Martian resource locations: Identification and optimization Academic Article uri icon


  • The identification and utilization of in situ Martian natural resources is the key to enable cost-effective long-duration missions and permanent human settlements on Mars. This paper presents a powerful software tool for analyzing Martian data from all sources, and for optimizing mission site selection based on resource collocation. This program, called Planetary Resource Optimization and Mapping Tool (PROMT), provides a wide range of analysis and display functions that can be applied to raw data or imagery. Thresholds, contours, custom algorithms, and graphical editing are some of the various methods that can be used to process data. Output maps can be created to identify surface regions on Mars that meet any specific criteria. The use of this tool for analyzing data, generating maps, and collocating features is demonstrated using data from the Mars Global Surveyor and the Odyssey spacecraft. The overall mission design objective is to maximize a combination of scientific return and self-sufficiency based on utilization of local materials. Landing site optimization involves maximizing accessibility to collocated science and resource features within a given mission radius. Mission types are categorized according to duration, energy resources, and in situ resource utilization. Preliminary optimization results are shown for a number of mission scenarios. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings

  • Acta Astronautica

author list (cited authors)

  • Chamitoff, G., James, G., Barker, D., & Dershowitz, A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Chamitoff, Gregory||James, George||Barker, Donald||Dershowitz, Adam

publication date

  • January 2005