SAND-E (Semi-Autonomous Navigation for Detrital Environments) is a NASA-funded project to study Mars-like volcanic sand environments in Iceland, in advance of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission. The study will help NASA prepare for scientific studies of areas on Mars and determine if new exploration strategies, including increased rover autonomy, would benefit future missions. The test site is in the outflow of a glacier, where the SAND-E scientists are particularly interested in the changes in physical and chemical properties of the geological material as it is transported downstream by water (fluvial) and wind (Aeolian) processes.
Our teams have arrived in Iceland and have commenced the testing campaign. Please follow along our social media channels and the hashtag #SANDE to keep up!