The Institute Call for Proposals Studies Library Student Programs Newsroom Gallery

Aimee Covert, University of Michigan

Advanced Concept for the Detection of Weather Hazards on Mars: Non-Thermal Microwave Emissions by Colliding Dust/Sand Particles

Bad weather on Mars is serious bad weather, including strong dust devils and dust storms producing dangerous electric fields and microwave emissions, deadly to robotic and human missions on the planetary surface.

Aimee proposes to develop a system for the detection of impending dust storms. She will research what is known and theorized about Martian dust devils and then apply this knowledge to detection using a micro-discharge detecting system. The goal is to generate a system that can alert an astronaut or robotic explorer to take cover from these phenomena. She will study laboratory controlled collisions between moving particles as a small scale simulation of Martian dust activity, using simulated Martian soil and air pressures.

Aimee is a first year student with sophomore standing, majoring in Engineering Physics. She is a member of the Space Physics Research Laboratory, where she conducts experiments on microdischarges during the collision of dust and sand particles, under the direction of Professor Nilton O. Renno.