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Hyperspectral Imaging Spectrometer for Geologic Unit Mapping in Planetary Analog Setting

Presentation #317.07 in the session Future Missions and Instrumentations - Rocky Bodies, Atmospheres (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Hyperspectral Imaging Spectrometer for Geologic Unit Mapping in Planetary Analog Setting

The Toolbox for Research and Exploration (TREX) team is focused on developing decision-making software and tools for exploring planetary bodies by leveraging advancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and human machine interfaces. In October 2022, TREX carried out a field campaign at Yellow Cat, Utah, to geologically map a simulated planetary landscape. The process initiated with 18 m/pixel areal images from the AVIRIS hyperspectral dataset to assign initial geologic regions for the site map. This technique mirrored the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s CRISM instrument’s function to initialize the exploration and mapping. The Carnegie Mellon University rover, Zoë, was used to explore the region laid out in the initial map, and relay its findings to an isolated, remote science team. The rover and field team were equipped with instruments for remote observations and contact measurements, including real-time science analysis tools and an array of spectrometers for gamma ray, ultraviolet, visible-near-infrared, Fourier transform infrared, and X-ray diffraction. Additionally, field samples were collected for comparative analysis and validation. This presentation describes the addition of a PIKA IR 900-1700 nm hyperspectral imager to the initial AVRIS imagery and Zoë’s measurement suite to provide information at an intermediate-length scale and simulate exploration akin to NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter. This camera has a broader spectral window and was moved by the team to simulate the mobility of a helicopter or drone. The hyperspectral imaging capability was used to identify minerals and geologic layers of interest for geologic unit definition, particularly in inaccessible areas like steep cliffs. These data were processed to explore the advantages of collecting data in the resolution gap between a ground-based rover and an orbital asset; in addition, the benefits of enhanced mobility were explored. Looking forward, the TREX team will integrate the hyperspectral imager data with the AVIRIS survey data, with potential applications to planetary exploration planning based on higher resolution initial data.

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