Radio Science

Simulation of radar echoes from Mars' surface/subsurface and inversion of surface media parameters


  • This article was corrected on 9 FEB 2015. See the end of the full text for details.


A two-layer model of Mars' regolith/bedrock media with a cratered rough surface/subsurface is presented for radar echo simulation of planetary exploration research. The numerical approach of geometric ray tracing for the scattering of rough surfaces, which is digitized by the triangulated network, is applied to the calculation of the scattering and imaging simulation of radar range echoes. Numerical simulations of a cratered rough surface generated by the Monte Carlo method are used to analyze the functional dependence of radar range echoes at 1–50 MHz center frequencies upon the surface/subsurface feature and the parameters of the layering media, that is, layer depth and dielectric properties. The radar range echoes from two areas of the real Mars surface, which is described by digital elevation model data with a resolution of 1 m × 1 m and a vertical error of less than 1 m, are also simulated and analyzed. Based on these simulations, this study presents a numerical imaging test of radar sounder at center frequencies 1–50 MHz for exploration of different dielectric regolith and bedrock media. The channel 50 MHz with high resolution might be an optimal frequency. Finally, inversion of the dielectric constants of the two-layer media and the regolith layer thickness are developed.