Check out the AGU poster for one of the projects we are working on for NASA.
The Seismometer to Investigate Ice and Ocean Structure (SIIOS) project is advancing the maturity of a commercial off the shelf (COTS) optical seismic sensor for spaceflight. The primary mission targets for SIIOS include landed spacecraft sent to the icy satellites in the outer solar system, including Europa. SIIOS will provide direct geophysical measurements that probe planetary ice-shell and ocean layers by exploiting terrestrially demonstrated methods. In terrestrial settings, active and passive seismic studies are used to measure ice thicknesses and to determine the nature of sub-glacial materials. Seismic surveys can also inform the vertical temperature distribution within ice, an important property for tidally heated icy worlds.
The COTS instrument has been deployed and successfully operated in analog environments in the terrestrial cryosphere. Qualification for spaceflight, however, requires electronics upgrades, specifically to the commercial-grade control/conditioning electronics mounted in the sensor. We are also seeking to improve the sensitivity of the seismometer by lowering its noise floor. Here we present the upgraded capabilities of the SIIOS instrument. We also describe the work performed to advance the device to TRL 6 under NASA’s Instrument Concepts for Europa Exploration (ICEE) 2 program.