PSI: SWIM Project Maps Potential Sources of Mars Water

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PSI: SWIM Project Maps Potential Sources of Mars Water

Post by bystander » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:14 pm

SWIM Project Maps Potential Sources of Mars Water
Planetary Society Institute | 2019 Mar 06
Missions carrying humans to Mars will require on-site resources, and a project led by Planetary Science Institute (PSI) scientists Nathaniel Putzig and Gareth Morgan is mapping the availability of potential shallow water-ice sources across the surface of the Red Planet.

Two teams led by Putzig and Morgan were contracted by NASA to pursue separate mapping efforts of subsurface ice deposits in Arcadia Planitia. After their mid-term reports showed significant synergy, the teams were combined in a joint project called “Subsurface Water Ice Mapping (SWIM) on Mars,” which extends the coverage of the mapping project from an experimental swath over Arcadia Planitia to all other low elevation regions across the Martian Northern Hemisphere.

The SWIM team is producing new maps of the likelihood of subsurface ice deposits over these regions by combining radar, thermal, neutron, altimetry, and image data from several Mars-orbiting spacecraft. The team is also employing newly developed techniques that include using radar returns to infer the presence of ice within the top 5 meters of the crust and applying advanced radar processing to improve resolution at depth and to estimate the purity of ice in the subsurface. ...

In addition to an expanded ‘Arcadia’ study region, the SWIM team has been contracted to map three other study regions. These are the ‘Acidalia,’ ‘Onilus,’ and ‘Utopia’ regions shown in the accompanying figure. Results from each of these study regions will be integrated into a single northern hemisphere ice consistency map by the end of April 2019. ...
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