AMADEE-20 Mars simulation

B etween 15Oct-15Nov2020, the Austrian Space Forum – in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency as the host agency and D-MARS – will conduct an integrated Mars analog field mission in the Negev Desert in Israel. 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

AMADEE-20 general description (787 KB)

General description, mission aims and preliminary exerpiments of the AMADEE-20 Mars Simulation, Israel, Oct/Nov 2020

 The AMADEE-20 test site

The test site is located in the Negev desert in southern Israel within the erosion structures of the Ramon Crater: Although not an impact crater, but a rare form of erosion structures, it has a resemblance to various Mars surface features, and a variety of terrain types relevant to Mars exploration. The test site offers a wide range of sand and rocky surfaces combined with a broad variability in inclination. The test site could be compared to the Vallis Marineris structure on Mars.  The nearest city is Mitzpe Ramon. Expected temperatures at the test site in November typically range between 10-20°C with low chance of precipitation.

Ramon Crater, Negev Desert, Israel

AMADEE-20 test site / Negev Desert, Israel


Scientific experiments


Experiment Organization Short Description
ACT Goldsmiths University of London, UK Utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to improve psychological flexibility, performance & error measures
AEROSCAN DOME Drone Operations for Martian Environment,
University of Houston, USA
Airvision srl, Italy
Test an autonomous solar-powered Vertical take-off and Landing (VTOL) drone for the Martian surface analysis
AMAZE Institute of Smart Systems, Univ. of Klagenfurt, Austria Visual-inertial navigation for aerial planetary exploration for the NASA MARS2020 mission
EXOSCOT Technical University of Graz, Austria Autonomous robot for supporting the early stages of the exploration cascade by providing scouting, mapping, and close-range investigation capabilities.
GEOS Geological experiments including 1) geosampling, 2) geomapping, 3)comparison between analog astronauts and field experts based on the application of geotraining and 4) micrometeorite search Austrian Space Forum, Austria
HUMAIN Analog astronauts’ risk-perception: do the CO2 -and temperature-readings acquired during an extra vehicular activity statistically differ if the analog astronaut is shown only current CO2 -and temperature-readings, vs. trend data for the last few minutes? Austrian Space Forum, Austria
MEROP University of Lisbon, Portugal Remote operation of planetary ground robots using advanced human-machine interfaces
MICROBIOME Helmholtz Zentrum München, Research Unit for Comparative Microbiome Analysis
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine
Investigating the development of astronauts’ skin and gut microbiome during and after an isolation mission
MICRO-POTENTIAL Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel
Tel Aviv University, Israel
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Evaluation of microbial potential contamination & DNA analysis of contamination vectors
MOVE International Space University, France Effect of environmental stressors on frequency and consistency of bowel movements among Mars analog crew
MSG Eco-encounter study institute in ENAV NGO, Israel Data collection on social density and spatial density in the Mars base habitat
PSYCHSCALE International Space University, France Study crew member anxiety and depression levels before, during and after the mission to better understand psychological well-being in response to known and unknown environmental stressors using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)
SANDEE Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel
Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Israel
Sand transport during aeolian processes in the Negev Desert: electrical effects and implications for Mars
SHARE Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Cognitique, Bordeaux INP, France Situational awareness testing of analog astronauts during extra-vehicular activities
TUMBLEWEED Austrian Science and Engineering Students Student experiment on a wind-driven sphere with environmental sensors
VFR-eFAST Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Örebro University Hospital Feasibility of focused ultrasonography of the abdomen and thorax (eFAST/Trauma)

Mission architecture

AMADEE operation infographic
Figure 1: Conceptual architecture of the AMADEE-20 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”.


  • Jan2019: Announcement of Opportunity released
  • 04Mar2019: Submission deadline for experiment proposals
  • 15Apr2019: Notification of Acceptance/Non-Acceptance
  • May2019: AMADEE-20 Science Definition Workshop
  • Nov2019:  Experiment interactions defined, preliminary mission definition, release of the first iteration for the AMADEE-20 Mission Manifest (the main expedition planning reference document)
  • Jun2020: Hardware arrives in Innsbruck/Austria
  • Jul-Sep2020: 3 (tbc) Dress Rehearsals, Innsbruck/Austria
  • Sep2020: Shipping to target site starts
  • 15Oct-15Nov2020: Field Mission
  • Dec2020-Jan2021: Return of hardware to Innsbruck, shipping back to home institutions
  • May2021 (tbd): AMADEE-20 Science & Technology Workshop (location tbd)

Download AMADEE-20 documents:


This article is available in: German

AMADEE-20, Israel