Jan 01, 2015 — Dec 31, 2018
We investigate subduction-related seismic structures, including the fine-scale structure of the megathrust shear zone and underlying oceanic plate, and of earthquake sources in the northern Chile forearc by employing a suite of innovative methods of seismicity processing, imaging and ...
Jul 01, 2015 — Oct 31, 2018
Journeys to planets and moons of the Outer Solar System always pose a great challenge to space-mission design and conduct. Within the framework of the Cassini-Huygens mission US and European space agencies jointly succeeded in sending a probe and a lander to the Saturnian system, over 1 billion kilometers away. Since 2004, instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft continuously collect scientific data and transmit spectacular and astonishing new views to Earth. Scientists of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group at FU Berlin are involved in the Cassini camera experiment, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS). View from moon Iapetus to Saturn (Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute) The international Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint project of NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian Space Agency. While NASA already successfully sent the Pioneer and Voyager probes to the Saturnian system between 1979 and 1981, Huygens, the landing capsule built by ESA, has been the first European contribution to a space mission to the Outer Solar System. Cassini-Huygens was launched 1997 in Cape Canaveral, Florida and reached the orbit of the second largest planet of our solar system in 2004, after a journey of nearly 7 years and 3.5 billion kilometers. In December 2004, the Huygens landing capsule was released from the Cassini orbiter. One month later, Huygens successfully landed on the largest Saturnian moon Titan. Cassini itself orbits Saturn to this day and on its journey it investigates the magnetosphere of the planet as well as its rings and moons, of which to date over 60 have been discovered. On board the Cassini orbiter we can find amongst others the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), a camera for images within the spectral range of the near-ultraviolet (UV), the visible light and the near-infrared (NIR). In cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin-Adlershof and supported by the National Space Administration, the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group at FU Berlin is engaged in the planning and evaluation of image data of the Saturnian moons. The mission, originally planned to last until 2008, was already extended twice and is now due to end in September 2017. Thus there is time for numerous more observations and investigations into the Saturnian system. The researches have exclusive data rights for about one year until the image data is archived by the Planetary Data System (PDS) of NASA and made available to the public. Link to mission participation of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group.
Nov 01, 2015 — Dec 31, 2018
Since its takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on September 27, 2007, the US space probe Dawn is on its mission to explore the small bodies Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The NASA-mission aims at investigating the formation and evolution of these bodies to find clues to the solar system’s early history. The journey through the inner solar system, in the course of which Mars was passed in February 2009, was successfully completed by Dawn and in July 2011 its first target, the asteroid Vesta, was reached. For a year, the probe collected scientific data of Vesta before starting the journey for two and a half years to its second mission object, the dwarf planet Ceres. At the beginning of 2015 the probe has reached the target; since then the instruments continuously transmit data about the properties of Ceres, while further approaching its surface. Space probe Dawn approaching Vesta (artist's impression) Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech The camera experiment on board Dawn is the Framing Camera (FC) which was developed in cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group of FU Berlin is involved in the scientific processing and evaluation of the image data. In Dawn’s lowest orbit, at an altitude of about 210 km, it was possible to get shoots of Vesta’s surface with a resolution of up to 20 m per pixel. Vesta’s surface was nearly completely covered by the camera in the course of the spacecraft’s one-year-long sojourn. The combination of the Framing Camera data with that of the Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (VIR) and the Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) constitutes a significant basis for the understanding of the planetoids evolution. It enables insights into the early history of the solar system and thereby into that of the Earth. One of the main tasks of the research group at FU Berlin consists in developing a chronostratigraphic system. The dating of different landforms by determining the frequency distribution of crater size provides the scientists with important information to better understand the geological evolution and impact processes on Vesta. The detailed insight into meteorite impacts on Vesta makes it possible to much better establish corresponding coherences with the evolution of meteorite impacts in the young solar system. Of special interest in this case is also the examination of the material distribution of rock forming minerals and water ice. On behalf of the Dawn Science Team the researchers at FU Berlin create geologic maps and dating of Vesta’s surface. In April 2015 the probe has arrived at Ceres, the largest body in the asteroid belt (with dimensions of 487 km x 455 km), and collected first scientific data with a resolution of about one kilometer per pixel. Currently the probe is located in the final survey orbit at an altitude of less than 400 km above the surface and takes images with a resolution of up to 30 meters per pixel. Link to mission participation of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group.
Jan 01, 2015 — Dec 31, 2018
This project aims at quantifying and understanding the structural dynamics within the crust leading to, during and after a great megathrust earthquake. This includes the evolution of stress in the lithosphere and identifying signatures of possible fluid migration at depth. We will exploit the ...
Nov 01, 2017 — Oct 31, 2020
The aim of our project is to investigate the processes which control the seismicity of the Alps. We hypothesize that patterns of stress and motion can be quantified from the seismicity which is observed with unprecedented resolution by AlpArray (http://www.alparray.ethz.ch/en/home). A major ...
Jan 01, 2017 — Dec 31, 2019
Mars Express is the first European mission to Mars. Since its arrival in 2003, the experiments aboard the spacecraft have provided important clues on surface geology and morphology, the subsurface, the atmosphere, the history of water and the question of life. One experiment on the spacecraft is the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) which aims at global multispectral and three-dimensional coverage of the Martian surface with a resolution of up to 10 meters per pixel. To date, about 75% of the Martian surface has been covered in 3-D. ESA’s space probe Mars Express was launched on June 2, 2003 by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On December 25, 2003, it entered the orbit of Mars. The orbit of Mars Express itself is elliptical with a maximum distance of 10 530 km over the Martian surface and 330 km at closest approach. This geometry allows for observations of the Mars moons Phobos and Deimos as well as for atmospheric profile measurements. The following European instruments are found on board Mars Express: HRSC, a high-resolution stereo camera for 3-D color mapping of the planet’s surface, MARSIS; a radar altimeter to examine the planet’s subsurface structure, the Fourier spectrometer PFS, investigating the composition of the atmosphere, the hyperspectral spectrometer OMEGA, observing the planet’s mineralogy in the visible and infrared range, ASPERA, a device for plasma analysis and MaRS, a radio experiment. Link to the mission participation of the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group.
Sep 01, 2017 — Aug 31, 2019
Despite our general understanding of earthquake processes, it is stillnot fully understood how earthquakes ruptures nucleate and propagate and why they stop. Furthermore, the controlling factors of the frequency and the size of earthquake are subject of ongoing research. In our proposal, we aim to ...
Jan 01, 2016 — Dec 31, 2019
Subproject A3 “Ancient bombardment of the inner solar system – Reinvestigation of the ‘fingerprints’ of different impactor populations” In the Collaborative Research Centre „Late Accretion onto Terrestrial Planets“, scientists from five institutions (Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, University of Münster, German Aerospace Center, Museum für Naturkunde) investigate the late accretion history of planetary bodies in the inner solar system from 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing research group at Freie Universität Berlin is involved in one of the 16 subprojects. This subproject A3 “Ancient bombardment of the inner solar system – Reinvestigation of the ‘fingerprints’ of different impactor populations, is focused on the lunar cratering record and analyses based on crater size-frequency distributions (CSFDs). Although CSFDs are widely used for relative and absolute age determinations of lunar surfaces, it is still not clear if there was more than one impactor population involved in the formation of the Moon’s cratering record during the late accretion period. Since current methodologies for dating lunar surfaces assume there was only one population, i.e., the origin of impacting projectiles remained constant, a combination of different populations would influence the age determination results significantly. In subproject A3, we thus conduct detailed geological mapping and crater size-frequency measurements in combination with new approaches of GIS spatial analyses to investigate the shapes of CSFDs and to validate the suitability of regions which were previously used for this purpose. Altogether, this will help to improve the methods of CSFD-based age determination, to examine a potential time-variable lunar crater production function and to further understand the late accretion history of planetary bodies in the inner solar system. Crater counting area on the lunar surface (left), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) image, and the corresponding crater size-frequency distribution (right). Green box shows the deviation of the measured impact crater distribution from the assumed production function, which is the object of investigation of the subproject A3. Participants in the SFB Transregio 170 project team Dr. Gregory Michael(main contact) Project Coordinator Csilla Orgel Analysis of crater distributions Christian Riedel Analysis of crater distributions, Software development
Apr 01, 2008 — Mar 31, 2013
The Helmholtz Alliance “Planetary Evolution and Life” under the coordinative direction of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof examines the correlation between life and the formation and evolution of planets in our solar system. The focus of studies is planet Mars, which is investigated from its interior to its atmosphere. Martian surface with craters in the region Hesperia Planum The research alliance investigates the interaction between atmosphere and biosphere, interactions inside the atmosphere, the planetary magnetic field, impact events, climate evolution as well as developments of strategies for the exploration of other planets. Several institutions are significantly involved in this alliance: Along with the DLR these are the Alfred-Wegener-Institute in Potsdam, the Technical University of Berlin (TU), the Humboldt-University of Berlin (HU), the Max Planck Institutes for Biogeochemistry and Solar System Research, the Yale University (USA) and several others. Mobility of substances and material cycles are the geological prerequisites for the evolution of life on a planet. Planetary surfaces are the contact area between the solid planetary body and its atmosphere. The planetary surface and near-surface structures are well accessible for investigations and provide information about the current condition as well as about the planets evolution in the past. To recognize possible material cycles and mobility of substances it is important to understand coherences and interactions between lithosphere and atmosphere and to compare information about the current condition with older structures. The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group was directly involved in the Helmholtz Alliance with research projects under the leadership of Prof. Neukum (April 2008 to March 2012) and Prof. van Gasselt (April 2012 to March 2013) respectively. The research topic “Geological Context of Life” formed the key activities of the research group. Here, especially work on age determination of planetary surfaces was performed: investigations concerning the relative stratigraphy absolute age determination by crater counting assessment of the duration of geological processes stability of environmental conditions
Oct 01, 2013 — Sep 30, 2016
The further development of geothermal systems has recently been affected by the occurrence of perceptible earthquakes which led to concern by the local population. For the public acceptance of deep geothermal energy it is vital to give a clear scientific statement whether the seismicity will stay limited to micro-earthquakes or if the induced events might pose a risk for humans and/or infrastructure. Within the framework of the BMU funded project MAGS concepts will be elaborated how to limit the induced seismicity in deep geothermal systems and thus, avoiding perceptible events.
Aug 01, 2015 — Jul 31, 2017
The aim of the project was to improve the estimation of pressure dependent velocity in sedimentary rocks, taking into account lithology (e.g. clay content) and pressure conditions. The project included theoretical and phenomenological analyses of intrinsic and stress induced seismic anisotropy. ...
Apr 01, 2013 — Sep 30, 2015
The US Apollo- and the Russian Luna-missions returned hundreds of kilograms of surface rocks from the Moon to the Earth which have been used for detailed rock analysis. We therefore have high-precision geochemical information from very few locations on the Moon, whereas information about the rest of the Moon's surface is sparse. The main objective of developing a planetary X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) is the design of an experiment that allows us to precisely determine the geochemical composition of rocky surfaces from orbit. Closed vacuum chamber (left image) and open test chamber with a reference sample on the left and detector on the right side (right image) The first developments of a XRF laboratory prototype in the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing Group go back to the work connected with the Lunar Exploration Orbiter (LEO), a national concept and phase-A study of a lunar orbiter. This concept (XRF-L) has been revised several times and has also been expanded for use in the outer solar system (XRF-J). The experiment shall be able to identify the chemical elements of a solid body without atmosphere at a distance of 50-200 km from the surface by using the highly variable solar X-ray radiation. The chemical elements of which minerals and hence rocks are formed are of special interest to geologists. These elements are, e.g., silicon, magnesium, iron, sodium, aluminum, calcium, potassium and titanium. The development of the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in the project team of the FU Berlin is funded by the National Space Administration with means of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The previous project was initiated under the leadership of Prof. Neukum† and led by him until March 2012. The currently granted period of eligibility is from April 2013 to September 2015 (reference number FKZ 50 JR 1303). In the ongoing project the FU Berlin co-operates with industrial partners as well as with the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW) to design and construct individual components.
Jan 01, 2014 — Mar 31, 2017
The iMars project focuses on developing a user platform for Mars surface science, consisting of a consistent set of data products of Mars from the 1970s to the present day. The concept aims to generate a webGIS using imaging data from NASA and ESA missions; including specific tools for producing, exploring and analyzing data products for studies of surface changes over time. Planetary surface science has seen a dramatic increase in both quality and quantity of observations over the last decades, especially in 3D imaging. The EU funded iMars-project has started in 2014 and aims to generate an automated processing system which allows to study this large volume of multi-type observation data from different epochs. It is anticipated that the entire NASA and ESA record of Martian orbital image data will be collected within a single environment for handling, visualisation and subsequent analyses. Such analyses will be conducted automatically using change-detection algorithms or interactively using the citizen-science concept implemented at Zooniverse. Close user interaction plays a paramount role within iMars which requires sophisticated concepts for data handling and communication. This interactive data hub will be realised through open-source webGIS implementations and by providing webGIS services to the user community using established OGC-protocols. General project workflow from unprocessed raw data (1) to higher level science data (2) and results obtained from citizen science (3). The iMars webGIS is the central hub which integrates higher-level co-registered data products as well as results from user analysis. (Figure: S. van Gasselt © 2014) For planetary data only a few web-based GIS have been implemented during the last decade and even fewer can be considered as being established in and accepted by the user community. Most web-based services today are either archive systems as realised in the Planetary Data System (PDS) and the Planetary Science Archive (PSA) nodes. Web-based services are map-focussed systems targeted at visualisation rather than ancillary data and metadata access (e.g., Google Mars). The developing of iMars-webGIS includes the combination of co-registered, terrain-corrected and multi-temporal Martian imaging data and specific higher-level tools within a single map-focused information system. This platform will allow to navigate data intuitively and conveniently; to discover what and where surface changes have occurred since the mid-1970s.