Objectives

The main objective of the project is to build and exploit the spectral library Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (PTAL) for the characterisation of the mineralogical and geological evolution of terrestrial planets and small Solar System bodies. This aim will be achieved by conducting the following four tasks:

  1. Performing laboratory experiments under controlled conditions and documenting rock alteration of field-collected planetary (often Martian) analogue materials, so that the impact of varying of environmental conditions (e.g., gas pressure, temperature, pH-value) can be quantified. We will be able to characterise and define the geochemical aspect of habitable conditions on Mars, which is the prime target of this investigation.
  2. Characterising of rocks and their alteration/weathering products as input for the spectral library with standard commercial and dedicated spacecraft instrumentation (NIR, RAMAN, LIBS, XRD) under laboratory conditions and where possible on in-situ field campaigns at Earth analogue sites.
  3. Performing coordinated analyses of the Martian surface from both orbital and landed platforms with new spectral data.
  4. Developing a data base, which will allow users to jointly interpret laboratory results and newly gathered in-situ or remote sensing data using the instruments (LIBS, NIR, RAMAN) on board of current and future space missions (e.g., Hayabusa-2, Curiosity, ExoMars, Mars2020).