June 20, 2013: Thermophysical Modeling and Measurements of Martian-Like Particulated Materials: Effect of Temperature and Cementing Phases

Thermal infrared imaging of sedimentary terrestrial analogs and neutron remote sensing by the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover are discussed.  Thermal infrared data have been used on Mars spacecraft for decades, however, the broadband thermal images of various sedimentological features have not been well characterized.  Day-night aerial thermal images were acquired and ground-truth mapping performed for thermophysical characterization of sedimentary features.  Building on this work, surface images could be acquired from a rover mast at specific times of day to be used for autonomous classification of fines and cobbles, as well as unconsolidated and cemented materials.  Pulsed neutron data, like those acquired by DAN, can also be incorporated into rover autonomy.  DAN has the ability to sense anomalous hydrogen-or chlorine-rich features at or near the surface (<60cm depth) during a long duration rover traverse.  Initial results and geochemical classifications from DAN are presented.

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