INFRARED REMOTE SENSING STUDIES OF MARS ANALOG SITES AT THE NEVADA TEST SITE AND THE CHINA LAKE NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION
Instrumentation. An imaging capability is needed in order to correlate variations in surface texture with spectral signatures, and thereby to learn how to accurately interpret composition from the observed signatures. However, few studies of Mars analog sites exist that use thermal infrared imaging spectrometers. We use two primary imaging spectrometers: (1) the airborne "SEBASS" imaging spectrometer, which measures 2.5-5 and 7.5-12.5 microns in 256 bands; and (2) the ground-based "RamVan" imaging spectrometer (7.5-12.5 micron range in 181 bands).
Nevada Test Site (NTS). Fresh, small craters expose near-surface materials for identification, which is of particular interest in the hunt for near-surface water activity on Mars. Manmade explosions created numerous craters at the NTS. The relatively small size of NTS craters mimics what a rover might be expected to study on Mars. In addition, controlled access has preserved the NTS craters relatively undisturbed. Our thermal infrared, hyperspectral airborne and ground-based images of NTS craters provide a unique view of these Mars analog sites.
China Lake. The Coso hot springs are within the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, California. As with the NTS, controlled access has kept the hot springs relatively undisturbed. Detection of hot spring localities on Mars, if they existed, are highly desired. The RamVan and SEBASS data sets provide unique resources to study how to detect the associated materials.