This workshop is part of a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE). RISE supports the short-term mobility of research and innovation staff at all career levels, from the most junior (post-graduate) to the most senior (management), including administrative and technical staff. It is open to partnerships of universities, research institutions, and non-academic organizations both within and beyond Europe. RISE is meant to promote international and inter-sectoral collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges.

The workshop title IN-TIME arises from the development of a leading-edge instrument for dating Mars’ sub-surface samples: a miniaturized, portable instrument for in-situ examination and assessment based on the luminescence method. IN-TIME will also be suitable for terrestrial field applications as it aims to be lightweight and portable, and analysis is geared for geology and archaeology, as well as risk assessment for accident and emergency dosimetry and nuclear mass-casualty events.

Luminescence dating techniques are well established for providing sedimentation ages of deposits on Earth. It is a standard technique with many successful applications. The feasibility of a luminescence-based approach to the dating of soil simulants and sediments analogs to Martian deposits has also been demonstrated. An instrument able to provide such data will be useful in decision making, pre-screening of samples for sample-return missions, and on-site investigations of regolith or dune time-movement. It will enable complementary data in the geochronology of aeolian, periglacial, and fluvial deposits to understand Mars recent climate history and surface processes; carry out mineral analysis of local geology; and measurement of radiation on the surface of Mars in preparation for human exploration.

Knowledge of mineralogy and chemistry of the Martian surface is of fundamental importance to shape luminescence dating methods because current techniques have been developed for terrestrial material. Remotely sensed data for the planet Mars are readily available for the characterization of the surface and atmosphere. The characterization of such data is primarily of interest to hydrologists, geomorphologists, geologists, and geophysicists, all of them dealing with global scale or at least regional-scale studies.