Pablo Sobron

Pablo Sobron
Research Scientist
PhD Physics
Planetary Sciences, Astrobiology
Robotic Exploration

Pablo has strong interests in robotic space exploration and comparative analogue science - the study of places on Earth that are similar to environments on other planets and moons. Pablo received his Ph.D in Physics from the University of Valladolid, Spain, in 2008. To date, he has lead or collaborated on over 20 projects focused on the development of instruments and data processing tools for missions to explore the Solar System, and on fundamental research. These projects have been sponsored by the European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, and NASA, among others.

Over the past ten years, Pablo has logged 2,000+ field work hours all over the world, including work in Arctic and desert environments, where he has tested and has performed scientific investigations with multiple prototypes of planetary exploration instruments.

While space-related topics are a major focus of Pablo’s research, many of his scientific publications contribute to our fundamental understanding of spectroscopic technologies. He believes those technologies are essential to better understand geochemical and mineralogical processes on Earth, and are core for the development of instruments and concepts for in-situ planetary exploration.  Pablo is committed to the successful transfer of space-related technology into industrial applications that, in turn, advance science and technology readiness of future planetary instruments.

Technical Description of work: 

Fundamental research, proof-of-concept studies, prototype design, and science and technology demonstration in relevant environments and field settings.

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Understanding laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on Mars - New approaches for quantitative elemental analysis and mineral classification

We propose to study advanced spectral processing methodologies for the extraction of mineralogical information from complex geological materials, and to investigate the atmospheric-mineral matrix coupling effects under Martian environmental conditions. For this, we will make use of Washington University in St. Louis unique laboratory facilities which will allow us perform high-resolution multispectral analysis of standard samples and mixtures representative of Martian mineralogy.