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HRSC and the ESA Mission Mars Express
The Mars Express Mission is focused on the geomorphologic examination of Mars as well as a three dimensional mapping of the Martian surface. The HRSC/SRC camera experiment was developed under supervision of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Neukum and is aimed to prepare a color map of the Martian surface in high resolution. Since 25 December 2003, the probe has been orbiting Mars and is constantly sending data back to Earth.
NASA Mission Cassini/Huygens
The Cassini/Huygens Mission is focused on exploring the planet Saturn, including its moons, rings and magnetic field. Researchers of the FU Berlin are involved with the Imaging Team of Cassini by the personal membership of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Neukum. Since 1 July 2004 the spacecraft is orbiting Saturn.
Research Profile and Projects of Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing
Geoinformatics involves the acquisition, processing, modelling and visualization of quantitative geoscience data and its analysis and application to geoscience related problems. This field of study is covered by the two research groups "Mathematical Geology" and "Remote Sensing of the Earth and the Planets".
Applications for this field of study include the evaluation of natural resources (ore and mineral deposits), environmental concerns, town-, urban-, and agricultural planning, hydrogeological questions as well as the research of planets and their moons, regarding their history of origin, geological development, their physical structure, the chemical and mineral composition of their surface materials and important processes.
The research group "Remote Sensing of the Earth and the Planets" is actively involved with experiments and instrumentation from space missions of ESA and NASA and is well funded as part of the national space research program of the BMBF. The instruments, especially engineered for outer space applications (e.g. digital stereocamera), also have a high potential for terrestrial use (e.g. 3D-modelling, environmental questions, town- and urban planning.
Main Research Interests:
- Application and development of geostatistical procedures for analysing spatially distributed data.
- Classification of geoscience related records using procedures of quantitative stratigraphy, multivariable statistics and neurological networks.
- 3D geological modelling and CAD (Linear Octree based approach).
- Geological interpretation of remote sensing data.
- Application of remote sensing and GIS-methods towards exploration of natural resources and environmental monitoring.
- Characteristics of surface structures and geological development of terrestrial planets, of the Galillean moons of Jupiter, the moons of Saturn and small objects such as asteroids and comets.
- Application and development of three dimensional image processing procedures for planetary image data.
- Impact mechanics
- Conception and use of digital 3D cameras for remote sensing purposes with terrestrial and planetary applications.
- Research of asteroid and comet bombardments on earth and other planets (time-frequency methods and size distributions).
- Age determination using impact crater statistics.
Research Projects and International Cooperation:
Mathematical Geology :
- Application of 3D-modelling regarding quality assurance for mining and strip mining companies (Austria, Finnland)
- Analysis of geophysical bore hole logging data for lithological classification.
- Evaluation of the potential of natural gas (Kohleflözgas) in the Parana-Basin (Brazil).
- Statistical analysis of soil parameters using data of permanent soil observation areas (cooperation with the federal environment office).
- Mars-Project: Principal-Investigator-Experiment High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on Mars Express (primary access to the data).
- Cassini-Project to Saturn: participant as Team Member on the camera-experiment ISS (primary access to the data).
- Rosetta-Project for investigating a comet: participation as co-investigator at the VIRTIS spectrometer experiment (primary access to data) and participation as co-investigator in the camera experiment of the lander (primary access to data).
- Dawn-Project for investigation of the larger asteroids Ceres and Vesta: participation as co-investigator (primary access to data).
- HGF-Alliance: Planetary Evolution and Life
- Project in Spain (geological mapping using modern satellite data).
- Berlin-Project (surface temperature derivation from satellite images).
Chronostratigraphy of Mars:
Goal of the suggested research project is to improve and verify the existing chronstratigraphic models for Mars. This effort includes, on one hand, a photogeologic analysis of all available pictures of Mars with different spatial resolutions to take all sizes of craters into account and to evaluate the effects of erosion on the craters. On the other hand, the theoretical modelling of the crater production- dispersion should be improved.
The main goal of the photogeological work is to determine the real crater production function on Mars using empirical measurement methods, a new approach to the problem that was never employed previously. Another area of interest is to determine the dispersion of crater sizes on geological units with varying ages to verify the predicted stability of impact populations on planetesimals. In addition, this method offers the possibility to examine in detail the processes leading to the formation of surface structures and the effects of the erosion these tructures are exposed to.
Further improvement of theoretical modelling complements the photogeological examination by offering the possibility to compare impact processes on Mars and the Moon. This dramatically improves the quality of correlation of the crater production function and the age of the craters.