Life on Mars with ER Mapper 6.3

Life on Mars with ER Mapper 6.3

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The Mars Society has used ER Mapper 6.3 on an expedition to the Haughton Impact Crater to generate geological and biological field data as part of a 2-week Martian fieldwork simulation. A crew of 7, which included geologists, biologists, physicists and aeronautical engineers, spent 16 days inside the FMARS station on the edge of the Haughton impact crater. The Haughton Crater is approximately 20km wide and was formed approximately 23 million years ago.

The crew processed a Landsat ETM image of the area while on site at Haughton using ER Mapper 6.3, which assisted them in identifying features and sites in and around the crater such as: ring faults, hydrothermal spots and drainage lines. Using information collated by a GPS system in the field, the crew integrated both the Landsat ETM image and the GPS coordinates to quickly and easily locate areas of interest within the study area for further examination.

The crew, which came from Scotland, Germany and the USA, undertook environmental field research within a 15 km radius of the habitat. This was achieved by the use of all terrain vehicles. The terrain simulates a Martian landscape and includes deep valleys and canyons, a crater, periglacial features and plains. In addition sunphotometer and surface spectrometer data was collected as part of a NASA JPL field campaign geared towards validation of Terra-MISR data.

The 2-story FMARS station habitat simulates living and working conditions that are expected to exist within Martian habitats of the future. All fieldwork was conducted using simulation spacesuits, conveying a sense of mobility and visibility similar to that expected on Mars.