Using satellite imagery to locate raw materials for Lunar and Martian regolith analogues in the Hajar mountains of the Arabian peninsula.

المشروع

تفاصيل المشروع

Description

The proposed work aims to identify and locate the regions in the Eastern Arabian peninsula, and more specifically the regions surrounding the Hajar mountain range, where raw materials can be obtained that can be used for construction of Lunar and Martian regolith analogues. The work proposed will utilize hyperspectral imagery obtained by Earth-observing satellites as well as public data obtained from satellites and ground rovers operating on the Moon and Mars to help identify local regions of interest. In addition, we will be using images from the upcoming Emirates Lunar Mission that will land the "Rashid" rover on the surface of the Moon in 2022. The official invitation from the Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Center of the UAE for our participation in the Science Operations Team of the first Arab mission to the surface of the Moon in 2022 involves the calibration and characterization of the Microscopic Camera (Cam-M) that is mounted on the lunar rover. The use of Cam-M data will allow for in-situ observations of the lunar regolith and will complement the spectral data that is available from Lunar orbiters.

Layman's description

The proposed work aims to identify and locate the regions in the Eastern Arabian peninsula, and more specifically the regions surrounding the Hajar mountain range, where raw materials can be obtained that can be used for construction of Lunar and Martian regolith analogues. The work proposed will utilize hyperspectral imagery obtained by Earth-observing satellites as well as public data obtained from satellites and ground rovers operating on the Moon and Mars to help identify local regions of interest. In addition, we will be using images from the upcoming Emirates Lunar Mission that will land the "Rashid" rover on the surface of the Moon in 2022. The official invitation from the Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Center of the UAE for our participation in the Science Operations Team of the first Arab mission to the surface of the Moon in 2022 involves the calibration and characterization of the Microscopic Camera (Cam-M) that is mounted on the lunar rover. The use of Cam-M data will allow for in-situ observations of the lunar regolith and will complement the spectral data that is available from Lunar orbiters.

Key findings

The development and study of simulants of the Lunar regolith has been pursued ever since the first samples were brought back from the Moon in the 1960s and the years that followed. Most recently, in December of 2020 the highly successful Chinese Lunar mission Chang?e 5 returned approximately 1.7 kg of pristine lunar material back to Earth for analysis. This material adds to the approximately 382 kg of material that was brought back to Earth on previous missions by the USA and the Soviet Union. High and low grade simulants have been created (Peters J.H. et al. 2008; Stoeser et al. 2010; Tang et al. 2017; Vrettos C. 2012 and references therein). However, in the case of Mars there have been no sample return missions and our knowledge of the Martian regolith relies mostly on the in-situ analysis performed by robotic landers and rovers. For example, it is well known from data of the Mars Curiosity Rover, that mafic and ultramafic components are the main constituents of the Martian surface regolith (Blake et al. 2013). It is also known that similarly the Lunar surface exhibits basaltic as well as gabbroic components (Sivakumar et al. 2017). Both the Martian as well as the Lunar surface seem to have components such as Pyroxene, Olivine and a number of Oxide minerals that are also found in rock spectral signatures in certain regions of the Hajar mountains of the Eastern Arabian peninsula (Philips et al. 2006, Thomas et al. 2006). These regions can therefore become prime targets for the acquisition of raw materials for regolith simulants. To aid our search for raw materials we will be looking at the spectral signatures and the lithology of the Hajar mountains of the Arabian peninsula using satellite imagery. The most prolific Earth observation satellite with a hyperspectral instrument was the EO-1 (Earth Observation 1) satellite that operated during the 2000-2017 period. Its Hyperion imaging spectrograph instrument was able to obtain spectra ranging from 0.357 ?m to 2.576 ?m in 220 spectral bands with an imaging resolution of the ground of 30 m per pixel (Pearlman J. et al. 2001). Recently, the new Italian satellite with a hyperspectral instrument called PRISMA began operations in 2019. Its capabilities are very similar to those of Hyperion utilizing 237 spectral bands across a similar wavelength range and with the same ground resolution of 30m per pixel (Loizzo R. et al. 2016). Similarly, we will also be looking at the hyperspectral data from Lunar and Martian orbiters. The Indian Chandrayaan-1 satellite that orbited the Moon during the 2008-2009 period carried the Moon Mineralogy Mapper hyperspectral instrument, which provided data acros 260 spectral bands across 95% of the lunar surface (Green et al. 2011). For the case of Mars, the Compact Reconnaissance Imager for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that has been operating in orbit around Mars since 2006. CRISM is able to observe the Martian surface across the spectral range of 0.362 ?m to 3.920 ?m with a resolution of 0.007 ?m per spectral channel (Silvergate P.R. and Ford D.E. 2004). References: Blake F.D. et al., Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and Analysis of the Rocknest Sand Shadow, SCIENCE, 341 1239505-1-7, 2013. Green R.O., Pieters C., Mouroulis P., et al., The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) imaging spectrometer for lunar science: Instrument description, calibration, on-orbit measurements, science data calibration and on-orbit validation., Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 116(10), DOI:10.1029/2011JE003797, 2011. Loizzo R. et al. The Prisma Hyperspectral Mission, Living Planet Symposium 2016, 9-13 May, Prague, Czech Republic, 2016 Pearlman J., S. Carman, C. Segal, P. Jarecke, P. Clancy and W. Browne, "Overview of the Hyperion Imaging Spectrometer for the NASA EO-1 mission," IGARSS 2001. Scanning the Present and Resolving the Future. Proceedings. IEEE 2001 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Cat. No.01CH37217), pp. 3036-3038 vol.7, doi: 10.1109/IGARSS.2001.978246., 2001. Peters G.H., W. Abbey, G.H. Bearman, G.S. Mungas, J.A. Smith, R.C. Anderson, S. Douglas, L.W. Beegle, Mojave Mars simulant?characterization of a new geologic Mars analog. Icarus 197, 470?479, 2008. Phillips, E.R., Thomas R.J., Styles, M.T., Goodenough K.M., and Schofield, D.I., Geology of the Hatta, 2006. Silverglate P.R. and Fort D.E., System design of the CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) hyperspectral imager. The international Society for Optical Engineering, DOI:10.1117/12.504876, 2004. Sivakumar V., Neelakantan R., Santosh M., Lunar surface mineralogy using hyperspectral data: Implications for primordial crust in the Earth-Moon system, Geoscience Frontiers 8(3), DOI:10.1016/j.gsf.2016.03.005, 2016. Stoeser, D.B., Rickman, D.L., Wilson, S., Design and specifications for the highland 551 regolith prototype simulant NU-LHT-1M and -2M. NASA/TM-2010-216438., 2010. Tang, H., Li, X., Zhang, S., Wang, S., Liu, J., Li, S., Li, Y., Wu, Y., A lunar dust simulant: 557 CLDS-i. Advances in Space Research 59, 1156-1160, 2017. Thomas, R.J., Schofield, D.I., Goodenough K.M., Styles, M.T, and Farrant, A.R., Geology of the Fujairah, 2006. Vrettos C., Shear strength investigations for a class of extra-terrestrial analogue soils. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 138, 508?515, 2012.
عنوان قصيرA number of new initiatives to explore the surfaces of the Moon and Mars are planned or are already underway. Public as well as private institutions realizing the economic and scientific potential of these two celestial bodies have shown increased interes
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