The ARES Team
The ARES Team
Doug Ming is a Co-Investigator on the CheMin and SAM instruments. During daily tactical operations, he is the Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) Chair and leads the science team through all tactical science meetings and directs the team to a consensus on daily science activities.
Dick Morris is a Co-Investigator on the CheMin and SAM instruments. He is a Payload Downlink Lead (PDL) for CheMin, so on a daily basis, he downlinks data from the CheMin instrument and assesses instrument health.
Liz Rampe is a Co-Investigator on the CheMin instrument and the Deputy Principle Investigator of CheMin. She is the CheMin Operations Lead, so she is in charge of training new CheMin operations team members and of keeping all current CheMin operations team members current on their training. She is also a PUL and PDL for CheMin.
Doug Archer is a collaborator on the MSL science team and a Payload Downlink Lead (PDL) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. As a science team member, he is a Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) Chair, leading the science team through tactical operations to design and deliver a plan that will be executed by the rover on Mars. As a SAM PDL, he is responsible for downlinking data from the instrument, checking instrument health and safety, and analyzing science data.
Michael Thorpe is a member of the Mars Science Laboratory team and works directly with the CheMin instrument. Mike participates in CheMin Operations, training as both a PUL and PDL, and data analysis for the CheMin team.
Valerie Tu is a collaborator on the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument team, on-board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity. Valerie performs mission operations for CheMin as both an uplink and downlink lead, and helps interpret CheMin data, and the mineralogy of martian sediments.
Joanna Clark is a collaborator on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover science and operations team. Specifically, Joanna works with the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, where she performs laboratory analog experiments to understand and interpret the data coming from the SAM instrument on Mars. She is also a payload uplink lead (PUL) on the SAM operations team, which involves sending commands to the SAM instrument on Curiosity to tell it which experiments to do.
Brad Sutter is a collaborator on MSL’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument team whose role is analysis and interpretation of SAM-evolved gas analyzer data. Brad also serves as a Geo Science Team Lead (GeoSTL) whose role is to lead MSL’s Geology Mineralogy theme group in deciding the next sol’s planning of instrument analysis and imaging as well as establish which analyses and imaging should be considered in the long term.
Tanya Peretyazhko is a collaborator on the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument team, on-board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity. Tanya helps with data interpretation by performing experimental and modeling studies.
Jeff Berger is a collaborator on the MSL Science Team. During rover operations, he is a Payload Uplink/Downlink Lead (PUDL) for the APXS instrument. He is also a Strategic Planner (SP) for the APXS team, working to ensure the highest-quality science return from APXS Operations.
Candice Bedford is a collaborator on the CheMin and ChemCam instrument teams. Candice combines the mineralogical and geochemical datasets from these instruments to investigate the effects of mineral sorting, chemical weathering, alteration and source rock characteristics on the rock record preserved in Gale crater, Mars.
Curiosity Mission Operations Involvement
Curiosity Mission Operations Involvement
Curiosity is run by a team of hundreds of scientists and engineers across the world. For the first 90 sols (martian days) of the mission, all of the scientists and engineers worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Now, the engineers remain at JPL, but most of the scientists work remotely from their institutions.
Many scientists in ARES play important roles in the operation of Curiosity, particularly in the operation of the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments. CheMin and SAM are both located inside the rover and analyze scooped sediments or drilled rock powders. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer with X-ray fluorescence capabilities. CheMin transmits an X-ray beam through a sample that has been sieved to <150 um.
The diffracted X-rays are collected with a single CCD, and CheMin team members use these X-ray diffraction patterns to identify and quantify the minerals in a sample down to a detection limit of ~1-2 wt%. SAM is a suite of three instruments: a mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph, and tunable laser spectrometer.
With these instruments, SAM can measure the gases emitted from a rock or soil sample as it is heated to help identify minerals, especially those below the detection limit of CheMin, and to look for compounds of carbon and other light elements, like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Curiosity Mission Science Involvement
In addition to working on tactical rover operations, many scientists in ARES help interpret the data that are returned by Curiosity. A primary science goal of the Mars Group at ARES is to characterize the ancient aqueous environments on Mars through interpretations of the minerals and chemical composition of the surface.
Doug Ming, Dick Morris, Doug Archer, Joanna Clark, Trevor Graff, Tanya Peretyazhko, Liz Rampe, and Brad Sutter synthesize Mars-relevant minerals in the laboratory or collect these minerals from across the world to study them with instruments similar to those on Curiosity.
With testbed instruments of CheMin and SAM, ARES scientists can create datasets that are directly comparable to those made by the instruments on Curiosity. Doug Ming, Doug Archer, Joanna Clark, and Brad Sutter study a group of salts called perchlorates that are rare on Earth but found in trace amounts in the rocks and soils measured by SAM on Curiosity.
Doug Ming, Dick Morris, Tanya Peretyazhko, and Liz Rampe study formation and alteration processes of clay and sulfate minerals to help characterize the environments in which they may have formed on Mars. Dick Morris, Tanya Peretyazhko, and Liz Rampe synthesize amorphous phases in the laboratory to help characterize amorphous materials that CheMin has discovered in every rock and soil sample measured to date.