The Geology of Mars from Orbital and Rover Data: Preparation for the ExoMars 2020 Mission

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering


As part of the preparation for the ExoMars 2020 mission, this project will use a range of different techniques and approaches to (1) help validate interpretations and hypotheses made from orbital data, previous surface rover missions and fieldwork, and (2) use ExoMars instrument emulators to test the capability of different observation techniques. The results will be important for landing site interpretation and mission planning when on the surface, but also of particular relevance to the ExoMars PanCam, ISEM, CLUPI, and MicrOmega instruments. Therefore, the objectives of this project are to help determine the geology of Mars with orbital and rover data, specifically:
1. Conduct visible and near-infrared analyses of martian meteorites to determine the spectral response of different instruments.
2. Compare and contrast geological interpretations of the martian surface from orbital and rover data.
3. Determine the difference between field-based observations and interpretations from a human with that expected with ExoMars.

This project will use techniques from different disciplines, providing the student with training in the use of GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS, ENVI, SocetSet), analytical facilities (e.g. near-infrared spectrometers, CT scanners), with the potential for geological fieldwork in the UK and overseas. The project will use the world-class meteorite collection at the Natural History Museum, London, and ExoMars instrument emulators and analytical equipment (e.g. NERC Field Spectroscopy Instruments) at UK institutions.


10 25 50