PSI’S Fritz Foss Receives Innovation Award in Geophysics

Category: Press Release

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Oct. 30, 2023, Tucson, Ariz. – Planetary Science Institute Senior Research Associate Fritz Foss won first prize for the Innovation Award in Geophysics at the Seventh International Conference on Engineering Geophysics at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain City, Abu Dhabi.

As part of the award competition, Foss gave a presentation to the Conference’s Technical Committee that included a comprehensive question and answer session. He also spoke with the Committee about ongoing 3D projects, working with both MRO SHARAD and MEX MARSIS data. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, recognizes significant contributions to applied near-surface geophysics, focusing on innovative contributions that substantially advance
the application of geophysics to near-surface problems.

Foss’s research has focused on radar data analysis and processing, in particular applying/adapting terrestrial seismic methods for use with Mars’ orbital sounding radar data to produce 3D orbital radar images of Mars’ polar and mid-latitudes regions. The instruments providing the data are the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Shallow Radar (SHARAD) and Mars Express (MEX) Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS).

“it was certainly an honor to be recognized among peers within the engineering geophysics community, on behalf of my colleagues as much as myself, for the oftentimes difficult but ultimately fruitful work that resulted in producing the SHARAD 3D images of Mars’ shallow subsurface,” Foss said. “Presenting our work and results to the ICEG 2023 Technical Committee and attendees has increased the visibility of our teams and what we do, and has already generated more and broader interest which will no doubt translate to further scientific collaboration, investigation and discovery using Mars orbital radar data and
perhaps other remote sensing data as well.”

Alan Fischer
Public Information Officer
[email protected]

Fritz Foss
Senior Research Associate
[email protected]

Mark V. Sykes
[email protected]


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The Planetary Science Institute is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to Solar System exploration. It is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, where it was founded in 1972. PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the Solar System, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research. They conduct fieldwork on all continents around the world. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children’s books, popular science books and art. PSI scientists are based in 30 states and the District of Columbia.