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An ultraviolet simulator for the incident Martian surface radiation and its applications

Kolb, C. and Abart, R. and Bérces, A. and Garry, J.R.C. and Hansen, A.A. and Hohenau, W. and Kargl, G. and Lammer, H. and Patel, M.R. and Rettberg, P. and Stan-Lotter, H. (2005) An ultraviolet simulator for the incident Martian surface radiation and its applications. International Journal of Astrobiology, 4 (3 & 4), pp. 241-249. Cambridge University Press. ISSN 1473-5504.

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Abstract

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can act on putative organic/biological matter at the Martian surface in several ways. Only absorbed, but not transmitted or reflected, radiation energy can be photo-chemically effective. The most important biological UV effects are due to photochemical reactions in nucleic acids, DNA or RNA, which constitute the genetic material of all cellular organisms and viruses. Protein or lipid effects generally play a minor role, but they are also relevant in some cases. UV radiation can induce wavelengths-specific types of DNA damage. At the same time it can also induce the photo-reversion reaction of a UV induced DNA photoproduct of nucleic acid bases, the pyrimidine dimers. Intense UVB and UVC radiation, experienced on early Earth and present-day Mars, has been revealed to be harmful to all organisms, including extremophile bacteria and spores. Moreover, the formation of oxidants, catalytically produced in the Martian environment through UV irradiation, may be responsible for the destruction of organic matter on Mars. Following this, more laboratory simulations are vital in order to investigate and understand UV effects on organic matter in the case of Mars. We have designed a radiation apparatus that simulates the anticipated Martian UV surface spectrum between 200 and 400 nm (UVC–UVA). The system comprises a UV enhanced xenon arc lamp, special filter-sets and mirrors to simulate the effects of the Martian atmospheric column and dust loading. We describe the technical setup and performance of the system and discuss its uses for different applications. The design is focused on portability, therefore, the Mars-UV simulator represents a device for several different Mars simulation facilities with specific emphasis on Mars research topics.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/47589/
Document Type:Article
Title:An ultraviolet simulator for the incident Martian surface radiation and its applications
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Kolb, C.Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, A-8042 Graz, Austria Institute for Earth Sciences, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 2, A-8010 Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Abart, R.Institute for Geological Sciences, FU-Berlin, Malteserstrasse 74-100, D-12249 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Bérces, A.MTA-Biophysics Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Semmelweis University, PO Box 263, H-1444UNSPECIFIED
Garry, J.R.C.Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden 2300 RA, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Hansen, A.A.Department of Microbiology, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade Bldg. 540, 8000 Aarhus C, DenmarkUNSPECIFIED
Hohenau, W.Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 3, A-8010 Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Kargl, G.Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, A-8042 Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Lammer, H.Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, A-8042 Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Patel, M.R.Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UKUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, P.Institute of Aerospace Medicine, DLR, CologneUNSPECIFIED
Stan-Lotter, H.Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, A-5020 Salzburg, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Date:2005
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:4
Page Range:pp. 241-249
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1473-5504
Status:Published
Keywords:astrobiology, biological matter, Mars, organic matter, photobiology, UV climate, UV simulator
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:19 Mar 2007
Last Modified:19 Jan 2016 13:10

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