Skip to main content
Advanced Search

Filters: Tags: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets (X) > partyWithName: J.F. Bell III (X)

34 results (383ms)   

View Results as: JSON ATOM CSV
thumbnail
Processes, environments, and the energy associated with the transport and deposition of sand at Gusev Crater are characterized at the microscopic scale through the comparison of statistical moments for particle size and shape distributions. Bivariate and factor analyses define distinct textural groups at 51 sites along the traverse completed by the Spirit rover as it crossed the plains and went into the Columbia Hills. Fine-to-medium sand is ubiquitous in ripples and wind drifts. Most distributions show excess fine material, consistent with a predominance of wind erosion over the last 3.8 billion years. Negative skewness at West Valley is explained by the removal of fine sand during active erosion, or alternatively,...
thumbnail
The Mars Color Imager, or MARCI, experiment on the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) consists of two cameras with unique optics and identical focal plane assemblies (FPAs), Data Acquisition System (DAS) electronics, and power supplies. Each camera is characterized by small physical size and mass (???6 x 6 x 12 cm, including baffle; <500 g), low power requirements (<2.5 W, including power supply losses), and high science performance (1000 x 1000 pixel, low noise). The Wide Angle (WA) camera will have the capability to map Mars in five visible and two ultraviolet spectral bands at a resolution of better than 8 km/pixel under the worst case downlink data rate. Under better downlink conditions the WA will provide kilometer-scale...
thumbnail
The Navigation Camera (Navcam) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecraft provide support for both tactical operations as well as scientific observations where color information is not necessary: large-scale morphology, atmospheric monitoring including cloud observations and dust devil movies, and context imaging for both the thermal emission spectrometer and the in situ instruments on the Instrument Deployment Device. The Navcams are a panchromatic stereoscopic imaging system built using identical charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors and nearly identical electronics boards as the other cameras on the MER spacecraft. Previous calibration efforts were primarily focused on providing a detailed geometric...
thumbnail
We have developed an observational scheme for the detection and discrimination of Mars atmospheric H2O and CO2 clouds using ground-based instruments in the near infrared. We report the results of our cloud detection and characterization study using Mars near IR images obtained during the 1990 and 1993 oppositions. We focused on specific wavelengths that have the potential, based on previous laboratory studies of H2O and CO2 ices, of yielding the greatest degree of cloud detectability and compositional discriminability. We have detected and mapped absorption features at some of these wavelengths in both the northern and southern polar regions of Mars. Compositional information on the nature of these absorption features...
thumbnail
In January 2004 the Mars Exploration Rover mission will land two rovers at two different landing sites that show possible evidence for past liquid‐water activity. The spacecraft design is based on the Mars Pathfinder configuration for cruise and entry, descent, and landing. Each of the identical rovers is equipped with a science payload of two remote‐sensing instruments that will view the surrounding terrain from the top of a mast, a robotic arm that can place three instruments and a rock abrasion tool on selected rock and soil samples, and several onboard magnets and calibration targets. Engineering sensors and components useful for science investigations include stereo navigation cameras, stereo hazard cameras...
thumbnail
Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue...
thumbnail
Irvine, Backstay, and Wishstone are the type specimens for three classes of fine-grained or fragmental, relatively unaltered rocks with distinctive thermal emission spectra, found as float on the flanks of the Columbia Hills. Chemical analyses indicate that these rocks are mildly alkaline basalt, trachybasalt, and tephrite, respectively. Their mineralogy consists of Na- and K-rich feldspar(s), low- and high-Ca pyroxenes, ferroan olivine, Fe-Ti (and possibly Cr) oxides, phosphate, and possibly glass. The texture of Wishstone is consistent with a pyroclastic origin, whereas Irvine and Backstay are lavas or possibly dike rocks. Chemical compositions of these rocks plot on or near liquid lines of descent for most elements...
thumbnail
Veneers and thicker rinds that coat outcrop surfaces and partially cemented fracture fills formed perpendicular to bedding document relatively late stage alteration of ancient sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum, Mars. The chemistry of submillimeter thick, buff-colored veneers reflects multiple processes at work since the establishment of the current plains surface. Veneer composition is dominated by the mixing of silicate-rich dust and sulfate-rich outcrop surface, but it has also been influenced by mineral precipitation, including NaCl, and possibly by limited physical or chemical weathering of sulfate minerals. Competing processes of chemical alteration (perhaps mediated by thin films of water or water vapor...
thumbnail
The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a ~5 m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements...
thumbnail
The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) on the Mars Exploration Rover mission has acquired in excess of 20,000 images of the Pancam calibration targets on the rovers. Analysis of this data set allows estimates of the rate of deposition and removal of aeolian dust on both rovers. During the first 150-170 sols there was gradual dust accumulation on the rovers but no evidence for dust removal. After that time there is ample evidence for both dust removal and dust deposition on both rover decks. We analyze data from early in both rover missions using a diffusive reflectance mixing model. Assuming a dust settling rate proportional to the atmospheric optical depth, we derive spectra of optically thick layers of airfall dust that...
thumbnail
The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini‐TES) on board the two Mars Exploration Rovers provides the first opportunity to observe thermal properties from the Martian surface, relate these properties to orbital data, and perform soil conductivity experiments under Martian conditions. The thermal inertias of soils, bedforms, and rock at each landing site were derived to quantify the physical properties of these features and understand geologic processes occurring at these localities. The thermal inertia for the Gusev plains rock target Bonneville Beacon (∼1200 J m−2 K−1 s−1/2) is consistent with a dense, basaltic rock, but the rocks at the Columbia Hills have a lower thermal inertia (∼620 J m−2 K−1s−1/2),...
thumbnail
Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines,...
thumbnail
Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0–2.65 µm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest...
thumbnail
The presence of outcrops and soil (regolith) rich in opaline silica (∼65–92 wt % SiO2) in association with volcanic materials adjacent to the “Home Plate” feature in Gusev crater is evidence for hydrothermal conditions. The Spirit rover has supplied a diverse set of observations that are used here to better understand the formation of silica and the activity, abundance, and fate of water in the first hydrothermal system to be explored in situ on Mars. We apply spectral, chemical, morphological, textural, and stratigraphic observations to assess whether the silica was produced by acid sulfate leaching of precursor rocks, by precipitation from silica‐rich solutions, or by some combination. The apparent lack of S enrichment...
thumbnail
The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) investigation is part of the Athena science payload launched to Mars in 2003 on NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. The scientific goals of the Pancam investigation are to assess the high‐resolution morphology, topography, and geologic context of each MER landing site, to obtain color images to constrain the mineralogic, photometric, and physical properties of surface materials, and to determine dust and aerosol opacity and physical properties from direct imaging of the Sun and sky. Pancam also provides mission support measurements for the rovers, including Sun‐finding for rover navigation, hazard identification and digital terrain modeling to help guide long‐term rover...
thumbnail
The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity touched down at Meridiani Planum in January 2004 and since then has been conducting observations with the Athena science payload. The rover has traversed more than 5 km, carrying out the first outcrop‐scale investigation of sedimentary rocks on Mars. The rocks of Meridiani Planum are sandstones formed by eolian and aqueous reworking of sand grains that are composed of mixed fine‐grained siliciclastics and sulfates. The siliciclastic fraction was produced by chemical alteration of a precursor basalt. The sulfates are dominantly Mg‐sulfates and also include Ca‐sulfates and jarosite. The stratigraphic section observed to date is dominated by eolian bedforms, with subaqueous current...
thumbnail
The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity acquired visible/near‐infrared multispectral observations of soils and rocks under varying viewing and illumination geometries that were modeled using radiative transfer theory to improve interpretations of the microphysical and surface scattering nature of materials in Meridiani Planum. Nearly 25,000 individual measurements were collected of rock and soil units identified by their color and morphologic properties over a wide range of phase angles (0–150°) at Eagle crater, in the surrounding plains, in Endurance crater, and in the plains between Endurance and Erebus craters through Sol 492. Corrections for diffuse skylight incorporated sky models...
thumbnail
This paper summarizes Spirit Rover operations in the Columbia Hills, Gusev crater, from sol 1410 (start of the third winter campaign) to sol 2169 (when extrication attempts from Troy stopped to winterize the vehicle) and provides an overview of key scientific results. The third winter campaign took advantage of parking on the northern slope of Home Plate to tilt the vehicle to track the sun and thus survive the winter season. With the onset of the spring season, Spirit began circumnavigating Home Plate on the way to volcanic constructs located to the south. Silica‐rich nodular rocks were discovered in the valley to the north of Home Plate. The inoperative right front wheel drive actuator made climbing soil‐covered...
thumbnail
Laboratory visible/near-infrared multispectral observations of Mars Exploration Rover Pancam calibration target materials coated with different thicknesses of Mars spectral analog dust were acquired under variable illumination geometries using the Bloomsburg University Goniometer. The data were fit with a two-layer radiative transfer model that combines a Hapke formulation for the dust with measured values of the substrate interpolated using a He-Torrance approach. We first determined the single-scattering albedo, phase function, opposition effect width, and amplitude for the dust using the entire data set (six coating thicknesses, three substrates, four wavelengths, and phase angles 3??-117??). The dust exhibited...
thumbnail
Multispectral observations of rocks and soils were acquired under varying illumination and viewing geometries in visible/near‐infrared wavelengths by the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) on the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover to provide constraints on the physical and mineralogical nature of geologic materials in Gusev Crater. Data sets were acquired at six sites located near the landing site, in the surrounding plains, and in the West Spur and Husband Hill regions of the Columbia Hills. From these ∼600 images, over 10,000 regions of interest were selected of rocks and soils over a wide range of phase angles (0–130°). Corrections for diffuse skylight incorporated sky models based on observations of atmospheric opacity throughout...