Fritz Foss, through his consultancy Freestyle Analytical & Quantitative Services, LLC, has been working with Mars orbital radar data (specifically Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Shallow Radar, or MRO SHARAD, data) since 2010. This ongoing work involves processing and analyzing SHARAD data in 2D and 3D, resulting in the very first 3D radar images of Mars’ north and south polar ice caps, known respectively as Planum Boreum and Planum Australe (see the time slices through the 3D volumes below). In addition to the scientific and analytical uses for these 3D images, the work successfully demonstrates a cross-disciplinary application of terrestrial 3D seismic processing and analysis tools to the study of another planet. This work has generated, and continues to generate, a significant amount of interest within the Mars scientific community for follow-on work, to include:

  1. Improving the existing SHARAD 3D images using more advanced 3D imaging methods;
  2. Extending the work to the Mars Express orbiter’s Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MEX MARSIS) polar datasets;
  3. Expanding the work to other areas on Mars;
  4. Quantitatively analyzing and mining the 3D images for new geological features and physical properties, this last item a specialty of Unified Geosystems.

Time slices through the SHARAD 3D images of the North (top) and South (bottom) Polar Layered Deposits of Mars’ Planum Boreum and Planum Australe before (left) and after (right) 3D imaging.

Related published articles on Mars data analysis:

Frederick J. Foss, Nathaniel E. Putzig, Bruce A. Campbell, and Roger J. Phillips "3D imaging of Mars' polar ice caps using orbital radar data" (TLE article)

Stewart A. Levin and Fritz Foss "Downward continuation of Mars SHARAD data" (SEG abstract)

Bruce A. Campbell, Nathaniel E. Putzig, Frederick J. Foss, Roger J. Phillips "SHARAD Signal Attenuation and Delay Offsets Due to the Martian Ionosphere" (IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters article)

Nathaniel E. Putzig, Isaac B. Smith, Matthew R. Perry, Frederick J. Foss II, Bruce A. Campbell, Roger J. Phillips, Roberto Seu "Three-dimensional radar imaging of structures and craters in the Martian polar caps" (Icarus Volume 308, 1 July 2018, Pages 138-147)