Pablo Sobron

Pablo Sobron
SETI Institute · Carl Sagan Center

PhD, Physics

About

133
Publications
25,183
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
3,825
Citations
Citations since 2016
27 Research Items
2773 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Introduction
Additional affiliations
June 2013 - present
SETI Institute
Position
  • Researcher
May 2011 - May 2013
Canadian Space Agency
Position
  • Visiting Fellow
November 2008 - April 2011

Publications

Publications (133)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site near Redding, California, is a massive sulfide ore deposit that was mined for iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc, and pyrite intermittently for nearly 100 years. As a result, both water and air reached the sulfide deposits deep within the mountain, producing acid mine drainage consisting of sulfuric acid...
Article
performed laboratory laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser Raman spectroscopy measurements on samples from a layered outcrop from the Atacama Desert, Chile. This outcrop is a terrestrial morphological and possibly mineralogical analogue for similar formations that will likely be investigated by the Curiosity rover at Gale Crater. Ou...
Article
Full-text available
The SuperCam instrument on the Perseverance Mars 2020 rover uses a pulsed 1064 nm laser to ablate targets at a distance and conduct laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) by analyzing the light from the resulting plasma. SuperCam LIBS spectra are preprocessed to remove ambient light, noise, and the continuum signal present in LIBS observations...
Article
Full-text available
The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) is a robotic arm-mounted instrument on NASA’s Perseverance rover. SHERLOC has two primary boresights. The Spectroscopy boresight generates spatially resolved chemical maps using fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy coupled to microscopic images (10.1...
Article
Full-text available
SuperCam is a highly integrated remote-sensing instrumental suite for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It consists of a co-aligned combination of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Time-Resolved Raman and Luminescence (TRR/L), Visible and Infrared Spectroscopy (VISIR), together with sound recording (MIC) and high-magnification imaging techniques...
Chapter
Remote Compositional Analysis - edited by Janice L. Bishop November 2019
Article
Cambridge Core - History of Astronomy and Cosmology - Remote Compositional Analysis - edited by Janice L. Bishop
Article
Full-text available
On our planet, aqueous environments such as deep sea or high-altitude aphotic lakes, subject to present or past volcanic activity and active deglaciation, may provide analogs to the aqueous environments found on such planetary bodies as Europa, Titan or Enceladus. We report here on the methodologies and technologies tested in Laguna Negra, a high a...
Article
Full-text available
Potential benthic habitats of early Mars lakes, probably oligotrophic, could range from hydrothermal to cold sediments. Dynamic processes in the water column (such as turbidity or UV penetration) as well as in the benthic bed (temperature gradients, turbation, or sedimentation rate) contribute to supply nutrients to a potential microbial ecosystem....
Article
Based on a field expedition to the Dalangtan (DLT) saline playa located in a hyperarid region (Qaidam Basin) on the Tibet Plateau and follow-up investigations, we report the mineralogy and geochemistry of the salt layers in two vertical stratigraphic cross sections in the DLT playa. Na-, Ca-, Mg-, KCaMg-sulfates; Na-, K-, KMg-chlorides; mixed (K, M...
Article
Gradients generated in hydrothermal systems provide a significant source of free energy for chemosynthetic life and may play a role in present-day habitability on ocean worlds. Electron/proton/ion gradients, particularly in the context of hydrothermal chimney structures, may also be relevant to the origins of life on Earth. Hydrothermal vents are s...
Article
We report the first multiscale, systematic field-based testing of correlations between orbital scale advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer visible near-infrared (VNIR)/shortwave infrared (SWIR) reflectance and thermal infrared relative emissivity and outcrop scale Raman spectroscopy, VNIR reflectance, X-ray diffraction (XRD...
Preprint
We report the first multiscale, systematic field-based testing of correlations between orbital scale advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer visible near-infrared (VNIR)/shortwave infrared (SWIR) reflectance and thermal infrared relative emissivity and outcrop scale Raman spectroscopy, VNIR reflectance, X-ray diffraction (XRD...
Article
Full-text available
Since 2008, we have been studying a saline lake, Dalangtan (DLT) Playa, and its surroundings in a hyperarid region of the Qaidam Basin on the Tibetan Plateau as a potential Mars analog site. We describe the evolution of saline deposits in the Qaidam Basin (including DLT), based on investigative findings accumulated over the course of 60 years of ge...
Article
Full-text available
The 8th meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium, Evolution (TDE) Focus Group took place in November 2014 at the Earth-Life Science Institute, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. The principal aim of this workshop was to discuss the conditions for early Earth conducive for the emergence of life, with part...
Article
Rio Tinto in southern Spain has become of increasing astrobiological significance, in particular for its similarity to environments on early Mars. We present evidence of tubular structures from sampled terraces in the stream bed at the source of the river, as well as ancient, now dry, terraces. This is the first reported finding of tubular structur...
Article
We demonstrate that Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is capable of identifying the presence of natural rock coatings, and we define LIBS signatures of complex multi-layered coatings. This is illustrated by detailed LIBS analysis, in Mars-simulated conditions, of a rock collected in the Svalbard Islands, and which is analogous to some alt...
Article
Full-text available
SHERLOC is an arm-mounted fluorescence and Raman spectrometer that was recently selected to be part of the payload for the next proposed NASA rover mission to Mars, scheduled for launch in 2020. SHERLOC enables non-contact, spatially resolved, high sensitivity detection and characterization of organics and minerals on the Martian surface. The inves...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The SHERLOC investigation was recently selected for the Mars 2020 integrated payload. SHERLOC enables non-contact, spatially resolved, and highly sensitivity detection and characterization of organics and minerals on Mars.
Article
Full-text available
We have built three multivariate analysis mathematical models based on principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares (PLS), and artificial neural networks (ANNs) to detect sulfate minerals in geological samples from laser Raman spectral data. We have critically assessed the potential of the models to automatically detect and quantify th...
Conference Paper
PLL is a step toward robotic awareness without constant human oversight. It is applied here to the concept of adaptive exploration of Titan’s seas.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Investigating the use of ion-selective optical sensors for characterizing biologically significant water chemistry in extreme environments.
Article
The exploration of Mars, Europa and Enceladus has provided evidence that support the existence of present or past potentially habitable environments, which may shelter signatures of extinct or extant life. A search for further evidence for habitability or for life requires the development of sophisticated instruments and techniques that enable deta...
Article
Full-text available
Using social media to share our excitement for a robotics, climate change, and adaptive science project relevant to Titan's exploration from the Chilean Andes.
Article
Salt mineralogy of a stratigraphic section suggests three episodes of brine intrusion, with subsurface salts having high hydration degree in this hyperarid region.
Article
Full-text available
Data fusion in LIBS and Laser Raman Spectroscopy enables more robust detection of salts in binary mixtures than would be possible using both techniques alone.
Article
The PLL robotic probe, an analog to future missions to the lakes and seas of Titan, uses onboard autonomous science data understanding to drive its behavior.
Article
Full-text available
The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both i...
Article
Full-text available
Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absen...
Article
Full-text available
Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 angstroms...
Article
H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbona...
Article
Full-text available
The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in compositi...
Article
Full-text available
“Jake_M,” the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (textgreater15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: We have recorded in-situ NIR re-flectance spectra from three Mars analogues: Atacama, Chile, Svalbard, Norway, and Qaidam Basin, China, and used spectral mixture analysis improved algorithms to determine the mineralogical composition of select samples from these three sites. Mission Description and Scientific Merit: NIR reflectance sp...
Article
Full-text available
Mars' Atmosphere from Curiosity The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars in August last year is designed to study the chemical and isotopic composition of the martian atmosphere. Mahaffy et al. (p. 263 ) present volume-mixing ratios of Mars' five major atmospheric constituents (CO 2 , Ar, N 2 , O 2 , a...
Article
Full-text available
Mars' Atmosphere from Curiosity The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars in August last year is designed to study the chemical and isotopic composition of the martian atmosphere. Mahaffy et al. (p. 263 ) present volume-mixing ratios of Mars' five major atmospheric constituents (CO 2 , Ar, N 2 , O 2 , a...
Article
Full-text available
Observations by the Mars Science Laboratory Mast Camera (Mastcam) in Gale crater reveal isolated outcrops of cemented pebbles (2 to 40 millimeters in diameter) and sand grains with textures typical of fluvial sedimentary conglomerates. Rounded pebbles in the conglomerates indicate substantial fluvial abrasion. ChemCam emission spectra at one outcro...
Article
We have characterized complex iron- and sulfate-bearing samples from Rio Tinto (Spain) using X-ray diffraction (XRD), visible-near infrared reflectance (VNIR) spectroscopy, and laser Raman spectroscopy (LRS). Samples were collected for this study from the Peña de Hierro region of Rio Tinto because this site represents a natural acidic environment t...
Conference Paper
Mg-rich phyllosilicates may be important indicators of past habitable conditions on Mars. Spectral reflectance and LIBS characteristics of Mg-clays are described.
Conference Paper
Three active sensors, MMRS, WIR, and BUF, were used in an Atacama field test. They provided complimentary science and suitable for next planetary surface exploration.
Conference Paper
We describe a method for characterizing the chemistry of water bodies in the solar system using optical sensors equipped with ion-selective membranes.
Conference Paper
The use of multivariate analysis techniques such as PCA, PLS and ANN are evaluated for its use in the framework of the operation of the RLS instrument of the ExoMars mission. Results are encouraging, and demonstrate that these techniques can provide critical information for the identification and quantification of mineral phases in geological sampl...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we show a geochemical investigation of a natural coated basalt that demonstrates the capability of LIBS to produce 3-D chemical maps of targets.
Conference Paper
The elemental and molecular features of water ice mixed with salts and organics relevant to Europa have been analyzed using laser Raman and LIBS instruments.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this work we have characterized a layered deposit formed from the evaporation of stream water from Rio Tinto, Spain, a relevant Mars analog site. The minerals detected in-situ, confirmed later via high resolution Raman spectroscopy.
Article
Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such...
Article
A planetary environment and analysis chamber (PEACh) has been developed at Washington University in St. Louis, in order to perform in situ multiple spectroscopic measurements on geological samples under relevant planetary environmental conditions and to support future planetary missions, with particular interest on Mars. The pressure in the chamber...