Mining Mars Observation Targets – Wagstaff

Mining Mars Observation Targets from the Planetary Science Literature

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work order 161109Kiri Wagstaff portrait photog: Dutch Slager

Dr. Kiri Wagstaff   California Institute of Technology


Presentation Slides: Wagstaff_august2017

Audio: (link in prep) |Video: (link in prep)

Learn more about Dr. Wagstaff’s research at:

Presented at: IS-GEO Monthly Telecon | August 2017




Every day, rovers on Mars send back data for new observation targets (e.g., rocks, soils, layers).  Some of these targets yield new discoveries that are published in the scientific literature.  Yet there is currently no accessible link between data (or targets) and their subsequent publications.  We are building the Mars Target Encyclopedia (MTE) to enable users to ask questions such as “What do we know about target Epworth?” and “What are all of the Mars targets that contain chlorine?”  We use information extraction and machine learning methods to mine the steadily growing body of scientific publications and extract compositional knowledge about Mars surface targets.  The MTE benefits Mars mission planners, planetary scientists, and the interested public by condensing relevant knowledge into a central resource in an accessible way.  More than just a literature search, the MTE allows us to ask new questions that previously could not be answered.