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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

From Svalbard to Mars: subsurface investigation of periglacial landforms with the WISDOM/EXOMARS GPR, RiS ID 11854

Awarded: NOK 87,000

On June 2023 the ESA (European Space Agency) rover of the ExoMars mission will land on Mars. The missions’ goal is to search for the existence of past life on Mars. Its payload is equipped with WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observation on Mars), a shallow Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) that will give us geomorphological indications of the first few meters of the Martian subsurface with the highest vertical resolution ever done. It is crucial to perform field tests with WISDOM before landing. As a matter of fact it provides a unique opportunity to validate methods developed to process WISDOM’s data taken in controlled and well known geological terrains. The WISDOM copy of the flight model has already been tested but nowhere as close to Martian conditions as Svalbard. The WISDOM@Svalbard field test campaign will take place in Central Spitsbergen (from Longyearbyen vicinity to Brenstkaret-Eskerdalen), on different periglacial landforms analogous to those found on Mars mid-latitudes. WISDOM data will be compared to UNIS PULSE EKKO GPR as well as to in-situ shallow samples obtained from hand-drilled cores.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum