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Issue 7, 2009
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FTIR reflectance of selected minerals and their mixtures: implications for ground temperature-sensor monitoring on Mars surface environment (NASA/MSL-Rover Environmental Monitoring Station)

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Abstract

The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) is one of NASA/MSL's instruments, which has been designed for measuring ambient pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV radiation, and air and ground temperature (GT). The GT-sensor is dedicated to measure the real temperature of the Martian surface, integrating the IR energy coming from the ground. The existing IR spectral data of Martian dust, rocks and sediments allow for comparing the Martian spectra with the spectra of different terrestrial minerals and lithologies, and those of their alteration and weathering products. The FTIR reflectance of a set of selected astrobiologically significant minerals (including oxides, oxi/hydroxides, sulfates, chlorides, opal and clays) and basalt (as the main and most widespread volcanic Martian rock) was measured, considering different mixing amounts, and covering the specific working wavelength range of the REMS' GT-sensor. The results obtained show important percentage increases or decreases of reflectance in the entire wavelength range (e.g. basalt–hematitevs. basalt–magnetite) and specific variations limited to some spectral bands (e.g. basalt–smectite vs. basalt–jasper). The basalt reflectance percentage increases or decreases, even up to 100%, depending on the mixing of the different minerals. This unequivocally confirms the need for considering the chemical–mineralogical assemblages (and their textures) for any investigation and interpretation of Mars surface environment. Some complementary applications of this research on our planet, either in relation to the specific performances and characteristics of the GT-sensor autonomous recalibration system, or those oriented to carrying out similar studies on different types of terrestrial environmental settings, are also described.

Graphical abstract: FTIR reflectance of selected minerals and their mixtures: implications for ground temperature-sensor monitoring on Mars surface environment (NASA/MSL-Rover Environmental Monitoring Station)

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Mar 2009, accepted on 19 May 2009 and first published on 02 Jun 2009


Article type: Technical Note
DOI: 10.1039/B904737A
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2009,11, 1428-1432
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    FTIR reflectance of selected minerals and their mixtures: implications for ground temperature-sensor monitoring on Mars surface environment (NASA/MSL-Rover Environmental Monitoring Station)

    M. P. Martín-Redondo, E. S. Martínez, M. T. F. Sampedro, C. Armiens, J. Gómez-Elvira and J. Martinez-Frias, J. Environ. Monit., 2009, 11, 1428
    DOI: 10.1039/B904737A

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