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Analysis and Calibration of the MER-A APXS Alpha Particle Backscatter Spectra

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dc.contributor.advisor Gellert, Ralf VanBommel, Scott 2013-03-28T18:05:28Z 2013-03-28T18:05:28Z 2013-03 2013-03-12 2013-03-28
dc.description.abstract The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the Mars Exploration Rovers possesses the ability to detect carbon and oxygen within martian samples via Rutherford backscattering principles. Several consecutive measurements of the martian atmosphere by Spirit, paralleled by Monte Carlo simulations, provided an energy calibration to mitigate the absence of an alpha-mode calibration pre-flight. Data from a pre-flight thermal acceptance test agreed with this energy calibration, confirming the presence of an unexpected offset. Correcting a bug in the APXS firmware resulted in a temperature-independent energy scale. A model was developed and applied to all atmospheric data illustrating a dip in atmospheric peak areas, potentially arising from a week-long weather event on Mars. An early expansion of this model to solid samples has not yet been able to detect any hydrated minerals or carbonates. Preliminary investigations into determining martian atmospheric pressure and potential elemental layering within samples shows promise. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.subject Mars en_US
dc.subject Mars Exploration Rover en_US
dc.subject Alpha Particle Scattering en_US
dc.subject Rutherford Scattering en_US
dc.subject Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer en_US
dc.subject Martian Atmosphere en_US
dc.title Analysis and Calibration of the MER-A APXS Alpha Particle Backscatter Spectra en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Physics en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Physics en_US
dc.rights.license All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated. University of Guelph en_US

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