Listening for the Landing: Seismic Detections of Perseverance’s arrival at Mars with InSight

Benjamin Fernando, Nicholas A Teanby, Ingrid J Daubar, et al.

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Abstract

The entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will act as a seismic source of known temporal and spatial localization. We evaluate whether the signals produced by this event will be detectable by the InSight lander (3452 km away), comparing expected signal amplitudes to noise levels at the instrument. Modeling is undertaken to predict the propagation of the acoustic signal (purely in the atmosphere), the seismoacoustic signal (atmosphere-to-ground coupled), and the elastodynamic seismic signal (in the ground only). Our results suggest that the acoustic and seismoacoustic signals, produced by the atmospheric shockwave from the EDL, are unlikely to be detectable due to the pattern of winds in the martian atmosphere and the weak air-to47 ground coupling, respectively. However, the elastodynamic seismic signal produced by the impact of the spacecraft’s cruise balance masses on the surface may be detected by InSight. The upper and lower bounds on predicted ground velocity at InSight are 2.0×10−14 ms−1 and 1.3×10−10 ms−1. The upper value is above the noise floor at the time of landing 40% of the time on average. The large range of possible values reflects uncertainties in the current understanding of impact-generated seismic waves and their sub53 sequent propagation and attenuation through Mars. Uncertainty in the detectability also stems from the indeterminate instrument noise level at the time of this future event. A positive detection would be of enormous value in constraining the seismic properties of Mars, and in improving our understanding of impact-generated seismic waves.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020EA001585
Number of pages21
JournalEarth and Space Science
Volume8
Issue number4
Early online date11 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The InSight Impacts team is grateful to Richard Otero, Erisa Stilley, and Ian Clark of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for their assistance in modeling and understanding the EDL process. The team also thanks Raphaël Garcia of the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace for early discussions. B. Fernando and T. Nissen‐Meyer are supported by the Natural Environment Research Council under the Oxford Environmental Research Doctoral Training Partnership, and the UK Space Agency Aurora Grant ST/S001379/1. Computational resources were supplied in part by TNM's NERC/EPSRC UK National Supercomputer (ARCHER) grant. N. Wójcicka and G. S. Collins's research are funded by the UK Space Agency (Grants ST/S001514/1 and ST/T002026/1). S. C. Stähler acknowledges support from ETH Zürich through the ETH + funding scheme (ETH+02 19‐1: “Planet Mars”). N. A. Teanby is funded by UK Space Agency Grants ST/R002096/1 and ST/T002972/1. M. Froment and C. Larmat's research are funded by the Center of Space and Earth Science of Los Alamos National Laboratory. This research used resources provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Institutional Computing Program, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract No. 89233218CNA000001. P. Lognonné, T. Kawamura, A. Spiga, L. Rolland, and M. Froment acknowledge the support of CNES and of ANR (MAGIS, ANR‐19‐CE31‐0008‐08) for SEIS science support. I. J. Daubar is supported by NASA InSight Participating Scientist Grant 80NM0018F0612. O. Karatekin acknowledges the support of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the ESA/PRODEX Program. E. K. Sansom is supported by the Australian Research Council as part of the Australian Discovery Project scheme (DP170102529). This paper constitutes InSight Contribution Number 191 and LA‐UR‐20‐29568.

Funding Information:
The InSight Impacts team is grateful to Richard Otero, Erisa Stilley, and Ian Clark of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for their assistance in modeling and understanding the EDL process. The team also thanks Rapha?l Garcia of the Institut Sup?rieur de l'A?ronautique et de l'Espace for early discussions. B. Fernando and T. Nissen-Meyer are supported by the Natural Environment Research Council under the Oxford Environmental Research Doctoral Training Partnership, and the UK Space Agency Aurora Grant ST/S001379/1. Computational resources were supplied in part by TNM's NERC/EPSRC UK National Supercomputer (ARCHER) grant. N. W?jcicka and G. S. Collins's research are funded by the UK Space Agency (Grants ST/S001514/1 and ST/T002026/1). S. C. St?hler acknowledges support from ETH Z?rich through the ETH?+?funding scheme (ETH+02 19-1: ?Planet Mars?). N. A. Teanby is funded by UK Space Agency Grants ST/R002096/1 and ST/T002972/1. M. Froment and C. Larmat's research are funded by the Center of Space and Earth Science of Los Alamos National Laboratory. This research used resources provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Institutional Computing Program, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract No. 89233218CNA000001. P. Lognonn?, T. Kawamura, A. Spiga, L. Rolland, and M. Froment acknowledge the support of CNES and of ANR (MAGIS, ANR-19-CE31-0008-08) for SEIS science support. I. J. Daubar is supported by NASA InSight Participating Scientist Grant 80NM0018F0612. O. Karatekin acknowledges the support of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the ESA/PRODEX Program. E. K. Sansom is supported by the Australian Research Council as part of the Australian Discovery Project scheme (DP170102529). This paper constitutes InSight Contribution Number 191 and LA-UR-20-29568.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors. Earth and Space Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union.

Keywords

  • impacts
  • InSight
  • Mars
  • seismoacoustics
  • seismology

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