MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding)
Phase E (2007)
Planning Tool, Commanding Tool, Quick Look Tool, Level 2 Tool, Geographic Visualization Tool implementation
The first results of MARSIS radar data analysis have led to discover a big structure almost circular, of about 250 km diameter, under the surface of Mars in the northern lands of Chryse Planitia region, at median latitudes. Scientists believe that, presumably, it may be a basin, dug by a meteorite and successively buried, containing a thick layer of ice.
CORISTA participated in MARSIS project, in particular to the radar Ground Segment, one of the elements of the project devoted to the instrument control and monitoring, able to receive and process at ground the scientific data sent from the radar positioned on the orbiter (for further information go to MARSIS-Planning Tool, Commanding Tool, Quick Look Tool, Level 2 Tool, Geographic Visualization Tool implementation page).
The software procedures developed by CO.RI.S.T.A. researchers enable the scientific investigators to check and manage the radar at best. In fact they accomplish important tasks as the planning of MARSIS operative phases and the processing of the data obtained, meanwhile they correct errors and distortions to achieve high quality and accuracy measurements for planetologists.
The radar grams are an example of the procedures (technically compression in range) realized by CO.RI.S.T.A. researchers to process the eco radar and to obtain very accurate distance measurements.
Moreover some other operations are possible for the mission applicative success.
For example, with reference to the lands in which the sub superficial returns have been noted, we can observe the figure "Martian plan sphere"
which represents the trace of Mars Express satellite drawn on an elevation model of Mars surface realised previously by a laser altimeter. This permits to define the exact moment when MARSIS can observe determinate targets on Mars surface.
The figure "Zoom of the site of radar return"
Zoom of the subterranean site in Chryse Planitia region in Mars median latitudes
represents an enlargement of the zone where the radar has detected the presence of hidden structures, while the figure "Orbit around Mars"
Mars Express orbit around Mars
permits a more effective visualisation of Mars Express satellite orbit (the altimetry of Mars surface, where the red colour represents the higher altitudes and the blue colour the lower zones, has been processed by the scientific data of a former mission in which a laser altimeter has been used).
The other example proposed is the observation of ARSIA volcano. Located in the equatorial zone of the red planet (Martian latitude -9° and Martian longitude 240°, as we can see in the figure "Martian plan sphere-ARSIA",
it has a traditional conformation and 18km altitude (the figure "Nadir view of ARSIA"
Nadir view of ARSIA
displays the volcano's altitude observed from above).
Finally, to have a geographic reference of the radar gram on Mars surface, an image of the observed zone altimetry can be integrated with the radar gram line, as represented on the figure "MARSIS trace on Arsia volcano"
MARSIS trace on ARSIA volcano
MARSIS trace on ARSIA volcano
where the black trace represents MARSIS path along which measurements are carried out.
For further information please contact:Stefania Mattei