Abstract

Since its arrival in early 2006, various instruments aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have been collecting a variety of scientific and engineering data from orbit around Mars. Among these is the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument, supplied by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and designed for subsurface sounding in the 15–25 MHz frequency band. As of this writing, MRO has completed more than 46,000 nearly polar orbits of Mars, 30% of which have included active SHARAD data collection. By 2009, a sufficient density of SHARAD coverage had been obtained over the polar regions to support 3D processing and analysis of the data. Using tools and techniques commonly employed in terrestrial seismic data processing, we have processed subsets of the resulting collection of SHARAD observations covering the north and south polar regions as SHARAD 3D volumes, imaging the interiors of the north and south polar ice caps known, respectively, as Planum Boreum and Planum Australe. After overcoming a series of challenges revealed during the 3D processing and analysis, a completed Planum Boreum 3D volume is being used currently for scientific research. Lessons learned in the northern work fed forward into our 3D processing and analysis of the Planum Australe 3D volume, currently under way. We discuss our experiences with these projects and present results and scientific insights stemming from these efforts.

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