An Oman-based experiment uses Quantum nodes to validate methods for potential water survey on Mars.
In a recent mission in the Dhofar region of Oman, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) led the “Water Explorer” experiment, which used INOVA Geophysical’s Quantum® nodes to record seismic waves and simulate methods that could be used on Mars to determine the presence of water in its shallow subsurface.
The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) spearheaded this multi-experiment expedition in preparation for an anticipated human mission to Mars in the late 2030s. PDO’s Water Explorer experiment was one of many tests in OeWF’s expedition, which consisted of an international team whose objective was to conduct earth-based tests in the areas of engineering and science, relevant for supporting future human Mars missions.
The Water Explorer experiment included validating deployment of a self-contained recording geophone, including Quantum, in a simulated Mars environment as well as evaluation of seismic data generated by an impulsive source and passive recording.
Data analysis from the Water Explorer experiment is still underway. However, much was learned relative to adapting workflows and equipment for a similar seismic survey on Mars, moving one step closer to answering the question integral to life as we know it, “Is there water on Mars?”.
“Austrian Space Forum”, www.oewf.org
Groemer, G., et. al., The AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Expedition in the Dhofar Region of Oman, https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2031
Photography: Florian Voggeneder
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