Pulsed neutron generator system for astrobiological and geochemical exploration of planetary bodies

  • Akkurt H
  • Groves J
  • Trombka J
 et al. 
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Abstract

A pulsed neutron/gamma-ray detection system for use on rovers to survey the elemental concentrations of Martian and Lunar surface and subsurface materials is evaluated. A robotic survey system combining a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) and detectors (gamma ray and neutron) can measure the major constituents to a depth of about 30 cm. Scanning mode measurements can give the major elemental concentrations while the rover is moving; analyzing mode measurements can give a detailed elemental analysis of the adjacent material when the rover is stationary. A detailed map of the subsurface elemental concentrations will provide invaluable information relevant to some of the most fundamental astrobiological questions including the presence of water, biogenic activity, life habitability and deposition processes. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Neutron generator
  • Planetary surveys
  • Subsurface elemental composition

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Authors

  • Hatice Akkurt

  • Joel L. Groves

  • Jacob Trombka

  • Richard Starr

  • Larry Evans

  • Samuel Floyd

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