MarsLS is a software tool for analyzing statistical dispersion of spacecraft-landing sites and displaying the results of its analyses. Originally intended for the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission, MarsLS is also applicable to landing sites on Earth and non-MER sites on Mars. MarsLS is a collection of interdependent MATLAB scripts that utilize the MATLAB graphical-user- interface software environment to display landing-site data (see figure) on calibrated image-maps of the Martian or other terrain. The landing- site data comprise latitude/longitude pairs generated by Monte Carlo runs of other computer programs that simulate entry, descent, and landing. Using these data, MarsLS can compute a landing-site ellipse — a standard means of depicting the area within which the spacecraft can be expected to land with a given probability. MarsLS incorporates several features for the user's convenience, including capabilities for drawing lines and ellipses, overlaying kilometer or latitude/longitude grids, drawing and/or specifying lines and/or points, entering notes, defining and/or displaying polygons to indicate hazards or areas of interest, and evaluating hazardous and/or scientifically interesting areas. As part of such an evaluation, MarsLS can compute the probability of landing in a specified polygonal area.

Martian Landing Site Hazard Maps are shown for Spirit (Gusev) and Opportunity (Meridiani). Here, red = not survivable; green = plains; orange = eroded craters; and yellow = subdued craters.

This program was written by Geoffrey Wawrzyniak, Brian Kennedy, Philip Knocke, and John Michel of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-35239.