NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 19.02-9835 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 000166 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wideband In-Situ Electromagnetic Sensor for Exploring Planetary Subsurface

We proposed for Phase I a new broadband electromagnetic (EM) sensor, tentatively called GEM-5, to measure the electrical conductivity of the first 5-10 m of Martian in-situ geology. During Phase I, we evaluated the performance of the proposed sensor through numerically modeling several Mars-like geologic formations, which included highly resistive layers (denoting ice layers) sandwiched between conductive layers (denoting soil layers). The model also included a highly resistive basement to simulate deep permafrost. Based on both the mathematical modeling and preliminary field data presented in our two bimonthly reports during Phase I, we have established that the proposed sensor should be able to probe the first 30-40m in depth to map the vertical conductivity of the Martian subsurface.

We built and tested two GEM-5 prototypes during Phase I and proved that their behavior agrees with theoretical predictions. We also conducted two field experiments using a similar broadband EM sensor. Based on the successful completion of Phase I involving both numerical simulations and prototype hardware, we now propose to complete and deliver the proposed sensor system through the following activities proposed for Phase II:

? Design, fabricate, and package a final prototype sensor
? Develop software for system control and data acquisition (data acquisition and depth sounding)
? Finalize the interpretation software that can realistically model ice and/or permafrost layers, in cooperation with the JPL or other NASA scientists who are familiar with Martian geologic and ice/water models
? Demonstrate the sensor package in laboratory and outdoor sites
? Cooperate with the NASA personnel to integrate the proposed sensor to a candidate rover platform for potential deployment on Mars

The sensor to be developed for Martian exploration has immediate applications to the commercial sectors listed below.

? The sensor system can be used for exploring mineral deposits, studying groundwater resources, and investigating geotechnical foundation problems.
? The sensor can be used for finding and classifying buried landmines and unexploded ordnance for clearing former military lands before they are turned over for public use.
? With further development, this sensor can also be used for checking weapons at security checkpoints such as airports and military bases.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
I.J. Won
Geophex, Ltd.
605 Mercury St
Raleigh , NC   27603 - 2343

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Geophex, Ltd.
605 Mercury St
Raleigh , NC   27603 - 2343

Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18