Activities on analogue sites

The Ibn Battuta Centre carries on activities linked to the operations and science of the European missions to Mars, Moon and other bodies of the Solar System. The centre is currently involved, cooperating with IRSPS, with surface and soil analysis related to ExoMars missions in 2016 and 2018, characterization of the landing sites, surface and soil analysis for drilling operations, rocket jets and surface interaction studies, analysis of simulants, etc. The Centre has been also involved in the logistic and operations for future testing of the precision landing gears for Mars and Moon. The Centre is analysing several sites in Marocco and elsewhere in order to test instruments and systems as well as scientific studies. The activities that can be performed in these sites span from technical to scientific and are summarized in the tables below.

Type of test or activityObject of testLogistic
Descent systemParachutes, retrorocket, telemetry, altimetry, etc.Chopper or UAV
Landing systemsAirbags, retrorocketChopper
Precision landingVisual systems, authonomus detectionUAV, large field test
Rover trafficabilityRoverMars-like terrain
Authonomus guidanceRoverMars-like terrain
Science OperationsRover, landerMars-like terrain, large field test
Scientific experimentsInstruments, payloadMars-like terrain and lithologies
Scientific validationCollected dataMars-like terrain
DrillingDrillerMars-like terrain, subsurface
Subsurface geophysicsGPR, seismic, geoelectricMars-like terrain, subsurface
Surface operationsRoverMars-like terrain, large field area


Scientific activityObject of analysis
AstrobiologyChemosinthetic deposits, sedimentary Volcanoes (Devonian), stromatolites, evaporites, sebkha, travertine
Sedimentology (ancient deposits)Fluvial to deep sea deposits, silcoclastic to calcareous
Sedimentology (modern system)Aeolian: sand dunes to reg, sebkha, ephemeral streams, large inactive fluvial systems
VolcanismSmall quaternary volcanic edificies, small basaltic plateau
Tectonic, structural geologyCompressional and extensional systems, mountain belts
Coastal systemsHigh Energy shorelines, cliffs, erosional and depositonal beaches
Surface processesReg, regolith, weathered outcrops, volcanic plateau, sands sheets and sand dunes, fluvial - aeolian interactions, evaporites
Subsurface analysisQuaternary stratigraphy of aeolian and fluvial deposits (Quaternary), bedrock detection, internal discontinuites detection
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