The IUP Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Design of Wireless Dielectric Sensor Node for Electromagnetic Properties Measurement of Martian Soil Simulant

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jul, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJEEE21907
Author Name : Nilofar A Shekh and Jayesh P Pabari
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



It is known that the surface of Mars is covered with regolith. There have been a few missions operating on Martian surface to study the various physical quantities of interest. The Martian regolith has large amount of iron content. Though some measurements of iron content in the regolith exist in literature, it would be interesting to carry out in-situ measurement of the same by future lander or rover mission. Hematite is an iron oxide and is very important to study the climatic evolution of Mars. In order to carry out investigation like measurement of hematite mixed with regolith, a compact wireless sensor is designed, capable of measuring the electrical properties of the soil. In this paper, we have presented its design aspects, results of terrestrial soil and Martian soil simulant. We have selected Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) as the analogue material for testing. The results are validated using distilled water, whose properties are known. The sensor works in the frequency domain with capability to sweep the frequency in a given measurement range and measures the soil impedance. From the given algorithm, the electrical and magnetic properties of the soil are derived. The results are useful to understand the hygroscopic characteristics of Marian soil or to obtain the iron content mixed with the regolith by the sensor after upgrading in space-worthy version.


Hematite is a ferric oxide (-Fe2O3) naturally occurring in two forms: red and gray. It mostly depends on the granulometry of the samples. On Earth, the red type is general: it forms rust readily whenever iron is exposed to air. Pure crystalline hematite particulate samples with grain size between 0.1m and 10 m (hereinafter normal red hematite samples) exhibit reflectance spectra which are saturated (near zero) in the violet and ultraviolet and steeply increase throughout the visible. This behavior explains the typical red color of this kind of hematite (Marral et al., 2005). Because of the visual color of Mars, red hematite and others, ferric oxides have long been suggested as surface materials, especially for brighter and redder regions of the planet.


Impedance, Mars, Planet, Sensor, Wireless

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