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IN-SITU INSTRUMENT FOR MARS AND EARTH DATING APPLICATIONS

Project description

New instrument for dating rocks on Mars

Mars missions have been captivating scientists and astronomers since the 1960s. Missions have revealed signs of water, volcanic activity and hints of possible life. The discoveries made by ongoing robotic exploration now need to be investigated in detail. This means samples retrieved from the Martian surface need to be brought to laboratories on Earth. But this is not an easy task. With this in mind, the EU-funded IN TIME project will explore the technological and economic viability of a new instrument for dating Mars’ surface. It’s a miniaturised luminescence dating instrument for in situ examinations. This innovative technology will make it possible to determine the age of the Martian surface on Mars.

Objective

As the ongoing robotic exploration to Mars has made some tantalising discoveries, the next major step should be retrieving samples from the Martian surface, so they can be investigated in detail in terrestrial laboratories. However, considering the huge costs associated to suh missions, an in-situ dating of rock samples is a more cost-effective approach. Accurate estimation of absolute ages is required in order to understand Mars surface and atmosphere evolutionary processes. Furthermore knowledge on occurrence and time frequency of such processes allow a hazard evaluation for locations/areas, essential for future deployments, missions and eventually humans on Mars. However, a chronology for recent events on Mars is problematic, as uncertainties associated with current methodology (crater counting) are comparable to the younger ages obtained (~ 1 Million years). IN-TIME project addresses the technological and economic viability of a leading-edge instrument for dating of Mars’ surface: a miniaturized Luminescence dating instrument for in-situ examination. Thanks to the development of its innovative technology, and in addition to planetary exploration application, it will also address Earth's field applications as a light and portable dating instrument in geology and archaeology as well as a risk assessment tool for accident and emergency dosimetry and nuclear mass-casualty events.

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Coordinator

ALMA SISTEMI SRL
Net EU contribution
€ 358 800,00
Address
Via dei nasturzi 4
00012 Guidonia montecelio rm
Italy

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (6)

Partners (1)