The RPI Mars Data Explorer

Mars 2020 on the Campfire: An Interactive Data Visualization and Analysis Platform
RPI Mars Data Explorer

The Mars 2020 mission, an ambitious step towards understanding habitability of ancient Mars, has provided an unprecedented wealth of data through the Perseverance Rover and its onboard instrumentation payload. Key to understanding the evolution of the martian surface is the compositional and mineralogical data collected by the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) and PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) instruments. Our project, “Mars 2020 on the Campfire: An  Interactive Data Visualization and Analysis Platform,” aims to transcend traditional data presentation methods by integrating this geolocated, multi-faceted dataset atop an interactive map that traces the rover’s journey across the Martian landscape. Our platform significantly reduces the time from acquisition of raw data to its interactive visualization, enabling immediate insights and fostering a dynamic environment for scientific discovery. By leveraging cutting-edge data analytics techniques and sophisticated visualization tools, our project offers a comprehensive and intuitive exploration of the chemical and mineralogical composition of Mars’ surface. The interactive map not only contextualizes the spatial distribution of analyzed samples but also enables users to engage with the data in an immersive way. Users can select and zoom into specific sampling and analysis locations along  Perseverance’s path, access detailed analyses from SHERLOC and PIXL, and visualize comparisons across datasets and samples for real-time data exploration  Our approach emphasizes the combination of analytical rigor with dynamic visualizations for deeper data exploration and hypothesis testing in a visualization-enabled, group contribution environment. This process accelerates discovery, fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations, and serves as an example for ongoing and future astrobiology and planetary science missions. “Mars 2020 on the Campfire: An  Interactive Data Visualization and Analysis Platform” project highlights the transformative power of data visualization and analytics and how the addition of these tools can change the dynamics of interdisciplinary collaboration in science. 

Team Members
  • John S. Erickson
  • Eric Ameres
  • Brenda Thomson
  • Maryellen Marino
  • Anushree Srivastava
  • Andrew Steele
  • Karyn Rogers
  • Jim Hendler