Dr. Germán Martínez
In the solar system, Mars and the Icy Worlds (e.g., Europa or Enceladus) are the highest priority targets in the search for life because there is evidence that liquid water, a necessary ingredient for life as we know it, exists in their subsurface. In addition to liquid water, UV radiation is important for habitability because it is linked to biological effects and potential survival of organisms.
Dr. Germán Martínez’s research focuses on: (1) the formation of aqueous saline solutions (brine) on Mars and in the Icy Worlds, (2) the solar UV and atmospheric longwave radiative environment on Mars, and (3) the regolith-atmosphere interactions on Mars, e.g., the exchange of energy, water and dust and its implications for solar-powered and human missions to Mars.
Dr. Martínez has a diverse background in data analysis, numerical modeling, instrument development, and laboratory work. He is a team member of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, where he analyzes the environmental conditions measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) around the clock. Moreover, he is Co-I of NASA's Mars 2020 mission, where he has defined the scientific requirements of MEDA's Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), which will measure the net thermal infrared and solar radiation at the surface of Mars for the first time.