Radiative transfer modeling of dust-coated Pancam calibration target materials: Laboratory visible/near-infrared spectrogoniometry

Jeffrey R. Johnson, Jascha Sohl-Dickstein, William M. Grundy, Raymond E. Arvidson, James Bell, Philip Christensen, Trevor Graff, Edward A. Guinness, Kjartan Kinch, Richard Morris, Michael K. Shepard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Laboratory visible/near-infrared multispectral observations of Mars Exploration Rover Pancam calibration target materials coated with different thicknesses of Mars spectral analog dust were acquired under variable illumination geometries using the Bloomsburg University Goniometer. The data were fit with a two-layer radiative transfer model that combines a Hapke formulation for the dust with measured values of the substrate interpolated using a He-Torrance approach. We first determined the single-scattering albedo, phase function, opposition effect width, and amplitude for the dust using the entire data set (six coating thicknesses, three substrates, four wavelengths, and phase angles 3°-117°). The dust exhibited single-scattering albedo values similar to other Mars analog soils and to Mars Pathfinder dust and a dominantly forward scattering behavior whose scattering lobe became narrower at longer wavelengths. Opacity values for each dust thickness corresponded well to those predicted from the particles sizes of the Mars analog dust. We then restricted the number of substrates, dust thicknesses, and incidence angles input to the model. The results suggest that the dust properties are best characterized when using substrates whose reflectances are brighter and darker than those of the deposited dust and data that span a wide range of dust thicknesses. The model also determined the dust photometric properties relatively well despite limitations placed on the range of incidence angles. The model presented here will help determine the photometric properties of dust deposited on the MER rovers and to track the multiple episodes of dust deposition and erosion that have occurred at both landing sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE12S07
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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