AMADEE-24 Mars simulation

simulating human-robotic surface activities in terrestrial analogs

In 2024, the Austrian Space Forum will conduct its next major international analog mission in a Mars-like desert. The expedition will be carried out in a Martian terrestrial analog and directed by a dedicated Mission Support Center in Austria. A small field crew of highly trained analog astronauts with spacesuit simulators will conduct experiments preparing for future human and robotic Mars exploration missions.

Simulating Mars human-robotic surface activities in terrestrial analogs has evolved into an efficient tool for developing exploration mission architectures. They facilitate to understand the advantages and limitations of future Human planetary missions, becoming an added value for the development of remote science operations, helping to understand the constraints and opportunities of the technology and workflows.

The test sites will be selected for their geological and topographic similarity to Mars. The AMADEE-24 mission presents an excellent opportunity to:

  • Study equipment behaviour involving the simultaneous usage of instruments with the option of humans-in-the-loop (via two high-fidelity spacesuit simulators, portable system, etc.)
  • The development of platforms for testing life-detection or geoscience techniques, robotic support tools for human missions and concepts for high situational awareness of remote support teams.
  • Studying the analog as a model region for its Martian counterparts.
  • Serving as a catalyst to increase the visibility of planetary sciences and human exploration.
  • Evolving the know-how of managing human missions to Mars deploying a realistic model for a Mission Support Center – Astronaut actions and the encompassing decision making framework.


Oct 2022Original Announcement of Opportunity released
Feb2023AMADEE-24 Science Definition Workshop
May2023Experiment interactions defined & preliminary mission definition
31Aug-03Sep2023A-24 Dress Rehearsal I (in Peuerbach near Linz, Austria)
08-10Dec2023A-24 Dress Rehearsal II & Experiment readiness review
09-11Feb2024A-24 Dress Rehearsal III, followed by a hardware freeze
Mar2024Shipment to Test site
Apr/May2024AMADEE-24 Field Mission
May2024Return of hardware to Austria, shipping back to home institutions
Sep2024AMADEE-24 Science Workshop

Join our team!
We are looking for team members for our Mission Support Center in Austria. Check out our infographic on how to volunteer for Mars simulations.
More information & application form

ExploringTomorrow. ExploringMars
#AMADEE24 #simulateMars

Mission architecture

Figure 1: Conceptual architecture of the AMADEE-24 expedition: A 10min time delay reflects the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. The Mission Support Center in Innsbruck/Austria is the single-line-of-contact between “Earth” and “Mars”.

Exploration Cascade

AMADEE-20 habitat in Israel. Similiar set-up could be use for AMADEE-24 Mars simulation.
(c) OeWF (Florian Voggender)
(c) OeWF (Florian Voggender)

The AMADEE-24 expedition will focus on the interplay of the respective instruments and experiments relevant for human-robotic Mars missions. Based upon the research question of how to identify biomarkers, which in turn is traditionally based upon the characterization of the (paleo-)geoscientific environment, the experiments will be selected to reflect a realistic sequence of activities.

This strategy is based upon the “exploration cascade”, an algorithm defining an efficient deployment sequence, providing the framework for the question: “which instrument needs to be active where and when, leading to what kind of data sets, leading to what kind of knowledge, leading to which type of input for the tactical flight planning”

Planning discussion at the MSC during AMADEE-20. The AMADEE-24 Mars simulation will be directed by a MSC.
Planning discussion at the MSC during AMADEE-20

As suggested by Neveu et al. (2018) life-detection measurements must be sensitive, contamination-free regarding the absence of interfering signals, and reproducible; one or more features must be detectable, preserved, reliable, and compatible with life on Earth. Experiments will be scheduled according to a flight plan defining the resources, location and timing as well as considering the processing pipeline between data acquisition in the field, data transfer and integrity checks and the subsequent near-real time interpretation to formulate a hypothesis. This than translates into a scientific input into the tactical flight planning for the field crew.

Further information / links:

Our analog astronauts
The Mission Support Center
Analog planetary research
Academic thesis on the Exploration Cascade
OeWF Peer-review publications

AMADEE-24 Partners

supported by
Thomas Krenn

Copyright information:
Header image: OeWF (Florian Voggeneder)

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