Abstract

A gamma ray spectrometer placed in orbit around Mars is expected to yield significant compositional data which can be related to the evolution of that planet. Components of the observable gamma ray flux come from the Martian surface, galactic and intergalactic space, and the spacecraft itself. The flux can be detected by a scintillation crystal or solid state detector, either of which combines efficiency of detection with energy resolution, and returns information to the earth as a pulse height distribution in order to detect characteristic energy line structure. The data will be evaluated for evidence of elemental differentiation with reference to terrestrial, meteoritic, solar, and lunar abundances. A lengthy mission will allow the surface of Mars to be mapped in a search for possible correlations between composition and topography or albedo.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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