Terrestrial simulations for crewed missions are critically important for testing technologies and improving methods and procedures for future robotic and human planetary exploration. In February 2018, AMADEE-18 simulated a mission to Mars in the Dhofar region of Oman. During the mission, a field crew coordinated by the Österreichisches Weltraum Forum (OeWF) accomplished several experiments in the fields of astrobiology, space physiology and medicine, geology, and geophysics. Within the scientific payload of AMADEE-18, ScanMars provided geophysical radar imaging of the subsurface at the simulated landing site and was operated by analog astronauts wearing spacesuits during extra-vehicular activities. The analog astronauts were trained to operate a ground-penetrating radar instrument that transmits and then collects radio waves carrying information about the geological setting of the first few meters of the subsurface. The data presented in this work show signal returns from structures down to 4 m depth, associated with the geology of the investigated rocks. Integrating radar data and the analog astronauts' observations of the geology at the surface, it was possible to identify the contact between shallow sediments and bedrock, the local occurrence of conductive soils, and the presence of pebbly materials in the shallow subsurface, which together describe the geology of recent loose sediments overlying an older deformed bedrock. The results obtained by ScanMars confirm that subsurface radar sounding at martian landing sites is key for the geological characterization at shallow depths. The geologic model of the subsurface can be used as the basis for reconstructing palaeoenvironments and paleo-habitats, thus assisting scientific investigations looking for traces of present or past life on the Red Planet.
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