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Sensors 2006, 6(6), 688-696; doi:10.3390/s6060688
Article

Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

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Received: 17 February 2006 / Accepted: 22 June 2006 / Published: 27 June 2006
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Abstract

The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm).Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiationof basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance asa function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify theabsorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Marssurface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance inthe near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolithat deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.
Keywords: Ultraviolet: solar system; Mars surface; Methods: laboratory; basalt; Instrumentation: photometers; Astrobiology Ultraviolet: solar system; Mars surface; Methods: laboratory; basalt; Instrumentation: photometers; Astrobiology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Caro, G.M.M.; Mateo-Martí, E.; Martínez-Frías, J. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology. Sensors 2006, 6, 688-696.

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