Technology for Sending Signals Through the Ice (STI Tech) on Ocean Worlds

Lead PI: Christine McCarthy
October 2021 - May 2024
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This follow-on proposal to a previous NASA funded project is a deeper dive into assessing the communication technologies to be used in subsurface exploration of icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter. The multi-institution team of researchers funded here by a NASA COLDTech grant is developing a robust communication strategy that can balance data transmission rates with resilience against potentially hostile chemistry and tectonics in an icy shell. The Lamont portion of the project will focus on shear and adhesion testing of tethers embedded in ice, as well as long duration soaks, in the Rock and Ice Mechanics Lab. Our partners will explore RF modules and stress modeling of the icy shell. Mission design will have to consider optimal performance over a temperature range of 100 K to 273 K. Ultimately the technology developed with this study will help future missions to the outer solar system assess the habitability of Ocean worlds.


Johns Hopkins University


National Aeronautics & Space Administration-NASA


laboratory rock mechanics