Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mapping Underground Caves/Tunnels on the Moon/Mars

  1. Oct 25, 2009 #1
    Here's an interesting article on the first 'skylight' - opening to a possible underground lava tube or cavern - discovered on the Moon:


    I'm wondering how it might be possible to map out underground caverns and lava tubes on the Moon, without having to look for openings. Shouldn't there be a way to use cavern-sensing radar, or something like that, to spot underground cavities from an orbiting satellite or from a surface rover?

    What's the most accurate way to map such underground cavities, without having to rely on chance discovery of openings? What's the best sensory/instrumentation for this purpose?

    My understanding is that to scan through rock, you need to use very low frequency radio waves at high power, but their long wavelengths would limit the resolution of the features being scanned for.

    Here's a recent article I read about hyperlensing - could this be the answer?


    Perhaps this could be a useful approach to mapping out underground cavities with high precision.

    Could hyperlensing be useful for planetary exploration and underground mapping?
    What do you all think?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2009 #2
    Watch this! this guy is incredible, he developed underground and underwater mapping robots, he even talks about sending it to Europa and using a nuclear powered heated drill to get under the miles of ice to get to the liquid ocean and map out under water caves this is INCREDIBLE http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/141
  4. Oct 31, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Good video! However, the first explorations should be done by ground-penetrating sonar. Seismic charges set off on or just below the surface and the soundwaves measured at stations throughout.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook