The RIMFAX Ground Penetrating Radar on the Mars 2020 Rover.

Monday, 15 December 2014
Svein-Erik Hamran, FFI, Kjeller, Norway, Hans E. F. Amundsen, Vestfonna Geophysical, Trondheim, Norway, Lynn M Carter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Cent, Greenbelt, MD, United States, Rebecca R Ghent, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, Jack Kohler, Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway, Michael T Mellon, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, United States and David A Paige, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States
The Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration – RIMFAX is a Ground Penetrating Radar selected for NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission. RIMFAX will add a new dimension to the rover’s toolset by providing the capability to image the shallow subsurface beneath the rover. The principal goals of the RIMFAX investigation are to image subsurface layering and structure, and to provide information regarding subsurface composition. Depending on materials, RIMFAX will image the subsurface stratigraphy to maximum depths of 10 to 500 meters, with vertical resolutions of 5 to 20 cm, with a horizontal sampling distance of 2 to 20 cm along the rover track. The resulting radar cross sections will provide important information on the geological context of surface outcrops as well as the geological and environmental history of the field area. The radar uses a Gated FMCW waveform and a single ultra wideband antenna that is used both for transmitting and receiving. The presentation will give an overview of the RIMFAX investigation, the radar system and show experimental results from a prototype radar.