Adrian Brown, SETI Institute

+ CRISM Research

The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is a NASA sponsored instrument currently onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which is in orbit around Mars. 

CRISM opened its cover in September of 2006 and has begun taking images. Check out the first images here!

CRISM is an infrared spectrometer that measures light from 0.4 microns to 4 microns. This region of the electromagnetic spectrum extends from what we can see with our eyes (the visible) to what is commonly termed the mid infra-red. Just like infrared sensors here on Earth, CRISM can reveal patterns our eyes are not sensitive to, because molecules and minerals react differently to infrared light.

CRISM does not, however, extend its greatest sensitivity to the "thermal infrared" region where it may be able to sense heat. This region has been covered at Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). TES was sensitive to heat, and in particular, how heat was emitted from Martian materials, however because Mars is so cold, it is very challenging to interpret the information from TES. CRISM, by looking at reflected light from the Sun, at over 500 wavelengths (for many so called "hyperspectral" observations) will reveal at very fine spatial scale (down to about 18m per pixel) between minerals on the surface.

I'm excited about what CRISM is going to reveal on Mars, if you'd like to learn more, you can contact me or you can go to a couple of related websites which are listed below. Periodically I'll update this page with my latest work on CRISM data, I've included a few teasers here already.

+ CRISM related websites

  1. ' CRISM @ APL' The CRISM site at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where the instrument was built and where it is run.
  2. ' CRISM @ JPL' The CRISM site at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  3. ' MRO @ JPL' The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter site at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

[ back to top ]

+ Recent CRISM Papers

Here you will find the full text
of some of my recent papers regarding CRISM in PDF icon pdf format.




Home | Biography | Publications | Community | Contact

NASA Ames Research Center SETI Institute Contact Publications Community About Home