AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Mission

In February 2018, the Austrian Space Forum – in partnership with the Oman National Steering Comittee for AMADEE-18 – will conduct an highly international Mars analog field simulation in the Dhofar region, Oman. Directed by a Mission Support Center in Austria, a small field crew will conduct experiments preparing for future human Mars missions in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology, life sciences and other.

Conducting field research in a representative environment is an excellent tool to gain operational experience and understand the advantages and limitations of remote science operations on other planetary bodies. This field mission is designed to be:

  • an opportunity to study equipment, procedures and workflows under Mars analog conditions with  humans-in-the-loop.
  • a platform for testing life-detection or geophysical techniques, terrain tests for rovers and increase the situational awareness of remote support teams,
  • studying the test site as a model region for Martian deserts and extreme life,
  • serving as an outreach platform to enhance the visibility of planetary sciences


AMADEE-18 Junior Researchers Program
(1.03 MB pdf)


The actual field mission will take place during four weeks in February 2018. Based upon 12 preceding Mars analog missions, the Austrian Space Forum has established a mission support infrastructure, trained and certified flight controllers and field crew members as well as a programmatic roadmap to implement a coherent strategy.

Field activities will be scheduled through a “flight plan”, supported by a remote science team and directed by flight controllers at the Mission Support Center in Austria. An expert media team will ensure a high international public visibility.

AMADEE-18 operation infographic

Mission Milestones

  • 30Jun2017: Deadline experiment proposal submission
  • 15Jul2017: Announcement of result of the experiment selection
  • May-Dec2017: AMADEE-18 mission specific training
  • 01Feb-28Feb2018: AMADEE-18 Mission
  • 25-27Mai2018 (tbd): AMADEE-18 Science Workshop

The AMADEE-18  Test Site in Oman

AMADEE-18 location
The deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman, have a resemblance to various Mars surface features, such as sedimentary structures dating back to the Paleocene and Eocene, salt domes of the South Oman Salt Basin and ancient river beds. The test site offers a wide range of sand and rocky surfaces combined with a broad variability in inclination.

The nearest major city is Salalah, expected temperatures at the test site in February typically range between 16-27°C with less than 10 mm of precipitation.

Representative photo from AMADEE-18 test site

Representative photo from AMADEE-18 test site


Sophie Gruber and Stefan Übermasser
AMADEE-18 leadership team

Monika Fischer
OeWF Media Contact

Journal References

  • Losiak, A. at al. (2014): Remote Science Support during MARS2013: Testing a Map-Based System of Data Processing and Utilization for Future Long-Duration Planetary Missions, Astrobiology 14:5, pp 417-430
  • Groemer, G. et al. (2014): The MARS2013 Analog Mission, Astrobiology 14:5, pp 360-376
  • Groemer, G. et al. (2016): The AMADEE-15 Mars Simulation, Acta Astronautica, Vol 129, pp 277–290

Media References

This article is available in: German

AMADEE-18, Oman