Mars 2013

Between 01 – 28. February 2013, the Austrian Space Forum – in partnership with the Ibn Battuta Center in Marrakesh – conducted an integrated Mars analog field simulation in the northern Sahara near Erfoud, Morocco in the framework of the PolAres research programme. Directed by a Mission Support Center in Austria, a small field crew conducted experiments preparing for future human Mars missions mainly in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology, life sciences and other.

Mission goals

  • an opportunity to study equipment behavior involving the simultaneous usage of instruments with the option of a human-in-the-loop (via the Aouda.X/.S spacesuit),
  • a platform for testing life-detection or geophysical techniques, performing terrain tests
    for rovers and test concepts for high situational awareness of remote support teams
  • serving as an outreach platform to enhance the visibility of planetary sciences and human spaceflight.



Experiment Organization Description
CLIFFBOT CRV Association Planete Mars, FR Cliffbot rover vehicle – terrain trafficability
COMPSTRESS Crew Fatigue Med.Univ. Graz, AT, Kings College, UK Sensorimotor Adaptation & Stress Physiology in
ERAS C3 MS Italy, IT Command & Control software project for data processing in the field
SREC Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Cognitique, Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux, FR Assessement of small rover exploration capabilities (ATV-like vehicles)
DELTA Austrian Space Forum, AT Human factors – work economics, time delay A.X vs unsuited
Puli-Rover Puli Space Tech, HU Mobility tests for the Hungarian GLXP rover
Hunveyor-4 Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, HU Surveyor-class robotic lander with remote access
LTMS-MOROCCO CSEM, CH Long term medical monitoring system, biomedical chest vest
Magma-White Rover ABM Space, PL Pathfinder-class rover system, mobility & human-robotic interaction
MEDIAN Univ. College London, UK Methane Detection by In-Situ Analysis with Nano-Landers
microEVA NASA JPL, USA Luminescence detection of viable bacterial spores and terbium microspheres
Deployable Shelter TU Vienna, AT Deployable Emergency Shelter suitcase for astronauts
PolAres programme-specific activities
Aouda.X/.S Austrian Space Forum, AT Series of engineering tests w.r.t. communication, trafficability and materials
MAT/EP Medical University of Innsbruck, AT routine medical survey during OEWF field campaigns; includes a field incident reporting system
Geosciences University of Budapest, HU
University Innsbruck, AT
Geoscience remote science support experiments; includes the management of all geophysical and astrobiological research activities.
ANTIPODES Kiwispace, NZ Communication experiment with Kiwispace, NZ – testing the experiment guidance over to an external Mission Support Center during an ongoing experiment.
Complimentary experiments
Peniculus University of Innsbruck, AT A student experiment, devised at the University of Innsbruck during the summer 2012 “Unicamp”. One solar panel will be swept by a brush once a day, whereas the other will accumulate a fine layer of dust.
Distance measurement “Yellow Box” FH Mittweida Using a high frequency signal emited by a base station, the signal travel time is measured to calculate the distance to the receiver. This could be used for a triangulation method to determine the location of a field unit.
OPS Box “White” Intarsico Design The classical base station for receiving the telemetry of the Aouda spacesuits has been expanded by an ergonomic design variant.

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MARS2013 Morocco Mars Simulation

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