Simultaneous Measurements of Neutron Environment at Mars from Orbit (Mars Odyssey HEND) and from the Surface (MSL DAN)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 11:50
2009 (Moscone West)
Luz Maria Martinez Sierra1, Insoo Jun1, Maxim L Litvak2, Anton B. Sanin2 and Igor G. Mitrofanov2, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
Currently, the high energy neutron detector (HEND) onboard Mars Odyssey and the dynamic albedo of neutrons (DAN) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover are simultaneously measuring the neutron environment from orbit and from the surface, respectively. Naturally-occurring neutrons at Mars are produced from the interactions of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic particles (SEP) with the Martian atmosphere and surface material. The neutron data from these simultaneous orbital and surface measurements are a good indicator for the state of general ambient radiation environments at Mars and can be also used as a means to infer how the ambient radiation is transported through the Martian atmosphere. Both HEND and DAN are healthy, and they provide the unique data sources valuable to study these phenomena for the period since the MSL landing in August 2012. Understanding of why there is correlation or no correlation between the two measurements will provide a key clue to understand the processes of GCR/SEP propagation through the Mars atmosphere and the interaction with the Mars surface materials. More detailed comparison between the two data sets and analysis of HEND/DAN data will be presented in the final presentation. Also, the long-term trend of the HEND/DAN data will be also compared with a general space weather condition.

We used only publicly available HEND/DAN data in this study, e.g., open literature and/or planetary data system (PDS).