Prospects of Passive Radio Detection of a Subsurface Ocean on Europa with a Lander

We estimate the sensitivity of a lander-based instrument for the passive radio detection of a subsurface ocean beneath the ice shell of Europa, expected to be between 3 km - 30 km thick, using Jupiter's decametric radiation. A passive technique was previously studied for an orbiter.

Using passive detection in a lander platform provides significant improvements due to largely reduced losses from surface roughness effects, longer integration times, and diminished dispersion due to ionospheric effects allowing operation at lower frequencies and a wider band. A passive sounder on-board a lander provides a low resource instrument sensitive to subsurface ocean at Europa up to depths of 6.9 km for high loss ice (16 dB/km two-way attenuation rate) and 69 km for pure ice (1.6 dB/km).

Andrew Romero-Wolf, Dustin M. Schroeder, Paul Ries, Bruce G. Bills, Charles Naudet, Bryan R. Scott, Robert Treuhaft, Steve Vance
(Submitted on 19 Feb 2016)

Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1602.06016 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1602.06016v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Andrew Romero-Wolf
[v1] Fri, 19 Feb 2016 01:42:27 GMT (73kb,D)

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