GScan’s team is excited to sign their first contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The project will study the usability of GScan’s muon flux technology (MFT) for measuring water distribution on the Moon and Mars.
Humans and living organisms are completely dependent on water. Therefore, water-related studies are a central pillar for developing long-lasting, human exploration missions within the Solar system and beyond. However, the current methods for water detection, such as drilling boreholes and x-ray analysis, are falling short in the segment – proving to be energy intensive, yet generally managing to analyse less than 10 cm of the soil and do so with a strong compromise. GScan has set the sights to change that!
GScan has partnered with ESA to lead a simulation-based feasibility study, researching the potential of MFT-based detector systems in Lunar and Martian environments. Cosmic-ray induced backscattering radiation will be paired with GScan’s MFT detectors in a simulation environment, evaluating the combination’s performance to detect water-based compounds in the soils of Moon and Mars.
Cosmic-rays penetrate the soil up to tens of metres of depth and generate secondary particles, some of which can reach back to the surface of the soil. Measuring those particles, GScan’s MFT detectors have the potential to analyse the soils of the Moon and Mars to depths unseen before – kickstarting the development of new generation detection systems, out-performing the previous generations in all the main aspects of interest.
The study will begin in January 2023, partnering the MFT and simulation experience that GScan has amassed throughout its rapid development with ESA’s fundamental knowledge of the space-tech segment. Over the upcoming nine months, the study will map the feasibility of applying MFT detectors to the backscattering radiation measurements, paving the way for a novel method of detecting water on celestial bodies.
The activity will be carried out under the programme of, and will be funded by, the European Space Agency (ESA). Any and all views expressed in the given publication (as well as those in the future concerning the given topic) can in no way be taken to reflect or express the official opinion of the European Space Agency.