondensable gas enhancement, but at a magnitude of only one-half that observed. The simulated noncondensable gas enhancement magnitude is governed by the seasonal timing and magnitude of horizontal mixing of the enhanced high latitude gas with less enhanced gas from lower latititudes. This horizontal mixing is produced to a large extent by traveling baroclinic eddies, which become established at and engender the time of the enhancement maxima. The north polar vs. south polar relative enhancement magnitude differences arise from the differences in column CO2 mass abundance (surface pressure) between the high-topography south pole and the low-topography north pole. Maximum absolute column abundances (g cm-2) of noncondensable gas occurring at the two poles are of approximately equal magnitude. Model results and sensitivity study results will be presented. This effort makes use of the transport of truly passive tracers in the martian atmosphere to understand atmospheric dynamical processes and model fidelity. This work has been supported in part by NASA's Planetary Atmospheres Program (NAG5-12123). We acknowledge the efforts of the entire MRO GRS team.

  13. Numerical Simulations of the Martian Atmosphere in the SCIROCCO Wind Tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterna, D.; Savino, R.; De Filippis, F.; Da Silva, M. Lino

    2006-11-01

    This paper reports on the numerical activities performed at the Department of Space Science and Engineering (DISIS) of the University of Naples, in the framework of the European Space Agency (ESA) AURORA program, to study possible upgrades of the Italian Aerospace Research Center (CIRA) SCIROCCO Plasma Wind Tunnel (PWT), aimed at simulating the hypersonic conditions over space vehicles entering planetary atmospheres.The objective is to evaluate the performances of the facility in terms of surface heat fluxes and stagnation point pressures on a test model, when the PWT is operated with a mixture of Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen and Argon, reproducing the environment conditions during entry of spacecrafts in Martian-like atmospheres.A thermo-chemical non-equilibrium model of CO2-based mixtures has been developed for the numerical simulations of the flowfield inside the PWT nozzle and test chamber. The mixture is assumed to be composed by nine species (Ar, CO2, CO, C, O, O2, O, NO , N , N2) in thermal and chemical nonequilibrium.Stagnation point heat fluxes and pressures have been computed for each selected condition, and correlation formulas with total enthalpy and total pressure have been obtained, also with extension to other possible nozzles.When the SCIROCCO facility is operated with CO2, knowledge of the conditions at the nozzle inlet requires the development of a numerical model of the constricted arc-heater.Therefore, based on the state-of-the-art of thermo-fluid-dynamic modeling of arc heaters, a preliminary model of the flow in a "constricted arc-heater" has been developed. Comparison of the results with literature experimental and numerical data shows a satisfactory agreement.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Evaluation of a Mineral Dust Simulation in the Atmospheric-Chemistry General Circulation Model-EMAC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel Kader, M.; Astitha, M.; Lelieveld, J.

    2012-04-01

    This study presents an evaluation of the atmospheric mineral dust cycle in the Atmospheric Chemistry General Circulation Model (AC-GCM) using new developed dust emissions scheme. The dust cycle, as an integral part of the Earth System, plays an important role in the Earth's energy balance by both direct and indirect ways. As an aerosol, it significantly impacts the absorption and scattering of radiation in the atmosphere and can modify the optical properties of clouds and snow/ice surfaces. In addition, dust contributes to a range of physical, chemical and bio-geological processes that interact with the cycles of carbon and water. While our knowledge of the dust cycle, its impacts and interactions with the other global-scale bio-geochemical cycles has greatly advanced in the last decades, large uncertainties and knowledge gaps still exist. Improving the dust simulation in global models is essential to minimize the uncertainties in the model results related to dust. In this study, the results are based on the ECHAM5 Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) AC-GCM simulations using T106L31 spectral resolution (about 120km ) with 31 vertical levels. The GMXe aerosol submodel is used to simulate the phase changes of the dust particles between soluble and insoluble modes. Dust emission, transport and deposition (wet and dry) are calculated on-line along with the meteorological parameters in every model time step. The preliminary evaluation of the dust concentration and deposition are presented based on ground observations from various campaigns as well as the evaluation of the optical properties of dust using AERONET and satellite (MODIS and MISR) observations. Preliminarily results show good agreement with observations for dust deposition and optical properties. In addition, the global dust emissions, load, deposition and lifetime is in good agreement with the published results. Also, the uncertainties in the dust cycle that contribute to the overall model performance