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R.E. Grimm (Blackhawk Geoservices)
Detection of subsurface, liquid water is an overarching objective of the Mars Exploration Program (MEP) because of its impacts on life, climate, geology, and preparation for human exploration. Although planned orbital radars seek to map subsurface water, methods with more robust depth-penetration, discrimination, and characterization capabilities are necessary to "ground truth" any results from such radars. Low-frequency electromagnetic (EM) methods exploit induction rather than wave propagation and are sensitive to electrical conductivity rather than dielectric constant. Saline martian groundwater will be a near-ideal EM target, especially as the overburden is likely very dry. The Naiades Mars Scout - named for the Greek mythological nymphs of springs, rivers, lakes, and fountains - comprise twin Landers directed to a high-priority region for groundwater investigation. Broadband measurements of natural EM fields will be used to perform passive soundings. If natural sources are weak, active soundings will be performed using a small transmitter. The two Landers are positioned within several tens of kilometers of each other so that coherence techniques can improve data quality; useful data can, however, be acquired by a single Lander. Additional mission objectives include detection of ground ice, characterization of natural EM fields, measurement of electrical properties, constraints on planetary heat flow, measurement of crustal magnetism, characterization of seismicity, seismic imaging of the interior, and assessment of landing-site geomorphology. A short-period seismometer and a wide-angle camera complete the payload to achieve these objectives. The Naiades mission strongly resonates with the main "Follow the Water" theme of the MEP, but in ways that are not currently within the its scope or that of international partners. The combination of established terrestrial methods for groundwater exploration, robust flight systems, and cost effectiveness proposed for the Naiades is a relatively low-risk approach to answering key questions about water on Mars within the Scout framework
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.