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On‐Deck Seismology: Lessons from InSight for Future Planetary Seismology

Panning, M. P. and Pike, W. T. and Lognonné, Philippe and Banerdt, William Bruce and Murdoch, Naomi and Banfield, D. and Charalambous, C. and Kedar, S. and Lorenz, R. D. and Marusiak, A. G. and McClean, J. B. and Nunn, C. and Stähler, S. C. and Stott, A. E. and Warren, T. On‐Deck Seismology: Lessons from InSight for Future Planetary Seismology. (2020) Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125 (4). ISSN 2169-9097

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JE006353


Before deploying to the surface of Mars, the short‐period (SP) seismometer of the InSight mission operated on deck for a total of 48 hr. This data set can be used to understand how deck‐mounted seismometers can be used in future landed missions to Mars, Europa, and other planetary bodies. While operating on deck, the SP seismometer showed signals comparable to the Viking‐2 seismometer near 3 Hz where the sensitivity of the Viking instrument peaked. Wind sensitivity showed similar patterns to the Viking instrument, although amplitudes on InSight were ∼80% larger for a given wind velocity. However, during the low‐wind evening hours, the instrument noise levels at frequencies between 0.1 and 1 Hz were comparable to quiet stations on Earth, although deployment to the surface below the Wind and Thermal Shield lowered installation noise by roughly 40 dB in acceleration power. With the observed noise levels and estimated seismicity rates for Mars, detection probability for quakes for a deck‐mounted instrument is low enough that up to years of on‐deck recordings may be necessary to observe an event. Because the noise is dominated by wind acting on the lander, though, deck‐mounted seismometers may be more practical for deployment on airless bodies, and it is important to evaluate the seismicity of the target body and the specific design of the lander. Detection probabilities for operation on Europa reach over 99% for some proposed seismicity models for a similar duration of operation if noise levels are comparable to low‐wind time periods on Mars.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:02 Dec 2020 15:28

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