Project manager Thomas Ortner talks about the Exomars project and ESA's mission to find traces of life on Mars. Together with geologists from the Imperial College of London and other planetary scientists, VRVis is working on the visualization tool PRo3D to display high-resolution data in 3D in real time. This should enable users to interact with these data (e.g. virtual surveying of rock layers). Based on the analysis of sedimentary rock, in which the deposits of wind and water have been layered over millions of years, the history of a planetary surface can be read like a chronicle. Through the exact documentation and measurement of these rock layers (material, thickness, grain size), geologists can reconstruct the history and extent of former bodies of water.
The development of PRo3D takes place in the context of ESA (and NASA) missions to explore Mars. Past missions were aimed at finding water, while ESA's Exomars mission focuses on finding traces of life (so-called biosignatures).