Elena Pettinelli's research while affiliated with Università Degli Studi Roma Tre and other places

Publications (93)

Article
Geophysical techniques were first tested beyond Earth during the Apollo program. Of those examined, radio-wave propagation methods appeared to be the most suitable for the moon and other solar system bodies. This was due to the electromagnetic characteristics of planetary subsurfaces and the possibility to remotely perform measurements on board spa...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the physical and thermal properties of the South Polar Layer Deposits (SPLD) is key to constrain the source of bright basal reflections at Ultimi Scopuli detected by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) radar sounder. Here we present a detailed analysis of attenuation, based on data acquired by MARSIS...
Poster
Full-text available
Knowledge about the electromagnetic properties of the surface and subsurface of the terrestrial planets is crucial to correctly interpret the radar signal attenuation and the reflections detected by the radar sounders that orbit around such bodies: this work aims to provide reliable values of the geochemical compositions and the dielectric permitti...
Article
The principal objective of the radar sounder MARSIS experiment is to look for ice and water in the Martian subsurface. One particular focus of investigations, since 2005, has been the search for basal liquid water in the south polar layered deposits (SPLD). Anomalously strong basal echoes detected from four distinct areas at the base of the deposit...
Preprint
Chang'e-3(CE-3) has been the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. The spacecraft arrived at Mare Imbrium on December 14, 2013 and the same day, Yutu lunar rover separated from lander to start its exploration of the surface and the subsurface around the landing site. The rover was equipped, among other...
Conference Paper
The Apennine mountain range is the backbone of the Italian peninsula, crossing it from North-West to South-East for approximately 1200 km. The main peaks are found in Central Apennines, especially in the Gran Sasso d’Italia massif, which hosts the highest Apennines peak, named Corno Grande, with its 2912 m a.s.l. During the winter season, Central A...
Article
A novel method to estimate the loss tangent using GPR data and assuming a Ricker wavelet as the transmitted radar signal is presented. This method proposes a new relation between centroid frequency and loss tangent, which allows to retrieve the loss tangent of a material through a probabilistic inversion approach. The reliability of the results is...
Article
The Active Seismic Experiments conducted during the Apollo 14 and 16 missions represented the first attempt to perform an off-Earth refraction seismic survey. The collected seismic traces have been analysed by several authors and a two-layer structure has been suggested. The top layer consists of regolith, however the nature of the underlying mater...
Article
Anomalously bright basal reflections detected by MARSIS at Ultimi Scopuli have been interpreted to indicate the presence of water-saturated materials or ponded liquid water at the base of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD). Because conventional models assume basal temperatures (≤200 K) much lower than the melting point of water, this interpret...
Article
Radar sounders are becoming essential methods for the exploration of the Earth, Planets and the interior of small Solar System bodies. The performance of a radar is strongly related to the electromagnetic parameters of the materials composing the body surface and subsurface. Given the very limited access to planetary soil and rocks, meteorites repr...
Article
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a terrestrial geophysical exploration method that has recently become one of the most promising technique for planetary, asteroidal and cometary subsurface exploration. The capability of GPR to sound Solar System's bodies relies on the electromagnetic properties of the constitutive materials. Enstatite and ordinary...
Article
Full-text available
The detection of liquid water by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) at the base of the south polar layered deposits in Ultimi Scopuli has reinvigorated the debate about the origin and stability of liquid water under present-day Martian conditions. To establish the extent of subglacial water in this region, we ac...
Conference Paper
Radar sounding is a powerful technique employed for ice probing thanks to the low attenuation of radio frequencies in such a material. For that reason, the next missions dedicated to the exploration of the icy moons of Jupiter (Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) will host onboard Ice Penetrating Radars (IPRs). Since the thermal state of Europa is still...
Preprint
The detection of liquid water by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) at the base of the south polar layered deposits in Ultimi Scopuli has reinvigorated the debate about the origin and stability of liquid water under present-day Martian conditions. To establish the extent of subglacial water in this region, we ac...
Conference Paper
Radar for Icy Moons Exploration (RIME) is expected to sound the crust of the Jovian moon Ganymede down to a depth of 9 km. The presence of dust in the ice and a fragmented crust could give rise to both attenuation and volume scattering, potentially affecting radar propagation. We have performed simulations in three dielectric scenarios for dusty in...
Article
Full-text available
Due to its significance in astrobiology, assessing the amount and state of liquid water present on Mars today has become one of the drivers of its exploration. Subglacial water was identified by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) aboard the European Space Agency spacecraft Mars Express through the analysis of ec...
Article
The use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technique to estimate snow parameters such as thickness, density and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is particularly promising, as it allows to survey a large area in a relatively short amount of time. This application requires, however, an accurate evaluation of the physical parameters retrieved from the radar...
Article
Full-text available
On 3 January 2019, China’s Chang’E-4 (CE-4) successfully landed on the eastern floor of Von Kármán crater within the South Pole–Aitken Basin, becoming the first spacecraft in history to land on the Moon’s farside. Here, we report the observations made by the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) onboard the Yutu-2 rover during the first two lunar days. We...
Article
Full-text available
Two anhydrobiotic strains of the cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, namely CCMEE 029 and CCMEE 171, isolated from the Negev Desert in Israel and from the Dry Valleys in Antarctica, were exposed to salty-ice simulations. The aim of the experiment was to investigate the cyanobacterial capability to survive under sub-freezing temperatures in samples si...
Article
Full-text available
Liquid water was present on the surface of Mars in the distant past; part of that water is now in the ground in the form of permafrost and heat from the molten interior of the planet could cause it to melt at depth. MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) has surveyed the Martian subsurface for more than fifteen years in...
Article
Full-text available
Chang'e-3 (CE-3) has been the first spacecraft to soft land on the moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. The spacecraft arrived at Mare Imbrium on December 14, 2013, and the same day, Yutu lunar rover separated from lander to start its exploration of the surface and the subsurface around the landing site. The rover was equipped, among othe...
Article
The Mars South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) are the result of depositional and erosional events, which are marked by different stratigraphic sequences and erosional surfaces. To unambiguously define the stratigraphic units at regional scale, we mapped the SPLD on the basis of observed discontinuities (i.e., unconformities, correlative discontinuit...
Article
The search for evidence of past or present life on Mars is the principal objective of the 2020 ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Rover mission. If such evidence is to be found anywhere, it will most likely be in the subsurface, where organic molecules are shielded from the destructive effects of ionizing radiation and atmospheric oxidants. For this reason, the...
Article
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a well established geophysical terrestrial exploration method largely employed and has recently become one of the most promising for planetary subsurface exploration. Several future landing vehicles like EXOMARS, 2020 NASA ROVERand Chang'e-4, to mention a few, will host GPR. A GPR survey has been conducted on volca...
Article
Full-text available
Snow water equivalent is a fundamental parameter for hydrological and climate change studies but its measurement is usually time consuming and destructive. Electromagnetic methods could be a valid alternative to conventional techniques, being fast and non-invasive. In this work we analyze the reliability of a combined GPR/TDR method to estimate sno...
Article
We propose a strategy to evaluate the performance of a radar sounder for the subsurface exploration of the Europa icy crust and, in particular, the possibility to detect liquid water at the base of the ice shell. The approach integrates the information coming from experimental measurements of the dielectric properties of icy materials, thermal mode...
Article
One of the main objectives of proposed missions to the icy Jovian moons is to prove the existence of the postulated subsurface ocean on Europa using radar sounders. The success of these missions will rely on the ability of the radar signals to penetrate ten kilometers of icy material that could potentially contain various types of impurities. In th...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, various studies have been carried out in order to address the possible relationships between amplitude attributes of the “first-arrival direct wave” (the so-called “early-time signal,” ETS), propagating at the interface in bistatic ground-penetrating radar (GPR) configurations, and the relevant shallow-soil permittivity parameters (dielec...
Conference Paper
The Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a technique capable to perform a fast monitoring of snowpack and glaciers, providing an estimation of some snow parameters like thickness, density and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). The most important quantity to know to understand GPR data is the wave velocity in the snow, in order to transform the traveltime in...
Article
Full-text available
The first European mission dedicated to the exploration of Jupiter and its icy moons (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - JUICE) will be launched in 2022 and will reach its final destination in 2030. The main goals of this mission are to understand the internal structure of the icy crusts of three Galilean satellites (Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) and, u...
Article
Full-text available
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a remote-sensing technique widely applied in archaeology, engineering and environmental sciences. It is a non-invasive geophysical method which uses electromagnetic pulses to create an “image” of the shallow subsurface. In recent years, GPR gained popularity in forestry, thanks to its application in water content e...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The detection capabilities of ground penetrating radar (GPR) for shallow subsurface investigations is primarily related to the efficient design of the antennas and to the suitable choice of the signal waveforms. An exploration of such aspects is the subject of the present work, with specific interest to ground-coupled monostatic and bistatic config...
Chapter
We conducted a stratigraphic analysis of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLDs) in Promethei Lingula (PL, Mars) based on the identification of regional unconformities at visible and radar wavelengths. According to the terrestrial classification, this approach constrains the stratigraphy of the region and remedies the ambiguous interpretation of s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ground penetrating radar measurements performed on the Greenland ice sheet show internal reflectors, possibly due to changes in ice chemical composition and physical properties. As discussed by several authors, ice includes many impurities, mainly due to wind deposition. Volcanic dusts related to major eruptions have been clearly detected and ident...
Article
Full-text available
In order to test the accuracy of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in the detection of subsurface targets for planetary exploration, a laboratory scale experiment is performed based on a 'sand box' setup using two different bistatic GPR commercial instruments. Specific attention is paid to the challenging case of buried dielectric scatterers whose loc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The capability to detect subtle changes in soils as well as generate substantive responses from buried structures and features have made Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) a non-intrusive investigation method of growing interest to archaeologists. More and more reports of blanketing dig sites with GPR are appearing. Evaluation of historical sites is al...
Conference Paper
This work is focused on the three-dimensional (3-D) imaging of buried metallic targets achievable by processing GPR (ground penetrating radar) simulation data via a tomographic inversion algorithm. The direct scattering problem has been analysed by means of a recently-developed numerical setup based on an electromagnetic time-domain CAD tool (CST M...
Article
Several factors affect antenna-soil coupling in a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey, like surface roughness, lithology, lateral heterogeneities, vegetation, antenna height from the surface and water content. Among them, lithology and water content have a direct effect on the bulk electromagnetic properties of the material under investigation. I...
Article
The latest data on the mineralogical composition of sedimentary deposits in some past lacustrine environment on Mars have identified the presence of different type of clay minerals. These clay deposits are of paramount interest in planetary exploration because they are strictly linked to the presence of water and to the capability of the analyzed e...
Article
High-frequency electromagnetic (EM) surveys have shown to be valuable techniques in the study of soil water content due to the strong dependence of soil dielectric permittivity with moisture content. This quantity can be determined by analyzing the average value of the early-time instantaneous amplitude of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) traces. We...
Article
Full-text available
The capability of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) systems of accurately reconstructing the geometrical features of buried objects when working in critical conditions is investigated. A customized microwave tomographic approach is used to tackle the imaging through the processing of comparative experimental and synthetic GPR data. The first ones have...
Article
Full-text available
Effective diagnostics with ground penetrating radar (GPR) is strongly dependent on the amount and quality of available data as well as on the efficiency of the adopted imaging procedure. In this frame, the aim of the present work is to investigate the capability of a typical GPR system placed at a ground interface to derive three-dimensional (3D) i...
Article
Ground-coupled radar has been used in the literature to estimate shallow subsoil permittivity using ground-wave velocity measurements. It has also been shown that the electromagnetic (EM) properties of the soil significantly affect antenna performance, modifying in particular the amplitude, shape, and duration of the ‘early-time’ Ground Penetrating...
Article
The frontier between Gubbio (ancient Umbria) and Perugia (ancient Etruria), in the northeast part of the modern region of Umbria, was founded in the late sixth century bc. The frontier endured in different forms, most notably in the late antique and medieval periods, as well as fleetingly in 1944, and is fossilized today in the local government bou...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with the reconstruction of buried targets exhibiting both dielectric and magnetic characteristics, starting from GPR data collected at the interface air/soil. The problem is tackled under the Born approximation. In particular, two-dimensional migration and linear inversion results will be compared versus experimental data and three...
Presentation
Full-text available
The ground penetrating radar (GPR) technique is a geophysical method widely used to assess soil water content in the shallow soil zone through the analysis of electromagnetic wave propagation. The primary advantages of GPR are its non-invasive nature and ability to obtain extensive spatial coverage in an efficient manner. It has been recently demon...
Article
An electromagnetic inversion model has been applied to echoes from the subsurface sounding Shallow Radar (SHARAD) to retrieve the dielectric properties of the uppermost Basal Unit (BU) beneath the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars. SHARAD data have been carefully selected to satisfy the assumption of the inversion model which requires a stratigr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The traditional excavation tools applied to Archaeology (i.e. trowels, shovels, bulldozers, etc.) produce, generally, a fast and invasive reconstruction of the ancient past. The geophysical instruments, instead, seem to go in the opposite direction giving, rapidly and non-destructively, geo-archaeological information. Moreover, the economic aspect...
Article
Full-text available
We present a non-destructive geophysical technique (Ground Penetrating Radar) as a suitable method for both the detection of buried archeological structures, as is already known, and as an aid to local administrators in the planning of potential waste manage- ment sites (e.g., landfills or incinerators). This can prevent the potential destruction o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the present paper we combined two different non-destructive techniques to detect the water content spatial variation in a porous material. The main goal of this work was to verify the ability of radar early time signals, using the proton density values measured with the unilateral NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) technique, in order to detect th...
Article
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) investigations were performed in Pompeii, in an area of the Regio III that is not yet fully excavated but is bounded by areas where much is known about the ancient Roman city. At the site studied, large areas containing preserved archaeological features are buried under as much as 8 m of volcanic deposits. The GPR sur...
Conference Paper
Among the technologies used to improve landmine detection, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) techniques are being developed and tested jointly by “Sapienza” and “Roma Tre” Universities. Using three-dimensional Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) simulations, the electromagnetic field scattered by five different buried objects has been calculated and...
Article
Martian Polar Layered Deposits, most likely dusty ice are transparent to radar waves. In the North Pole bedrock has been detected by MARSIS up to a depth about 2 Km, whereas in the South Pole such interface has been located at about 3.7 Km. The reflected signal is generally above the noise and can be used to estimate the dielectric properties of th...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with the reconstruction of buried targets exhibiting both dielectric and magnetic characteristics, starting from GPR data collected at the interface air/soil. The problem is tackled under a two-dimensional geometry by means of linear scalar inverse scattering and the performances of the approach will be outlined against experimenta...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we describe the existing and planned radar measurements of the planetary bodies. The dielectric properties of water ice and other potential surface and subsurface materials are discussed, as well as their dependency on temperature and structure. We then evaluate the performance of subsurface sounding radars using these parameters. Fin...
Article
Full-text available
An understanding of gas migration along faults is important in many geologic research fields, such as geothermal exploration, risk assessment, and, more recently, the geologic storage of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2). If these gases reach the surface, they typically are discharged to the atmosphere from small areas known as gas vents. In a study of...
Article
Layered limestones with marly–clayey interbeds are widespread in mountain regions. Where tectonics has not changed the original structure they frequently form homocline slopes, that since the last deglaciation have evolved through planar block slides along bedding joints. A typical dip slope showing this evolution is represented by the left flank o...
Article
Full-text available
The Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has imaged the internal stratigraphy of the north polar layered deposits of Mars. Radar reflections within the deposits reveal a laterally continuous deposition of layers, which typically consist of four packets of finely spaced reflectors separated by homogeneous interpacket regions of...
Article
The migration of deep gas to the atmosphere along faults and associated structures is important in many fields, from studying the natural contribution of atmospheric greenhouse gases leaking from geothermal areas to ensuring the safety of man-made natural gas and carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic-storage sites. Near-surface geophysical and geochemical...