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A Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), based on a Michelson interferometer and Cassegrain telescope, was carried by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater and Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum to determine the bulk mineralogy of surface materials. Spectra from the plains of Gusev demonstrate the ubiquity of olivine-rich basaltic rocks, with additional examples lofted into the adjacent Columbia Hills by meteoroid impacts. Hundreds of rocks observed with mini-TES in the Columbia Hills display spectral characteristics of variable alteration intensity, but likely with very little water involved. Rare exceptions include a tephra deposit cemented by Mg–Fe carbonates and nodular opaline silica rocks, likely indicative of a hot spring/geyser environment. Opportunity’s mini-TES confirmed orbital identification of crystalline hematite at Meridiani Planum and spectral characteristics indicative of a transition from a precursor goethite phase. The sedimentary bedrock that hosts the hematite has spectral features consistent with Al-rich opaline silica, Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-bearing sulfates, plagioclase feldspar, and nontronite. Rare rocks at both sites are recognizable as iron meteorites from their infrared reflective properties.
The theory of reflectance and emittance spectroscopy is based on the fundamental principles of radiative transfer (the propagation of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation) in particulate media. This chapter outlines key models for radiative transfer in particulate media that can be forward-modeled to predict reflectance and emittance spectra or inverted to obtain the abundance of geologic materials from remote observations. The models are rooted in the optical properties of geologic materials, namely the complex index of refraction, and the scattering of light controlled by particulate texture, shape, and size. The chapter is divided into reflectance modeling and emittance modeling because of the key difference in the origin of the electromagnetic radiation: external to the grain’s surface and internal to the grain’s surface, though the principles are common across this division. The key models presented for reflectance spectroscopy are the Hapke model for scattering and reflectance and the Shkuratov model for reflectance. For emittance spectroscopy, the Hapke model forms the backbone upon which hybrid models incorporating Mie T-matrix concepts are integrated.
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