CO2 Seasonal Monitoring at the Martian South Pole and Subsurface Investigation over Jezero crater using Advanced Radar Processing Techniques with SHARAD Sounder Data

CO2 Seasonal Monitoring at the Martian South Pole and Subsurface Investigation over Jezero crater using Advanced Radar Processing Techniques with SHARAD Sounder Data

Dr. Maria Raguso, JPL Postdoctoral Fellow

Friday, January 6 @ 12:00 pm (PT) 180 – 101 and via WebEx

Abstract: During its 16 years of operations (2006-2022) to date, the SHAllow RADar (SHARAD) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has collected more than 30,000 total observations revealing buried subsurface interfaces all over the red planet. In this talk, I will discuss how this extensive dataset can be leveraged to enable several spatio-temporal geophysical investigations.

In the first part, I will present a study conducted over Promethei Lingula, the thicker poleward portion of the South polar layered deposit (SPLD). Here, a thin layer of CO2 frost accumulates and sublimates every Martian year in a reputable fashion. This CO2 cycle controls the atmospheric circulation on a global scale and is thus a crucial aspect for understanding the Martian climate. The analysis of radar the two-way delay time between the surface and subsurface reflectors is conducted over multiple SHARAD orbital tracks acquired at different seasons to constrain the change in the seasonal CO2 frost thickness and to infer the bulk density of the CO2 deposited during the southern winter over one Martian Year (MY 28-29).

In the second part, I will show a study conducted over the Mars2020 landing site where the observations acquired by RIMFAX revealed the presence of bedrock stratigraphy of the Jezero crater floor to depths of ~15 meters below the surface. SHARAD operates at a lower range of frequencies (10 MHz to 20 MHz) relative to RIMFAX (150 MHz to 1.2 GHz). Nevertheless, the two instruments can potentially detect the same shallow interfaces. Using all the available SHARAD coverage and combining SHARAD repeated passes coherently and incoherently, we investigate the surface and shallow subsurface (0–5 m and > 10–100 m) searching for subsurface reflectors below the Jezero site.

Both the studies gain by the application of advanced and dedicated SHARAD data processing techniques able to increase the radar data quality in terms of range resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), enabling the detection of weak shallow subsurface layers and the discrimination/suppression of the off-nadir spurious returns (also known as clutter).

About the speaker: M. Raguso received the MS degree in Communication Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Radar Systems and Remote Sensing from the University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy, in 2015 and 2018, respectively. From 2015 to 2017, she was Visiting PhD student at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CCAPS), Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), where she worked on development of algorithms for the processing of Cassini SAR and altimetry data.

In 2018, she joined the Geology and Planetary Science (GPS) Division, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), as a Post-Doctoral Researcher, working on Cassini SAR-altimetry-radiometer data in order to characterize the geomorphology and dielectric properties of Titan’s surface. In 2020 she moved to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as NASA Post-Doctoral Fellow with a proposal on the monitoring of the Seasonal CO2 frost at the Martian polar caps. Her research interests include radar systems design, electromagnetic propagation, scattering theory and the design of data processing techniques for planetary sounders (MARSIS, SHARAD and LRS) for geophysical parameter estimation. From 2015 to 2018 she formally and informally mentored female and male graduate students and she was invited speaker for numerous education and public outreach (EPO) seminars introducing the topic of Planetary Exploration using Remote Sensing to primary and secondary school students.

WebEx Info:
Meeting number (access code): 2764 291 8920
Meeting password: PPkqpH9ki66

01/06/2023 - 12:00
Dr. Maria Raguso, JPL Postdoctoral Fellow
180-101 & WebEx