Photometry and bulk physical properties of Solar System surfaces icy analogs: The Planetary Ice Laboratory at University of Bern


We have designed and constructed an original facility to characterize the VIS-NIR Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) and some complementary bulk physical properties of planetary analog samples containing water ice. The central part of the facility is a highly accurate gonio-radiometer (PHIRE-2) operating in the VIS-NIR spectral range (400-1100 nm) installed in a large laboratory freezer. Its development was based on the experience gained on the gonio-radiometer PHIRE-1 (Gunderson et al., 2006). The PHIRE-1 design was modified to permit operations at sub-zero temperatures and to optimize the performance of the instrument. The photometric measurements are complemented by a detailed simultaneous characterization of the physical state and possible temporal evolution of the samples using a combination of macro- and micro-imaging, thermal, electrical and sample mass measurements. The modified design will support the interpretation of current and future remote sensing and in-situ datasets on icy planetary objects with a special emphasis on cometary nuclei, Martian polar regions and Jovian satellites.

Planet. Space Sci.
Michael Aye
Michael Aye
Research Scientist in Planetary Science

My research interests include remote sensing of surfaces, related machine learning studies and open source software.