Investigating Triboelectric Discharge at Gale Crater, Mars
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Saltation-induced triboelectric discharge has been theorized to occur on Mars, how- ever, it has never been observed in-situ. It is hypothesized to play a key role in trace gas variation at Gale Crater, specifically as a fast destruction mechanism for methane. To maximize the likelihood of observing the discharges faint signal, a high- resolution record of saltation activity was produced using MastCam-100. MastCam-L0 and MAHLI were found to be the most suitable cameras with which to observe the discharge. Since the magnitude of discharge is well below the dark noise of these two cameras, it will not be possible to see the glow. However, performing such an ob- servation will enable the definition of an upper limit of the magnitude of discharge, calculated in this work as the radiance limit of the respective cameras. Comparing the annual methane and saltation cycles shows methane levels decreasing in conjunction with increase in saltation activity.