Mars Infrared Spectroscopy: From Theory and the Laboratory to Field Observations

June 18-20, 2002 – Houston, Texas


Lunar and Planetary Institute

Contact Information:

For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives
please contact one of the conveners:

Laurel Kirkland, E-mail:, Phone: 281-486-2112

John Mustard, E-mail:, Phone: 401-863-1264

Questions concerning meeting logistics should be addressed to the LPI
meeting coordinator:

Paula Walley, E-mail:, Phone: 281-486-2144

Purpose and Scope:

The current Mars exploration strategy relies heavily on the productivity of
visible/infrared spectral studies. Spectral interpretations are based on
theoretical, laboratory, and field studies, so the successful interpretation
of these datasets is intimately tied to the strength of the supporting
spectroscopy research programs. In light of that, we are convening a
focused workshop for the spectroscopy community to address the following:
* Given the current and planned spectral datasets (1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS,
2003 Mini-TES, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA, 2005 CRISM) and the current
priorities of the Mars Program, what terrestrial laboratory and field analog
studies are most needed to best support interpretations of these datasets
and the goals of the Mars exploration program?


The end result of the workshop will be to produce a report with detailed
recommendations of what laboratory and field analog studies are most needed
to best support interpretations of visible/infrared datasets in light of the
goals of the Mars Program.

The workshop goals are to:

1) Summarize past and current laboratory and field analog visible/infrared
spectral studies as they relate to studies of Mars, with an assessment of
their significance for the current scientific goals of NASA’s Mars
Exploration Program, and an assessment of critical unanswered questions.

2) Briefly review current and future spectroscopic instruments to lay a
foundation for workshop discussions (including 1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS, 2003
Mini-TES, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA, 2005 CRISM).

3) Discuss what theoretical laboratory, and field spectral analog studies
are most needed to attain the critical goals of the Mars Exploration
Program, especially as they relate to supporting interpretations of the
datasets for:

a) Contributing to the search for possible mineral biomarkers and
environments that could preserve signatures of life.

b) Answering basic questions in geology and volatile budget.

c) Contingency plans: In the event that a currently slated spectral

dataset is not returned, would requirements or priorities change?

4) Discuss what laboratory and field instrumentation or improvements to
current instruments are needed, if any, to support needed analog studies.

Workshop Format:

The workshop will be held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston,
Texas on June 18-20, 2002, and is limited to 30 participants. The format
will consist of scheduled morning talks, afternoon discussion, and a
continuous poster display. The wrap-up discussion on the last day will form
the basis for the workshop report

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts should not exceed two pages and should be submitted via email to Abstracts can be submitted in PDF or Microsoft Word
format, and must be received no later than May 15, 2002.


A registration fee of $15.00 will be collected on the first day of the
workshop (cash or check only, no credit cards will be accepted) and space is
limited to the first 30 participants, so register by June 3, 2002 at