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Sample records for mars pathfinder atmospheric

  1. The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schofield, J.T.; Barnes, J.R.; Crisp, D.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment measured the vertical density, pressure, and temperature structure of the martian atmosphere from the surface to 160 km, and monitored surface meteorology and climate for 83 sols (1 sol = 1 martian day = 24...

  2. Atmosphere Processing Module Automation and Catalyst Durability Analysis for Mars ISRU Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Elspeth M.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization Pathfinder was designed to create fuel using components found in the planet’s atmosphere and regolith for an ascension vehicle to return a potential sample return or crew return vehicle from Mars. The Atmosphere Processing Module (APM), a subunit of the pathfinder, uses cryocoolers to isolate and collect carbon dioxide from Mars simulant gas. The carbon dioxide is fed with hydrogen into a Sabatier reactor where methane is produced. The APM is currently undergoing the final stages of testing at Kennedy Space Center prior to process integration testing with the other subunits of the pathfinder. The automation software for the APM cryocoolers was tested and found to perform nominally. The catalyst used for the Sabatier reactor was investigated to determine the factors contributing to catalyst failure. The results from the catalyst testing require further analysis, but it appears that the rapid change in temperature during reactor start up or the elevated operating temperature is responsible for the changes observed in the catalyst.

  3. Size Scales for Thermal Inhomogeneities in Mars' Atmosphere Surface Layer: Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihalov, John D.; Haberle, Robert M.; Seiff, Alvin; Murphy, James R.; Schofield, John T.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Atmospheric temperature measurement at three heights with thin wire thermocouples on the 1.1 m Mars Pathfinder meteorology must allow estimates of the integral scale of the atmospheric thermal turbulence during an 83 sol period that begins in the summer. The integral scale is a measure for regions of perturbations. In turbulent media that roughly characterizes locations where the perturbations are correlated. Excluding some to intervals with violent excursions of the mean temperatures, integral scale values are found that increase relatively rapidly from a few tenths meters or less near down to several meters by mid-morning. During mid-morning, the diurnal and shorter time scale wind direction variations often place the meteorology mast in the thermal wake of the Lander.

  4. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  5. MOC's Highest Resolution View of Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] (A) Mars Pathfinder site, left: April 1998; right: January 2000. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] (B) top: April 1998; bottom: January 2000.Can Mars Global Surveyor's 1.5 meter (5 ft) per pixel camera be used to find any evidence as to the fate of the Mars Polar Lander that was lost on December 3, 1999? One way to find out is to look for one of the other Mars landers and determine what, if anything, can be seen. There have been three successful Mars lander missions: Viking 1 (July 1976), Viking 2 (September 1976), and Mars Pathfinder (July 1997). Of these, the location of Mars Pathfinder is known the best because there are several distinct landmarks visible in the lander's images that help in locating the spacecraft. The MGS MOC Operations Team at Malin Space Science Systems has been tasked since mid-December 1999 with looking for the lost Polar Lander. Part of this effort has been to test the capabilities of MOC by taking a picture of the landing site of Mars Pathfinder.An attempt to photograph the Pathfinder site was made once before, in April 1998, by turning the entire MGS spacecraft so that the camera could point at the known location of the Mars Pathfinder lander. Turning the MGS spacecraft like this is not a normal operation--it takes considerable planning, and disrupts the on-going, normal acquisition of science data. It took 3 attempts to succeed, but on April 22, 1998, MOC acquired the picture seen on the left side of Figure A, above. The three near-by major landmarks that were visible to the Pathfinder's cameras are labeled here (North Peak, Big Crater, Twin Peaks). It was known at the time that this image was not adequate to see the Pathfinder lander because the camera was not in focus and had a resolution of only 3.3 meters (11 ft) per pixel. In this and all other images shown here, north is up. All views of the 1998 MOC image are illuminated from the lower right, all views of the 2000 MOC

  6. Mars Pathfinder Microrover- Implementing a Low Cost Planetary Mission Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder Microrover Flight Experiment (MFEX) is a NASA Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT) flight experiment which has been delivered and integrated with the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) lander and spacecraft system. The total cost of the MFEX mission, including all subsystem design and development, test, integration with the MPF lander and operations on Mars has been capped at $25 M??is paper discusses the process and the implementation scheme which has resulted in the development of this first Mars rover.

  7. Operations and Autonomy of the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishkin, A. H.; Morrison, J. C.; Nguyen, T. T.; Stone, H. W.; Cooper, B. K.

    1998-01-01

    The Microrover Flight Experiment (MFEX) is a NSAS OACT (Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology) flight experiment which, integrated with the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) lander and spacecraft system, landed on Mars on July 4, 1997.

  8. Mars 2024/2026 Pathfinder Mission: Mars Architectures, Systems, and Technologies for Exploration and Resources Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mueller, Robert; Muscatello, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Integrate In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) sub-systems and examine advanced capabilities and technologies to verify Mars 2024 Forward architecture precursor pathfinder options: Integrated spacecraft/surface infrastructure fluid architecture: propulsion, power, life support center dot Power system feed and propellant scavenging from propulsion system center dot High quality oxygen for life support and EVA Fluid/cryogenic zero-loss transfer and long-term storage center dot Rapid depot-to-rover/spacecraft center dot Slow ISRU plant-to-ascent vehicle Integration of ISRU consumable production center dot Oxygen only from Mars atmosphere carbon dioxide center dot Oxygen, fuel, water, from extraterrestrial soil/regolith Test bed to evaluate long duration life, operations, maintenance on hardware, sensors, and autonomy

  9. Sedimentary geomorphology of the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, James W., Jr.; Parker, Timothy Jay

    1997-01-01

    The first landing on Mars in over 20 years will take place July 4, 1997, near te mouth of the Ares Vallis outflow channel located in southeastern Chryse Planitia. Mars Pathfinder, unlike Viking 1, is expected to land on a surface that has a distinct and unambiguous fluvial signature.

  10. Mechanical design of the Mars Pathfinder mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Howard Jay; Buck, Carl W.; Gillis-Smith, Greg R.; Umland, Jeffrey W.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission and the Sojourner rover is reported on, with emphasis on the various mission steps and the performance of the technologies involved. The mechanical design of mission hardware was critical to the success of the entry sequence and the landing operations. The various mechanisms employed are considered.

  11. Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries for the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deligiannis, F.; Frank, H.; Staniewicz, R.J.; Willson, J. [SAFT America, Inc., Cockeysville, MD (United States)

    1996-02-01

    A discussion of the power requirements for the Mars Pathfinder Mission is given. Topics include: battery requirements; cell design; battery design; test descriptions and results. A summary of the results is also included.

  12. Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries for the Mars Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deligiannis, Frank; Frank, Harvey; Staniewicz, R. J.; Willson, John

    1996-01-01

    A discussion of the power requirements for the Mars Pathfinder Mission is given. Topics include: battery requirements; cell design; battery design; test descriptions and results. A summary of the results is also included.

  13. Analysis of entry accelerometer data: A case study of Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers, Paul; Towner, M. C.; Hathi, B.; Zarnecki, J. C.

    2003-08-01

    Accelerometers are regularly flown on atmosphere-entering spacecraft. Using their measurements, the spacecraft trajectory and the vertical structure of density, pressure, and temperature in the atmosphere through which it descends can be calculated. We review the general procedures for trajectory and atmospheric structure reconstruction and outline them here in detail. We discuss which physical properties are important in atmospheric entry, instead of working exclusively with the dimensionless numbers of fluid dynamics. Integration of the equations of motion governing the spacecraft trajectory is carried out in a novel and general formulation. This does not require an axisymmetric gravitational field or many of the other assumptions that are present in the literature. We discuss four techniques - head-on, drag-only, acceleration ratios, and gyroscopes - for constraining spacecraft attitude, which is the critical issue in the trajectory reconstruction. The head-on technique uses an approximate magnitude and direction for the aerodynamic acceleration, whereas the drag-only technique uses the correct magnitude and an approximate direction. The acceleration ratios technique uses the correct magnitude and an indirect way of finding the correct direction and the gyroscopes technique uses the correct magnitude and a direct way of finding the correct direction. The head-on and drag-only techniques are easy to implement and require little additional information. The acceleration ratios technique requires extensive and expensive aerodynamic modelling. The gyroscopes technique requires additional onboard instrumentation. The effects of errors are briefly addressed. Our implementations of these trajectory reconstruction procedures have been verified on the Mars Pathfinder dataset. We find inconsistencies within the published work of the Pathfinder science team, and in the PDS archive itself, relating to the entry state of the spacecraft. Our atmospheric structure

  14. Prediction and Validation of Mars Pathfinder Hypersonic Aerodynamic Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnoffo, Peter A.; Braun, Robert D.; Weilmuenster, K. James; Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Engelund, Walter C.; Powell, Richard W.

    1998-01-01

    Postflight analysis of the Mars Pathfinder hypersonic, continuum aerodynamic data base is presented. Measured data include accelerations along the body axis and axis normal directions. Comparisons of preflight simulation and measurements show good agreement. The prediction of two static instabilities associated with movement of the sonic line from the shoulder to the nose and back was confirmed by measured normal accelerations. Reconstruction of atmospheric density during entry has an uncertainty directly proportional to the uncertainty in the predicted axial coefficient. The sensitivity of the moment coefficient to freestream density, kinetic models and center-of-gravity location are examined to provide additional consistency checks of the simulation with flight data. The atmospheric density as derived from axial coefficient and measured axial accelerations falls within the range required for sonic line shift and static stability transition as independently determined from normal accelerations.

  15. A Wind Tunnel Study on the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) Lander Descent Pressure Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, J. Francisco; Coquilla, Rachael V.; Wilson, Gregory R.; Seiff, Alvin; Rivell, Tomas

    2001-01-01

    The primary focus of this study was to determine the accuracy of the Mars Pathfinder lander local pressure readings in accordance with the actual ambient atmospheric pressures of Mars during parachute descent. In order to obtain good measurements, the plane of the lander pressure sensor opening should ideally be situated so that it is parallel to the freestream. However, due to two unfavorable conditions, the sensor was positioned in locations where correction factors are required. One of these disadvantages is due to the fact that the parachute attachment point rotated the lander's center of gravity forcing the location of the pressure sensor opening to be off tangent to the freestream. The second and most troublesome factor was that the lander descends with slight oscillations that could vary the amplitude of the sensor readings. In order to accurately map the correction factors required at each sensor position, an experiment simulating the lander descent was conducted in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. Using a 115 scale model at Earth ambient pressures, the test settings provided the necessary Reynolds number conditions in which the actual lander was possibly subjected to during the descent. In the analysis and results of this experiment, the readings from the lander sensor were converted to the form of pressure coefficients. With a contour map of pressure coefficients at each lander oscillatory position, this report will provide a guideline to determine the correction factors required for the Mars Pathfinder lander descent pressure sensor readings.

  16. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  17. Classification and Distribution of Mars Pathfinder Rocks Using Quantitative Morphologic Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Biederman, K. L.; Monhead, A. M.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Kowalczyk, M. R.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) landing site was predicted to contain a broad sampling of rock types varying in mineralogical, physical, mechanical and geochemical characteristics. Although rocks have been divided into several spectral categories based on Imager for Mars Pathfinder visible/near-infrared spectra, it has not been fully determined which of these stem from intrinsic mineralogical differences between rocks or rock surfaces, and which result from factors such as physical or chemical weathering. This has made isolation of unique mineralogy's difficult. Efforts in isolating and classifying spectral units among MPF rocks and soils have met with varying degrees of success, and the current understanding is such that many factors influencing spectral signatures cannot be quantified to a sufficient level so they may be removed. The result is that fundamental questions regarding information needed to reveal the present and past interactions between the rocks and rock surfaces and the Martian environment remain unanswered. But it is possible to approach the issue of identifying distinct rock and rock surface types from a different angle.

  18. Modeling to Mars: a NASA Model Based Systems Engineering Pathfinder Effort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phojanamongkolkij, Nipa; Lee, Kristopher A.; Miller, Scott T.; Vorndran, Kenneth A.; Vaden, Karl R.; Ross, Eric P.; Powell, Bobby C.; Moses, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC) Systems Engineering (SE) Technical Discipline Team (TDT) initiated the Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Pathfinder effort in FY16. The goals and objectives of the MBSE Pathfinder include developing and advancing MBSE capability across NASA, applying MBSE to real NASA issues, and capturing issues and opportunities surrounding MBSE. The Pathfinder effort consisted of four teams, with each team addressing a particular focus area. This paper focuses on Pathfinder team 1 with the focus area of architectures and mission campaigns. These efforts covered the timeframe of February 2016 through September 2016. The team was comprised of eight team members from seven NASA Centers (Glenn Research Center, Langley Research Center, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center IV&V Facility, Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Stennis Space Center). Collectively, the team had varying levels of knowledge, skills and expertise in systems engineering and MBSE. The team applied their existing and newly acquired system modeling knowledge and expertise to develop modeling products for a campaign (Program) of crew and cargo missions (Projects) to establish a human presence on Mars utilizing In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Pathfinder team 1 developed a subset of modeling products that are required for a Program System Requirement Review (SRR)/System Design Review (SDR) and Project Mission Concept Review (MCR)/SRR as defined in NASA Procedural Requirements. Additionally, Team 1 was able to perform and demonstrate some trades and constraint analyses. At the end of these efforts, over twenty lessons learned and recommended next steps have been identified.

  19. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  20. Mars atmospheric water vapor abundance: 1996-1997

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprague, A. L.; Hunten, D. M.; Doose, L. R.; Hill, R. E.

    2003-05-01

    Measurements of martian atmospheric water vapor made throughout Ls = 18.0°-146.4° (October 3, 1996-July 12, 1997) show changes in Mars humidity on hourly, daily, and seasonal time scales. Because our observing program during the 1996-1997 Mars apparition did not include concomitant measurement of nearby CO 2 bands, high northern latitude data were corrected for dust and aerosol extinction assuming an optical depth of 0.8, consistent with ground-based and HST imaging of northern dust storms. All other measurements with airmass greater than 3.5 were corrected using a total optical depth of 0.5. Three dominant results from this data set are as follows: (1) pre- and post-opposition measurements made with the slit crossing many hours of local time on Mars' Earth-facing disk show a distinct diurnal pattern with highest abundances around and slightly after noon with low abundances in the late afternoon, (2) measurements of water vapor over the Mars Pathfinder landing site (Carl Sagan Memorial Station) on July 12, 1997, found 21 ppt μm in the spatial sector centered near 19° latitude, 36° longitude while abundances around the site varied from as low as 6 to as high as 28 ppt μm, and (3) water vapor abundance is patchy on hourly and daily time scales but follows the usual seasonal trends.

  1. An Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer for Mars-96 and Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Wanke, H.; Economou, T.

    1996-09-01

    Mars Pathfinder and the Russian Mars-96 will carry an Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for the determination of the chemical composition of Martian rocks and soil. The instrument will measure the concentration of all major and many minor elements, including C,N and O, at levels above typically 1%. The method employed consist of bombarding a sample of 50 mm diameter with alpha particles from a radioactive source (50 mCi of Cm-244) and measuring: (i) backscattered alpha particles (alpha mode) (ii) protons from (a,p) reactions with some light elements (proton mode) (iii) characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample (X-ray mode). The APXS has a long standing space heritage, going back to Surveyor V,VI and VII (1967/68) and the Soviet Phobos (1988) missions. The present design is the result of an endeavour to reduce mass and power consumption to 600g/ 300mW. It consist of a sensor head containing the alpha sources, a telescope of a silicon detectors for the detection of the alpha particles and protons and a separate X-ray detector with its preamplifier, and an electronics box (80x70x60 mm) containing a microcontroller based multichannel spectrometer. The paper will describe the APXS flight hardware and present results obtained with the flight instrument that will show the instrument capabili- ties and the expected results to be obtained during surface operations on Mars.

  2. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  3. Experimental and numerical study of the mars pathfinder vehicle; Etude experimentale et numerique sur le mars pathfinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bur, R.; Benay, R.; Chanetz, B.; Galli, A.; Pot, T. [Office National d' Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales (ONERA), Dept. Fundamental and Experimental Aerodynamics, 92 - Chatillon (France); Hollis, B.; Moss, J. [Aerothermodynamics Branch, NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia (United States)

    2002-07-01

    An experimental and numerical study on the Mars Pathfinder aero-shell vehicle has been carried out in the framework of an agreement between ONERA and NASA. The experimental work was performed in the ONERA R5Ch hypersonic wind tunnel. Flow-field visualizations and heat-flux measurements along the model have been obtained. Numerical simulations have been performed at ONERA with the RANS solver NASCA and at NASA with a DSMC code. The flow-field structure is correctly reproduced by both computations. The location of the bow shock is well predicted, as well as the expansion waves emanating from the end of the fore-body cone. Both computations also predict the same extension of the separation bubble in the base flow region of the model. Measured and calculated heat-flux distributions along the model have been compared. Both computations give similar results, excepted on the prediction of the heat-flux level on the after-body cone. But computations over-predict the measured heat-flux values on the fore-body and the sting of the model: the value of the stagnation point is overestimated of 28% and the averaged sting level of 35%. (authors)

  4. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    First of NASA's Discovery missions. Launched in December 1996 and arrived at Mars on 4 July 1997. Mainly intended as a technology demonstration mission. Used airbags to cushion the landing on Mars. The Carl Sagan Memorial station returned images of an ancient flood plain in Ares Vallis. The 10 kg Sojourner rover used an x-ray spectrometer to study the composition of rocks and travelled about 100 ...

  5. Rationale for a Mars Pathfinder mission to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1994-01-01

    Presently the landing site for Mars Pathfinder will be constrained to latitudes between 0 deg and 30 deg N to facilitate communication with earth and to allow the lander and rover solar arrays to generate the maximum possible power. The reference elevation of the site must also be below 0 km so that the descent parachute, a Viking derivative, has sufficient time to open and slow the lander to the correct terminal velocity. Although Mars has as much land surface area as the continental crust of the earth, such engineering constraints immediately limit the number of possible landing sites to only three broad areas: Amazonis, Chryse, and Isidis Planitia. Of these, both Chryse and Isidis Planitia stand out as the sites offering the most information to address several broad scientific topics.

  6. Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Erik M

    2015-10-01

    A key issue in history of technology that has received little attention is the use of simulation in engineering design. This article explores the use of both mechanical and numerical simulation in the design of the Mars atmospheric entry phases of the Viking and Mars Pathfinder missions to argue that engineers used both kinds of simulation to develop knowledge of their designs' likely behavior in the poorly known environment of Mars. Each kind of simulation could be used as a warrant of the other's fidelity, in an iterative process of knowledge construction.

  7. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud Properties from AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-x), Version 5.3

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of cloud products was produced by the University of Wisconsin using the AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-X)...

  8. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  9. Improved Mars Upper Atmosphere Climatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.

    2004-01-01

    The detailed characterization of the Mars upper atmosphere is important for future Mars aerobraking activities. Solar cycle, seasonal, and dust trends (climate) as well as planetary wave activity (weather) are crucial to quantify in order to improve our ability to reasonably depict the state of the Mars upper atmosphere over time. To date, our best information is found in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Accelerometer (ACC) database collected during Phase 1 (Ls = 184 - 300; F10.7 = 70 - 90) and Phase 2 (Ls = 30 - 90; F10.7 = 90 - 150) of aerobraking. This database (100 - 170 km) consists of thermospheric densities, temperatures, and scale heights, providing our best constraints for exercising the coupled Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). The Planetary Data System (PDS) contains level 0 and 2 MGS Accelerometer data, corresponding to atmospheric densities along the orbit track. Level 3 products (densities, temperatures, and scale heights at constant altitudes) are also available in the PDS. These datasets provide the primary model constraints for the new MGCM-MTGCM simulations summarized in this report. Our strategy for improving the characterization of the Mars upper atmospheres using these models has been three-fold : (a) to conduct data-model comparisons using the latest MGS data covering limited climatic and weather conditions at Mars, (b) to upgrade the 15-micron cooling and near-IR heating rates in the MGCM and MTGCM codes for ad- dressing climatic variations (solar cycle and seasonal) important in linking the lower and upper atmospheres (including migrating tides), and (c) to exercise the detailed coupled MGCM and MTGCM codes to capture and diagnose the planetary wave (migrating plus non-migrating tidal) features throughout the Mars year. Products from this new suite of MGCM-MTGCM coupled simulations are being used to improve our predictions of the structure of the Mars upper atmosphere for the

  10. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Braun, Robert D.; Sibille, Laurent; Sforzo, Brandon; Gonyea, Keir; Ali, Hisham

    2016-01-01

    This NIAC (NASA Advanced Innovative Concepts) work will focus on Mars and will build on previous efforts at analyzing atmospheric mining at Earth and the outer solar system. Spacecraft systems concepts will be evaluated and traded, to assess feasibility. However the study will primarily examine the architecture and associated missions to explore the closure, constraints and critical parameters through sensitivity studies. The Mars atmosphere consists of 95.5 percent CO2 gas which can be converted to methane fuel (CH4) and Oxidizer (O2) for chemical rocket propulsion, if hydrogen is transported from electrolyzed water on the Mars surface or from Earth. By using a highly elliptical Mars Molniya style orbit, the CO2 atmosphere can be scooped, ram-compressed and stored while the spacecraft dips into the Mars atmosphere at periapsis. Successive orbits result in additional scooping of CO2 gas, which also serves to aerobrake the spacecraft, resulting in a decaying Molniya orbit.

  11. Pathfinder Climate Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder climate data CD-ROM contains seven data sets: Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)Land and Ocean, TIROS Operational Vertical...

  12. Observations at the Mars Pathfinder site: Do they provide "unequivocal" evidence of catastrophic flooding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, M.G.; Kargel, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    After Mars Pathfinder landed at the mouth of Ares Vallis, a large channel that drains into the Chryse Planitia basin, the mission reports unanimously supported the interpretation that the lander site is the locus of catastrophic flooding by noting that all aspects of the scene are consistent with this interpretation. However, alternatives cannot be ruled out by any site observations, as all aspects of the scene are equally consistent with other interpretations of origin, namely, ice and mass-flow processes subsequently modified by wind erosion. The authors discuss alternative explanations for the geologic history of the channel based on a regional view of the circum-Chryse channels from Viking images (our best broad-scale information to date) and the local view from the recent Pathfinder landing site. Mega-indicators of channel origin, the regional geomorphology, geology, and planetary climatic conditions, taken together suggest some combination of flood, mass flow, glacial, and eolian processes. The macro-indicators of channel origin (sedimentologic) are also not indicative of one process of emplacement, either as single criteria or taken cumulatively. Finally, the micro-indicators of channel origin (geochemical and mineralogic composition) do not provide very tight constraints on the deposits' possible origins other than that water was in some way involved.

  13. Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2010 Version: Users Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, H. L.

    2014-01-01

    This Technical Memorandum (TM) presents the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2010 (Mars-GRAM 2010) and its new features. Mars-GRAM is an engineering-level atmospheric model widely used for diverse mission applications. Applications include systems design, performance analysis, and operations planning for aerobraking, entry, descent and landing, and aerocapture. Additionally, this TM includes instructions on obtaining the Mars-GRAM source code and data files as well as running Mars-GRAM. It also contains sample Mars-GRAM input and output files and an example of how to incorporate Mars-GRAM as an atmospheric subroutine in a trajectory code.

  14. MAVEN Observations of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Brain, David; LeBlanc, Francis; Modolo, Ronan; Halekas, Jasper S.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; McFadden, James; Espley, Jared R.; Mitchell, David L.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dong, Yaxue; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; Cohen, Ofer; Fränz, Markus; Holmström, Mats; Ramstad, Robin; Hara, Takuya; Lillis, Robert J.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has been making observations of the Martian upper atmosphere and its escape to space since November 2014. The subject of atmospheric loss at terrestrial planets is a subject of intense interest not only because of the implications for past and present water reservoirs, but also for its impacts on the habitability of a planet. Atmospheric escape may have been especially effective at Mars, relative to Earth or Venus, due to its smaller size as well as the lack of a global dynamo magnetic field. Not only is the atmosphere less gravitationally bound, but also the lack of global magnetic field allows the impinging solar wind to interact directly with the Martian atmosphere. When the upper atmosphere is exposed to the solar wind, planetary neutrals can be ionized and 'picked up' by the solar wind and swept away.Both neutral and ion escape have played significant roles the long term climate change of Mars, and the MAVEN mission was designed to directly measure both escaping planetary neutrals and ions with high energy, mass, and time resolution. We will present 1.5 years of observations of atmospheric loss at Mars over a variety of solar and solar wind conditions, including extreme space weather events. We will report the average ion escape rate and the spatial distribution of escaping ions as measured by MAVEN and place them in context both with previous measurements of ion loss by other spacecraft (e.g. Phobos 2 and Mars Express) and with estimates of neutral escape rates by MAVEN. We will then report on the measured variability in ion escape rates with different drivers (e.g. solar EUV, solar wind pressure, etc.) and the implications for the total ion escape from Mars over time. Additionally, we will also discuss the implications for atmospheric escape at exoplanets, particularly weakly magnetized planetary bodies orbiting M-dwarfs, and the dominant escape mechanisms that may drive atmospheric erosion in other

  15. Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu (MARVIN) - In Situ Resource Demonstration for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Araghi, Koorosh; Ess, Kim M.; Valencia, Lisa M.; Muscatello, Anthony C.; Calle, Carlos I.; Clark, Larry; Iacomini, Christie

    2014-01-01

    The making of oxygen from resources in the Martian atmosphere, known as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), has the potential to provide substantial benefits for future robotic and human exploration. In particular, the ability to produce oxygen on Mars for use in propulsion, life support, and power systems can provide significant mission benefits such as a reducing launch mass, lander size, and mission and crew risk. To advance ISRU for possible incorporation into future human missions to Mars, NASA proposed including an ISRU instrument on the Mars 2020 rover mission, through an announcement of opportunity (AO). The purpose of the the Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu or (MARVIN) instrument is to provide the first demonstration on Mars of oxygen production from acquired and stored Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide, as well as take measurements of atmospheric pressure and temperature, and of suspended dust particle sizes and amounts entrained in collected atmosphere gases at different times of the Mars day and year. The hardware performance and environmental data obtained will be critical for future ISRU systems that will reduce the mass of propellants and other consumables launched from Earth for robotic and human exploration, for better understanding of Mars dust and mitigation techniques to improve crew safety, and to help further define Mars global circulation models and better understand the regional atmospheric dynamics on Mars. The technologies selected for MARVIN are also scalable for future robotic sample return and human missions to Mars using ISRU.

  16. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  17. Mars Navigator: An Interactive Multimedia Program about Mars, Aerospace Engineering, Astronomy, and the JPL Mars Missions. [CD-ROM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramoll, Kurt

    This CD-ROM introduces basic astronomy and aerospace engineering by examining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions to Mars. It contains numerous animations and narrations in addition to detailed graphics and text. Six interactive laboratories are included to help understand topics such as the…

  18. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Reflectance and Brightness Temperatures from AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres - Extended (PATMOS-x), Version 5.3

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR reflectance and brightness temperatures was produced by the University of Wisconsin using the AVHRR Pathfinder...

  19. Atmospheric Tides in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D,; Newman, C. E; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Wilson, R. J.; Lemmon, M.; Smith, M. D.; Kahanpaa, H.; Harri, A.-M.

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric tides are the primary source of daily air pressure variation at the surface of Mars. These tides are forced by solar heating of the atmosphere and modulated by the presence of atmospheric dust, topography, and surface albedo and thermal inertia. This results in a complex mix of sun-synchronous and nonsun- synchronous tides propagating both eastward and westward around the planet in periods that are integer fractions of a solar day. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on board the Mars Science Laboratory has observed air pressure at a regular cadence for over 1 Mars year and here we analyze and diagnose atmospheric tides in this pressure record. The diurnal tide amplitude varies from 26 to 63 Pa with an average phase of 0424 local true solar time, while the semidiurnal tide amplitude varies from 5 to 20 Pa with an average phase of 0929. We find that both the diurnal and semidiurnal tides in Gale Crater are highly correlated to atmospheric opacity variations at a value of 0.9 and to each other at a value of 0.77, with some key exceptions occurring during regional and local dust storms. We supplement our analysis with MarsWRF general circulation modeling to examine how a local dust storm impacts the diurnal tide in its vicinity. We find that both the diurnal tide amplitude enhancement and regional coverage of notable amplitude enhancement linearly scales with the size of the local dust storm. Our results provide the first long-term record of surface pressure tides near the martian equator.

  20. Atmosphere Assessment for MARS Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Cantor, Bruce; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Daniel, Jr.; Rafkin, Scot; Chen, Allen; Kass, David; Mischna, Michael; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2013-01-01

    On August 6, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, successfully landed on the surface of Mars. The Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) sequence was designed using atmospheric conditions estimated from mesoscale numerical models. The models, developed by two independent organizations (Oregon State University and the Southwest Research Institute), were validated against observations at Mars from three prior years. In the weeks and days before entry, the MSL "Council of Atmospheres" (CoA), a group of atmospheric scientists and modelers, instrument experts and EDL simulation engineers, evaluated the latest Mars data from orbiting assets including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), as well as Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). The observations were compared to the mesoscale models developed for EDL performance simulation to determine if a spacecraft parameter update was necessary prior to entry. This paper summarizes the daily atmosphere observations and comparison to the performance simulation atmosphere models. Options to modify the atmosphere model in the simulation to compensate for atmosphere effects are also presented. Finally, a summary of the CoA decisions and recommendations to the MSL project in the days leading up to EDL is provided.

  1. Atmospheric Mars Entry and Landing Investigations & Analysis (AMELIA) by ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Entry Descent Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, F.; Karatekin, O.; Aboudan, A.; VanHove, B.; Colombatti, C.; Bettanini, C.; Debei, S.; Lewis, S.; Forget, F.

    2017-09-01

    On the 19th October 2016, Schiaparelli, the Entry Demonstrator Module (EDM) of the ESA ExoMars Program entered into the martian atmosphere. Although it did not complete a safe landing on Mars, it transmitted data throughout its descent to the surface, until the loss of signal at 1 minute before the expected touch-down on Mars' surface. From the flight data, we reconstruct the actual dynamics of the vehicle during its descent towards Mars's surface and retrieve the atmospheric profile, in terms of density, pressure and temperature, along its trajectory for atmospheric investigations.

  2. Electrodynamic Dust Shield for Solar Panels on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Mantovani, J. G.; Clements S.; Chen, A.; Mazumder, M. K.; Biris, A. S.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2004-01-01

    The Materials Adherence Experiment on the Mars Pathfinder mission measured an obscuration of the solar arrays due to dust deposition at a rate of about 0.2 8% per day. It was estimated that settling dust may cause degradation in performance of a solar panel of between 22% and 89% over the course of two years [1, 2]. These results were obtained without the presence of a global dust storm. Several types of adherence forces keep dust particles attached to surfaces. The most widely discussed adherence force is the electrostatic force. Laboratory experiments [3] as well as indirect evidence from the Wheel Abrasion Experiment on Pathfinder [4] indicate that it is very likely that the particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere are electrostatically charged.

  3. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has been unprecedented in achieving its goals related to space exploration and furthering the understanding of our solar system. In keeping with this trend, NASA's current mission is to land a team of astronauts on Mars and return them safely to Earth. In addition to comprising much of the structure and life support systems that will be brought to Mars for the habitat and vehicle, titanium and aluminum can be found and mined on Mars and may be used when building structures.Where metals are present, there will be a need for welding capabilities. For welds that need to be made quickly and are located far from heavy resistance or solid state welding machinery, there will be a need for basic arc welding. Arc welding has been a major cornerstone of manufacturing throughout the 20th century, and the portability and capability of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) will be necessary for repair, manufacturing, and survival on Mars. The two primary concerns for welding on Mars are that the Martian atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the atmospheric pressure is much lower than it is on Earth. The high levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere may dissociate and produce oxygen in the arc and therefore increase the risk of oxidation. For simplification, atmospheric pressure will not be taken into account for this experiment. For survival on Mars during this mission, the life support and water filtration systems must be kept operational at all times. In order to ensure that water filtration systems can be repaired in the event of an emergency, it is very important to have the capability to weld. The Orion capsule and Mars lander must also remain operational throughout the duration of the mission to ensure the safe return of the astronauts on the mission to Mars. A better understanding of welding in a Mars environment is important to ensure that repair welds are possible if the Orion capsule/Mars lander or water filtration system is damaged at any point

  4. In Situ Measurement of Atmospheric Krypton and Xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Malespin, C. A.; Franz, H. B.; Pepin, R. O.; Trainer, M. G.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Atreya, S. K.; Freissinet, C.; Jones, J. H.; Manning, H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratorys Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation has measured all of the stable isotopes of the heavy noble gases krypton and xenon in the martian atmosphere, in situ, from the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, Mars. Previous knowledge of martian atmospheric krypton and xenon isotope ratios has been based upon a combination of the Viking missions krypton and xenon detections and measurements of noble gas isotope ratios in martian meteorites. However, the meteorite measurements reveal an impure mixture of atmospheric, mantle, and spallation contributions. The xenon and krypton isotopic measurements reported here include the complete set of stable isotopes, unmeasured by Viking. The new results generally agree with Mars meteorite measurements but also provide a unique opportunity to identify various non-atmospheric heavy noble gas components in the meteorites. Kr isotopic measurements define a solar-like atmospheric composition, but deviating from the solar wind pattern at 80Kr and 82Kr in a manner consistent with contributions originating from neutron capture in Br. The Xe measurements suggest an intriguing possibility that isotopes lighter than 132Xe have been enriched to varying degrees by spallation and neutron capture products degassed to the atmosphere from the regolith, and a model is constructed to explore this possibility. Such a spallation component, however, is not apparent in atmospheric Xe trapped in the glassy phases of martian meteorites.

  5. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Night, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  6. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Day, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  7. Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    Gravity waves are atmospheric waves whose restoring force is the buoyancy. They are known to play an essential role in the redistribution of energy, momentum and atmospheric constituents in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. Possible excitation mechanisms comprise convection in an adjacent atmospheric layer, other atmospheric instabilities like wind shear instabilities, or air flow over orographic obstacles especially in combination with the strong winter jets on Mars. Gravity waves on Mars were observed in the lower atmosphere [1,2] but are also expected to play a major role in the cooling of the thermosphere [3] and the polar warming [4]. A fundamental understanding of the possible source mechanisms is required to reveal the influence of small scale gravity waves on the global atmospheric circulation. Radio occultation profiles from the MaRS experiment on Mars Express [5] with their exceptionally high vertical resolution can be used to study small-scale vertical gravity waves and their global distribution in the lower atmosphere from the planetary boundary layer up to 40 km altitude. Atmospheric instabilities, which are clearly identified in the data, are used to gain further insight into possible atmospheric processes contributing to the excitation of gravity waves. [1] Creasey, J. E., et al.,(2006), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01803, doi:10.1029/2005GL024037. [2]Tellmann, S., et al.(2013), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 306-320, doi:10.1002/jgre.20058. [3]Medvedev, A. S., et al.(2015), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120, 913-927. doi:10.1002/2015JE004802.[4] Barnes, J. R. (1990), J. Geophys. Res., 95, B2, 1401-1421. [5] Pätzold, M., et al. (2016), Planet. Space Sci., 127, 44 - 90.

  8. Atmospheric Risk Assessment for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Allen; Vasavada, Ashwin; Cianciolo, Alicia; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Dan; Hinson, David; Lewis, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    In 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems, by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. As with previous Mars landers, atmospheric conditions during entry, descent, and landing directly impact the performance of MSL's EDL system. While the vehicle's novel guided entry system allows it to "fly out" a range of atmospheric uncertainties, its trajectory through the atmosphere creates a variety of atmospheric sensitivities not present on previous Mars entry systems and landers. Given the mission's stringent landing capability requirements, understanding the atmosphere state and spacecraft sensitivities takes on heightened importance. MSL's guided entry trajectory differs significantly from recent Mars landers and includes events that generate different atmospheric sensitivities than past missions. The existence of these sensitivities and general advancement in the state of Mars atmospheric knowledge has led the MSL team to employ new atmosphere modeling techniques in addition to past practices. A joint EDL engineering and Mars atmosphere science and modeling team has been created to identify the key system sensitivities, gather available atmospheric data sets, develop relevant atmosphere models, and formulate methods to integrate atmosphere information into EDL performance assessments. The team consists of EDL engineers, project science staff, and Mars atmospheric scientists from a variety of institutions. This paper provides an overview of the system performance sensitivities that have driven the atmosphere modeling approach, discusses the atmosphere data sets and models employed by the team as a result of the identified sensitivities, and introduces the tools used to translate atmospheric knowledge into quantitative EDL performance assessments.

  9. The Electrostatic Environments of Mars: Atmospheric Discharges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Mackey, Paul J.; Johansen, Michael R.; Hogue, Michael D.; Phillips, James, III; Cox, Rachel E.

    2016-01-01

    The electrostatic environment on Mars is controlled by its ever present atmospheric dust. Dust devils and dust storms tribocharge this dust. Theoretical studies predict that lightning and/or glow discharges should be present on Mars, but none have been directly observed. Experiments are planned to shed light on this issue.

  10. Influence of Dust Loading on Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Ryan B.; Gronoff, Guillaume; Mertens, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the radiation environment at the surface of Mars is the primary goal of the Radiation Assessment Detector on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. One of the conditions that Curiosity will likely encounter is a dust storm. The objective of this paper is to compute the cosmic ray ionization in different conditions, including dust storms, as these various conditions are likely to be encountered by Curiosity at some point. In the present work, the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety model, recently modified for Mars, was used along with the Badhwar & O'Neill 2010 galactic cosmic ray model. In addition to galactic cosmic rays, five different solar energetic particle event spectra were considered. For all input radiation environments, radiation dose throughout the atmosphere and at the surface was investigated as a function of atmospheric dust loading. It is demonstrated that for galactic cosmic rays, the ionization depends strongly on the atmosphere profile. Moreover, it is shown that solar energetic particle events strongly increase the ionization throughout the atmosphere, including ground level, and can account for the radio blackout conditions observed by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. These results demonstrate that the cosmic rays' influence on the Martian surface chemistry is strongly dependent on solar and atmospheric conditions that should be taken into account for future studies.

  11. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Clancy, R Todd; Forget, François; Smith, Michael D; Zurek, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Humanity has long been fascinated by the planet Mars. Was its climate ever conducive to life? What is the atmosphere like today and why did it change so dramatically over time? Eleven spacecraft have successfully flown to Mars since the Viking mission of the 1970s and early 1980s. These orbiters, landers and rovers have generated vast amounts of data that now span a Martian decade (roughly eighteen years). This new volume brings together the many new ideas about the atmosphere and climate system that have emerged, including the complex interplay of the volatile and dust cycles, the atmosphere-surface interactions that connect them over time, and the diversity of the planet's environment and its complex history. Including tutorials and explanations of complicated ideas, students, researchers and non-specialists alike are able to use this resource to gain a thorough and up-to-date understanding of this most Earth-like of planetary neighbours.

  12. Seasonal Water Transport in the Atmosphere of Mars: Applications of a Mars General Circulation Model Using Mars Global Surveyor Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Bridger, Alison F. C.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1999-01-01

    This is a Final Report for a Joint Research Interchange (JRI) between NASA Ames Research Center and San Jose State University, Department of Meteorology. We present below a summary of progress made during the duration of this JRI. The focus of this JRI has been to investigate seasonal water vapor transport in the atmosphere of Mars and its effects on the planet's present climate. To this end, the primary task has been to adapt a new dynamical processor for the adiabatic tendencies of the atmospheric circulation into the NASA Ames Mars general circulation model (MGCM). Using identical boundary and initial conditions, several comparative tests between the new and old MGCMs have been performed and the nature of the simulated circulations have been diagnosed. With confidence that the updated version of the Ames MGCM produces quite similar mean and eddy circulation statistics, the new climate model is well poised as a tool to pursue fundamental questions related to the spatial and seasonal variations of atmospheric water vapor on Mars, and to explore exchanges of water with non-atmospheric reservoirs and transport within its atmosphere. In particular, the role of surface sources and sinks can be explored, the range of water-vapor saturation altitudes can be investigated, and plausible precipitation mechanisms can be studied, for a range of atmospheric dust loadings. Such future investigations can contribute to a comprehensive study of surface inventories, exchange mechanisms, and the relative importance of atmospheric transport Mars' water cycle. A listing of presentations made and manuscripts submitted during the course of this project is provided.

  13. The atmospheric escape at Mars: complementing the scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilensten, Jean; Simon, Cyril; Barthélémy, Mathieu; Thissen, Roland; Ehrenreich, David; Gronoff, Guillaume; Witasse, Olivier

    2013-04-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly ener- getic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. This study assesses the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions.We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a 2 case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering ...), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished but complement the other processes and allow writing the scenario of the Mars escape. We show that the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible.When simulating the hot Jupiter HD209458b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+.

  14. SST, Pathfinder Ver 5.0, Day and Night, 4.4 km, Global, Science Quality

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — AVHRR Pathfinder Oceans Project seeks to create a long-term, continuous sea surface temperature data series for use in climate research. The Pathfinder SST data...

  15. Description of the University of Auckland Global Mars Mesoscale Meteorological Model (GM4)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wing, D. R.; Austin, G. L.

    2005-08-01

    The University of Auckland Global Mars Mesoscale Meteorological Model (GM4) is a numerical weather prediction model of the Martian atmosphere that has been developed through the conversion of the Penn State University / National Center for Atmospheric Research fifth generation mesoscale model (MM5). The global aspect of this model is self consistent, overlapping, and forms a continuous domain around the entire planet, removing the need to provide boundary conditions other than at initialisation, yielding independence from the constraint of a Mars general circulation model. The brief overview of the model will be given, outlining the key physical processes and setup of the model. Comparison between data collected from Mars Pathfinder during its 1997 mission and simulated conditions using GM4 have been performed. Diurnal temperature variation as predicted by the model shows very good correspondence with the surface truth data, to within 5 K for the majority of the diurnal cycle. Mars Viking Data is also compared with the model, with good agreement. As a further means of validation for the model, various seasonal comparisons of surface and vertical atmospheric structure are conducted with the European Space Agency AOPP/LMD Mars Climate Database. Selected simulations over regions of interest will also be presented.

  16. The dynamics in the upper atmospheres of Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jared M.

    2008-06-01

    This thesis explores the dynamics of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. At Mars, the coupled Mars General Circulation Model - Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MGCM-MTGCM) is employed to investigate the phenomenon known as Mars winter polar warming. At Titan, a new theoretical model, the Titan Global Ionosphere - Thermosphere Model (T-GITM), is developed, based upon previous work by Ridley et al. [2006]. Using this new model, three separate numerical studies quantify the impacts of solar cycle, seasons, and lower boundary zonal winds on the Titan thermosphere structure and dynamics. At Mars, this thesis investigates thermospheric winter polar warming through three major studies: (1) a systematic analysis of vertical dust mixing in the lower atmosphere and its impact upon the dynamics of the lower thermosphere (100-130 km), (2) an interannual investigation utilizing three years of lower atmosphere infrared (IR) dust optical depth data acquired by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and finally (3) a brief study of the MTGCM's response to variations in upward propagating waves and tides from the lower atmosphere. Ultimately, this investigation suggests that an interhemispheric summer-to-winter Hadley circulation, originating in the lower atmosphere and extending into the upper atmosphere, is responsible for thermospheric winter polar warming [ Bell etal. , 2007]. A major branch of this thesis builds upon the previous work of Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000], Müller-Wodarg et al. [2003], M7uuml;ller-Wodarg et al. [2006], and Yelle et al. [2006] as it attempts to explain the structures in Titan's upper atmosphere, between 500-1500 km. Building also upon the recent development of GITM by Ridley et al. [2006], this thesis presents a new theoretical framework, T-GITM. This model is then employed to conduct a series of numerical experiments to quantify the impacts of the solar cycle, the season, and the

  17. School libraries Pathfinders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shideh Taleban

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available School library represents one of the important locations suited for offering reference services. The skill set necessary in order to use information resources, is called information literacy. When discussing information literacy and means of enhancing it, the first thing that comes to mind is the classroom for it is in schools that the foundation for learning skills is laid. Pathfinders have been used by libraries and librarians for guiding patrons to the required sources and answering their research questions since 1970’s. It is far different from a bibliography in as much as it does not necessarily include a complete list of available resources on a given topic. Nevertheless it provides sufficient basic resources for research for the patrons. Nowadays pathfinders are prepared by teacher-librarian or with the help of teachers at school so as to assist students in searching their prescribed assignments. The present paper offers definition of pathfinder, creation of pathfinders in schools, type of pathfinders, pathfinders characteristics, pathfinder elements as well as how to design pathfinders for children and teenagers.

  18. The Variability of Atmospheric Deuterium Brightness at Mars: Evidence for Seasonal Dependence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayyasi, Majd; Clarke, John; Bhattacharyya, Dolon; Deighan, Justin; Jain, Sonal; Chaffin, Michael; Thiemann, Edward; Schneider, Nick; Jakosky, Bruce

    2017-10-01

    The enhanced ratio of deuterium to hydrogen on Mars has been widely interpreted as indicating the loss of a large column of water into space, and the hydrogen content of the upper atmosphere is now known to be highly variable. The variation in the properties of both deuterium and hydrogen in the upper atmosphere of Mars is indicative of the dynamical processes that produce these species and propagate them to altitudes where they can escape the planet. Understanding the seasonal variability of D is key to understanding the variability of the escape rate of water from Mars. Data from a 15 month observing campaign, made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph high-resolution echelle channel, are used to determine the brightness of deuterium as observed at the limb of Mars. The D emission is highly variable, with a peak in brightness just after southern summer solstice. The trends of D brightness are examined against extrinsic as well as intrinsic sources. It is found that the fluctuations in deuterium brightness in the upper atmosphere of Mars (up to 400 km), corrected for periodic solar variations, vary on timescales that are similar to those of water vapor fluctuations lower in the atmosphere (20-80 km). The observed variability in deuterium may be attributed to seasonal factors such as regional dust storm activity and subsequent circulation lower in the atmosphere.

  19. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Evidence of water vapor in excess of saturation in the atmosphere of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltagliati, L; Montmessin, F; Fedorova, A; Korablev, O; Forget, F; Bertaux, J-L

    2011-09-30

    The vertical distribution of water vapor is key to the study of Mars' hydrological cycle. To date, it has been explored mainly through global climate models because of a lack of direct measurements. However, these models assume the absence of supersaturation in the atmosphere of Mars. Here, we report observations made using the SPICAM (Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars) instrument onboard Mars Express that provide evidence of the frequent presence of water vapor in excess of saturation, by an amount far surpassing that encountered in Earth's atmosphere. This result contradicts the widespread assumption that atmospheric water on Mars cannot exist in a supersaturated state, directly affecting our long-term representation of water transport, accumulation, escape, and chemistry on a global scale.

  1. Mars atmospheric escape and evolution; interaction with the solar wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, Eric; Leblanc, François

    2004-09-01

    This tutorial deals with the question of atmospheric escape on Mars. After a brief introduction describing the general context of Mars escape studies, we will present in Section 2 a simplified theory of thermal escape, of both Jeans and hydrodynamic types. The phenomenon of hydrodynamic escape, still hypothetical and not proved to have ever existed on terrestrial planets, will be treated with the help of two well known examples: (i) the isotopic fractionation of xenon in Mars and Earth atmospheres, (ii) the paradox of missing oxygen in Venus atmosphere. In Section 3, a simplified approach of non-thermal escape will be developed, treating in a specific way the different kinds of escape (photochemical escape, ion sputtering, ion escape and ionospheric outflow). As a matter of illustration, some calculations of the relative contributions of these mechanisms, and of their time evolutions, will be given, and the magnitude of the total amount of atmosphere lost by non-thermal escape will be estimated. Section 4 will present the state of knowledge concerning the constraints derived from Mars isotopic geochemistry in terms of past escape and evolution. Finally, a few conclusions, which are more interrogations, will be proposed.

  2. Cometary origin of atmospheric methane variations on Mars unlikely

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos-Serote, M.; Atreya, S. K.; Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-10-01

    The detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars was first reported in 2004. Since then a number of independent observations of methane have been reported, all showing temporal variability. Up until recently, the origin of methane was attributed to sources either indigenous to Mars or exogenous, where methane is a UV degradation byproduct of organics falling on to the surface. Most recently, a new hypothesis has been proposed that argues that the appearance and variation of methane are correlated with specific meteor events at Mars. Indeed, extraplanetary material can be brought to a planet when it passes through a meteoroid stream left behind by cometary bodies orbiting the Sun. This occurs repeatedly at specific times in a planet's year as streams tend to be fairly stable in space. In this paper, we revisit this latest hypothesis by carrying out a complete analysis of all available data on Mars atmospheric methane, including the very recent data not previously published, together with all published predicted meteor events for Mars. Whether we consider the collection of individual data points and predicted meteor events, whether we apply statistical analysis, or whether we consider different time spans between high methane measurements and the occurrence of meteor events, we find no compelling evidence for any correlation between atmospheric methane and predicted meteor events.

  3. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  4. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2001-03-01

    Analysis of soil and duricrust formation mechanisms on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments; results are compared with Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic).

  5. Development of Prototype Micro-Lidar using Narrow Linewidth Semiconductor Lasers for Mars Boundary Layer Wind and Dust Opacity Profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzies, Robert T.; Cardell, Greg; Chiao, Meng; Esproles, Carlos; Forouhar, Siamak; Hemmati, Hamid; Tratt, David

    1999-01-01

    We have developed a compact Doppler lidar concept which utilizes recent developments in semiconductor diode laser technology in order to be considered suitable for wind and dust opacity profiling in the Mars lower atmosphere from a surface location. The current understanding of the Mars global climate and meteorology is very limited, with only sparse, near-surface data available from the Viking and Mars Pathfinder landers, supplemented by long-range remote sensing of the Martian atmosphere. The in situ measurements from a lander-based Doppler lidar would provide a unique dataset particularly for the boundary layer. The coupling of the radiative properties of the lower atmosphere with the dynamics involves the radiative absorption and scattering effects of the wind-driven dust. Variability in solar irradiance, on diurnal and seasonal time scales, drives vertical mixing and PBL (planetary boundary layer) thickness. The lidar data will also contribute to an understanding of the impact of wind-driven dust on lander and rover operations and lifetime through an improvement in our understanding of Mars climatology. In this paper we discuss the Mars lidar concept, and the development of a laboratory prototype for performance studies, using, local boundary layer and topographic target measurements.

  6. Global structure and composition of the martian atmosphere with SPICAM on Mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Korablev, O.; Fonteyn, D.; Guibert, S.; Chassefière, E.; Lefèvre, F.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quémerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, E.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) Light, a light-weight (4.7 kg) UV-IR instrument to be flown on Mars Express orbiter, is dedicated to the study of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar and solar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow studies of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO+, and CO2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. An IR spectrometer (1.0-1.7 μm, resolution 0.5-1.2 nm) is dedicated primarily to nadir measurements of H2O abundances simultaneously with ozone measured in the UV, and to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H2O, CO2, and aerosols. The SPICAM Light near-IR sensor employs a pioneering technology acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF), leading to a compact and light design. Overall, SPICAM Light is an ideal candidate for future orbiter studies of Mars, after Mars Express, in order to study the interannual variability of martian atmospheric processes. The potential contribution to a Mars International Reference Atmosphere is clear.

  7. Pathfinder-Plus aircraft in flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    The Pathfinder-Plus solar-powered aircraft is shown taking off from a runway, then flying at low altitude over the ocean. The vehicle, which looks like a flying ruler, operates at low airspeed. Among the missions proposed for a solar-powered aircraft are communications relay, atmospheric studies, pipeline monitoring and gas leak detection, environmental monitoring using thermal and radar images, and disaster relief and monitoring.

  8. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M G; Ewing, R C; Lamb, M P; Fischer, W W; Grotzinger, J P; Rubin, D M; Lewis, K W; Ballard, M; Day, Mitch D.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S G; Bridges, N T; Des Marais, D J; Fraeman, A A; Grant, J A; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Ming, D W; Mischna, M A; Rice, M S; Sumner, D A; Vasavada, A R; Yingst, R A

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  9. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Day, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Mischna, M. A.; Rice, M. S.; Sumner, D. A.; Vasavada, A. R.; Yingst, R. A.

    2016-07-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter- to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  10. Radio Wave Propagation Handbook for Communication on and Around Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Christian; Golshan, Nasser; Kliore, Arvydas

    2002-01-01

    This handbook examines the effects of the Martian environment on radio wave propagation on Mars and in the space near the planet. The environmental effects include these from the Martian atmosphere, ionosphere, global dust storms, aerosols, clouds, and geomorphologic features. Relevant Martian environmental parameters were extracted from the measurements of Mars missions during the past 30 years, especially from Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. The results derived from measurements and analyses have been reviewed through an extensive literature search. The updated parameters have been theoretically analyzed to study their effects on radio propagation. This handbook also provides basic information about the entire telecommunications environment on and around Mars for propagation researchers, system engineers, and link analysts. Based on these original analyses, some important recommendations have been made, including the use of the Martian ionosphere as a reflector for Mars global or trans-horizon communication between future Martian colonies, reducing dust storm scattering effects, etc. These results have extended our wave propagation knowledge to a planet other than Earth; and the tables, models, and graphics included in this handbook will benefit telecommunication system engineers and scientific researchers.

  11. A carbon dioxide/methane greenhouse atmosphere on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    1993-01-01

    One explanation for the formation of fluvial surface features on early Mars is that the global average surface temperature was maintained at or above the freezing point of water by the greenhouse warming of a dense CO2 atmosphere; however, Kasting has shown that CO2 alone is insufficient because the formation of CO2 clouds reduces the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. It is possible that other gases, such as NH3 and CH4, were present in the early atmosphere of Mars and contributed to the greenhouse effect. Kasting et al. investigated the effect of NH3 in a CO2 atmosphere and calculated that an NH3 mixing ratio of approximately 5 x 10 (exp -4) by volume, combined with a CO2 partial pressure of 4-5 bar, could generate a global average surface temperature of 273 K near 3.8 b.y. ago when the fluvial features are believed to have formed. Atmospheric NH3 is photochemically converted to N2 by ultraviolet radiation at wavelengths shortward of 230 nm; maintenance of sufficient NH3 concentrations would therefore require a source of NH3 to balance the photolytic destruction. We have used a one-dimensional photochemical model to estimate the magnitude of the NH3 source required to maintain a given NH3 concentration in a dense CO2 atmosphere. We calculate that an NH3 mixing ratio of 10(exp -4) requires a flux of NH3 on the order of 10(exp 12) molecules /cm-s. This figure is several orders of magnitude greater than estimates of the NH3 flux on early Mars; thus it appears that NH3 with CO2 is not enough to keep early Mars warm.

  12. Relating MBSE to Spacecraft Development: A NASA Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othon, Bill

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) has sponsored a Pathfinder Study to investigate how Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and Model Based Engineering (MBE) techniques can be applied by NASA spacecraft development projects. The objectives of this Pathfinder Study included analyzing both the products of the modeling activity, as well as the process and tool chain through which the spacecraft design activities are executed. Several aspects of MBSE methodology and process were explored. Adoption and consistent use of the MBSE methodology within an existing development environment can be difficult. The Pathfinder Team evaluated the possibility that an "MBSE Template" could be developed as both a teaching tool as well as a baseline from which future NASA projects could leverage. Elements of this template include spacecraft system component libraries, data dictionaries and ontology specifications, as well as software services that do work on the models themselves. The Pathfinder Study also evaluated the tool chain aspects of development. Two chains were considered: 1. The Development tool chain, through which SysML model development was performed and controlled, and 2. The Analysis tool chain, through which both static and dynamic system analysis is performed. Of particular interest was the ability to exchange data between SysML and other engineering tools such as CAD and Dynamic Simulation tools. For this study, the team selected a Mars Lander vehicle as the element to be designed. The paper will discuss what system models were developed, how data was captured and exchanged, and what analyses were conducted.

  13. Studying the Mars atmosphere using a SOIR Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, R.; Vandaele, A.; Daerden, F.; Neefs, E.; Mahieux, A.; Wilquet, V.; Montmessin, F.; Bertaux, J.; McConnell, J. C.; Kaminski, J. W.

    2009-05-01

    SOIR (Solar Occultation InfraRed spectrometer) is currently part of the SPICAV/SOIR instrument on board the Venus Express orbiter (VEX). SOIR, an Echelle infrared spectrometer using an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for the order selection, is probing the atmosphere by solar occultation, operating between 2.2 and 4.3 μm, with a resolution of 0.15 cm-1. This spectral range is suitable for the detection of several key components of planetary atmospheres, including H2O and its isotopologue HDO, CH4 and other trace species. The SOIR instrument was designed to have a minimum of moving parts, to be light and compact in order to fit on top of the SPICAV instrument. The AOTF allows a narrow range of wavelengths to pass, according to the radio frequency applied to the TeO2 crystal; this selects the order. The advantage of the AOTF is that different orders can be observed quickly and easily during one occultation. To obtain a compact optical scheme, a Littrow configuration was implemented in which the usual collimating and imaging lenses are merged into a single off-axis parabolic mirror. The light is diffracted on the echelle grating, where orders overlap and addition occurs, and finally is recorded by the detector. The detector is 320x256 pixels and is cooled to 88K during an occultation measurement, to maximise the signal to noise ratio. SOIR on VEX has been in orbit around Venus since April 2006, allowing us to characterise the instrument and study its performance. These data have allowed the engineering team to devise several instrumental improvements. The next step in further improving the readiness for Martian atmospheric studies comes in close collaboration with the Mars Atmospheric Modelling group at BIRA-IASB. A General Circulation Model is used to simulate the Martian atmosphere. Currently work is underway with SPICAM data to verify the GCM inputs and outputs. Later the GCM output will be used as feedback for instrumental design of both an improved version

  14. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    2000-01-01

    The location and density of biologically useful energy sources on Mars will limit the biomass, spatial distribution, and organism size of any biota. Subsurface Martian organisms could be supplied with a large energy flux from the oxidation of photochemically produced atmospheric H(2) and CO diffusing into the regolith. However, surface abundance measurements of these gases demonstrate that no more than a few percent of this available flux is actually being consumed, suggesting that biological activity driven by atmospheric H(2) and CO is limited in the top few hundred meters of the subsurface. This is significant because the available but unused energy is extremely large: for organisms at 30-m depth, it is 2,000 times previous estimates of hydrothermal and chemical weathering energy and far exceeds the energy derivable from other atmospheric gases. This also implies that the apparent scarcity of life on Mars is not attributable to lack of energy. Instead, the availability of liquid water may be a more important factor limiting biological activity because the photochemical energy flux can only penetrate to 100- to 1,000-m depth, where most H(2)O is probably frozen. Because both atmospheric and Viking lander soil data provide little evidence for biological activity, the detection of short-lived trace gases will probably be a better indicator of any extant Martian life.

  15. Noble gases in Mars atmosphere: new precise analysis with Paloma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarda, Ph.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

    The Viking mission embarked a mass spectrometer designed by Alfred O. Nier that yielded the first determination of the elemental and isotopic composition of noble gases in Mars atmosphere. For example, the 40Ar/36Ar ratio in martian air is roughly 10 fold that in terrestrial air. This extraordinary accomplishment, however, has furnished only partial results with large analytical uncertainties. For example, we do not know the isotopic composition of helium, and only very poorly that of Ne, Kr and Xe. In planetary science, it is fundamental to have a good knowledge of the atmosphere because this serves as a reference for all further studies of volatiles. In addition, part of our present knowledge of Mars atmosphere is based on the SNC meteorites, and again points to important differences between the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. For example the 129Xe/132Xe ratio of martian atmosphere would be twice that of terrestrial air and the 36Ar/38Ar ratio strongly different from the terrestrial or solar value. There is a need for confirming that the atmospheric components found in SNC meteorites actually represents the atmosphere of Mars, or to determine how different they are. Paloma is an instrument designed to generate elemental and isotopic data for He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe (and other gases) using a mass spectrometer with a purification and separation line. Gas purification and separation did not exist on the Vicking instrument. Because Paloma includes purification and separation, we expect strong improvement in precision. Ne, Ar and Xe isotope ratios should be obtained with an accuracy of better than 1%. Determination of the presently unknown ^3He/^4He ratio is also awaited from this experiment. Knowledge of noble gas isotopes in Mars atmosphere will allow some insight into major planetary processes such as degassing (^3He/^4He, 40Ar/36Ar, 129Xe/130Xe, 136Xe/130Xe), gravitational escape to space (^3He/^4He, 20Ne/22Ne), hydrodynamic escape and/or impact erosion of the

  16. Spectral heterogeneity on Phobos and Deimos: HiRISE observations and comparisons to Mars Pathfinder results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, N.; Stelter, R.; Ivanov, A.; Bridges, N.T.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; McEwen, A.S.

    2011-01-01

    The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been used to observe Phobos and Deimos at spatial scales of around 6 and 20 m/px, respectively. HiRISE (McEwen et al.; JGR, 112, CiteID E05S02, DOI: 10.1029/2005JE002605, 2007) has provided, for the first time, high-resolution colour images of the surfaces of the Martian moons. When processed, by the production of colour ratio images for example, the data show considerable small-scale heterogeneity, which might be attributable to fresh impacts exposing different materials otherwise largely hidden by a homogenous regolith. The bluer material that is draped over the south-eastern rim of the largest crater on Phobos, Stickney, has been perforated by an impact to reveal redder material and must therefore be relatively thin. A fresh impact with dark crater rays has been identified. Previously identified mass-wasting features in Stickney and Limtoc craters stand out strongly in colour. The interior deposits in Stickney appear more inhomogeneous than previously suspected. Several other local colour variations are also evident. Deimos is more uniform in colour but does show some small-scale inhomogeneity. The bright streamers (Thomas et al.; Icarus, 123, 536556,1996) are relatively blue. One crater to the south-west of Voltaire and its surroundings appear quite strongly reddened with respect to the rest of the surface. The reddening of the surroundings may be the result of ejecta from this impact. The spectral gradients at optical wavelengths observed for both Phobos and Deimos are quantitatively in good agreement with those found by unresolved photometric observations made by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP; Thomas et al.; JGR, 104, 90559068, 1999). The spectral gradients of the blue and red units on Phobos bracket the results from IMP. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. CRED REA Algal Assessment, Pathfinder Bank 2003 (NODC Accession 0010352)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Random collections of algae were made at 2 sites at Pathfinder Bank in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in August and September, 2003 from the NOAA...

  18. The Potential Impact of Mars' Atmospheric Dust on Future Human Exploration of the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhalter, D.; Levine, J. S.; Kerschmann, R.; Beaty, D. W.; Carrier, B. L.; Ashley, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    With the increasing focus by NASA and other space agencies on a crewed mission to Mars in the 2039 time-frame, many Mars-specific environmental factors are now starting to be considered by NASA and other engineering teams. Learning from NASA's Apollo Missions to the Moon, where lunar dust turned out to be a significant challenge to mission and crew safety, attention is now turning to the dust in Mars' atmosphere and regolith. To start the process of identifying possible dust-caused challenges to the human presence on Mars, and thus aid early engineering and mission design efforts, the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Robotic Spacecraft Technical Discipline Team organized and conducted a Workshop on the "Dust in Mars' Atmosphere and Its Impact on the Human Exploration of Mars", held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, TX, June 13-15, 2017. The workshop addressed the following general areas: 1. What is known about Mars' dust in terms of its physical and chemical properties, its local and global abundance and composition, and its variability.2. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on human health.3. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on surface mechanical systems (e.g., spacesuits, habitats, mobility systems, etc.). We present the top priority issues identified in the workshop.

  19. Atmospheric and surface properties of Mars obtained by infrared spectroscopy on Mariner 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrath, B.; Curran, R.; Hanel, R.; Kunde, V.; Maguire, W.; Pearl, J.; Pirraglia, J.; Welker, J.; Burke, T.

    1973-01-01

    The infrared spectroscopy experiment on Mariner 9 obtained data over much of Mars. Interpretation of the thermal emission of Mars in terms of atmospheric temperatures, wind fields and dynamics, surface temperatures, surface pressure and topography, mineral composition, and minor atmospheric constituents including isotopic ratios, as well as a search for unexpected phenomena are reported.

  20. Seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars atmosphere: Complete global results of the Viking atmospheric water detector experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jakosky, B.M.; Farmer, C.B.

    1982-01-01

    The water vapor content of the Mars atmosphere was measured from the Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) for a period of more than 1 Martian year, from June 1976 through April 1979. Results are presented in the form of global maps of column abundance for 24 periods throughout each Mars year. The data reduction incorporates spatial and seasonal variations in surface pressure and supplements earlier published versions of less complete data

  1. Lander Radioscience LaRa, a Space Geodesy Experiment to Mars within the ExoMars 2020 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, V. M. A.; Le Maistre, S.; Yseboodt, M.; Peters, M. J.; Karatekin, O.; Van Hove, B.; Rivoldini, A.; Baland, R. M.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2017-12-01

    The LaRa (Lander Radioscience) experiment is designed to obtain coherent two-way Doppler measurements from the radio link between the 2020 ExoMars lander and Earth over at least one Martian year. The LaRa instrument consists of a coherent transponder with up- and downlinks at X-band radio frequencies. The signal received from Earth is a pure carrier at 7.178 GHz; it is transponded back to Earth at a frequency of 8.434 GHz. The transponder is designed to maintain its lock and coherency over its planed one-hour observation sessions. The transponder mass is at the one-kg level. There are one uplink antenna and two downlink antennas. They are small patch antennas covered by a radome of 130gr for the downlink ones and of 200gr for the uplink. The signals will be generated and received by Earth-based radio antennas belonging to the NASA deep space network (DSN), the ESA tracking station network, or the Russian ground stations network. The instrument lifetime is more than twice the nominal mission duration of one Earth year. The Doppler measurements will be used to observe the orientation and rotation of Mars in space (precession, nutations, and length-of-day variations), as well as polar motion. The ultimate objective is to obtain information/constraints on the Martian interior, and on the sublimation/condensation cycle of atmospheric CO2. Orientation and rotational variations will allow us to constrain the moment of inertia of the entire planet, the moment of inertia of the core, and seasonal mass transfer between the atmosphere and the ice caps. The LaRa experiment will be combined with other previous radio science experiments such as the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) RISE experiment (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment) with radio science data of the NASA Viking landers, Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers. In addition, other ExoMars2020 and TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) experiments providing

  2. Discovering Parameters for Ancient Mars Atmospheric Profiles by Modeling Volcanic Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, A.; Clarke, A. B.; Van Eaton, A. R.; Mastin, L. G.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence of explosive volcanic deposits on Mars motivates questions about the behavior of eruption plumes in the Ancient and current Martian atmosphere. Early modeling studies suggested that Martian plumes may rise significantly higher than their terrestrial equivalents (Wilson and Head, 1994, Rev. Geophys., 32, 221-263). We revisit the issue using a steady-state 1-D model of volcanic plumes (Plumeria: Mastin, 2014, JGR, doi:10.1002/2013JD020604) along with a range of reasonable temperature and pressures. The model assumes perfect coupling of particles with the gas phase in the plume, and Stokes number analysis indicates that this is a reasonable assumption for particle diameters less than 5 mm to 1 micron. Our estimates of Knudsen numbers support the continuum assumption. The tested atmospheric profiles include an estimate of current Martian atmosphere based on data from voyager mission (Seif, A., Kirk, D.B., (1977) Geophys., 82,4364-4378), a modern Earth-like atmosphere, and several other scenarios based on variable tropopause heights and near-surface atmospheric density estimates from the literature. We simulated plume heights using mass eruption rates (MER) ranging from 1 x 103 to 1 x 1010 kg s-1 to create a series of new theoretical MER-plume height scaling relationships that may be useful for considering plume injection heights, climate impacts, and global-scale ash dispersal patterns in Mars' recent and ancient geological past. Our results show that volcanic plumes in a modern Martian atmosphere may rise up to three times higher than those on Earth. We also find that the modern Mars atmosphere does not allow eruption columns to collapse, and thus does not allow for the formation of column-collapse pyroclastic density currents, a phenomenon thought to have occurred in Mars' past based on geological observations. The atmospheric density at the surface, and especially the height of the tropopause, affect the slope of the MER-plume height curve and control

  3. Pathfinder-Plus on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  4. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days above 50

  5. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) Cryosphere

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) contains the AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) product. APP is a fundamental CDR comprised of calibrated and navigated AVHRR channel...

  6. Aspects of the atmospheric surface layers on Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Søren Ejling; Ejsing Jørgensen, Hans; Landberg, L.

    2002-01-01

    and mean flow on Mars is found to obey the same scaling laws as on Earth. The largest micrometeorological differences between the two atmospheres are associated with the low air density of the Martian atmosphere. Together with the virtual absence of water vapour, it reduces the importance...

  7. ACS experiment for atmospheric studies on "ExoMars-2016" Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O. I.; Montmessin, F.; Fedorova, A. A.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Shakun, A. V.; Trokhimovskiy, A. V.; Grigoriev, A. V.; Anufreichik, K. A.; Kozlova, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    ACS is a set of spectrometers for atmospheric studies (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite). It is one of the Russian instruments for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the Russian-European "ExoMars" program. The purpose of the experiment is to study the Martian atmosphere by means of two observations regimes: sensitive trace gases measurements in solar occultations and by monitoring the atmospheric state during nadir observations. The experiment will allow us to approach global problems of Mars research such as current volcanism, and the modern climate status and its evolution. Also, the experiment is intended to solve the mystery of methane presence in the Martian atmosphere. Spectrometers of the ACS set cover the spectral range from the near IR-range (0.7 μm) to the thermal IR-range (17 μm) with spectral resolution λ/Δλ reaching 50000. The ACS instrument consists of three independent IR spectrometers and an electronics module, all integrated in a single unit with common mechanical, electrical and thermal interfaces. The article gives an overview of scientific tasks and presents the concept of the experiment.

  8. CRED REA Algal Assessments at Pathfinder Reef, Marianas Archipelago in 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As part of Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA), Twelve quadrats were sampled along 2 consecutively-placed, 25m transect lines, conducted at 2 sites at Pathfinder Reef...

  9. Effect of Mars Atmospheric Loss on Snow Melt Potential in a 3.5 Gyr Mars Climate Evolution Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Megan; Kite, Edwin S.; Mischna, Michael A.

    2018-04-01

    Post-Noachian Martian paleochannels indicate the existence of liquid water on the surface of Mars after about 3.5 Gya (Irwin et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.012; Palucis et al., 2016, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JE004905). In order to explore the effects of variations in CO2 partial pressure and obliquity on the possibility of surface water, we created a zero-dimensional surface energy balance model. We combine this model with physically consistent orbital histories to track conditions over the last 3.5 Gyr of Martian history. We find that melting is allowed for atmospheric pressures corresponding to exponential loss rates of dP/dt∝t-3.73 or faster, but this rate is within 0.5σ of the rate calculated from initial measurements made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, if we assume all the escaping oxygen measured by MAVEN comes from atmospheric CO2 (Lillis et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JA023525; Tu et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526146). Melting at this loss rate matches selected key geologic constraints on the formation of Hesperian river networks, assuming optimal melt conditions during the warmest part of each Mars year (Irwin et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.012; Kite, Gao, et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo3033; Kite, Sneed et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL072660; Stopar et al., 2006, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2006.07.039). The atmospheric pressure has a larger effect on the surface energy than changes in Mars's mean obliquity. These results show that initial measurements of atmosphere loss by MAVEN are consistent with atmospheric loss being the dominant process that switched Mars from a melt-permitting to a melt-absent climate (Jakosky et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aai7721), but non-CO2 warming will be required if <2 Gya paleochannels are confirmed or if most of the escaping oxygen measured by MAVEN comes from H2O.

  10. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Ops (MARCO POLO) Atmospheric Processing Module

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The multi-NASA center Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations (MARCO POLO) project was established to build and demonstrate a...

  11. Model for Volatile Incorporation into Soils and Dust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    Martian soils with high content of compounds of sulfur and chlorine are ubiquitous on Mars, having been found at all five landing sites. Sulfate and chloride salts are implicated by a variety of evidence, but few conclusive specific identifications have been made. Discovery of jarosite and Mg-Ca sulfates in outcrops at Meridiani Planum (MER mission) and regional-scale beds of kieserite and gypsum (Mars Express mission) notwithstanding, the sulfates in soils are uncertain. Chlorides or other Cl-containing minerals have not been uniquely identified directly by any method. Viking and Pathfinder missions found trends in the elemental analytical data consistent with MgSO4, but Viking results are biased by duricrust samples and Pathfinder by soil contamination of rock surfaces. The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) missions have taken extensive data on soils with no confirmation of trends implicating any particular cation. In our model of martian dust and soil, the S and Cl are initially incorporated by condensation or chemisorption on grains directly from gas phase molecules in the atmosphere. It is shown by modeling that the coatings thus formed cannot quantitatively explain the apparent elemental composition of these materials, and therefore involve the migration of ions and formation of microscopic weathering rinds. Original cation inventories of unweathered particles are isochemically conserved. Exposed rock surfaces should also have micro rinds, depending upon the length of time of exposure. Martian soils may therefore have unusual chemical properties when interacting with aqueous layers or infused fluids. Potential ramifications to the quantitative accuracy of x-ray fluorescence and Moessbauer spectroscopy on unprocessed samples are also assessed.

  12. Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamic Chemistry and the Composition of the Atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.

    2003-01-01

    A high priority objective of the Mars Exploration Program is to Determine if life exists today (MEPAG Goal I, Objective A). The measurement of gases of biogenic origin may be an approach to detect the presence of microbial life on the surface or subsurface of Mars. Chemical thermodynamic calculations indicate that on both Earth and Mars, certain gases should exist in extremely low concentrations, if at all. Microbial metabolic activity is an important non-equilibrium chemistry process on Earth, and if microbial life exists on Mars, may be an important nonequilibrium chemistry process on Mars. The non-equilibrium chemistry of the atmosphere of Mars is discussed in this paper.

  13. An Application of the "Virtual Spacecraft" Concept in Evaluation of the Mars Pathfinder Lander Low Gain Antenna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogorzelski, R. J.; Beckon, R. J.

    1997-01-01

    The virtual spacecraft concept is embodied in a set of subsystems, either in the form of hardware or computational models, which together represent all, or a portion of, a spacecraft. For example, the telecommunications transponder may be a hardware prototype while the propulsion system may exist only as a simulation. As the various subsystems are realized in hardware, the spacecraft becomes progressively less virtual. This concept is enabled by JPL's Mission System Testbed which is a set of networked workstations running a message passing operating system called "TRAMEL" which stands for Task Remote Asynchronous Message Exchange Layer. Each simulation on the workstations, which may in fact be hardware controlled by the workstation, "publishes" its operating parameters on TRAMEL and other simulations requiring those parameters as input may "subscribe" to them. In this manner, the whole simulation operates as a single virtual system. This paper describes a simulation designed to evaluate a communications link between the earth and the Mars Pathfinder Lander module as it descends under a parachute through the Martian atmosphere toward the planet's surface. This link includes a transmitter and a low gain antenna on the spacecraft and a receiving antenna and receiver on the earth as well as a simulation of the dynamics of the spacecraft. The transmitter, the ground station antenna, the receiver and the dynamics are all simulated computationally while the spacecraft antenna is implemented in hardware on a very simple spacecraft mockup. The dynamics simulation is a record of one output of the ensemble of outputs of a Monte Carlo simulation of the descent. Additionally, the antenna/spacecraft mock-up system was simulated using APATCH, a shooting and bouncing ray code developed by Demaco, Inc. The antenna simulation, the antenna hardware, and the link simulation are all physically located in different facilities at JPL separated by several hundred meters and are linked via

  14. Ground Contact Model for Mars Science Laboratory Mission Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Way, David

    2012-01-01

    The Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST 2) has been successful in simulating the flight of launch vehicles and entry bodies on earth and other planets. POST 2 has been the primary simulation tool for the Entry Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase of numerous Mars lander missions such as Mars Pathfinder in 1997, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER-A and MER-B) in 2004, Mars Phoenix lander in 2007, and it is now the main trajectory simulation tool for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) in 2012. In all previous missions, the POST 2 simulation ended before ground impact, and a tool other than POST 2 simulated landing dynamics. It would be ideal for one tool to simulate the entire EDL sequence, thus avoiding errors that could be introduced by handing off position, velocity, or other fight parameters from one simulation to the other. The desire to have one continuous end-to-end simulation was the motivation for developing the ground interaction model in POST 2. Rover landing, including the detection of the postlanding state, is a very critical part of the MSL mission, as the EDL landing sequence continues for a few seconds after landing. The method explained in this paper illustrates how a simple ground force interaction model has been added to POST 2, which allows simulation of the entire EDL from atmospheric entry through touchdown.

  15. Primary Productivity, SeaWiFS and Pathfinder, 0.1 degrees, Global, EXPERIMENTAL

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Primary Productivity is calculated from SeaWiFS Chl a, Pathfinder SST, and SeaWiFS PAR data. THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCT: intended strictly for scientific...

  16. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in 1998 over Hawaiian waters. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least

  17. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4

  18. Chemical, multispectral, and textural constraints on the composition and origin of rocks at the Mars Pathfinder landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSween, H.Y.; Murchie, S.L.; Crisp, J.A.; Bridges, N.T.; Anderson, R.C.; Bell, J.F.; Britt, D.T.; Brückner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Economou, T.; Ghosh, A.; Golombek, M.P.; Greenwood, J.P.; Johnson, J. R.; Moore, H.J.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rieder, R.; Singer, R.; Wänke, H.

    1999-01-01

    Rocks at the Mars Pathfinder site are probably locally derived. Textures on rock surfaces may indicate volcanic, sedimentary, or impact-generated rocks, but aeolian abration and dust coatings prevent unambiguous interpretation. Multispectral imaging has resolved four spectral classes of rocks: gray and red, which occur on different surfaces of the same rocks; pink, which is probably soil crusts; and maroon, which occurs as large boulders, mostly in the far field. Rocks are assigned to two spectral trends based on the position of peak reflectance: the primary spectral trend contains gray, red, and pink rocks; maroon rocks constitute the secondary spectral trend. The spatial pattern of spectral variations observed is oriented along the prevailing wind direction. The primary spectral trend arises from thin ferric coatings of aeolian dust on darker rocks. The secondary spectral trend is apparently due to coating by a different mineral, probably maghemite or ferrihydrite. A chronology based on rock spectra suggests that rounded maroon boulders constitute the oldest petrologic unit (a flood deposit), succeeded by smaller cobbles possibly deposited by impact, and followed by aeolian erosion and deposition. Nearly linear chemical trends in alpha proton X-ray spectrometer rock compositions are interpreted as mixing lines between rock and adhering dust, a conclusion supported by a correlation between sulfur abundance and red/blue spectral ratio. Extrapolations of regression lines to zero sulfur give the composition of a presumed igneous rock. The chemistry and normative mineralogy of the sulfur-free rock resemble common terrestrial volcanic rocks, and its classification corresponds to andesite. Igneous rocks of this composition may occur with clastic sedimentary rocks or impact melts and breccias. However, the spectral mottling expected on conglomerates or breccias is not observed in any APXS-analyzed rocks. Interpretation of the rocks as andesites is complicated by absence

  19. Wave phenomena comparison between Mars and Titan upper atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elrod, Meredith K.; Bell, J. M.

    2013-10-01

    We will examine the presence of waves in the neutral atmospheres of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. We will examine the aerobraking datasets from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Odyssey (ODY) missions, analyzing the neutral densities to characterize the planetary tides and/or smaller-scale internal gravity waves present in the data. While several studies have examined these features before at Mars (e.g., Forbes et al. [2002] and Fritts and Tolson [2006]), we will be focusing on examining whether or not the wave features observed in the thermosphere could be explained primarily with planetary tides, as posted recently in Klienbohl et al. [2013]. In addition to this, we will also examine the neutral densities obtained by the Cassini Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) in order to determine if planetary tides can explain the numerous wave-like features that have been interpreted as gravity waves propagating vertically (cf., Mueller-Wodarg et al. [2008], Cui et al. [2013], and Snowden et al. [2013]).

  20. Mars Atmospheric Entry Integrated Navigation with Partial Intermittent Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai-shan Lou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Signal degradation suffered by the vehicle is a combination brownout and blackout during Mars atmospheric entry. The communications brownout means that signal fades and blackout means that the signal is lost completely. The communications brownout and blackout periods are analyzed and predicted with an altitude and velocity profiles. In the brownout period, the range measurements between the vehicle and the orbiters are modeled as intermittent measurements with the radio signal arrival probabilities, which are distributed as a Rayleigh distribution of the electron number density around the entry vehicle. A new integrated navigation strategy during the Mars atmospheric entry phase is proposed to consider the probabilities of the radio measurements in the communications brownout and blackout periods under the IMU/beacon scenario based on the information filter with intermittent measurements. Numerical navigation simulations are designed to show the performance of the proposed navigation strategy under the integrated navigation scenario.

  1. Comparative pick-up ion distributions at Mars and Venus: Consequences for atmospheric deposition and escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon M.; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan; Liemohn, Michael; Dong, Chuanfei; Hara, Takuya

    2015-09-01

    Without the shielding of a substantial intrinsic dipole magnetic field, the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are particularly susceptible to similar atmospheric ion energization and scavenging processes. However, each planet has different attributes and external conditions controlling its high altitude planetary ion spatial and energy distributions. This paper describes analogous test particle simulations in background MHD fields that allow us to compare the properties and fates, precipitation or escape, of the mainly O+ atmospheric pick-up ions at Mars and Venus. The goal is to illustrate how atmospheric and planetary scales affect the upper atmospheres and space environments of our terrestrial planet neighbors. The results show the expected convection electric field-related hemispheric asymmetries in both precipitation and escape, where the degree of asymmetry at each planet is determined by the planetary scale and local interplanetary field strength. At Venus, the kinetic treatment of O+ reveals a strong nightside source of precipitation while Mars' crustal fields complicate the simple asymmetry in ion precipitation and drive a dayside source of precipitation. The pickup O+ escape pattern at both Venus and Mars exhibits low energy tailward escape, but Mars exhibits a prominent, high energy 'polar plume' feature in the hemisphere of the upward convection electric field while the Venus ion wake shows only a modest poleward concentration. The overall escape is larger at Venus than Mars (2.1 ×1025 and 4.3 ×1024 at solar maximum, respectively), but the efficiency (likelihood) of O+ escaping is 2-3 times higher at Mars. The consequences of these comparisons for pickup ion related atmospheric energy deposition, loss rates, and detection on spacecraft including PVO, VEX, MEX and MAVEN are considered. In particular, both O+ precipitation and escape show electric field controlled asymmetries that grow with energy, while the O+ fluxes and energy spectra at selected spatial

  2. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  3. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder Extended (APP-X) Cryosphere

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of the extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) cryosphere contains 19 geophysical variables over the Arctic and Antarctic for the...

  4. Overview of the Atmosphere and Environment within Gale Crater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Crisp, J. A.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.

    2012-12-01

    Curiosity's mission at Gale Crater places a number of highly capable atmospheric and environmental sensors within a dynamic setting: next to a 5-km mountain within a 150-km diameter impact crater whose floor is -4.5 km. Curiosity's scientific payload was chosen primarily to allow a geologic and geochemical investigation of Mars' environmental history and habitability, as preserved in the layered sediments on the crater floor and mound. Atmospheric and environmental sensors will contribute by measuring the bulk atmospheric chemical and isotopic composition, the flux of high-energy particle and ultraviolet radiation after modification by the atmosphere, and modern processes related to meteorology and climate over at least one Mars year. The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument will analyze the atmosphere with its mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer. The former is capable of providing bulk composition and isotopic ratios of relevance to planetary evolution, such as nitrogen and noble gases. The latter is designed to acquire high-precision measurements of atmospheric species including CH4, CO2, and H2O, and key isotope ratios in H, C, and O. An important goal will be to compare CH4 abundance and time variability over the mission with the reported detections from the Mars Express orbiter and ground-based observations. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measures a broad spectrum of high-energy radiation incident at the surface, including secondary particles created via interactions of galactic cosmic rays and solar protons with Mars' atmospheric constituents. Curiosity's Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) carries six ultraviolet sensors, spanning 200-380 nm. For the first time, both the high-energy and ultraviolet radiation measured at the surface can be compared with measurements above the atmosphere, acquired by other platforms. Modern meteorology and the climatology of dust and water will be studied using the rover's cameras and REMS

  5. A simulation of the OMEGA/Mars Express observations: Analysis of the atmospheric contribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchiorri, R.; Drossart, P.; Fouchet, T.; Bézard, B.; Forget, F.; Gendrin, A.; Bibring, J. P.; Manaud, N.; OMEGA Team; Berthé, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; Forni, O.; Gendrin, A.; Gondet, B.; Manaud, N.; Poulet, F.; Poulleau, G.; Soufflot, A.; Mangold, N.; Bonello, G.; Forget, F.; Bezard, B.; Combes, M.; Drossart, P.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Erard, S.; Bellucci, G.; Altieri, F.; Formisano, V.; Fonti, S.; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Coradini, A.; Kottsov, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Moroz, V.; Titov, D.; Zasova, L.; Pinet, P.; Schmitt, B.; Sotin, C.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Arvidson, R.; Mustard, J.; Duxbary, T.

    2006-08-01

    Spectral images of Mars obtained by the Mars Express/OMEGA experiment in the near infrared are the result of a complex combination of atmospheric, aerosol and ground features. Retrieving the atmospheric information from the data is important, not only to decorrelate mineralogical against atmospheric features, but also to retrieve the atmospheric variability. Once the illumination conditions have been taken into account, the main source of variation on the CO2 absorption is due to the altitude of the surface, which governs atmospheric pressure variation by more than an order of magnitude between the summit of Olympus Mons down to the bottom of Valles Marineris. In this article we present a simplified atmospheric spectral model without scattering, specially developed for the OMEGA observations, which is used to retrieve the local topography through the analysis of the 2.0μmCO2 band. OMEGA atmospheric observations increase the horizontal resolution compared to MOLA altimetry measurements, and therefore complement the mineralogical studies from the same instrument. Finally, residual variations of the pressure can be related to atmospheric structure variation.

  6. Mars atmosphere studies with the OMEGA/Mars Express experiment: I. Overview and detection of lfuorescent emission by CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossart, P.; Combes, M.; Encrenaz, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Fouchet, T.; Forget, F.; Moroz, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; OMEGA Team

    Observations of Mars by the OMEGA/Mars Express experiment provide extended maps of the martian disk at all latitudes, and with various conditions of illumination, between 0.4 to 5 micron. The atmospheric investigations so far conducted by our team are focussed on the infrared part of the spectrum (1-5 micron), and include: the development of a correction algorithm for atmospheric gaseous absorption, to give access to fine mineralogic studies, largely decorrelated from atmospheric effects the study of dust opacity effects in the near infrared, with the aim to correct also the rough spectra from dust opacity perturbation the study of minor constituents like CO, to search for regional or global variations the study of CO2 emission at 4.3 micron related to fluorescent emission This last effect is prominently detected in limb observations obtained in 3-axis stabilized mode of Mars Express, with high altitude emission in the CO2 fundamental at 4.3 micron, usually seen in absorption in nadir observations. These emissions are related to non-LTE atmospheric layers, well above the solid surface in the mesosphere. Such emissions are also present in Earth and Venus limb observations. They are present also in nadir observations, but are reinforced in limb viewing geometry due to the tangential view. A numerical model of these emission will be presented.

  7. Nuclear interactions of cosmic rays with the Mars atmosphere and rocks according to data of the Mars-5 space vehicle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Surkov, Yu A; Moskaleva, L P; Kharyukova, V P; Borodin, A M [AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Geokhimii i Analiticheskoj Khimii

    1976-03-01

    Gamma-spectra of Mars have been analyzed measured by the ''Mars-5'' interplanetary station at the altitude of approximately 200 km over the planet. A model spectrum of the Mars atmosphere gamma-radiation obtained earlier has been employed for obtaining cosmo-chemical information of the Mars rocks. In the energy range of gamma radiation Esub(..gamma..)(>=)2.6 MeV, in which no contribution of gamma radiation of natural radioisotopes is present, the best agreement has been obtained for the spectrum of gamma-radiation induced by cosmic rays in rocks of the type of earthly basalts.

  8. A New Look at Atmospheric Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.; Kass, D. M.

    1998-09-01

    Water is a key component of the Martian climate, both at present and over the history of the planet. The current atmosphere averages ~ 10 pr-mu m of water. Its D/H ratio is enriched by a factor of five relative to terrestrial water, presumably due to water loss by escape. Based on H loss rates, H_2O loss is 10(-3) pr-mu m y(-1) . At this rate, the atmospheric reservoir would be depleted in 10(4) years, but there are several other reservoirs of water (the permanent northern polar cap, high latitude ground ice, and adsorbed water in the regolith) that should keep the atmospheric reservoir constant since its size climatologically controlled. Recently, Krasnopolsky et al. (1998) measured the D/H ratio in HD in the upper atmosphere. Their measurement implies that the fractionation factor, F (efficiency of D escape relative to H), is ~ 0.02. Mars has lost ~ 80 m of water via fractionating processes. This implies that Mars has an exchangeable reservoir equivalent to a ~ 13 m global layer, which represents a polar cap 2000 km in diameter (the Martian northern permanent cap is about 1200 km). Thus, while the northern permanent cap may be a significant water reservoir, it is probably not the only one. One of the major issues is the time-scale and mechanism for exchangeable reservoirs to buffer the atmosphere. During periods of high obliquity, high latitude water may be forced to migrate and equilibrate with the atmosphere in the process. But the low F value, combined with the rapid loss, implies that there has to be at least partial exchange on shorter time-scales to avoid extremely high D/H values. Over the last 4 x 10(5) years, since the last period of high obliquity, 40 pr-mu m of water have been lost. In order to keep this from causing more than a factor of 2 change in the atmospheric water D/H, at least 40 pr-mu m needs to have been involved in the hydrological cycle. This requires cycling through the atmosphere the equivalent of a 2 cm thick layer of ice covering the

  9. The LISA Pathfinder Mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Fitzsimons, E; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    LISA Pathfinder (LPF), the second of the European Space Agency's Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART), is a dedicated technology validation mission for future spaceborne gravitational wave detectors, such as the proposed eLISA mission. LISA Pathfinder, and its scientific payload - the LISA Technology Package - will test, in flight, the critical technologies required for low frequency gravitational wave detection: it will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free-fall and control and measure their motion with unprecedented accuracy. This is achieved through technology comprising inertial sensors, high precision laser metrology, drag-free control and an ultra-precise micro-Newton propulsion system. LISA Pathfinder is due to be launched in mid-2015, with first results on the performance of the system being available 6 months thereafter.The paper introduces the LISA Pathfinder mission, followed by an explanation of the physical principles of measurement concept and associated hardware. We then provide a detailed discussion of the LISA Technology Package, including both the inertial sensor and interferometric readout. As we approach the launch of the LISA Pathfinder, the focus of the development is shifting towards the science operations and data analysis - this is described in the final section of the paper (paper)

  10. Primordial clays on Mars formed beneath a steam or supercritical atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Kevin M; Parman, Stephen W; Mustard, John F

    2017-12-06

    On Mars, clay minerals are widespread in terrains that date back to the Noachian period (4.1 billion to 3.7 billion years ago). It is thought that the Martian basaltic crust reacted with liquid water during this time to form hydrated clay minerals. Here we propose, however, that a substantial proportion of these clays was formed when Mars' primary crust reacted with a dense steam or supercritical atmosphere of water and carbon dioxide that was outgassed during magma ocean cooling. We present experimental evidence that shows rapid clay formation under conditions that would have been present at the base of such an atmosphere and also deeper in the porous crust. Furthermore, we explore the fate of a primordial clay-rich layer with the help of a parameterized crustal evolution model; we find that the primordial clay is locally disrupted by impacts and buried by impact-ejected material and by erupted volcanic material, but that it survives as a mostly coherent layer at depth, with limited surface exposures. These exposures are similar to those observed in remotely sensed orbital data from Mars. Our results can explain the present distribution of many clays on Mars, and the anomalously low density of the Martian crust in comparison with expectations.

  11. Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    Particulate component of the Mars atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds strongly affects the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with τ ≈ 0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data (τ = 0.05-0.2) and measurements from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give the typical “clear” optical depth of τ ≈ 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range showing much more transparent atmosphere, on the other side. Also the relationship between τ9 and the visible optical depth is not well constrained experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  12. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  13. Pathfinder-Plus takes off on flight in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  14. Paloma: In-situ Measurement of The Elemental and Isotopic Composition of The Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefiere, E.; Jambon, A.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Correia, J.-J.; Covinhes, J.; Goulpeau, G.; Leblanc, F.; Malique, Ch.; Sarda, P.; Schaetzel, P.; Sabroux, J.-C.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Desjean, M.-C.

    The PALOMA instrument, presently under study in the frame of the NASA/CNES Mars exploration program, is devoted to the accurate measurement of isotopic and el- emental ratios in Mars atmosphere. It consists of a mass spectrometer coupled with a gas preparation line for separation of reactive and noble gas species, and noble gas species (and reactive gases) from each other, by chemical and cryogenic trapping, and possibly permeation techniques. This instrument, ranked among the most important four types of measurement recommended by the US Committee on Planetary and Lu- nar Exploration (COMPLEX), will be proposed as a part of the payload of the 07 NASA smart landers. The general objectives of PALOMA are to provide instanta- neous and time-varying patterns of noble gas isotopic spectra, and stable isotopes. Such measurements will allow to improve our general understanding of volatile cy- cles on Mars, and to better decipher the history of the atmosphere and climate. Past escape processes, exchanges between solid planet and atmosphere, post-accretional addition of volatil-rich matter from comets, are expected to have imprinted specific isotopic signatures. Although these signatures are strongly interlocked, a compara- tive Earth-Mars approach may allow to discriminate between them, and therefore to reconstruct the history of Martian volatiles. The evolution of atmospheric mass and composition may have had a major impact on climate evolution, e.g. through massive escape of carbon dioxide and water. In addition, precise measurements of isotopes in the present Mars atmosphere are the most promising way on the short term to confirm that SNC meteorites are from Martian origin. PALOMA also includes a small separate device for measuring ambient natural radioactivity, which might provide information about the presence of a near subsurface permafrost, possible residual volcanic activity, vertical mixing rate in the boundary layer.

  15. In Situ Atmospheric Pressure Measurements in the Martian Southern Polar Region: Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Meteorology Package on the Mars Polar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Siili, T.; Crisp, D.

    1998-01-01

    Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Meteorology (MET) package onboard the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), due for launch early next year. The spacecraft is expected to land in December 1999 (L(sub s) = 256 degrees) at a high southern latitude (74 degrees - 78 degrees S). The nominal period of operation is 90 sols but may last up to 210 sols. The MVACS/MET experiment will provide the first in situ observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, and humidity in the southern hemisphere of Mars and in the polar regions. The martian atmosphere goes through a large-scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation/sublimation of the atmospheric CO2. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides, and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence provide us with information on the large-scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere, including the CO2 and dust cycles as well as local weather phenomena. The measurements can also shed light on the shorter time scale phenomena (e.g., passage of dust devils) and hence be important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust, and water vapor.

  16. The effects of the diurnal atmospheric variability on entry, descent and landing on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marčeta D.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Landing on Mars is extremely challenging task due to the fact that the Martian atmosphere is the most hostile environment in the Solar system to perform the entry, descent and landing (EDL process, because it is thick enough to create substantial heating of the entry vehicle but not thick enough to reduce its velocity to the one necessary for safe landing. Beside this, the atmosphere is very dynamic mainly due to high eccentricity of the Martian orbit, obliquity of the orbital to the equatorial plane and close alignment of the winter solstice and the orbital perihelion. Although seasonal variations of atmospheric parameters are significantly larger than the diurnal, it is very important to analyze diurnal cycles as they can significantly change vertical and horizontal atmospheric profiles in very short time intervals. This can present a serious threat to missions which have very precise timings and specific requirements such as the requirement for the daytime landing to enable ground images acquisition during the descent and landing phase. A 3-degrees-of-freedom trajectory integration routine was combined with the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM to identify the dependence of the EDL profiles on the diurnal cycles of atmospheric parameters throughout the Martian year. The obtained results show that the influence of the diurnal cycles is the largest at the equator and decreases relatively symmetrically towards the poles with a slightly stronger influence in the northern hemisphere. Also, there is a significant influence of the orbital position of Mars on the effect of diurnal atmospheric variations which causes that, around the orbital perihelion and winter solstice, there is some kind of inversion of the dependance of optimal entry timing on latitude of the landing site comparing to the rest of the Martian year. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 176002

  17. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Gebauer, Stefanie; Tosi, Nicola; Noack, Lena; Scherf, Manuel; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Güdel, Manuel; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Nikolaou, Athanasia

    2018-05-01

    We review the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars from the time when their accreting bodies were released from the protoplanetary disk a few million years after the origin of the Sun. If the accreting planetary cores reached masses ≥ 0.5 M_Earth before the gas in the disk disappeared, primordial atmospheres consisting mainly of H_2 form around the young planetary body, contrary to late-stage planet formation, where terrestrial planets accrete material after the nebula phase of the disk. The differences between these two scenarios are explored by investigating non-radiogenic atmospheric noble gas isotope anomalies observed on the three terrestrial planets. The role of the young Sun's more efficient EUV radiation and of the plasma environment into the escape of early atmospheres is also addressed. We discuss the catastrophic outgassing of volatiles and the formation and cooling of steam atmospheres after the solidification of magma oceans and we describe the geochemical evidence for additional delivery of volatile-rich chondritic materials during the main stages of terrestrial planet formation. The evolution scenario of early Earth is then compared with the atmospheric evolution of planets where no active plate tectonics emerged like on Venus and Mars. We look at the diversity between early Earth, Venus and Mars, which is found to be related to their differing geochemical, geodynamical and geophysical conditions, including plate tectonics, crust and mantle oxidation processes and their involvement in degassing processes of secondary N_2 atmospheres. The buildup of atmospheric N_2, O_2, and the role of greenhouse gases such as CO_2 and CH_4 to counter the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP), when the earliest life forms on Earth originated until the Great Oxidation Event ≈ 2.3 Gyr ago, are addressed. This review concludes with a discussion on the implications of understanding Earth's geophysical and related atmospheric evolution in relation

  18. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S. W.; Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Kobayashi, M. M.; Lazio, J.; Marinan, A.; Massone, G.; McCandless, S. E.; Preston, R. A.; Seubert, J.; Williamson, W.

    2017-12-01

    First demonstrated in 1965 when Mariner IV flew by Mars and determined the salient features of its atmosphere, radio occultation experiments have been carried out on numerous planetary missions with great discoveries. These experiments utilize the now classic configuration of a signal from a single planetary spacecraft to Earth receiving stations, where the science data are acquired. The Earth science community advanced the technique to utilizing a constellation of spacecraft with the radio occultation links between the spacecraft, enabled by the infrastructure of the Global Positioning System. With the advent of small and less costly spacecraft, such as planetary CubeSats and other variations, such as the anticipated innovative Mars Cube One mission, crosslinks among small spacecraft can be used to study other planets in the near future. Advantages of this type of experiment include significantly greater geographical coverage, which could reach global coverage over a few weeks with a small number of spacecraft. Repeatability of the global coverage can lead to examining temperature-pressure profiles and ionospheric electron density profiles, on daily, seasonal, annual, or other time scales of interest. The higher signal-to-noise ratio for inter-satellite links, compared to a link to Earth, decreases the design demands on the instrumentation (smaller antennas and transmitters, etc.). After an actual Mars crosslink demonstration, this concept has been in development using Mars as a possible target. Scientific objectives, delivery methods, operational scenarios and end-to-end configuration have been documented. Science objectives include determining the state and variability of the lower Martian atmosphere, which has been an identified as a high priority objective by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, particularly as it relates to entry, descent, and landing and ascent for future crewed and robotic missions. This paper will present the latest research on the

  19. Mars Array Technology Experiment Developed to Test Solar Arrays on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Solar arrays will be the power supply for future missions to the planet Mars, including landers, rovers, and eventually human missions to explore the Martian surface. Until Mars Pathfinder landed in July 1997, no solar array had been used on the surface. The MATE package is intended to measure the solar energy reaching the surface, characterize the Martian environment to gather the baseline information required for designing power systems for long-duration missions, and to quantify the performance and degradation of advanced solar cells on the Martian surface. To measure the properties of sunlight reaching the Martian surface, MATE incorporates two radiometers and a visible/NIR spectrometer. The radiometers consist of multiple thermocouple junctions using thin-film technology. These devices generate a voltage proportional to the solar intensity. One radiometer measures the global broadband solar intensity, including both the direct and scattered sunlight, with a field of view of approximately 130. The second radiometer incorporates a slit to measure the direct (unscattered) intensity radiation. The direct radiometer can only be read once per day, with the Sun passing over the slit. The spectrometer measures the global solar spectrum with two 256-element photodiode arrays, one Si sensitive in the visible range (300 to 1100 nm), and a second InGaAs sensitive to the near infrared (900 to 1700 nm). This range covers 86 percent of the total energy from the Sun, with approximately 5-nm resolution. Each photodiode array has its own fiber-optic feed and grating. Although the purpose of the MATE is to gather data useful in designing solar arrays for Mars surface power systems, the radiometer and spectrometer measurements are expected to also provide important scientific data for characterizing the properties of suspended atmospheric dust. In addition to measuring the solar environment of Mars, MATE will measure the performance of five different individual solar cell types

  20. Formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere on Mars accreting in the solar nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies of the chronology of Martian meteorites suggest that the growth of Mars was almost complete within a few Myr after the birth of the Solar system. During such rapid accretion, proto-Mars likely gravitationally maintained both the solar nebula component and the impact degassing component, containing H2O vapour and reduced gas species, as a proto-atmosphere to be called a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere. Here we numerically analyse the mass and composition of the degassed component and the atmospheric thermal structure sustained by accretional heating. Our results predict that a growing Mars possibly acquired a massive and hot hybrid-type proto-atmosphere with surface pressure and temperature greater than several kbar and 2000 K, respectively, which is sufficient to produce a deep magma ocean. In such a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, a significant amount of H2O, CH4, CO, and H2 is expected to be partitioned into the planetary interior, although this would strongly depend on the dynamics of the magma ocean and mantle solidification. The dissolved H2O may explain the wet Martian mantle implied from basaltic Martian meteorites. Along with the remnant reduced atmosphere after the hydrodynamic atmospheric escape, dissolved reduced gas species may have maintained an earliest Martian surface environment that allowed prebiotic chemical evolution and liquid H2O activities.

  1. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  2. Mars 2024/2026 Pathfinder Mission: Mars Architectures, Systems, & Technologies for Exploration and Resources

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Integrate In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) sub-systems and examine advanced capabilities and technologies to verify Mars 2024 Forward architecture precursor...

  3. Polar warming in the middle atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Espenak, F.; Kostiuk, T.; Zipoy, D.

    1986-01-01

    During the 1984 Mars opposition, ground-based laser heterodyne spectroscopy was obtained for the nonthermal core emission of the 10.33-micron R(8) and 10.72-micron P(32) lines of C-12(O-16)2 at 23 locations on the Martian disk. It is deduced on the basis of these data that the temperature of the middle Martian atmosphere varies with latitude, and a meridional gradient of 0.4-0.9 K/deg latitude is indicated. The highest temperatures are noted to lie at high latitudes in the winter hemisphere; as in the terrestrial case of seasonal effects at the menopause, this winter polar warming in the Martian middle atmosphere requires departures from radiative equilibrium. Two-dimensional circulation model comparisons with these results indicate that atmospheric dust may enhance this dynamical heating at high winter latitudes.

  4. Strategic Team AI Path Plans: Probabilistic Pathfinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tng C. H. John

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a novel method to generate strategic team AI pathfinding plans for computer games and simulations using probabilistic pathfinding. This method is inspired by genetic algorithms (Russell and Norvig, 2002, in that, a fitness function is used to test the quality of the path plans. The method generates high-quality path plans by eliminating the low-quality ones. The path plans are generated by probabilistic pathfinding, and the elimination is done by a fitness test of the path plans. This path plan generation method has the ability to generate variation or different high-quality paths, which is desired for games to increase replay values. This work is an extension of our earlier work on team AI: probabilistic pathfinding (John et al., 2006. We explore ways to combine probabilistic pathfinding and genetic algorithm to create a new method to generate strategic team AI pathfinding plans.

  5. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  6. Pathfinder-Plus on flight near Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight with the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and

  7. Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Lê Binh San; Karatekin, Ozgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2009-01-01

    Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (approximately 3.7-4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

  8. The atmosphere of Mars - Detection of krypton and xenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, T.; Biemann, K.; Biller, J. E.; Lafleur, A. L.; Rushneck, D. R.; Howarth, D. W.

    1976-01-01

    Krypton and xenon have been discovered in the Martian atmosphere with the mass spectrometer on the second Viking lander. Krypton is more abundant than xenon. The relative abundances of the krypton isotopes appear normal, but the ratio of xenon-129 to xenon-132 is enhanced on Mars relative to the terrestrial value for this ratio. Some possible implications of these findings are discussed.

  9. Evaluation of the Atmospheric Chemical Entropy Production of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Delgado-Bonal

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic disequilibrium is a necessary situation in a system in which complex emergent structures are created and maintained. It is known that most of the chemical disequilibrium, a particular type of thermodynamic disequilibrium, in Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of life. We have developed a thermochemical model for the Martian atmosphere to analyze the disequilibrium by chemical reactions calculating the entropy production. It follows from the comparison with the Earth atmosphere that the magnitude of the entropy produced by the recombination reaction forming O3 (O + O2 + CO2 ⥦ O3 + CO2 in the atmosphere of the Earth is larger than the entropy produced by the dominant set of chemical reactions considered for Mars, as a consequence of the low density and the poor variety of species of the Martian atmosphere. If disequilibrium is needed to create and maintain self-organizing structures in a system, we conclude that the current Martian atmosphere is unable to support large physico-chemical structures, such as those created on Earth.

  10. Euso-Balloon: A pathfinder mission for the JEM-EUSO experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Osteria, Giuseppe, E-mail: osteria@na.infn.it [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Napoli, Naples (Italy); Scotti, Valentina [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Napoli, Naples (Italy); Università di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Fisica, Naples (Italy)

    2013-12-21

    EUSO-Balloon is a pathfinder mission for JEM-EUSO, the near-UV telescope proposed to be installed on board the ISS in 2017. The main objective of this pathfinder mission is to perform a full scale end-to-end test of all the key technologies and instrumentation of JEM-EUSO detectors and to prove the entire detection chain. EUSO-Balloon will measure the atmospheric and terrestrial UV background components, in different observational modes, fundamental for the development of the simulations. Through a series of flights performed by the French Space Agency CNES, EUSO-Balloon also has the potential to detect Extensive Air Showers (EAS) from above. EUSO-Balloon will be mounted in an unpressurized gondola of a stratospheric balloon. We will describe the instrument and the electronic system which performs instrument control and data management in such a critical environment.

  11. Pressure Balance at Mars and Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krymskii, A. M.; Ness, N. F.; Crider, D. H.; Breus, T. K.; Acuna, M. H.; Hinson, D.

    2003-01-01

    The strongest crustal fields are located in certain regions in the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the crustal fields are rather weak and usually do not prevent direct interaction between the SW and the Martian ionosphere/atmosphere. Exceptions occur in the isolated mini-magnetospheres formed by the crustal anomalies. Electron density profiles of the ionosphere of Mars derived from radio occultation data obtained by the Radio Science Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) experiment have been compared with the crustal magnetic fields measured by the MGS Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) experiment. A study of 523 electron density profiles obtained at latitudes from +67 deg. to +77 deg. has been conducted. The effective scale-height of the electron density for two altitude ranges, 145-165 km and 165-185 km, and the effective scale-height of the neutral atmosphere density in the vicinity of the ionization peak have been derived for each of the profiles studied. For the regions outside of the potential mini-magnetospheres, the thermal pressure of the ionospheric plasma for the altitude range 145-185 km has been estimated. In the high latitude ionosphere at Mars, the total pressure at altitudes 160 and 180 km has been mapped. The solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Mars and origin of the sharp drop of the electron density at the altitudes 200-210 km will be discussed.

  12. Gone with the Wind: Three Years of MAVEN Measurements of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; MAVEN Team

    2017-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is making measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere and near space environment, and their interactions with energy inputs from the Sun. A major goal of the mission is to evaluate the loss of atmospheric gases to space in the present epoch, and over Martian history. MAVEN is equipped with instruments that measure both the neutral and charged upper atmospheric system (thermosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and magnetosphere), inputs from the Sun (extreme ultraviolet flux, solar wind and solar energetic particles, and interplanetary magnetic field), and escaping atmospheric particles. The MAVEN instruments, coupled with models, allow us to more completely understand the physical processes that control atmospheric loss and the particle reservoirs for loss.Here, we provide an overview of the significant results from MAVEN over approximately 1.5 Mars years (nearly three Earth years) of observation, from November 2014 to present. We argue that the MAVEN measurements tell us that the loss of atmospheric gases to space was significant over Martian history, and present the seasonal behavior of the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. We also discuss the influence of extreme events such as solar storms, and a variety of new discoveries and observations of the Martian system made by MAVEN.

  13. Hydrogeology of Basins on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.

    2001-01-01

    This document summarizes the work accomplished under NASA Grant NAG5-3870. Emphasis was put on the development of the FIDO rover, a prototype for the twin-Mers which will be operating on the surface of Mars in 2004, specifically the primary work was the analysis of FIDO field trials. The grantees also analyzed VIKING Lander 1 XRFS and Pathfinder APXS data. Results show that the Viking site chemistry is consistent with an andesite, and the Pathfinder site is consistent with a basaltic andesite. The grantees also worked to demonstrate the capability to simulate annealing methods to apply to the inversion of remote sensing data. They performed an initial analyses of Sojourner engineering telemetry and imaging data. They performed initial analyses of Viking Lander Stereo Images, and of Hematite deposits in Terra Meridiani. They also acquired and analyzed the New Goldstone radar data.

  14. Atmospheric Constraints on the Surface UV Environment of Mars at 3.9 Ga Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Wordsworth, Robin; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2017-08-01

    Recent findings suggest that Mars may have been a clement environment for the emergence of life and may even have compared favorably to Earth in this regard. These findings have revived interest in the hypothesis that prebiotically important molecules or even nascent life may have formed on Mars and been transferred to Earth. UV light plays a key role in prebiotic chemistry. Characterizing the early martian surface UV environment is key to understanding how Mars compares to Earth as a venue for prebiotic chemistry. Here, we present two-stream, multilayer calculations of the UV surface radiance on Mars at 3.9 Ga to constrain the surface UV environment as a function of atmospheric state. We explore a wide range of atmospheric pressures, temperatures, and compositions that correspond to the diversity of martian atmospheric states consistent with available constraints. We include the effects of clouds and dust. We calculate dose rates to quantify the effect of different atmospheric states on UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry. We find that, for normative clear-sky CO2-H2O atmospheres, the UV environment on young Mars is comparable to young Earth. This similarity is robust to moderate cloud cover; thick clouds (τcloud ≥ 100) are required to significantly affect the martian UV environment, because cloud absorption is degenerate with atmospheric CO2. On the other hand, absorption from SO2, H2S, and dust is nondegenerate with CO2, meaning that, if these constituents build up to significant levels, surface UV fluence can be suppressed. These absorbers have spectrally variable absorption, meaning that their presence affects prebiotic pathways in different ways. In particular, high SO2 environments may admit UV fluence that favors pathways conducive to abiogenesis over pathways unfavorable to it. However, better measurements of the spectral quantum yields of these pathways are required to evaluate this hypothesis definitively.

  15. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  16. NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from AVHRR Pathfinder, Version 5.2

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.2 Sea Surface Temperature data set (PFV52) is a collection of global, twice-daily 4km sea surface temperature data produced in a...

  17. Development of A Microbalance System For Water and Dust Detection In Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, R.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Colangeli, L.

    The cycle of dust on Mars is a key component of current climate, is relevant in the dynamic and thermodynamic evolution of atmosphere, and is directly involved in the water cloud formation. Furthermore, dust suspended in the atmosphere is a major driver of atmospheric motions at all scales and is suspected of having had great in- fluence on the morphological evolution of the Martian surface. The dust dispersed in the atmosphere thermally influences the behaviour of the lower atmosphere. Most of information on the nature of small particle on Mars is derived from Viking Lander data and Mars Pathfinder observations, even if the Viking orbiter IRTM instrument also was able to provide estimates of particle size distribution of Martian soil. On the other hand water is important as indicator of global climate changes on long time- scale. Seasonal variations in the column abundance are due to the combined effect of exchange of H2O between atmosphere and water reservoirs (e.g. polar caps, re- golith) and atmospheric transport. The Viking orbiters collected accurate information during the period 1976-1979 and much of what we know about water circulation in the Martian atmosphere derives from the observations by the Mars Atmospheric Wa- ter Detection experiments (MAWD). Despite the low absolute water content (0,03%), relative humidity can exceed 100%, leading to the formation of near surface fog and condensation clouds, thanks to low typical Mars temperatures. The typical value of 6.1 mbar (coincident with the triple point in the water phase diagram) of the surficial pressure, makes rather difficult the persistence of liquid water at the surface of Mars. This means that the water is present exclusively in a gaseous and (when the conditions are favourable) solid state. In this context, it is extremely important to study the role of the different contributions to the production of atmospheric water and to the forma- tion of water ice clouds by the three main reservoirs, i

  18. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

    A workshop was convened to discuss the subject of planetary protection implementation for Mars lander missions. It was sponsored and organized by the Exobiology Implementation Team of the U.S./Russian Joint Working Group on Space Biomedical and Life Support Systems. The objective of the workshop was to discuss planetary protection issues for the Russian Mars '94 mission, which is currently under development, as well as for additional future Mars lander missions including the planned Mars '96 and U.S. MESUR Pathfinder and Network missions. A series of invited presentations was made to ensure that workshop participants had access to information relevant to the planned discussions. The topics summarized in this report include exobiology science objectives for Mars exploration, current international policy on planetary protection, planetary protection requirements developed for earlier missions, mission plans and designs for future U.S. and Russian Mars landers, biological contamination of spacecraft components, and techniques for spacecraft bioload reduction. In addition, the recent recommendations of the U.S. Space Studies Board (SSB) on this subject were also summarized. Much of the discussion focused on the recommendations of the SSB. The SSB proposed relaxing the planetary protection requirements for those Mars lander missions that do not contain life detection experiments, but maintaining Viking-like requirements for those missions that do contain life detection experiments. The SSB recommendations were found to be acceptable as a guide for future missions, although many questions and concerns about interpretation were raised and are summarized. Significant among the concerns was the need for more quantitative guidelines to prevent misinterpretation by project offices and better access to and use of the Viking data base of bioassays to specify microbial burden targets. Among the questions raised were how will the SSB recommendations be integrated with existing

  19. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

    A workshop was convened to discuss the subject of planetary protection implementation for Mars lander missions. It was sponsored and organized by the Exobiology Implementation Team of the U.S./Russian Joint Working Group on Space Biomedical and Life Support Systems. The objective of the workshop was to discuss planetary protection issues for the Russian Mars '94 mission, which is currently under development, as well as for additional future Mars lander missions including the planned Mars '96 and U.S. MESUR Pathfinder and Network missions. A series of invited presentations was made to ensure that workshop participants had access to information relevant to the planned discussions. The topics summarized in this report include exobiology science objectives for Mars exploration, current international policy on planetary protection, planetary protection requirements developed for earlier missions, mission plans and designs for future U.S. and Russian Mars landers, biological contamination of spacecraft components, and techniques for spacecraft bioload reduction. In addition, the recent recommendations of the U.S. Space Studies Board (SSB) on this subject were also summarized. Much of the discussion focused on the recommendations of the SSB. The SSB proposed relaxing the planetary protection requirements for those Mars lander missions that do not contain life detection experiments, but maintaining Viking-like requirements for those missions that do contain life detection experiments. The SSB recommendations were found to be acceptable as a guide for future missions, although many questions and concerns about interpretation were raised and are summarized. Significant among the concerns was the need for more quantitative guidelines to prevent misinterpretation by project offices and better access to and use of the Viking data base of bio-assays to specify microbial burden targets. Among the questions raised were how will the SSB recommendations be integrated with existing

  20. Non-thermal escape rates of atmospheric H and D from Mars using MAVEN data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, M.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    Geological evidence suggests that an ocean of liquid water existed on Mars until at least middle to late Noachian era (4.1 to 3.8 Ga) and possibly, at least episodically, as late as Hesperian. Between 67% and 87% of the total primordial amount of water, equal to about 70 to 110 meters equivalent (spread over the entire Mars' surface), is believed to have escape to space, while about 35 meters remains on or beneath the surface as water ice. Establishing better constraints on these numbers and identifying the responsible atmospheric loss processes remains the major objective of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. The ratio of atmospheric Deuterium and Hydrogen (D/H) on Mars is one of the best indicators of water loss to space. While majority of H and D escape through thermal Jeans escape, up to 10% of D can escape to space via non-thermal mechanisms, such as collisions with superthermal neutral atoms. In this study, we present new estimates of non-thermal escape rates of light molecules of interest to the water evolution, including H2, HD, OH, and OD, based on recent measurements of atmospheric density and temperature profiles by MAVEN. The escape mechanisms considered include photochemical sources of hot O, as well as collisions with energetic neutral atoms produced in charge-exchange of solar wind ions with atmospheric gases1,2. Energy transport and escape rates are modeled using quantum reactive scattering formalism3 and seasonal variations are illustrated. Finally, a simple estimate of the role of the non-thermal escape mechanisms in previous eras is given. We conclude that D escape rates can be affected by the non-thermal processes with consequences on the estimates of primordial water inventory based on the D/H ratio. [1] N. Lewkow and V. Kharchenko, Astroph. J., 790, 98 (2014) [2] M. Gacesa, N. Lewkow, V. Kharchenko, Icarus 284, 90 (2017) [3] M. Gacesa and V. Kharchenko, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10203 (2012)

  1. Long Memory of Pathfinding Aesthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Coleman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates a new dynamic (i.e., space-time model to measure aesthetic values in pathfinding for videogames. The results we report are important firstly because the artificial intelligence literature has given relatively little attention to aesthetic considerations in pathfinding. Secondly, those investigators who have studied aesthetics in pathfinding have relied largely on anecdotal arguments rather than metrics. Finally, in those cases where metrics have been used in the past, they show only that aesthetic paths are different. They provide no quantitative means to classify aesthetic outcomes. The model we develop here overcomes these deficiencies using rescaled range (R/S analysis to estimate the Hurst exponent, . It measures long-range dependence (i.e., long memory in stochastic processes and provides a novel well-defined mathematical classification for pathfinding. Indeed, the data indicates that aesthetic and control paths have statistically significantly distinct signatures. Aesthetic paths furthermore have more long memory than controls with an effect size that is large, more than three times that of an alternative approach. These conclusions will be of interest to researchers investigating games as well as other forms of entertainment, simulation, and in general nonshortest path motion planning.

  2. Particle motion in atmospheric boundary layers of Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, B. R.; Iversen, J. D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1975-01-01

    To study the eolian mechanics of saltating particles, both an experimental investigation of the flow field around a model crater in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel and numerical solutions of the two- and three-dimensional equations of motion of a single particle under the influence of a turbulent boundary layer were conducted. Two-dimensional particle motion was calculated for flow near the surfaces of both Earth and Mars. For the case of Earth both a turbulent boundary layer with a viscous sublayer and one without were calculated. For the case of Mars it was only necessary to calculate turbulent boundary layer flow with a laminar sublayer because of the low values of friction Reynolds number; however, it was necessary to include the effects of slip flow on a particle caused by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the equations of motion the lift force functions were developed to act on a single particle only in the laminar sublayer or a corresponding small region of high shear near the surface for a fully turbulent boundary layer. The lift force functions were developed from the analytical work by Saffman concerning the lift force acting on a particle in simple shear flow.

  3. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Cloud Screened Version 5.0 Monthly Climatologies (1985-2006) (NODC Accession 0110657)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km monthly sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 sea surface...

  4. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Strawman Scientific Payload The strawman payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: - MetBaro Pressure device - MetHumi Humidity device - MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: - PanCam Panoramic - MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer - DS Dust sensor Composition and Structure Devices: Tri-axial magnetometer MOURA Tri-axial System Accelerometer The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis

  5. Integrating Subject Pathfinders into Online Catalogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, William E.

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the integration of subject pathfinders into online public access catalogs (OPAC) through following features: within the OPAC, offline user guide manuals, remotely printed upon user request, or online as saved searches displayed in help screen format. Excerpts of a pathfinder display for biotechnology are presented. Four sources are…

  6. Rock Abrasion and Ventifact Formation on Mars from Field Analog, Theoretical, and Experimental Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Laity, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    rocks on Mars should erode at a rate of 7.7 to 210 micrometers/yr. These rates cannot have operated over the entire history of the Pathfinder site or elsewhere on Mars, because craters, knobs, and other obstacles would be quickly worn away. More likely, rock abrasion occurs over short time periods when sand supplies are sufficient and saltation friction speeds are frequently reached. Depletion or exhaustion of sand and a decline in wind fluxes at speeds greater than that of saltation friction will then act to reduce the rate of further abrasion. We are currently engaged in a new set of wind tunnel experiments coupled with theoretical models and field studies that address rock abrasion and ventifact formation on Mars and Earth. These studies have implications for the Noachian, when sand supplies were probably more plentiful and the threshold friction speed was possibly lower because of a more dense atmosphere. Under these conditions, erosion rates from the wind could have been much greater than to day, contributing, along with probable fluvial erosion, to the Noachian landscape that is in limited preservation today.

  7. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  8. CO2 non-LTE limb emissions in Mars' atmosphere as observed by OMEGA/Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccialli, A.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Määttänen, A.; González-Galindo, F.; Audouard, J.; Altieri, F.; Forget, F.; Drossart, P.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J. P.

    2016-06-01

    We report on daytime limb observations of Mars upper atmosphere acquired by the OMEGA instrument on board the European spacecraft Mars Express. The strong emission observed at 4.3 μm is interpreted as due to CO2 fluorescence of solar radiation and is detected at a tangent altitude in between 60 and 110 km. The main value of OMEGA observations is that they provide simultaneously spectral information and good spatial sampling of the CO2 emission. In this study we analyzed 98 dayside limb observations spanning over more than 3 Martian years, with a very good latitudinal and longitudinal coverage. Thanks to the precise altitude sounding capabilities of OMEGA, we extracted vertical profiles of the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) emission at each wavelength and we studied their dependence on several geophysical parameters, such as the solar illumination and the tangent altitude. The dependence of the non-LTE emission on solar zenith angle and altitude follows a similar behavior to that predicted by the non-LTE model. According to our non-LTE model, the tangent altitude of the peak of the CO2 emission varies with the thermal structure, but the pressure level where the peak of the emission is found remains constant at ˜0.03 ± 0.01 Pa, . This non-LTE model prediction has been corroborated by comparing SPICAM and OMEGA observations. We have shown that the seasonal variations of the altitude of constant pressure levels in SPICAM stellar occultation retrievals correlate well with the variations of the OMEGA peak emission altitudes, although the exact pressure level cannot be defined with the spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of Venus (SPICAM) nighttime data. Thus, observed changes in the altitude of the peak emission provide us information on the altitude of the 0.03 Pa pressure level. Since the pressure at a given altitude is dictated by the thermal structure below, the tangent altitude of the peak emission represents

  9. Curiosity and the Four Seasons: In Situ Measurements of the Atmospheric Composition over Three Mars Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trainer, M. G.; Franz, H. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malespin, C.; Wong, M. H.; Atreya, S. K.; Becker, R. H.; Conrad, P. G.; Lefèvre, F.; Manning, H. L. K.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; McConnochie, T.; McKay, C.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Pepin, R. O.; Webster, C. R.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover measures the chemical composition of major atmospheric species in the vicinity of the rover through a dedicated atmospheric inlet. We report here on measurements of atmospheric volume mixing ratios in Gale Crater using the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), over a period of nearly three Mars years (5 Earth years) from landing. The observation period spans the southern winter of MY 31, solar longitude (Ls) of 175° through southern fall of MY 34, Ls = 12°. The initial mixing ratios measured by the SAM QMS were reported for the first 105 sols of the mission [1], and were updated to account for newly developed calibration factors [2]. The SAM QMS atmospheric measurements were continued, periodically interspersed between solid sample measurements and other rover activities, with a cumulative coverage of 4 or 5 experiments per season. The three major volatiles - CO2, N2, and 40Ar - are compatible with the annual pressure cycle but with a repeatable lag that indicates incomplete mixing and the influences of seasonal circulation patterns. The mixing ratios for the two inert, non-condensable species are qualitatively consistent with what is predicted from annual cycle of CO2 deposition and sublimation at the poles, which is manifested in a large enhancement of Ar mixing ratio at the winter poles (and assumed for N2) [3]. The mixing ratio for the minor species O2 appears to follow a distinct seasonal trend and may be indicative of possible deviations from known atmospheric chemistry or a surface flux of oxygen from an unknown source, or both. This unprecedented seasonal coverage and precision in mixing ratio determination provides valuable data for understanding the seasonal chemical and dynamics cycles. Further, this measurement campaign supplies useful ground-truth data for global climate model simulations, which can study atmospheric effects for other locations on Mars

  10. AVHRR Pathfinder version 5.3 level 3 collated (L3C) global 4km sea surface temperature

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.3 (PFV53) L3C Sea Surface Temperature data set is a collection of global, twice-daily (Day and Night) 4km sea surface temperature...

  11. Mars Atmospheric In Situ Resource Utilization Projects at the Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, A. C.; Hintze, P. E.; Caraccio, A. J.; Bayliss, J. A.; Karr, L. J.; Paley, M. S.; Marone, M. J.; Gibson, T. L.; Surma, J. M.; Mansell, J. M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The atmosphere of Mars, which is approximately 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), is a rich resource for the human exploration of the red planet, primarily by the production of rocket propellants and oxygen for life support. Three recent projects led by NASA's Kennedy Space Center have been investigating the processing of CO2. The first project successfully demonstrated the Mars Atmospheric Processing Module (APM), which freezes CO2 with cryocoolers and combines sublimated CO2 with hydrogen to make methane and water. The second project absorbs CO2 with Ionic Liquids and electrolyzes it with water to make methane and oxygen, but with limited success so far. A third project plans to recover up to 100% of the oxygen in spacecraft respiratory CO2. A combination of the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction and the Boudouard reaction eventually fill the reactor up with carbon, stopping the process. A system to continuously remove and collect carbon is under construction.

  12. Mars Atmospheric In Situ Resource Utilization Projects at the Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony; Hintze, Paul; Meier, Anne; Bayliss, Jon; Karr, Laurel; Paley, Steve; Marone, Matt; Gibson, Tracy; Surma, Jan; Mansell, Matt; hide

    2016-01-01

    The atmosphere of Mars, which is 96 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), is a rich resource for the human exploration of the red planet, primarily by the production of rocket propellants and oxygen for life support. Three recent projects led by NASAs Kennedy Space Center have been investigating the processing of CO2. The first project successfully demonstrated the Mars Atmospheric Processing Module (APM), which freezes CO2 with cryocoolers and combines sublimated CO2 with hydrogen to make methane and water. The second project absorbs CO2 with Ionic Liquids and electrolyzes it with water to make methane and oxygen, but with limited success so far. A third project plans to recover up to 100 of the oxygen in spacecraft respiratory CO2. A combination of the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction and the Boudouard reaction eventually fill the reactor up with carbon, stopping the process. A system to continuously remove and collect carbon has been tested with encouraging results.

  13. Calibration OGSEs for multichannel radiometers for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; J Álvarez, F.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martín, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2018-06-01

    This work describes several Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSEs) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology—Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (solar irradiance sensors—SIS) developed for working on the surface of Mars and studying the atmosphere of that planet. Nowadays, INTA is developing two SIS for the ESA ExoMars 2020 and for the JPL/NASA Mars 2020 missions. These calibration OGSEs have been improved since the first model in 2011 developed for Mars MetNet Precursor mission. This work describes the currently used OGSE. Calibration tests provide an objective evidence of the SIS performance, allowing the conversion of the electrical sensor output into accurate physical measurements (irradiance) with uncertainty bounds. Calibration results of the SIS on board of the Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface (DREAMS) on board the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli module (EDM—entry and descent module) are also presented, as well as their error propagation. Theoretical precision and accuracy of the instrument are determined by these results. Two types of OGSE are used as a function of the pursued aim: calibration OGSEs and Optical Fast Verification (OFV) GSE. Calibration OGSEs consist of three setups which characterize with the highest possible accuracy, the responsivity, the angular response and the thermal behavior; OFV OGSE verify that the performance of the sensor is close to nominal after every environmental and qualification test. Results show that the accuracy of the calibrated sensors is a function of the accuracy of the optical detectors and of the light conditions. For normal direct incidence and diffuse light, the accuracy is in the same order of uncertainty as that of the reference cell used for fixing the irradiance, which is about 1%.

  14. Calibration OGSEs for multichannel radiometers for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; J Álvarez, F.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martín, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2018-02-01

    This work describes several Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSEs) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology—Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (solar irradiance sensors—SIS) developed for working on the surface of Mars and studying the atmosphere of that planet. Nowadays, INTA is developing two SIS for the ESA ExoMars 2020 and for the JPL/NASA Mars 2020 missions. These calibration OGSEs have been improved since the first model in 2011 developed for Mars MetNet Precursor mission. This work describes the currently used OGSE. Calibration tests provide an objective evidence of the SIS performance, allowing the conversion of the electrical sensor output into accurate physical measurements (irradiance) with uncertainty bounds. Calibration results of the SIS on board of the Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface (DREAMS) on board the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli module (EDM—entry and descent module) are also presented, as well as their error propagation. Theoretical precision and accuracy of the instrument are determined by these results. Two types of OGSE are used as a function of the pursued aim: calibration OGSEs and Optical Fast Verification (OFV) GSE. Calibration OGSEs consist of three setups which characterize with the highest possible accuracy, the responsivity, the angular response and the thermal behavior; OFV OGSE verify that the performance of the sensor is close to nominal after every environmental and qualification test. Results show that the accuracy of the calibrated sensors is a function of the accuracy of the optical detectors and of the light conditions. For normal direct incidence and diffuse light, the accuracy is in the same order of uncertainty as that of the reference cell used for fixing the irradiance, which is about 1%.

  15. Fractal Analysis of Stealthy Pathfinding Aesthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Coleman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper uses a fractal model to analyze aesthetic values of a new class of obstacle-prone or “stealthy” pathfinding which seeks to avoid detection, exposure, openness, and so forth in videogames. This study is important since in general the artificial intelligence literature has given relatively little attention to aesthetic outcomes in pathfinding. The data we report, according to the fractal model, suggests that stealthy paths are statistically significantly unique in relative aesthetic value when compared to control paths. We show furthermore that paths generated with different stealth regimes are also statistically significantly unique. These conclusions are supported by statistical analysis of model results on experimental trials involving pathfinding in randomly generated, multiroom virtual worlds.

  16. Impact of assimilation window length on diurnal features in a Mars atmospheric analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjing Zhao

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Effective simulation of diurnal variability is an important aspect of many geophysical data assimilation systems. For the Martian atmosphere, thermal tides are particularly prominent and contribute much to the Martian atmospheric circulation, dynamics and dust transport. To study the Mars diurnal variability and Mars thermal tides, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Mars Global Climate Model with the 4D-local ensemble transform Kalman filter (4D-LETKF is used to perform an analysis assimilating spacecraft temperature retrievals. We find that the use of a ‘traditional’ 6-hr assimilation cycle induces spurious forcing of a resonantly enhanced semi-diurnal Kelvin waves represented in both surface pressure and mid-level temperature by forming a wave 4 pattern in the diurnal averaged analysis increment that acts as a ‘topographic’ stationary forcing. Different assimilation window lengths in the 4D-LETKF are introduced to remove the artificially induced resonance. It is found that short assimilation window lengths not only remove the spurious resonance, but also push the migrating semi-diurnal temperature variation at 50 Pa closer to the estimated ‘true’ tides even in the absence of a radiatively active water ice cloud parameterisation. In order to compare the performance of different assimilation window lengths, short-term to mid-range forecasts based on the hour 00 and 12 assimilation are evaluated and compared. Results show that during Northern Hemisphere summer, it is not the assimilation window length, but the radiatively active water ice clouds that influence the model prediction. A ‘diurnal bias correction’ that includes bias correction fields dependent on the local time is shown to effectively reduce the forecast root mean square differences between forecasts and observations, compensate for the absence of water ice cloud parameterisation and enhance Martian atmosphere prediction. The implications of these results for

  17. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This project includes analysis of the Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic) together with analog materials and the products of laboratory alteration experiments in order to describe possible mechanisms for the formation of soil, duricrust and rock coatings on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments for changes in binding and spectroscopic properties that are related to what could be expected for duricrusts on Mars. The smectite-based mixture exhibited significantly greater changes (1) in its binding properties throughout the wet/dry cycling experiments than did the palagonite-based mixture, and (2) in its spectral properties following grinding and resieving of the hardened material than did the palagonite-based mixture.

  18. Paloma: In-Situ Measurement of the Isotopic Composition of Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambon, A.; Quemerais, E.; Chassiefiere, E.; Berthelier, J. J.; Agrinier, P.; Cartigny, P.; Javoy, M.; Moreira, M.; Sabroux, J. -C.; Sarda, P.; Pineau, J. -F.

    2000-07-01

    Scientific objectives for an atmospheric analysis of Mars are presented in the DREAM project. Among the information presently available most are fragmentary or limited in their precision for both major element (H, C, O, N) and noble gas isotopes. These data are necessary for the understanding and modelling of Mars atmospheric formation and evolution, and consequently for other planets, particularly the Earth. To fulfill the above requirements, two approaches can be envisonned: 1) analysis of a returned sample (DREAM project) or 2) in situ analysis, e.g. PALOMA project presented here. Among the advantages of in situ analysis, we notice: the minimal terrestrial contamination, the unlimited availability of gas to be analyzed and the possibility of multiple analyses (replicates, daynight... ). Difficulties specific to in situ analyses are of a very different kind to those of returned samples. In situ analysis could also be viewed as a preparation to future analysis of returned samples. Finally, some of the measurements will not be possible on Earth: for instance, radon and its short lived decay products, will provide complementary information to 4-He analysis and can only be obtained in situ, independently of analytical capabilities.

  19. Pathfinder Innovation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

  20. Free-flight experiments in LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Cutler, C; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    The LISA Pathfinder mission will demonstrate the technology of drag-free test masses for use as inertial references in future space-based gravitational wave detectors. To accomplish this, the Pathfinder spacecraft will perform drag-free flight about a test mass while measuring the acceleration of this primary test mass relative to a second reference test mass. Because the reference test mass is contained within the same spacecraft, it is necessary to apply forces on it to maintain its position and attitude relative to the spacecraft. These forces are a potential source of acceleration noise in the LISA Pathfinder system that are not present in the full LISA configuration. While LISA Pathfinder has been designed to meet it's primary mission requirements in the presence of this noise, recent estimates suggest that the on-orbit performance may be limited by this ‘suspension noise’. The drift-mode or free-flight experiments provide an opportunity to mitigate this noise source and further characterize the underlying disturbances that are of interest to the designers of LISA-like instruments. This article provides a high-level overview of these experiments and the methods under development to analyze the resulting data. (paper)

  1. Mars Atmospheric Capture and Gas Separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony; Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo; Gibson, Tracy; Devor, Robert; Captain, James

    2011-01-01

    The Mars atmospheric capture and gas separation project is selecting, developing, and demonstrating techniques to capture and purify Martian atmospheric gases for their utilization for the production of hydrocarbons, oxygen, and water in ISRU systems. Trace gases will be required to be separated from Martian atmospheric gases to provide pure C02 to processing elements. In addition, other Martian gases, such as nitrogen and argon, occur in concentrations high enough to be useful as buffer gas and should be captured as welL To achieve these goals, highly efficient gas separation processes will be required. These gas separation techniques are also required across various areas within the ISRU project to support various consumable production processes. The development of innovative gas separation techniques will evaluate the current state-of-the-art for the gas separation required, with the objective to demonstrate and develop light-weight, low-power methods for gas separation. Gas separation requirements include, but are not limited to the selective separation of: (1) methane and water from un-reacted carbon oxides (C02- CO) and hydrogen typical of a Sabatier-type process, (2) carbon oxides and water from unreacted hydrogen from a Reverse Water-Gas Shift process, (3) carbon oxides from oxygen from a trash/waste processing reaction, and (4) helium from hydrogen or oxygen from a propellant scavenging process. Potential technologies for the separations include freezers, selective membranes, selective solvents, polymeric sorbents, zeolites, and new technologies. This paper and presentation will summarize the results of an extensive literature review and laboratory evaluations of candidate technologies for the capture and separation of C02 and other relevant gases.

  2. Multiagent path-finding in strategic games

    OpenAIRE

    Mihevc, Simon

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis I worked on creating, comparing and improving algorithms for multi-agent path planning on a domain typical for real-time strategy games. I implemented and compared Multiagent pathfinding using clearance and Multiagent pathfinding using independence detection and operator decomposition. I discovered that they had problems maintaining group compactness and took too long to calculate the path. I considerably improved the efficiency of both algorithms.

  3. Monitoring the airborne dust and water vapor in the low atmosphere of Mars: the MEDUSA experiment for the ESA ExoMars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Francesca; Colangeli, Luigi; Palumbo, Pasquale; Della Corte, Vincenzo; Molfese, Cesare; Merrison, Jonathan; Nornberg, Per; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Rodriguez Gomez, Julio

    Dust and water vapour are fundamental components of Martian atmosphere. Dust amount varies with seasons and with the presence of local and global dust storms, but never drops entirely to zero. Aerosol dust has always played a fundamental role on the Martian climate. Dust interaction with solar and thermal radiation and the related condensation and evaporation processes influence the thermal structure and balance, and the dynamics (in terms of circulation) of the atmosphere. Water vapour is a minor constituent of the Martian atmosphere but it plays a fundamental role and it is important as indicator of seasonal climate changes. Moreover, the interest about the water cycle on local and global scales is linked to the fundamental function that water could have played in relation to the existence of living organisms on Mars. In view of tracing the past environmental conditions on Mars, that possibly favoured the appearing of life forms, it is important to study the present climate and its evolution, on which dust and water vapour have (and have had) strong influence. Moreover, nowadays, dust is a relevant agent that affects environmental conditions in the lower Martian atmosphere and, thus, may interact / interfere with any instrumentation delivered to Mars surface for in situ analyses. So, information on dust properties and deposition rate is also of great interest for future mission design. Knowledge of how much dust settles on solar arrays and the size and shape of particles will be crucial elements for designing missions that will operate by solar power for periods of several years and will have moving parts which will experience degradation by dust. This information is essential also for proper planning of future manned missions in relation to characterisation of environmental hazardous conditions. Little is known about dust structure and dynamics, so far. Size distribution is known only roughly and the mechanism of settling and rising into the atmosphere, the

  4. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  5. Stationary Planetary Waves in the Mars Winter Atmosphere as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Häusler, Bernd; Tyler, Leonard G.; Hinson, David P.

    2015-11-01

    Stationary (Rossby) Waves are excited by the interaction of the zonally varying topography with the strong eastward winter jets. They lead to distinctive longitudinal temperature variations which contribute significantly to the asymmetry of the seasonal polar CO2 ice caps and are also important for the dust redistribution in the planetary atmosphere.Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science Experiment MaRS at northern and southern high latitudes are used to gain insight into winter stationary wave structures on both hemispheres.Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) radio occultation measurements from the same season and year with their exceptionally good longitudinal and temporal coverage can be used to estimate the influence of transient eddies. Transient waves are especially important in the northern winter hemisphere.Wave number 2 stationary waves, driven by topography, are dominant in the northern winter latitudes while the wave number 1 wave is the most significant wave number during southern winter. The wave amplitudes peak around winter solstice on both hemispheres.Radio occultation measurements provide the unique opportunity to determine simultaneous measurements of temperature and geopotential height structures. Assuming geostrophic balance, these measurements can be used to determine meridional winds and eddy heat fluxes which provide further insight into the contribution of stationary waves to the heat exchange between the poles and the lower latitudes.

  6. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5.0 and Interim v5.0 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Data and v5.1 SST Data for 1981-2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The 4 km Pathfinder effort at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and the University of Miami's...

  7. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 Monthly Harmonic Climatologies (1982-2008) (NODC Accession 0075098)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km monthly sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 sea...

  8. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 Daily Harmonic Climatologies (1982-2008) (NODC Accession 0071181)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km daily sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 sea...

  9. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    .28 mrad/pixel, nearly a factor of four higher than that of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Surveyor '98 cameras. Image compression will be performed using a wavelet compression algorithm. The Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) is a point spectrometer operating in -the thermal IR. It produces high spectral resolution (5 /cm) image cubes with a wavelength range of 5-40 gm, a nominal signal/noise ratio of 500:1, and a maximum angular resolution of 7 mrad (7 cm at a distance of 10 in). The wavelength region over which it operates samples the diagnostic fundamental absorption features of rockforming minerals, and also provides some capability to see through dust coatings that could tend to obscure spectral features. The mineralogical information that Mini-TES provides will be used to select from a distance the rocks and soils that will be investigated in more detail and ultimately sampled. Mini-TES is derived from the MO/MGS TES instrument, but is significantly smaller and simpler. The instrument uses an 8-cm Cassegrain telescope, a Michelson interferometer, and uncooled pyroelectric detectors. Along with its mineralogical capabilities, Mini-TES can provide information on the thermophysical properties of rocks and soils. Viewing upward, it can also provide temperature profiles through the martian atmospheric boundary layer. Elemental and Mineralogical Composition: Once promising samples have been identified from a distance using Pancam/Mini-TES, they will be studied in detail using up to three compositional sensors that can be placed directly against them by an Instrument Arm. The two compositional sensors, presently on the payload are an Alpha-Proton-X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), and a Mossbauer Spectrometer. The APXS is derived closely from the instrument that flew on Mars Pathfinder. Radioactive alpha sources and three detection modes (alpha, proton, and x-ray) provide elemental abundances of rocks and soils to complement and constrain mineralogical data. The Athena

  10. Symbolic PathFinder v7

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luckow, Kasper Søe; Păsăreanu, Corina

    2014-01-01

    We describe Symbolic PathFinder v7 in terms of its updated design addressing the changes of Java PathFinder v7 and of its new optimization when computing path conditions. Furthermore, we describe the Symbolic Execution Tree Extension; a newly added feature that allows for outputting the symbolic...... execution tree that characterizes the execution paths covered during symbolic execution. The new extension can be tailored to the needs of subsequent analyses/processing facilities, and we demonstrate this by presenting SPF-Visualizer, which is a tool for customizable visualization of the symbolic execution...

  11. The study of the martian atmosphere from top to bottom with SPICAM light on mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Fonteyn, D.; Korablev, O.; Chassefière, E.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quemerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, B.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    2000-10-01

    SPICAM Light is a small UV-IR instrument selected for Mars Express to recover most of the science that was lost with the demise of Mars 96, where the SPICAM set of sensors was dedicated to the study of the atmosphere of Mars (Spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of mars). The new configuration of SPICAM Light includes optical sensors and an electronics block. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to Nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H 2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. An IR spectrometer (1.2- 4.8 μm, resolution 0.4-1 nm) is dedicated to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H 2O, CO 2, CO, aerosols and exploration of carbon compounds (3.5 kg). A nadir looking sensor for H 2O abundances (1.0- 1.7 μm, resolution 0.8 nm) is recently included in the package (0.8 kg). A simple data processing unit (DPU, 0.9 kg) provides the interface of these sensors with the spacecraft. In nadir orientation, SPICAM UV is essentially an ozone detector, measuring the strongest O 3 absorption band at 250 nm in the spectrum of the solar light scattered back from the ground. In the stellar occultation mode the UV Sensor will measure the vertical profiles of CO 2, temperature, O 3, clouds and aerosols. The density/temperature profiles obtained with SPICAM Light will constrain and aid in the development of the meteorological and dynamical atmospheric models, from the surface to 160 km in the atmosphere. This is essential for future missions that will rely on aerocapture and aerobraking. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow study of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO +, and CO 2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. Also, it will allow a better understanding of escape mechanisms and estimates of their magnitude, crucial for insight

  12. AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.2 Level 3 Collated (L3C) Global 4km Sea Surface Temperature for 1981-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.2 Sea Surface Temperature data set (PFV52) is a collection of global, twice-daily 4km sea surface temperature data produced in a...

  13. A Coupled Soil-Atmosphere Model of H2O2 on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, Mark A.; Stoker, Carol R.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Zent, Aaron P.

    1994-01-01

    The Viking Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer failed to detect organic compounds on Mars, and both the Viking Labeled Release and the Viking Gas Exchange experiments indicated a reactive soil surface. These results have led to the widespread belief that there are oxidants in the martian soil. Since H2O2 is produced by photochemical processes in the atmosphere of Mars, and has been shown in the laboratory to reproduce closely the Viking LR results, it is a likely candidate for a martian soil oxidant. Here, we report on the results of a coupled soil/atmosphere transport model for H202 on Mars. Upon diffusing into the soil, its concentration is determined by the extent to which it is adsorbed and by the rate at which it is catalytically destroyed. An analytical model for calculating the distribution of H202 in the martian atmosphere and soil is developed. The concentration of H202 in the soil is shown to go to zero at a finite depth, a consequence of the nonlinear soil diffusion equation. The model is parameterized in terms of an unknown quantity, the lifetime of H202 against heterogeneous catalytic destruction in the soil. Calculated concentrations are compared with a H202 concentration of 30 nmoles/cu cm, inferred from the Viking Labeled Release experiment. A significant result of this model is that for a wide range of H202 lifetimes (up to 105 years), the extinction depth was found to be less than 3 m. The maximum possible concentration in the top 4 cm is calculated to be approx. 240 nmoles/cu cm, achieved with lifetimes of greater than 1000 years. Concentrations higher than 30 nmoles/cu cm require lifetimes of greater than 4.3 terrestrial years. For a wide range of H202 lifetimes, it was found that the atmospheric concentration is only weakly coupled with soil loss processes. Losses to the soil become significant only when lifetimes are less than a few hours. If there are depths below which H202 is not transported, it is plausible that organic compounds

  14. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

    A compilation of scientific knowledge about the planet Mars is provided. Information is divided into three categories: atmospheric data, surface data, and astrodynamic data. The discussion of atmospheric data includes the presentation of nine different models of the Mars atmosphere. Also discussed are Martian atmospheric constituents, winds, clouds, and solar irradiance. The great dust storms of Mars are presented. The section on Mars surface data provides an in-depth examination of the physical and chemical properties observed at the two Viking landing sites. Bulk densities, dielectric constants, and thermal inertias across the planet are then described and related back to those specific features found at the Viking landing sites. The astrodynamic materials provide the astronomical constants, time scales, and reference coordinate frames necessary to perform flightpath analysis, navigation design, and science observation design

  15. Liquid Rocket Propulsion for Atmospheric Flight in the Proposed ARES Mars Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, Christopher A.; Wright, Henry S.; Hunter, Craig A.; Guernsey, Carl S.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2004-01-01

    Flying above the Mars Southern Highlands, an airplane will traverse over the terrain of Mars while conducting unique science measurements of the atmosphere, surface, and interior. This paper describes an overview of the ARES (Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey) mission with an emphasis on airplane propulsion needs. The process for selecting a propulsion system for the ARES airplane is also included. Details of the propulsion system, including system schematics, hardware and performance are provided. The airplane has a 6.25 m wingspan with a total mass of 149 kg and is propelled by a bi-propellant liquid rocket system capable of carrying roughly 48 kg of MMH/MON3 propellant.

  16. ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter provides atmospheric data during Aerobraking into its final orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, Hakan; Vago, Jorge L.; Bruinsma, Sean; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo; ExoMars 2016 Team

    2017-10-01

    After the arrival of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) at Mars on 19 October 2016 a number of initial orbit change manoeuvres were executed and the spacecraft was put in an orbit with a 24 hour period and 74 degrees inclination. The spacecraft and its four instruments were thoroughly checked out after arrival and a few measurements and images were taken in November 2016 and in Feb-March 2017. The solar occultation observations have however not yet been possible due to lack of the proper geometry.On 15 March a long period of aerobraking to reach the final 400km semi-circular frozen orbit (370x430km, with a fixed pericentre latitude). This orbit is optimised for the payload observations and for the communication relay with the ExoMars Rover, due to arrive in 2021.The aerobraking is proceeding well and the final orbit is expected to be reached in April 2018. A large data set is being acquired for the upper atmosphere of Mars, from the limit of the sensitivity of the accelerometer, down to lowest altitude of the aerobraking at about 105km. Initial analysis has shown a highly variable atmosphere with a slightly lower density then predicted by existing models. Until the time of the abstract writing no dust storms have been observed.The ExoMars programme is a joint activity by the European Space Agency(ESA) and ROSCOSMOS, Russia. ESA is providing the TGO spacecraft and Schiaparelli (EDM) and two of the TGO instruments and ROSCOSMOS is providing the Proton launcher and the other two TGO instruments. After the arrival of the ExoMars 2020 mission, consisting of a Rover and a Surface platform also launched by a Proton rocket, the TGO will handle the communication between the Earth and the Rover and Surface Platform through its (NASA provided) UHF communication system.

  17. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  18. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 5-day Harmonic Climatologies (1982-2008) (NODC Accession 0071182)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a global, 4km 5-day sea surface temperature climatology derived from harmonic analysis of the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 and 5.1 sea...

  19. A non-LTE retrieval scheme for sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars in the infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; García-Comas, Maya; Funke, Bernd; Jimenez-Monferrer, Sergio; Lopez-Puertas, Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Several instruments on board Mars Express have been sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars systematically in a limb geometry in the IR part of the spectrum. Two of them in particular, OMEGA and PFS, performed emission measurements during daytime and detected the strongest IR bands of species like CO2 and CO (Piccialli et al, JGRE, submitted). Similarly on Venus, the instrument VIRTIS carried out observations of CO2 and CO bands at 2.7, 4.3 and 4.7 um at high altitudes (Gilli et al, JGRE, 2009). All these daylight atmospheric emissions respond to fluorescent situations, a case of non-local thermodynamic equilibrum conditions (non-LTE), well understood nowadays using comprehensive non-LTE theoretical models and tools (Lopez-Valverde et al., Planet. Space Sci., 2011). However, extensive exploitation of these emissions has only been done in optically thin conditions to date (Gilli et al, Icarus, 2015) or in a broad range of altitudes if in nadir geometry (Peralta et al, Apj, 2015). Within the H2020 project UPWARDS we aim at performing retrievals under non-LTE conditions including optically thick cases, like those of the CO2 and CO strongest bands during daytime in the upper atmosphere of Mars. Similar effort will also be applied eventually to Venus. We will present the non-LTE scheme used for such retrievals, based on similar efforts performed recently in studies of the Earth's upper atmosphere using data from the MIPAS instrument, on board Envisat (Funke et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009; Jurado-Navarro, PhD Thesis, Univ. Granada, 2015). Acknowledgemnt: This work is supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement UPWARDS-633127

  20. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  1. The GEM-Mars general circulation model for Mars: Description and evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, L.; Daerden, F.

    2018-01-01

    GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1Δg)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support

  2. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.; Ewell, M.

    2010-01-01

    The detection of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere of Mars by Mars Express and Earth-based spectroscopy is very surprising, very puzzling, and very intriguing. On Earth, about 90% of atmospheric ozone is produced by living systems. A major question concerning methane on Mars is its origin - biological or geological. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations indicated that methane cannot be produced by atmospheric chemical/photochemical reactions. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations for three gases, methane, ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Earth s atmosphere are summarized in Table 1. The calculations indicate that these three gases should not exist in the Earth s atmosphere. Yet they do, with methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide enhanced 139, 50 and 12 orders of magnitude above their calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentration due to the impact of life! Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations have been performed for the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars based on the assumed composition of the Mars atmosphere shown in Table 2. The calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentrations of the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars is shown in Table 3. Clearly, based on thermodynamic equilibrium calculations, methane should not be present in the atmosphere of Mars, but it is in concentrations approaching 30 ppbv from three distinct regions on Mars.

  3. Computer Interactives for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mission through NASA's "Project Spectra!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2014-12-01

    "Project Spectra!" is a standards-based E-M spectrum and engineering program that includes paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games, students experience and manipulate information making abstract concepts accessible, solidifying understanding and enhancing retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new interactives. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature. Students design a planet that is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives were pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  4. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  5. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, Charles H.; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Bytof, Jeff A.; Semenov, Boris V.; Taber, William; Turner, F. Scott; Wright, Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    The International Mars Conference highlights the wealth of scientific data now and soon to be acquired from an international armada of Mars-bound robotic spacecraft. Underlying the planning and interpretation of these scientific observations around and upon Mars are ancillary data and associated software needed to deal with trajectories or locations, instrument pointing, timing and Mars cartographic models. The NASA planetary community has adopted the SPICE system of ancillary data standards and allied tools to fill the need for consistent, reliable access to these basic data and a near limitless range of derived parameters. After substantial rapid growth in its formative years, the SPICE system continues to evolve today to meet new needs and improve ease of use. Adaptations to handle landers and rovers were prototyped on the Mars pathfinder mission and will next be used on Mars '01-'05. Incorporation of new methods to readily handle non-inertial reference frames has vastly extended the capability and simplified many computations. A translation of the SPICE Toolkit software suite to the C language has just been announced. To further support cartographic calculations associated with Mars exploration the SPICE developers at JPL have recently been asked by NASA to work with cartographers to develop standards and allied software for storing and accessing control net and shape model data sets; these will be highly integrated with existing SPICE components. NASA specifically supports the widest possible utilization of SPICE capabilities throughout the international space science community. With NASA backing the Russian Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science adopted the SPICE standards for the Mars 96 mission. The SPICE ephemeris component will shortly become the international standard for agencies using the Deep Space Network. U.S. and European scientists hope that ESA will employ SPICE standards on the Mars Express mission. SPICE is an open set of standards, and

  6. Atmospheric Energy Limits on Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    It has been suggested that the terrestrial biomass of subterranean organisms may equal or exceed that at the surface. Taken as a group, these organisms can live in heavily saline conditions at temperatures from 115 C to as low as -20 C. Such conditions might exist on Mars beneath the surface oxidant in an aquifer or hydrothermal system, where the surrounding rock would also protect against the solar ultraviolet radiation. The way that such systems could obtain energy and carbon is not completely clear, although it is believed that on Earth, energy flows from the interaction of highly reduced basalt with groundwater produce H2, while carbon is derived from CO2 dissolved in the groundwater. Another potential source is the Martian atmosphere, acting as a photochemical conduit of solar insolation.

  7. The Pathfinder Microrover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J. R.; Bickler, D. B.; Braun, D. F.; Eisen, H. J.; Matthies, L. H.; Mishkin, A. H.; Stone, H. W.; van Nieuwstadt, L. M.; Wen, L. C.; Wilcox, B. H.; hide

    1996-01-01

    An exciting scientific component of the Pathfinder mission is the rover, which will act as a mini-field geologist by providing us with access to samples for chemical analyses and close-up images of the Martian surface, performing active experiments to modify the surface and study the results, and exploring the landing site area.

  8. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Discusses the fundamental facts concerning this mysterious planet, including its mass, size, and atmosphere, as well as the various missions that helped planetary scientists document the geological history of Mars. This volume also describes Mars'' seasons with their surface effects on the planet and how they have changed over time.

  9. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    Papers about Mars and Mars exploration are presented, covering topics such as Martian history, geology, volcanism, channels, moons, atmosphere, meteorology, water on the planet, and the possibility of life. The unmanned exploration of Mars is discussed, including the Phobos Mission, the Mars Observer, the Mars Aeronomy Observer, the seismic network, Mars sample return missions, and the Mars Ball, an inflatable-sectored-tire rover concept. Issues dealing with manned exploration of Mars are examined, such as the reasons for exploring Mars, mission scenarios, a transportation system for routine visits, technologies for Mars expeditions, the human factors for Mars missions, life support systems, living and working on Mars, and the report of the National Commission on Space

  10. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet

  11. LISA Pathfinder: A Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitson, Martin; LISA Pathfinder Team Team

    2016-03-01

    On December 3rd at 04:04 UTC, The European Space Agency launched the LISA Pathfinder satellite on board a VEGA rocket from Kourou in French Guiana. After a series of orbit raising manoeuvres and a 2 month long transfer orbit, LISA Pathfinder arrived at L1. Following a period of commissioning, the science operations commenced at the start of March, beginning the demonstration of technologies and methodologies which pave the way for a future large-scale gravitational wave observatory in space. This talk will present the scientific goals of the mission, discuss the technologies being tested, elucidate the link to a future space-based observatory, such as LISA, and present preliminary results from the in-orbit operations and experiments.

  12. A review of parameters and heuristics for guiding metabolic pathfinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sarah M; Peña, Matthew I; Moll, Mark; Bennett, George N; Kavraki, Lydia E

    2017-09-15

    Recent developments in metabolic engineering have led to the successful biosynthesis of valuable products, such as the precursor of the antimalarial compound, artemisinin, and opioid precursor, thebaine. Synthesizing these traditionally plant-derived compounds in genetically modified yeast cells introduces the possibility of significantly reducing the total time and resources required for their production, and in turn, allows these valuable compounds to become cheaper and more readily available. Most biosynthesis pathways used in metabolic engineering applications have been discovered manually, requiring a tedious search of existing literature and metabolic databases. However, the recent rapid development of available metabolic information has enabled the development of automated approaches for identifying novel pathways. Computer-assisted pathfinding has the potential to save biochemists time in the initial discovery steps of metabolic engineering. In this paper, we review the parameters and heuristics used to guide the search in recent pathfinding algorithms. These parameters and heuristics capture information on the metabolic network structure, compound structures, reaction features, and organism-specificity of pathways. No one metabolic pathfinding algorithm or search parameter stands out as the best to use broadly for solving the pathfinding problem, as each method and parameter has its own strengths and shortcomings. As assisted pathfinding approaches continue to become more sophisticated, the development of better methods for visualizing pathway results and integrating these results into existing metabolic engineering practices is also important for encouraging wider use of these pathfinding methods.

  13. The Gravity Field of Mars From MGS, Mars Odyssey, and MRO Radio Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Mazarico, Erwan; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) missions have enabled NASA to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit for sixteen consecutive years. These radio systems on these spacecraft enabled radio science in orbit around Mars to improve the knowledge of the static structure of the Martian gravitational field. The continuity of the radio tracking data, which cover more than a solar cycle, also provides useful information to characterize the temporal variability of the gravity field, relevant to the planet's internal dynamics and the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere [1]. MGS operated for more than 7 years, between 1999 and 2006, in a frozen sun-synchronous, near-circular, polar orbit with the periapsis at approximately 370 km altitude. ODY and MRO have been orbiting Mars in two separate sun-synchronous orbits at different local times and altitudes. ODY began its mapping phase in 2002 with the periapis at approximately 390 km altitude and 4-5pm Local Solar Time (LST), whereas the MRO science mission started in November 2006 with the periapis at approximately 255 km altitude and 3pm LST. The 16 years of radio tracking data provide useful information on the atmospheric density in the Martian upper atmosphere. We used ODY and MRO radio data to recover the long-term periodicity of the major atmospheric constituents -- CO2, O, and He -- at the orbit altitudes of these two spacecraft [2]. The improved atmospheric model provides a better prediction of the annual and semi-annual variability of the dominant species. Therefore, the inclusion of the recovered model leads to improved orbit determination and an improved gravity field model of Mars with MGS, ODY, and MRO radio tracking data.

  14. Open questions on optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V.; Petrova, E.; Rodin, A.

    Particulate component of the atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds that strongly affect the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data and measurem ents from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give in the quiet seasons the typical optical depth of? 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range that frequently infer <0.2, on the other side. Also the relationship between9 and the visible optical depth is not well established experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  15. Computer simulations for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission through NASA's "Project Spectra!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christofferson, R.; Wood, E. L.; Euler, G.

    2012-12-01

    "Project Spectra!" is a standards-based light science and engineering program on solar system exploration that includes both hands-on paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games where students experience and manipulate the information makes abstract concepts accessible. Visualizing lessons with multi-media tools solidifies understanding and retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As a part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new "Project Spectra!" interactives that go hand-in-hand with a paper and pencil activity. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature and how they contribute. Students are asked to create a scenario in which a planet they build and design is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider Mars and the conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives are currently being pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  16. Computer simulations for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission through NASA's 'Project Spectra!'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2013-12-01

    'Project Spectra!' is a standards-based light science and engineering program on solar system exploration that includes both hands-on paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games where students experience and manipulate the information makes abstract concepts accessible. Visualizing lessons with multi-media tools solidifies understanding and retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As a part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new 'Project Spectra!' interactives that go hand-in-hand with a paper and pencil activity. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature and how they contribute. Students are asked to create a scenario in which a planet they build and design is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider Mars and the conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives were pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  17. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  18. Pathfinder Innovation Projects: Awardees 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

  19. Pathfinder Innovation Projects: Awardees 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Pathfinder program supports high-risk, high-reward research ideas with funding and staff time. The goal is to feed a culture of innovation in the Agency and integrate innovative ideas in EPA research programs.

  20. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch

    2003-07-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH{sub 4}, H{sub 2}CO, N{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

  1. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.

    2003-01-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH 4 , H 2 CO, N 2 O, H 2 S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

  2. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harri, A.M.; Marsal, O.; Lognonne, P.

    1999-01-01

    by the Mars Express Orbiter that is expected to be functional during the NetLander Mission's operational phase. Communication between the landers and the Earth would take place via a data relay onboard the Mars Express Orbiter. (C) 1999 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.......The NetLander Mission will deploy four landers to the Martian surface. Each lander includes a network science payload with instrumentation for studying the interior of Mars, the atmosphere and the subsurface, as well as the ionospheric structure and geodesy. The NetLander Mission is the first......, ionospheric, geodetic measurements and ground penetrating radar mapping supported by panoramic images. The payloads also include entry phase measurements of the atmospheric vertical structure. The scientific data could be combined with simultaneous observations of the atmosphere and surface of Mars...

  3. Nonthermal atmospheric escape from Mars and Titan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lammer, H.; Bauer, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    Energy flux spectra and particle concentrations of the hot O and N coronae from Mars and Titan, respectively, resulting primarily from dissociative recombination of molecular ions, have been calculated by means of a Monte Carlo method. The calculated energy flux spectra lead to an escape flux null esc ∼ 6 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Mars and null esc ∼ 2 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Titan, corresponding to a mass loss of about 0.14 kg/s for Mars and about 0.3 kg/s for Titan. (The contribution of electron impact ionization on N 2 amounts to only about 25% of Titan's mass loss.) Mass loss via solar and magnetospheric wind is also estimated using newly calculated mass loading limits. The mass loss via ion pickup from the extended hot atom corona for Mars amounts to about 0.25 kg/s (O + ) and for Titan to about 50 g/s (N 2 + or H 2 CN + ). Thus, the total mass loss rate from Mars and Titan is about the same, i.e., 0.4 kg/s

  4. CROSS DRIVE: A New Interactive and Immersive Approach for Exploring 3D Time-Dependent Mars Atmospheric Data in Distributed Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerndt, Andreas M.; Engelke, Wito; Giuranna, Marco; Vandaele, Ann C.; Neary, Lori; Aoki, Shohei; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Garcia, Arturo; Fernando, Terrence; Roberts, David; CROSS DRIVE Team

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric phenomena of Mars can be highly dynamic and have daily and seasonal variations. Planetary-scale wavelike disturbances, for example, are frequently observed in Mars' polar winter atmosphere. Possible sources of the wave activity were suggested to be dynamical instabilities and quasi-stationary planetary waves, i.e. waves that arise predominantly via zonally asymmetric surface properties. For a comprehensive understanding of these phenomena, single layers of altitude have to be analyzed carefully and relations between different atmospheric quantities and interaction with the surface of Mars have to be considered. The CROSS DRIVE project tries to address the presentation of those data with a global view by means of virtual reality techniques. Complex orbiter data from spectrometer and observation data from Earth are combined with global circulation models and high-resolution terrain data and images available from Mars Express or MRO instruments. Scientists can interactively extract features from those dataset and can change visualization parameters in real-time in order to emphasize findings. Stereoscopic views allow for perception of the actual 3D behavior of Mars's atmosphere. A very important feature of the visualization system is the possibility to connect distributed workspaces together. This enables discussions between distributed working groups. The workspace can scale from virtual reality systems to expert desktop applications to web-based project portals. If multiple virtual environments are connected, the 3D position of each individual user is captured and used to depict the scientist as an avatar in the virtual world. The appearance of the avatar can also scale from simple annotations to complex avatars using tele-presence technology to reconstruct the users in 3D. Any change of the feature set (annotations, cutplanes, volume rendering, etc.) within the VR is immediately exchanged between all connected users. This allows that everybody is always

  5. The Mars Crustal Magnetic Field Control of Plasma Boundary Locations and Atmospheric Loss: MHD Prediction and Comparison with MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Xiaohua; Ma, Yingjuan; Masunaga, Kei; Dong, Chuanfei; Brain, David; Halekas, Jasper; Lillis, Robert; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Connerney, Jack; Grebowsky, Joseph; hide

    2017-01-01

    We present results from a global Mars time-dependent MHD simulation under constant solar wind and solar radiation impact considering inherent magnetic field variations due to continuous planetary rotation. We calculate the 3-D shapes and locations of the bow shock (BS) and the induced magnetospheric boundary (IMB) and then examine their dynamic changes with time. We develop a physics-based, empirical algorithm to effectively summarize the multidimensional crustal field distribution. It is found that by organizing the model results using this new approach, the Mars crustal field shows a clear, significant influence on both the IMB and the BS. Specifically, quantitative relationships have been established between the field distribution and the mean boundary distances and the cross-section areas in the terminator plane for both of the boundaries. The model-predicted relationships are further verified by the observations from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. Our analysis shows that the boundaries are collectively affected by the global crustal field distribution, which, however, cannot be simply parameterized by a local parameter like the widely used subsolar longitude. Our calculations show that the variability of the intrinsic crustal field distribution in Mars-centered Solar Orbital itself may account for approx.60% of the variation in total atmospheric loss, when external drivers are static. It is found that the crustal field has not only a shielding effect for atmospheric loss but also an escape-fostering effect by positively affecting the transterminator ion flow cross-section area.

  6. Paloma-radon: Atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian subsoil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabroux, J.-C.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Le Roulley, J.-C.; Chassefière, E.

    2003-04-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES-supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m^3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO_2). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option (already on board the Mars Pathfinder Rover and other platforms). In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a

  7. Quality Assurance statistics for AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.2 L3-Collated (L3C) sea surface temperature in global and selected regions (NODC Accession 0111871)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These quality monitoring data for Pathfinder Version 5.2 (PFV5.2) Sea Surface Temperature (SST) are based on the concept of a Rich Inventory developed by the...

  8. Thermal History and Volatile Partitioning between Proto-Atmosphere and Interior of Mars Accreted in a Solar Nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2015-11-01

    Recent precise Hf-W chronometry of Martian meteorites reveals that Mars had likely reached the half of its present mass within 3 Myr from the birth of the solar system (Dauphas and Pourmand, 2011). Hence, the accretion is considered to almost proceed within the solar nebula associated with the capture of nebula gas components. At the same time, the impact degassing may inevitably occur because impact velocity increases high enough for such degassing when a proto-planet gets larger than around lunar size. Thus, we can expect the formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere that consists of nebula gas and degassed one.This study analyzes the thermal structure of this proto-atmosphere sustained by accretional heating by building a 1D radiative-convective equilibrium model. Raw materials of Mars are supposed to be volatile-rich on the basis of the geochemical systematics of Mars meteorites (Dreibus and Wanke, 1988). The composition of degassed component comprised of H2, H2O, CH4, and CO is determined by chemical equilibrium with silicate and metal under the physical condition of locally heated region generated by each impact (Kuramoto, 1997). Degassed component lies beneath the nebula gas atmosphere at altitudes below the compositional boundary height that would change depending on the amount of degassed component. The accretion time is taken to be from 1 to 6 Myr.Our model predicts that the surface temperature exceeds the liquidus temperature of rock when a proto Mars grows larger than 0.7 times of its present mass for the longest accretion time case. In this case, the magma ocean mass just after the end of accretion is 0.2 times of its present mass if heat transfer and heat sources such as short-lived radionuclides are neglected in the interior. The corresponding amount of water dissolved into the magma ocean would be around 1.8 times the present Earth ocean mass. These results suggest that the earliest Mars would be hot enough to form deep magma oceans, which

  9. Investigating the Early Atmospheres of Earth and Mars through Rivers, Raindrops, and Lava Flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Sanjoy M.

    2010-11-01

    The discovery of a habitable Earth-like planet beyond our solar-system will be remembered as one of the major breakthroughs of 21st century science, and of the same magnitude as Copernicus' heliocentric model dating from the mid 16th century. The real astrobiological breakthrough will be the added results from atmospheric remote sensing of such planets to determine habitability. Atmospheres, in both concentration and composition are suggestive of processes occurring at the planetary surface and upper crust. Unfortunately, only the modern Earth's atmosphere is known to be habitable. I investigate the density and pressure of our planet's early atmosphere before the rise of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago, because our planet was very much alive microbially. Such knowledge gives us another example of a habitable atmosphere. I also investigates the atmosphere of early Mars, as geomorphic signatures on its surface are suggestive of a past where liquid water may have present in a warmer climate, conditions suitable for the emergence of life, compared with today's 6 mbar CO2-dominated atmosphere. Using tools of fluvial geomorphology, I find that the largest river-valleys on Mars do not record a signature of a sustained hydrological cycle, in which precipitation onto a drainage basin induces many cycles of water flow, substrate incision, water ponding, and return to the atmosphere via evaporation. Rather, I conclude that while episodes of flow did occur in perhaps warmer environments, those periods were short-lived and overprinted onto a dominantly cold and dry planet. For Earth, I develop a new method of investigating atmospheric density and pressure using the size of raindrop imprints, and find that raindrop imprints preserved in the 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp Supergroup of South Africa are consistent with precipitation falling in an atmosphere of near-surface density 0.1 kg/m3, compared to a modern value of 1.2 kg/m3, further suggesting a nitrogen level of at most

  10. Studies of the mass spectrometer of the PALOMA instrument dedicated to Mars atmosphere analysis from a landed platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulpeau, G.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Covinhes, J.; Chassefière, E.; Jambon, A.; Agrinier, P.; Sarda, Ph.

    2003-04-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (PAyload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe), stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) and trace constituents of astrobiological interest, like CH4, H2CO, N2O, H2S, will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. Isotopic ratios have to be measured with an accuracy of about 1‰, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnostic of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns, finally to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. In order to reach these high sensitivity levels, two spectrometers of complitely different conceptions have been developed. The first one is constituted of conscutive electrostatic and magnetic sectors. It’s an application of E. G. Johnson and A. O. Nier’s previous work in that domain. Theirs parameters have been calculated in a way both angular and energetic optical aberrations from the two fields compensate each other to the second order. Simulated flights of ions in the resulting electromagnetic optic forshadow the effectiveness of the instrument. The second spectrometer is of the time of flight type. Its developpement, as a possible alternative to the magnetic system, shows the TOF spectrometer as an instrument allying great sensitivity and reduiced weight and dimensions.

  11. 4 km NODC/RSMAS AVHRR Pathfinder v5 Seasonal and Annual Day-Night Sea Surface Temperature Climatologies for 1982-2009 for the Gulf of Mexico (NODC Accession 0072888)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains a set of sea surface temperature climatologies for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), derived from the AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5 sea surface...

  12. PALOMA : An instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (PAyload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astrobiological interest, like CH_4, H_2CO, N_2O, H_2S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest (a small fraction of ppbv). Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. The PALOMA instrument consists of : a gas purification and separation line, using techniques of chemical and cryogenic trapping, and possibly membrane permeation, a mass spectrometer working in static mode, a turbo-molecular pump that provides the

  13. Scientific Payload Of The Emirates Mars Mission: Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (Emirs) Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altunaiji, E. S.; Edwards, C. S.; Christensen, P. R.; Smith, M. D.; Badri, K. M., Sr.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) will launch in 2020 to explore the dynamics in the atmosphere of Mars on a global scale. EMM has three scientific instruments to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere. Two of the EMM's instruments, which are the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) and Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) will focus on the lower atmosphere observing dust, ice clouds, water vapor and ozone. On the other hand, the third instrument Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will focus on both the thermosphere of the planet and its exosphere. The EMIRS instrument, shown in Figure 1, is an interferometric thermal infrared spectrometer that is jointly developed by Arizona State University (ASU) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). It builds on a long heritage of thermal infrared spectrometers designed, built, and managed, by ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility, including the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES). EMIRS operates in the 6-40+ µm range with 5 cm-1 spectral sampling, enabled by a Chemical Vapor-Deposited (CVD) diamond beamsplitter and state of the art electronics. This instrument utilizes a 3×3 detector array and a scan mirror to make high-precision infrared radiance measurements over most of a Martian hemisphere. The EMIRS instrument is optimized to capture the integrated, lower-middle atmosphere dynamics over a Martian hemisphere and will capture 60 global images per week ( 20 images per orbit) at a resolution of 100-300 km/pixel. After processing through an atmospheric retrieval algorithm, EMIRS will determine the vertical temperature profiles to 50km altitude and measure the column integrated global distribution and abundances of key atmospheric parameters (e.g. dust, water ice (clouds) and water vapor) over the Martian day, seasons and year.

  14. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure...... of periapsis 170 km), and in a lesser extent 2a, offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate by in situ probing the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, and therefore the present atmospheric escape rate...

  15. A 2D-model of planetary atmospheres based on a collisional approach : application to Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boqueho, V.; Blelly, P. L.; Peymirat, C.

    A 2D model of planetary atmospheres has been developed, based on a collisional approach. The multi-moment multi-species transport equations allow to study the atmospheric regions from the ground to the thermosphere and the exosphere in an only one self-consistent model. A 13-moment approximation is used: concentration, velocities, temperature, heat flows and stress tensor are then solved for each species. On Mars, we consider 8 species in the altitude - longitude plane, from surface to 450 km, the altitude above which atomic hydrogen becomes the major species. Main chemical and photodissociation processes are included, and thermal processes are considered above 80 km. On Titan, 3 species are considered in the altitude range 800 - 3000 km, and UV heating and HCN radiative cooling are accounted for. Different solar conditions have been considered, and simulations have been performed in the equatorial region. Results of the model for Mars are compared to Viking and Mariner data and to Bougher et al. [1988] model. Concerning Titan, the results are compared to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] model. Temperature profiles on Mars appear to be consistent with experimental data, but horizontal winds are very different from Bougher et al. [1988]. On Titan, results appear to be close to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] in the thermosphere; nevertheless, the change in the behavior above the exobase is as important as on Mars. The differences between models are analyzed, and contributions of a multi-moment multi-species approach in 2D are discussed.

  16. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  17. Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Rigid Vehicle Control System Design and Simulation for Human Mars Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Breanna J.; Cerimele, Christopher J.; Stachowiak, Susan J.; Sostaric, Ronald R.; Matz, Daniel A.; Lu, Ping

    2018-01-01

    The Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Rigid Vehicle (MRV) is a proposed candidate in the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign's (EMC) Pathfinder Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) architecture study. The purpose of the study is to design a mission and vehicle capable of transporting a 20mt payload to the surface of Mars. The MRV is unique in its rigid, asymmetrical lifting-body shape which enables a higher lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) than the typical robotic Mars entry capsule vehicles that carry much less mass. This paper presents the formulation and six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) performance of the MRV's control system, which uses both aerosurfaces and a propulsive reaction control system (RCS) to affect longitudinal and lateral directional behavior.

  18. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: One Mars Year of CRISM EPF Observations of the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    We have used CRISM Emission Phase Function gimballed observations to investigate atmospheric dust/ice opacity and surface albedo in the south polar region for the first Mars year of MRO operations. This covers the MY28 "dust event" and cap recession.

  19. The New Mars Synthesis: A New Concept Of Mars Geo-Chemical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2005-02-01

    A new concept of Mars climatic and geo-chemical evolution is proposed, called the NMS (New Mars Synthesis) drawing on the full spectrum of available Mars data. The proposed synthesis is that Mars and Earth, having begun with similar surface conditions, did not strongly diverge from their similar paths 4.0 Billion years ago, in the Early Noachian, instead, under the NMS, they diverged much more recently in geologic time, in the Early Amazonian. Under the NMS, biology strongly affected the geo-chemical evolution of Mars, and allowed a stable and persistent greenhouse by producing a large oxygen component in the atmosphere. The NMS assumes Mars held biology form early on, has been geologically active throughout its history, that it had a northern paleo-ocean, that it has high, approximately, 4xLunar, cratering rates and that its climate changed recently in geologic time from being basically terrestrial to its present conditions. The proposed mechanism for the stability of the Mars greenhouse was a large oxygen component in the atmosphere that created acidic and highly oxidized conditions that prevented formation of Carbonates, and the thermal and gas buffering of the paleo-ocean. The greenhouse was thus biologically and hydrologically stabilized. The greenhouse was terminated by a large atmospheric cooling event in the Early Amazonian that killed the biosphere and froze the ocean stabilizing the greenhouse. This cooling event was probably caused by the formation of the Lyot impact basin. Given the long duration of this terrestrial biosphere in this NMS, the possible appearance of fossils in some rover images is not to be unexpected and the colonization of Mars by humanity may be aided extensive fossil biomass to use as raw material.

  20. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The origin and early history of Mars and the relationship between Mars and the other planets are reviewed. The solar system formation and planetary differentiation are examined using data from planetary missions. Different views of Mars are presented, showing how ideas about the planet have changed as the amount of available observational data has increased. Viking aerography and surface characterization are discussed, including the nature of specific atmospheric components and the implications of surface phenomena. Models for the planetary formation and accretion processes are considered. The value of future missions to Mars is stressed

  1. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Pichkhadze, K.; Linkin, V.; Vazquez, L.; Uspensky, M.; Polkko, J.; Genzer, M.; Lipatov, A.; Guerrero, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Haukka, H.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. Prototyping of the payload instrumentation with final dimensions was carried out in 2003-2006.This huge development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development. To understand the behavior and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, a wealth of simultaneous in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes. This will be performed by the Mars MetNet Mission. In addition to the science aspects the

  2. The Status of the Ultra Fast Flash Observatory – Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, J.W.; Ahmad, S.; Ahn, K.B.; Barrillon, P.; Brandt, S.; Budtz-Jrgensen, C.; Castro-Tirado, A.J.; Chang, C.-H.; Chang, C.-Y.; Chang, Y.Y.; Chen, C.R.; Chen, P.; Cho, M.; Choi, H.S.; Choi, Y.J.; Connel, P.; Dagoret-Campagne, S.; Eyles, C.; Grossan, B.; Huang, J.J.

    2014-01-01

    The Ultra Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a project to study early optical emissions from Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The primary scientific goal of UFFO is to see if GRBs can be calibrated with their rising times, so that they could be used as new standard candles. In order to minimize delay in optical follow-up measurements, which is now about 100 sec after trigger from the Swift experiment, we rotate a mirror to redirect light path so that optical measurement can be performed within a second after the trigger. We have developed a pathfinder mission, UFFO-pathfinder to launch on board the Lomonosov satellite in 2012. In this talk, I will present scientific motivations and descriptions of the design and development of UFFO-pathfinder

  3. Mars - CO2 adsorption and capillary condensation on clays: Significance for volatile storage and atmospheric history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanale, F. P.; Cannon, W. A.

    1979-01-01

    Results on the adsorbate-adsorbent system CO2-nontronite are reported at 230, 196, and 158 deg K, covering the range of subsurface regolith temperature on Mars. A three-part regolith-atmosphere-cap model reveals that cold nontronite, and expanding clays in general, are far better but far more complex CO2 adsorbers than cold pulverized basalt. In addition, the layered terrain, and possibly the adjacent debris mantle, contains about 2% or more by mass of atmosphere-exchangeable CO2 and the total regolith inventory of available adsorbed CO2 is estimated to be 400 g/ sq cm.

  4. The Imprint of Atmospheric Evolution in the D/H of Hesperian Clay Minerals on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.; Stern, J. C.; Brunner, A. E.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Flesch, G. J.; Christensen, L. E.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in strongly bound water or hydroxyl groups in ancient Martian clays retains the imprint of the water of formation of these minerals. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment measured thermally evolved water and hydrogen gas released between 550 degrees Centigrade and 950 degrees Centigrade from samples of Hesperian-era Gale crater smectite to determine this isotope ratio. The D/H value is 3.0 (plus or minus 0.2) times the ratio in standard mean ocean water. The D/H ratio in this approximately 3-billion-year-old mudstone, which is half that of the present Martian atmosphere but substantially higher than that expected in very early Mars, indicates an extended history of hydrogen escape and desiccation of the planet.

  5. Seasonal and Static Gravity Field of Mars from MGS, Mars Odyssey and MRO Radio Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-01-01

    We present a spherical harmonic solution of the static gravity field of Mars to degree and order 120, GMM-3, that has been calculated using the Deep Space Network tracking data of the NASA Mars missions, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). We have also jointly determined spherical harmonic solutions for the static and time-variable gravity field of Mars, and the Mars k 2 Love numbers, exclusive of the gravity contribution of the atmosphere. Consequently, the retrieved time-varying gravity coefficients and the Love number k 2 solely yield seasonal variations in the mass of the polar caps and the solid tides of Mars, respectively. We obtain a Mars Love number k 2 of 0.1697 +/-0.0027 (3- sigma). The inclusion of MRO tracking data results in improved seasonal gravity field coefficients C 30 and, for the first time, C 50 . Refinements of the atmospheric model in our orbit determination program have allowed us to monitor the odd zonal harmonic C 30 for approx.1.5 solar cycles (16 years). This gravity model shows improved correlations with MOLA topography up to 15% larger at higher harmonics ( l = 60–80) than previous solutions.

  6. EUSO-BALLOON a pathfinder for detecting UHECR's from the edge of space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scotti V.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available EUSO-Balloon has been conceived as a pathfinder mission for JEM-EUSO, to perform an end-to-end test of the subsystems and components, and to prove the global detection chain while improving our knowledge of the atmospheric and terrestrial UV background. Through a series of stratospheric balloon flights performed by the French Space Agency CNES, EUSO-BALLOON will serve as an evolutive test-bench for all the key technologies of JEM-EUSO. EUSO-Balloon also has the potential to detect Extensive Air Showers from above, marking a key milestone in the development of UHECR science, and paving the way for any future large scale, space-based UHECR observatory.

  7. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide crucial scientific data about the Martian atmospheric phenomena.

  8. The Long, Bumpy Road to a Mars Aeronomy Mission (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebowsky, J. M.; Luhmann, J. G.; Bougher, S. W.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    With the advent of the space age, early focus was put into characterizing the Earth's upper atmosphere with aeronomy missions. These missions were designed to study the upper atmosphere region of a planet where the ionosphere is produced with particular attention given to the composition, properties and motion of atmosphere constituents. In particular a very successful US series of Atmosphere Explorer aeronomy spacecraft (1963-1977) was implemented. This upper atmosphere region is the envelope that all energy from the sun must penetrate and is recognized as an inseparable part of a planet's entire atmosphere. Venus was the next planet to have its upper atmosphere/ionosphere deeply probed via the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (1978-1986) that carried a complement of instruments similar to some flown on the Atmosphere Explorers. The planet which humans have long set their imagination on, Mars, has yet to be subjected to the same detailed upper atmosphere perusal until now, with MAVEN. Not that attempts have been wanting. More than 30 spacecraft launches to Mars were attempted, but half were not successful and those that attained orbit came far short of attaining the same level of knowledge of the Martian upper atmosphere. Other countries had planned Mars aeronomy missions that didn't bear fruit - e.g. Mars-96 and Nozomi and the US did studies for two missions, Mars Aeronomy Orbiter and MUADEE, that never were implemented. This is about to change. NASA's Scout Program singled out two aeronomy missions in its final competition and the selected mission, MAVEN, will fly with the needed sophistication of instruments to finally probe and understand the top of Mars' atmosphere. Was this late selection of a NASA aeronomy mission to Mars a philosophy change in US priorities or was it an accident of planning and budget constraints? Was it driven by the developing knowledge that Mars really had an early atmosphere environment conducive to life and that an aeronomy mission is indeed

  9. Thermal infrared sounding observations of lower atmospheric variances at Mars and their implications for gravity wave activity: a preliminary examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, N. G.

    2017-12-01

    It has been recognized for over two decades that the mesoscale statistical variance observed by Earth-observing satellites at temperature-sensitive frequencies above the instrumental noise floor is a measure of gravity wave activity. These types of observation have been made by a variety of satellite instruments have been an important validation tool for gravity wave parameterizations in global and mesoscale models. At Mars, the importance of topographic and non-topographic sources of gravity waves for the general circulation is now widely recognized and the target of recent modeling efforts. However, despite several ingenious studies, gravity wave activity near hypothetical lower atmospheric sources has been poorly and unsystematically characterized, partly because of the difficulty of separating the gravity wave activity from baroclinic wave activity and the thermal tides. Here will be presented a preliminary analysis of calibrated radiance variance at 15.4 microns (635-665 cm-1) from nadir, off-nadir, and limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The overarching methodology follows Wu and Waters (1996, 1997). Nadir, off-nadir, and lowest detector limb observations should sample variability with vertical weighting functions centered high in the lower atmosphere (20-30 km altitude) and full width half maximum (FWHM) 20 km but be sensitive to gravity waves with different horizontal wavelengths and slightly different vertical wavelengths. This work is supported by NASA's Mars Data Analysis Program (NNX14AM32G). References Wu, D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1996, Satellite observations of atmospheric variances: A possible indication of gravity waves, GRL, 23, 3631-3634. Wu D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1997, Observations of Gravity Waves with the UARS Microwave Limb Sounder. In: Hamilton K. (eds) Gravity Wave Processes. NATO ASI Series (Series I: Environmental Change), vol 50. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

  10. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mars planetary surface access is one of NASA's biggest technical challenges involving advanced entry, descent, and landing (EDL) technologies and methods. This NASA...

  11. Cancer Risk Map for the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss calculations of the median and 95th percentile cancer risks on the surface of Mars for different solar conditions. The NASA Space Radiation Cancer Risk 2010 model is used to estimate gender and age specific cancer incidence and mortality risks for astronauts exploring Mars. Organ specific fluence spectra and doses for large solar particle events (SPE) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR) at various levels of solar activity are simulated using the HZETRN/QMSFRG computer code, and the 2010 version of the Badhwar and O Neill GCR model. The NASA JSC propensity model of SPE fluence and occurrence is used to consider upper bounds on SPE fluence for increasing mission lengths. In the transport of particles through the Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of Mars atmospheric thickness is calculated from the temperature and pressure data of Mars Global Surveyor, and the directional cosine distribution is implemented to describe the spherically distributed atmospheric distance along the slant path at each elevation on Mars. The resultant directional shielding by Mars atmosphere at each elevation is coupled with vehicle and body shielding for organ dose estimates. Astronaut cancer risks are mapped on the global topography of Mars, which was measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. Variation of cancer risk on the surface of Mars is due to a 16-km elevation range, and the large difference is obtained between the Tharsis Montes (Ascraeus, Pavonis, and Arsia) and the Hellas impact basin. Cancer incidence risks are found to be about 2-fold higher than mortality risks with a disproportionate increase in skin and thyroid cancers for all astronauts and breast cancer risk for female astronauts. The number of safe days on Mars to be below radiation limits at the 95th percent confidence level is reported for several Mission design scenarios.

  12. Solar radiation on Mars: Update 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    Detailed information on solar radiation characteristics on Mars are necessary for effective design of future planned solar energy systems operating on the surface of Mars. A procedure and solar radiation related data are presented from which the daily variation of the global, direct beam and diffuse insolation on Mars are calculated. Given the optical depth of the Mars atmosphere, the global radiation is calculated from the normalized net flux function based on multiple wavelength and multiple scattering of the solar radiation. The direct beam was derived from the optical depth using Beer's law, and the diffuse component was obtained from the difference of the global and the direct beam radiation. The optical depths of the Mars atmosphere were derived from images taken of the Sun with a special diode on the cameras used on the two Viking Landers.

  13. The Relationship of the MOLA Topography of Mars to the Mean Atmospheric Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    1999-01-01

    The MOLA topography of Mars is based on a new mean radius of the planet and new equipotential surface for the areoid. The mean atmospheric pressure surface of 6.1mbars that has been used in the past as a reference level for topography does not apply to the zero level of MOLA elevations. The MOLA mean radius of the planet is 3389508 meters and the mean equatorial radius is 339600 meters. The areoid of the zero level of the MOLA altimetry is defined to be the potential surface with the same potential as the mean equatorial radius. The MOLA topography differs from the USGS digital elevation data by approximately 1.6 km, with MOLA higher. The average pressure on the MOLA reference surface for Ls =0 is approximately 5.1 mbars and has been derived from occultation data obtained from the tracking of Viking, Mariner, and MGS spacecraft and interpolated with the aid of the Ames Mars GCM. The new topography and the new occultation data are providing a more reliable relationship between elevation and surface pressure.

  14. LISA Pathfinder: An important first step towards a space-based gravitational wave observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, James

    2017-08-01

    ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission was launched on Dec 3rd, 2015 and completed earlier this Summer. During this relatively short mission, Pathfinder at its two science payloads, Europe's LISA Technology Package and NASA's Disturbance Reduction System, demonstrated several techniques and technologies that enable development of a future space-based gravitational wave observatory. Most notably, Pathfinder demonstrated that the technique of drag-free flight could be utilized to place a test mass in near-perfect free-fall, with residual accelerations at the femto-g level in the milliHertz band. Additionally, technologies such as precision bonded optical structures for metrology, micropropulsion systems, and non-contact charge control, were successfully tested, retiring risk for LISA. In this talk, I will present an overview of Pathfinder's results to date and some perspective on how this success will be leveraged into realizing LISA.

  15. Mars atmosphere studies with the SPICAM IR emission phase function observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Fedorova, Anna; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    Emission Phase Function (EPF) observations is a powerful tool for characterization of atmosphere and surface. EPF sequence provides the extensive coverage of scattering angles above the targeted surface location which allow to separate the surface and aerosol scattering, study a vertical distribution of minor species and aerosol properties. SPICAM IR instrument on Mars Express mission provides continuous atmospheric observations in near IR (1-1.7 mu) in nadir and limb starting from 2004. For the first years of SPICAM operation only a very limited number of EPFs was performed. But from the mid 2013 (Ls=225, MY31) SPICAM EPF observations become rather regular. Based on the multiple-scattering radiative transfer model SHDOM, we analyze equivalent depths of carbon dioxide (1,43 mu) and water vapour (1,38 mu) absorption bands and their dependence on airmass during observation sequence to get aerosol optical depths and properties. The derived seasonal dust opacities from near IR can be used to retrieve the size distribution from comparison with simultaneous results of other instruments in different spectral ranges. Moreover, the EPF observations of water vapour band allow to access poorly known H2O vertical distribution for different season and locations.

  16. Detection of Micrometeoroids with LISA Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, Ira; Littenberg, Tyson; Janchez, Diego; Baker, John; The LISA Pathfinder Team Team

    2017-01-01

    The LISA Pathfinder mission (LPF), a joint ESA/NASA technology demonstration mission currently operating at the Sun-Earth L1 point, contains the most precise accelerometry system ever flown. Analysis suggests that LPF should have sufficient sensitivity to detect impacts of small micrometeoroids and dust through their transfer of momentum to the spacecraft. Moreover, LPF's ability to fully resolve both the linear and angular momentum transfer in three dimensions allows a magnitude, direction, and location to be estimated for each impact. We present preliminary results from a systematic search of the LISA Pathfinder data for such impacts and discuss the prospects for using these and future results to inform models of the formation and evolution of dust populations in the inner solar system. These models have wide applicability to both pure and applied space science, ranging from the physics of planet formation and dynamics of minor Solar System bodies to estimates of the micrometeorite hazard for future spacecraft. 2017 NASA Science Innovation Fund.

  17. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.; Palin, M.; Nikkanen, T.

    2015-10-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  18. New insights on the collisional escape of light neutrals from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, Marko; Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-04-01

    Photodissociative recombination (PDR) of atmospheric molecules on Mars is a major mechanism of production of hot (suprathermal) atoms with sufficient kinetic energy to either directly escape to space or to eject other atmospheric species. This collisional ejection mechanism is important for evaluating the escape rates of all light neutrals that are too heavy to escape via Jeans escape. In particular, it plays a role in estimating the total volume of escaped water constituents (i.e., O and H) from Mars, as well as influences evolution of the atmospheric [D]/[H] ratio1. We present revised estimates of total collisional escape rates of neutral light elements including H, He, and H2, based on recent (years 2015-2016) atmospheric density profiles obtained from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. We also estimate the contribution to the collisional escape from Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) produced in charge-exchange of solar wind H+ and He+ ions with atmospheric gases2,3. Scattering of hot oxygen and atmospheric species of interest is modeled using fully-quantum reactive scattering formalism1,3. The escape rates are evaluated using a 1D model of the atmosphere supplemented with MAVEN measurements of the neutrals. Finally, new estimates of contributions of these non-thermal mechanisms to the estimated PDR escape rates from young Mars4 are presented. [1] M. Gacesa and V. Kharchenko, "Non-thermal escape of molecular hydrogen from Mars", Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10203 (2012). [2] N. Lewkow and V. Kharchenko, "Precipitation of Energetic Neutral Atoms and Escape Fluxes induced from the Mars Atmosphere", Astroph. J., 790, 98 (2014). [3] M. Gacesa, N. Lewkow, and V. Kharchenko, "Non-thermal production and escape of OH from the upper atmosphere of Mars", Icarus 284, 90 (2017). [4] J. Zhao, F. Tian, Y. Ni, and X. Huang, "DR-induced escape of O and C from early Mars", Icarus 284, 305 (2017).

  19. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Polkko, J.; Kemppinen, O.; Leinonen, J.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). MetBaro and MetHumi are part of the scientific payload of the MNL. Main scientific goal of both devices is to measure the meteorological phenomena (pressure and humidity) of the Martian atmosphere and complement the previous Mars mission atmospheric measurements (Viking and Phoenix) for better understanding of the Martian atmospheric conditions.

  20. Pathfinders on Black Dance in America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Loriene, Ed.

    This is a compilation of 18 pathfinders (i.e., a bibliographic instruction aid) on black dance in America, prepared by graduate students in the "Information Resources in the Humanities" and the "Information Resources in the Social Sciences" classes in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of…

  1. Laser modulator for LISA pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voland, C.; Lund, G.; Coppoolse, W.; Crosby, P.; Stadler, M.; Kudielka, K.; Özkan, C.

    2017-11-01

    LISA Pathfinder is an ESA experiment to demonstrate the key technologies needed for the LISA mission to detect gravitational waves in space. The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft represents one arm of the LISA interferometer, containing an optical metrology system and two proof masses as inertial references for the drag-free control system. The LISA Pathfinder payload consists of two drag-free floating test masses located in the inertial sensors with their control electronics and an optical metrology subsystem. The optical metrology subsystem monitors the movement of both test masses relative to each other and to the spacecraft with very high sensitivity and resolution. This is achieved with a heterodyne Mach- Zehnder interferometer. This interferometer requires as input two coherent laser beams with a heterodyne frequency difference of a few kHz. To generate the two laser beams with a heterodyne frequency difference a Nd:YAG laser is used together with the Laser Modulator. The Nd:YAG laser generates a single coherent laser signal at a wavelength of 1064nm which is fibre coupled to the Laser Modulator. The Laser Modulator then generates the two optical beams with the required heterodyne frequency offset. In addition, the Laser Modulator is required to perform laser amplitude stabilization and optical path difference control for the two optical signals. The Laser Modulator consists of an optical unit - the LMU - and RF synthesiser, power amplification and control electronics. These electronics are all housed in the Laser Modulator Electronics (LME). The LMU has four primary functions: • Splitting of the input laser beam into two paths for later superposition in the interferometer. • Applying different frequency shifts to each of the beams. • Providing amplitude modulation control to each of the beams. • Providing active control of the optical path length difference between the two optical paths. The present paper describes the design and performance of the LMU

  2. Estimating Collisionally-Induced Escape Rates of Light Neutrals from Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, M.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2016-12-01

    Collisions of atmospheric gases with hot oxygen atoms constitute an important non-thermal mechanism of escape of light atomic and molecular species at Mars. In this study, we present revised theoretical estimates of non-thermal escape rates of neutral O, H, He, and H2 based on recent atmospheric density profiles obtained from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission and related theoretical models. As primary sources of hot oxygen, we consider dissociative recombination of O2+ and CO2+ molecular ions. We also consider hot oxygen atoms energized in primary and secondary collisions with energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) produced in charge-exchange of solar wind H+ and He+ ions with atmospheric gases1,2. Scattering of hot oxygen and atmospheric species of interest is modeled using fully-quantum reactive scattering formalism3. This approach allows us to construct distributions of vibrationally and rotationally excited states and predict the products' emission spectra. In addition, we estimate formation rates of excited, translationally hot hydroxyl molecules in the upper atmosphere of Mars. The escape rates are calculated from the kinetic energy distributions of the reaction products using an enhanced 1D model of the atmosphere for a range of orbital and solar parameters. Finally, by considering different scenarios, we estimate the influence of these escape mechanisms on the evolution of Mars's atmosphere throughout previous epochs and their impact on the atmospheric D/H ratio. M.G.'s research was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the NASA Ames Research Center, administered by Universities Space Research Association under contract with NASA. 1N. Lewkow and V. Kharchenko, "Precipitation of Energetic Neutral Atoms and Escape Fluxes induced from the Mars Atmosphere", Astroph. J., 790, 98 (2014) 2M. Gacesa, N. Lewkow, and V. Kharchenko, "Non-thermal production and escape of OH from the upper atmosphere of Mars", arXiv:1607

  3. The Engineering of LISA Pathfinder – the quietest Laboratory ever flown in Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trenkel, Christian; Wealthy, Dave; Dunbar, Neil; Warren, Carl; Schleicher, Alexander; Ziegler, Tobias; Brandt, Nico; Gerndt, Rüdiger

    2017-01-01

    We review the engineering approach adopted to ensure the required gravitational, magnetic, thermal and residual acceleration stability on-board LISA Pathfinder, and present the in-flight results that have been achieved. Arguably, this stability makes LISA Pathfinder the quietest laboratory ever flown in space. The implications for LISA are also discussed. (paper)

  4. Gambling on the Protestants: the Pathfinder Fund and birth control in Peru, 1958-1965.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, L Necochea

    2014-01-01

    Among the agencies involved in population control activities in the mid-twentieth century, none scored as many early victories in Latin America as did the Pathfinder Fund, founded by Procter & Gamble scion Clarence Gamble. This article analyzes a style in the delivery of family planning assistance in the developing world through the work of the Pathfinder Fund in Peru, the organization's hub in South America, and shows how Pathfinder personnel collaborated with local Protestant institutions. Its Protestant allies helped Pathfinder set up and manage rapid interventions such as the production of pamphlets, the smuggling of contraceptives, and the enrollment of physicians as advocates of the use of intrauterine devices. Although these rapid interventions helped quickly disseminate information and certain technologies among a fortunate few, they also weakened legitimate state agencies, neglected the monitoring of the safety of the drugs supplied, and alienated allies with their high-handed boldness.

  5. First results of the observations of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Giuranna, M.; Maturilli, A.; Piccioni, G.; Moroz, V. I.; Lellouch, E.; Encrenaz, T.; Pfs Team

    High spectral resolution observations of Mars by the PFS/Mars Express provide new insight into the atmospheric composition. Spectral features of atmospheric CO2 and its isotopes at 15, 4.3, 2.7, 1.4 μ m, CO at 4.7 and 2.35 μ m, and H2O at 40, 2.56, and 1.38 μ m as well as solar spectral features are clearly identified in the PFS spectra. HDO spectral details at 3.7 μ m were also tentatively detected. The paper will present qualitative and quantitative analysis of the PFS spectra in the regions of spectral bands of trace gases. Abundance of minor constituents will be determined using complete radiative transfer modeling including possible non-LTE effects. We will also present results of search for other minor species with emphasis on the limb observations that provide higher air mass factor.

  6. Nitrogen on Mars: Insights from Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Jackson, W. A.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Chrisopher P.; Ming, W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Glavin, D. P.; Fairen, A. G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Recent detection of nitrate on Mars indicates that nitrogen fixation processes occurred in early martian history. Data collected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity Rover can be integrated with Mars analog work in order to better understand the fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars. In addition, in situ measurements of nitrogen abundance and isotopic composition may be used to model atmospheric conditions on early Mars.

  7. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  8. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  9. Separation and Conditioning of Mars Atmospheric Gases via TSA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, John E.; Luna, Bernadette (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Space and planetary exploration almost always presents interesting and unusual engineering challenges. Separations engineering for chemical processes that are critical to humans working in space is no exception. The challenges are becoming clearer as we make the transition from concepts and planning to hardware development, and as we understand better the constraints and environments in which the processes must perform. The coming decade will see a robotic Mars exploration program that has recovered from recent setbacks and is building a knowledge and technology base for human exploration. One of the missions will carry a small chemical pilot plant for demonstrating the manufacture of rocket propellants and life support consumables from the low-pressure (0.01 atm) Martian atmosphere. By manufacturing and storing the fuel and consumables needed for human-return missions in situ, launch mass and landed mass are reduced by tons and missions become far less expensive. The front-end to the pilot plant is a solid-state atmosphere acquisition and separation unit based on temperature-swing adsorption (TSA). The unit produces purified and pressurized (to 1.0 atm) carbon dioxide to downstream reactors that will make methane and oxygen. The unit also produces a nitrogen-argon mixture as a valuable by-product for life support, inflatable structures, and propellant pressurization. With nighttime temperatures falling to -100 degrees C, power availability restricted to a few watts, and flawless operation critical to success, the dusty Martian surface is a difficult place to operate a remote plant. This talk will focus on how this TSA separation process is designed and implemented for this application, and how it might be used in the more distant future for human exploration.

  10. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Daybell, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them ...

  11. Mars Aeronomy Observer: Report of the Science Working Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunten, Donald M.; Slavin, James A.; Brace, Lawrence H.; Deming, Drake; Frank, Louis A.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hanson, William B.; Intriligator, Devrie S.; Killeen, Timothy L.; hide

    1986-01-01

    The Mars Aeronomy Observer (MAO) is a candidate follow-on mission to Mars Observer (MO) in the Planetary Observer Program. The four Mariner and two Viking spacecraft sent to Mars between 1965 and 1976 have provided a wealth of information concerning Martian planetology. The Mars Observer, to be launched in 1990, will build on their results by further examining the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface, the strength and multipolar composition of the planetary magnetic field, the gravitational field and topography, and the circulation of the lower atmosphere. The Mars Aeronomy Observer is intended to address the last major aspects of Martian environment which have yet to be investigated: the upper atmosphere, the ionsphere, and the solar wind interaction region.

  12. Phase 2 pilot study of Pathfinders: a psychosocial intervention for cancer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abernethy, Amy P; Herndon, James E; Coan, April; Staley, Tina; Wheeler, Jane L; Rowe, Krista; Smith, Sophia K; Shaw, H; Lyerly, H Kim

    2010-07-01

    Pathfinders is a multi-faceted psychosocial care program for cancer patients; it was developed in community oncology and adapted to the academic oncology setting. This prospective, single-arm, phase 2 pilot study examined the acceptability and feasibility of Pathfinders for women with metastatic breast cancer. Over 3 months, participants completed patient-reported surveys including the Patient Care Monitor (PCM, review of systems), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Breast Cancer (FACT-B), Self Efficacy, and a single-item survey asking patients whether the program was helpful to them. A technology-based data collection system was used to capture electronic patient-reported outcomes at point of care, report symptoms in real time to clinicians, and collect warehouse data to provide a detailed longitudinal picture of the patient experience when receiving Pathfinders. Participants (n = 50) were: mean age 51 (SD 11); 76% white, 20% black; 74% married; 50% college degree. Forty-two (n = 42) patients completed baseline and 3-month assessments. Statistically significant improvements (all P < 0.05) occurred in PCM subscales for Distress (mean [SE] = -3.42 [1.21]), Despair (-4.53 [1.56]), and Quality of Life (2.88 [0.97]), and the FACT-B Emotional Wellbeing subscale (2.07 [0.46]). Of the 29 participants asked if Pathfinders was helpful, 27 (93%) responded positively and two did not respond. Other instruments measuring symptoms, quality of life, and self-efficacy showed improvement. In a phase 2 pilot study, Pathfinders was helpful to patients and is feasible in an academic medical center. Follow-up data collected at the 3-month assessment suggest that the program impacts various psychological outcomes, notably distress and despair.

  13. Mars oxygen production system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Charles E.; Pillow, Linda K.; Perkinson, Robert C.; Brownlie, R. P.; Chwalowski, P.; Carmona, M. F.; Coopersmith, J. P.; Goff, J. C.; Harvey, L. L.; Kovacs, L. A.

    1989-01-01

    The design and construction phase is summarized of the Mars oxygen demonstration project. The basic hardware required to produce oxygen from simulated Mars atmosphere was assembled and tested. Some design problems still remain with the sample collection and storage system. In addition, design and development of computer compatible data acquisition and control instrumentation is ongoing.

  14. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.

    2013-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  15. Mars Environment and Magnetic Orbiter Scientific and Measurement Objectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leblanc, F.; Langlais, B.; Fouchet, T.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we summarize our present understanding of Mars' atmosphere, magnetic field, and surface and address past evolution of these features. Key scientific questions concerning Mars' surface, atmosphere, and magnetic field, along with the planet's interaction with solar wind, are discussed......, the appearance of life, and its sustainability. The MEMO main platform combined remote sensing and in situ measurements of the atmosphere and the magnetic field during regular incursions into the martian upper atmosphere. The micro-satellite was designed to perform simultaneous in situ solar wind measurements...

  16. NOAA Daily 25km Global Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) in situ and AVHRR analysis supplemented with AVHRR Pathfinder Version 5.0 climatological SST for inland and coastal pixels, 1981-09-01 through 2010-12-31 (NODC Accession 0071180)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This accession contains the daily 25km global Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) in situ and AVHRR analysis, supplemented with AVHRR Pathfinder...

  17. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-09-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  18. Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Timothy J; Corrigan, Catherine M; Herd, Christopher D K

    2011-11-29

    Laboratory studies of meteorites and robotic exploration of Mars reveal scant atmosphere, no evidence of plate tectonics, past evidence for abundant water, and a protracted igneous evolution. Despite indirect hints, direct evidence of a martian origin came with the discovery of trapped atmospheric gases in one meteorite. Since then, the study of martian meteorites and findings from missions have been linked. Although the meteorite source locations are unknown, impact ejection modeling and spectral mapping of Mars suggest derivation from small craters in terrains of Amazonian to Hesperian age. Whereas most martian meteorites are young ( 4.5 Ga and formation of enriched and depleted reservoirs. However, the history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole. Allan Hills 84001 dates to 4.09 Ga and contains fluid-deposited carbonates. Accompanying debate about the mechanism and temperature of origin of the carbonates came several features suggestive of past microbial life in the carbonates. Although highly disputed, the suggestion spurred interest in habitable extreme environments on Earth and throughout the Solar System. A flotilla of subsequent spacecraft has redefined Mars from a volcanic planet to a hydrologically active planet that may have harbored life. Understanding the history and habitability of Mars depends on understanding the coupling of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface. Sample return that brings back direct evidence from these diverse reservoirs is essential.

  19. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T.; Perera, Surangi N.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  20. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T. [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Perera, Surangi N. [Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States); Svoboda, Kurt R., E-mail: svobodak@uwm.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States)

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  1. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  2. On the warm nearshore bias in Pathfinder monthly SST products over Eastern Boundary upwelling systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dufois, F

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Using in situ sea surface temperature (SST) data and MODIS/TERRA SST, the monthly AVHRR Pathfinder (version 5.0 and 5.2) SST product was evaluated within the four main Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems. A warm bias in the monthly Pathfinder data...

  3. The health policy pathfinder: an innovative strategy to explore interest group politics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nannini, Angela

    2009-10-01

    Moving a specific nursing health policy agenda forward depends on skill in building coalitions with other interest or stakeholder groups, including consumers. Often, nursing students study health policy in a discipline-specific environment without experiential opportunities to argue their views with other stakeholders in policy arenas. The health policy pathfinder, an innovative learning strategy for understanding interest group politics, will assist nursing students in meeting the following objectives: 1) analyze and articulate diverse policy arguments from various stakeholder groups; 2) identify opportunities for collaborations between stakeholder groups; 3) identify the influence of interest groups on the policy making process; and 4) critically evaluate evidence from a variety of sources ranging from peer-reviewed publications to grey literature to Internet blogs. This article describes the health policy pathfinder, including design, execution, and evaluation steps, and provides a brief excerpt from a student pathfinder. Copyright 2009, SLACK Incorporated.

  4. Preparing for Mars: The Evolvable Mars Campaign 'Proving Ground' Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobskill, Marianne R.; Lupisella, Mark L.; Mueller, Rob P.; Sibille, Laurent; Vangen, Scott; Williams-Byrd, Julie

    2015-01-01

    provide the foundation required to enable a variety of possible destinations and missions consistent with the Evolvable Mars Campaign.. The International Space Station will be used to the greatest extent possible for exploration capability and technology development. Beyond this, NASA is evaluating a number of options for Proving Ground missions. An "Asteroid Redirect Mission" will demonstrate needed capabilities (e.g., Solar Electric Propulsion) and transportation systems for the crew (i.e., Space Launch System and Orion) and for cargo (i.e., Asteroid Redirect Vehicle). The Mars 2020 mission and follow-on robotic precursor missions will gather Mars surface environment information and will mature technologies. NASA is considering emplacing a small pressurized module in cis-lunar space to support crewed operations of increasing duration and to serve as a platform for critical exploration capabilities testing (e.g., radiation mitigation; extended duration deep space habitation). In addition, "opportunistic mission operations" could demonstrate capabilities not on the Mars critical path that may, nonetheless, enhance exploration operations (e.g., teleoperations, crew assisted Mars sample return). The Proving Ground may also include "pathfinder" missions to test and demonstrate specific capabilities at Mars (e.g., entry, descent, and landing). This paper describes the (1) process used to conduct an architecture-driven technology development assessment, (2) exploration mission critical and supporting capabilities, and (3) approach for addressing test and demonstration opportunities encompassing the spectrum of flight elements and destinations consistent with the Evolvable Mars Campaign.

  5. Atmospheric origins of perchlorate on Mars and in the Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, D. C.; Claire, M. W.; Zahnle, K. J.; Quinn, R. C.; Clark, B. C.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S.

    2010-01-01

    Isotopic studies indicate that natural perchlorate is produced on Earth in arid environments by the oxidation of chlorine species through pathways involving ozone or its photochemical products. With this analogy, we propose that the arid environment on Mars may have given rise to perchlorate through the action of atmospheric oxidants. A variety of hypothetical pathways can be proposed including photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we made a preliminary study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate to help shed light on the origin of Martian perchlorate. We investigated gas phase pathways using a 1-D photochemical model. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for future investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate.

  6. Optimal path-finding through mental exploration based on neural energy field gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yihong; Wang, Rubin; Zhu, Yating

    2017-02-01

    Rodent animal can accomplish self-locating and path-finding task by forming a cognitive map in the hippocampus representing the environment. In the classical model of the cognitive map, the system (artificial animal) needs large amounts of physical exploration to study spatial environment to solve path-finding problems, which costs too much time and energy. Although Hopfield's mental exploration model makes up for the deficiency mentioned above, the path is still not efficient enough. Moreover, his model mainly focused on the artificial neural network, and clear physiological meanings has not been addressed. In this work, based on the concept of mental exploration, neural energy coding theory has been applied to the novel calculation model to solve the path-finding problem. Energy field is constructed on the basis of the firing power of place cell clusters, and the energy field gradient can be used in mental exploration to solve path-finding problems. The study shows that the new mental exploration model can efficiently find the optimal path, and present the learning process with biophysical meaning as well. We also analyzed the parameters of the model which affect the path efficiency. This new idea verifies the importance of place cell and synapse in spatial memory and proves that energy coding is effective to study cognitive activities. This may provide the theoretical basis for the neural dynamics mechanism of spatial memory.

  7. Uncoupling nicotine mediated motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors and muscle degeneration in zebrafish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, Lillian; Tanguay, Robert L.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2009-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos offer a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms by which nicotine exposure impacts early vertebrate development. Embryos exposed to nicotine become functionally paralyzed by 42 hpf suggesting that the neuromuscular system is compromised in exposed embryos. We previously demonstrated that secondary spinal motoneurons in nicotine-exposed embryos were delayed in development and that their axons made pathfinding errors (Svoboda, K.R., Vijayaraghaven, S., Tanguay, R.L., 2002. Nicotinic receptors mediate changes in spinal motoneuron development and axonal pathfinding in embryonic zebrafish exposed to nicotine. J. Neurosci. 22, 10731-10741). In that study, we did not consider the potential role that altered skeletal muscle development caused by nicotine exposure could play in contributing to the errors in spinal motoneuron axon pathfinding. In this study, we show that an alteration in skeletal muscle development occurs in tandem with alterations in spinal motoneuron development upon exposure to nicotine. The alteration in the muscle involves the binding of nicotine to the muscle-specific AChRs. The nicotine-induced alteration in muscle development does not occur in the zebrafish mutant (sofa potato, [sop]), which lacks muscle-specific AChRs. Even though muscle development is unaffected by nicotine exposure in sop mutants, motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors still occur in these mutants, indicating a direct effect of nicotine exposure on nervous system development.

  8. High spectral resolution image of Barnacle Bill

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The rover Sojourner's first target for measurement by the Alpha-Proton-Xray Spectrometer (APXS) was the rock named Barnacle Bill, located close to the ramp down which the rover made its egress from the lander. The full spectral capability of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), consisting of 13 wavelength filters, was used to characterize the rock's surface. The measured area is relatively dark, and is shown in blue. Nearby on the rock surface, soil material is trapped in pits (shown in red).Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  9. Optimization of a Hot Structure Aeroshell and Nose Cap for Mars Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langston, Sarah L.; Lang, Christapher G.; Samareh, Jamshid A.; Daryabeigi, Kamran

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing to send humans beyond Low Earth Orbit and eventually to the surface of Mars. As part of the Evolvable Mars Campaign, different vehicle configurations are being designed and considered for delivering large payloads to the surface of Mars. Weight and packing volume are driving factors in the vehicle design, and the thermal protection system (TPS) for planetary entry is a technology area which can offer potential weight and volume savings. The feasibility and potential benefits of a ceramic matrix composite hot structure concept for different vehicle configurations are explored in this paper, including the nose cap for a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) and an aeroshell for a mid lift-to-drag (Mid L/D) concept. The TPS of a planetary entry vehicle is a critical component required to survive the severe aerodynamic heating environment during atmospheric en- try. The current state-of-the-art is an ablative material to protect the vehicle from the heat load. The ablator is bonded to an underlying structure, which carries the mechanical loads associated with entry. The alternative hot structure design utilizes an advanced carbon-carbon material system on the outer surface of the vehicle, which is exposed to the severe heating and acts as a load carrying structure. The preliminary design using the hot structure concept and the ablative concept is determined for the spherical nose cap of the HIAD entry vehicle and the aeroshell of the Mid L/D entry vehicle. The results of the study indicate that the use of hot structures for both vehicle concepts leads to a feasible design with potential weight and volume savings benefits over current state-of-the-art TPS technology that could enable future missions.

  10. Structure of Mars' Atmosphere up to 100 Kilometers from the Entry Measurements of Viking 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiff, A; Kirk, D B

    1976-12-11

    The Viking 2 entry science data on the structure of Mars' atmosphere up to 100 kilometers define a morning atmosphere with an isothermal region near the surface; a surface pressure 10 percent greater than that recorded simultaneously at the Viking 1 site, which implies a landing site elevation lower by 2.7 kilometers than the reference ellipsoid; and a thermal structure to 100 kilometers at least qualitatively consistent with pre-Viking modeling of thermal tides. The temperature profile exhibits waves whose amplitude grows with altitude, to approximately 25 degrees K at 90 kilometers. These waves are believed to be a consequence of layered vertical oscillations and associated heating and cooling by compression and expansion, excited by the daily thermal cycling of the planet surface. As is necessary for gravity wave propagation, the atmosphere is stable against convection, except possibly in some very local regions. Temperature is everywhere appreciably above the carbon dioxide condensation boundary at both landing sites, precluding the occurrence of carbon dioxide hazes in northern summer at latitudes to at least 50 degrees N. Thus, ground level mists seen in these latitudes would appear to be condensed water vapor.

  11. Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Miller, K. E.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Archer, P. D.; Franz, H. B.; Atreya, S. K.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Fairén, A. G.; François, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kashyap, S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Leshin, L. A.; Malespin, C. A.; Martin, M. G.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mcadam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Prats, B. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Zorzano, M. P.

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is designed to conduct inorganic and organic chemical analyses of the atmosphere and the surface regolith and rocks to help evaluate the past and present habitability potential of Mars at Gale Crater.

  12. Search for Chemical Biomarkers on Mars Using the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Conrad, P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    One key goal for the future exploration of Mars is the search for chemical biomarkers including complex organic compounds important in life on Earth. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will provide the most sensitive measurements of the organic composition of rocks and regolith samples ever carried out in situ on Mars. SAM consists of a gas chromatograph (GC), quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), and tunable laser spectrometer to measure volatiles in the atmosphere and released from rock powders heated up to 1000 C. The measurement of organics in solid samples will be accomplished by three experiments: (1) pyrolysis QMS to identify alkane fragments and simple aromatic compounds; pyrolysis GCMS to separate and identify complex mixtures of larger hydrocarbons; and (3) chemical derivatization and GCMS extract less volatile compounds including amino and carboxylic acids that are not detectable by the other two experiments.

  13. High Temperature Life Testing of 80Ni-20Cr Wire in a Simulated Mars Atmosphere for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suit Gas Processing System (GPS) Carbon Dioxide Scrubber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundersen, Cynthia; Hoffman, Christopher; Munoz, Bruno; Steohenson, Timothy; Thomas, Walter

    2008-01-01

    In support of the GPS for the SAM instrument suite built by GSFC, a life test facility was developed to test the suitability of 80Ni-20Cr wire, 0.0056 inches in diameter, for use as a heater element for the carbon dioxide scrubber. The wire would be required to operate at 1000 C in order to attain the 800 C required for regeneration of the getter. The wire also would need to operate in the Mars atmosphere, which consists mostly of CO2 at pressures between 4 and 12 torr. Data on the high temperature degradation mechanism of 80Ni-20Cr in low pressure CO2, together with the effects of thermal cycling, were unknown. In addition, the influence of work hardening of the wire during assembly and the potential for catastrophic grain growth also were unknown. Verification of the wire reliability as defined by the mission goals required the construction of a test facility that would accurately simulate the duty cycles in a simulated Mars atmosphere. The experimental set-up, along with the test protocol and results will be described.

  14. High Temperature Life Testing of 80Ni-20Cr Wire in a Simulated Mars Atmosphere for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite Gas Processing System (GPS) Carbon Dioxide Scrubber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Christopher; Munoz, Bruno; Gundersen, Cynthia; Thomas, Walter, III; Stephenson, Timothy

    2008-01-01

    In support of the GPS for the SAM instrument suite built by NASA/GSFC, a life test facility was developed to test the suitability of 80Ni-20Cr alloy wire, 0.0142 cm diameter, for use as a heater element for the carbon dioxide scrubber. The element would be required to operate at 1000 C in order to attain the 800 C required for regeneration of the getter. The element also would need to operate in the Mars atmosphere, which consists mostly of CO2 at pressures between 4 and 12 torr. Data on the high temperature degradation mechanism of 80Ni- 20Cr in low pressure CO2, coupled with the effects of thermal cycling, were unknown. In addition, the influence of work hardening of the wire during assembly and the potential for catastrophic grain growth also were unknown. Verification of the element reliability as defined by the mission goals required the construction of a test facility that would accurately simulate the duty cycles in a simulated Mars atmosphere. The experimental set-up, along with the test protocol and results will be described.

  15. A Pathfinder for Animal Research and Animal Rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David C.

    1992-01-01

    This pathfinder was originally prepared for "Biomedical Research and Animal Rights," a session sponsored by the Veterinary Medical Libraries and Research Libraries Sections of the Medical Library Association. Current resources are described, from bibliographies to electronic bulletin boards, which relate to the issue of laboratory animal…

  16. Planet Mars story of another world

    CERN Document Server

    Forget, François; Lognonné, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Give an insight of Mars by adopting an outline based on history rather than on subtopic (atmosphere, surface, interior). This work looks at its evolution, and incorporates the results from the space missions of Mars Express, Spirit and Opportunity. It also examines its formation from the ashes of dead stars, more than 4 5 billion years ago.

  17. Ice haze, snow, and the Mars water cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Ralph

    1990-01-01

    Light curves and extinction profiles derived from Martian limb observations are used to constrain the atmospheric temperature structure in regions of the atmosphere with thin haze and to analyze the haze particle properties and atmospheric eddy mixing. Temperature between 170 and 190 K are obtained for three cases at levels in the atmosphere ranging from 20 to 50 km. Eddy diffusion coefficients around 100,000 sq cm/s, typical of a nonconvecting atmosphere, are derived in the haze regions at times when the atmosphere is relatively clear of dust. This parameter apparently changes by more than three orders of magnitude with season and local conditions. The derived particle size parameter varies systematically by more than an order of magnitude with condensation level, in such a way that the characteristic fall time is always about one Martian day. Ice hazes provide a mechanism for scavenging water vapor in the thin Mars atmosphere and may play a key role in the seasonal cycle of water on Mars.

  18. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fantino, E.; Grassi, M.; Pasolini, P.; Causa, F.; Molfese, C.; Aurigemma, R.; Cimminiello, N.; de la Torre, D.; Dell'Aversana, P.; Esposito, F.; Gramiccia, L.; Paudice, F.; Punzo, F.; Roma, I.; Savino, R.; Zuppardi, G.

    2017-08-01

    The Small Mars System is a proposed mission to Mars. Funded by the European Space Agency, the project has successfully completed Phase 0. The contractor is ALI S.c.a.r.l., and the study team includes the University of Naples ;Federico II;, the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte and the Space Studies Institute of Catalonia. The objectives of the mission are both technological and scientific, and will be achieved by delivering a small Mars lander carrying a dust particle analyser and an aerial drone. The former shall perform in situ measurements of the size distribution and abundance of dust particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere, whereas the latter shall demonstrate low-altitude flight in the rarefied planetary environment. The mission-enabling technology is an innovative umbrella-like heat shield, known as IRENE, developed and patented by ALI. The mission is also a technological demonstration of the shield in the upper atmosphere of Mars. The core characteristics of SMS are the low cost (120 M€) and the small size (320 kg of wet mass at launch, 110 kg at landing), features which stand out with respect to previous Mars landers. To comply with them is extremely challenging at all levels, and sets strict requirements on the choice of the materials, the sizing of payloads and subsystems, their arrangement inside the spacecraft and the launcher's selection. In this contribution, the mission and system concept and design are illustrated and discussed. Special emphasis is given to the innovative features and to the challenges faced in the development of the work.

  19. Radiation chemistry in exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zagorski, Z.P.

    2005-01-01

    Problems of exploration of Mars are seldom connected with radiation research. Improvements in such approach, more and more visible, are reported in this paper, written by the present author working on prebiotic chemistry and origins of life on Earth. Objects on Mars subjected to radiation are very different from those on Earth. Density of the Martian atmosphere is by two orders smaller than over Earth and does not protect the surface of Mars from ionizing radiations, contrary to the case of Earth, shielded by the equivalent of ca. 3 meters of concrete. High energy protons from the Sun are diverted magnetically around Earth, and Mars is deprived of that protection. The radiolysis of martian '' air '' (95.3% of carbon dioxide) starts with the formation of CO 2 + , whereas the primary product over Earth is N 2 + ion radical. The lack of water vapor over Mars prevents the formation of many secondary products. The important feature of Martian regolith is the possibility of the presence of hydrated minerals, which could have been formed milliards years ago, when (probably) water was present on Mars. The interface of the atmosphere and the regolith can be the site of many chemical reactions, induced also by intensive UV, which includes part of the vacuum UV. Minerals like sodalite, discovered on Mars can contribute as reagents in many reactions. Conclusions are dedicated to questions of the live organisms connected with exploration of Mars; from microorganisms, comparatively resistant to ionizing radiation, to human beings, considered not to be fit to manned flight, survival on Mars and return to Earth. Pharmaceuticals proposed as radiobiological protection cannot improve the situation. Exploration over the distance of millions of kilometers performed successfully without presence of man, withstands more easily the presence of ionizing radiation. (author)

  20. Stability of water on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.

    2004-11-01

    In order to try to quantify some of the factors determining the evaporation rate of water on Mars, we have been measuring evaporation rates under simulated martian conditions in a large planetary environmental chamber. All of our experiments have been performed at 5.25 Torr (7 mb) total pressure, but we have varied the temperature of the water surface, atmosphere and walls of the chamber (the walls we assume to be somewhat analogous to surrounding surfaces on Mars). We have also monitored the partial pressure of water vapor in the atmosphere to investigate its effect on evaporation rate. Most importantly, we have attempted to model the effect of advection - physical removal of the water vapor by wind or other forms of atmospheric motion - by (1) placing a bag of dry ice in the chamber and (2) by installing a copper cold finger with circulating methanol/dry ice slurry next to the sample and pumping as necessary to maintain 5.25 Torr. As might be expected, the situation is complicated and not readily described theoretically, but several conclusions seem to be emerging. Evaporation rates under nonadvective conditions are 1.2 mm/h and decrease only by about 30% as water vapor builds up in the atmosphere to as much as 40 vol %. Wall temperature and water surface temperature do not appear to affect evaporation rates significantly, but a 20 C increase in atmospheric temperature causes a 40% increase in evaporation rate. The evaporation rate increases by a factor of two in the presence of advection and under advective conditions is not affected significantly by changes in water, air, or wall temperature, or water vapor pressure. These results suggest that atmospheric motion may be the dominant factor in determining water evaporation on Mars.

  1. Secular Climate Change on Mars: An Update Using One Mars Year of MSL Pressure Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Harri, A-M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahanpaa, H.; Kahre, M. A.; Lemmon, M.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mischna, M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars is an icy reservoir of CO2. If all the CO2 trapped in the SPRC were released to the atmosphere the mean annual global surface pressure would rise by approximately 20 Pa. Repeated MOC and HiRISE imaging of scarp retreat within the SPRC led to suggestions that the SPRC is losing mass. Estimates for the loss rate vary between 0. 5 Pa per Mars Decade to 13 Pa per Mars Decade. Assuming 80% of this loss goes directly into the atmosphere, an estimate based on some modeling (Haberle and Kahre, 2010), and that the loss is monotonic, the global annual mean surface pressure should have increased between approximately 1-20 Pa since the Viking mission (approximately 20 Mars years ago). Surface pressure measurements by the Phoenix Lander only 2.5 Mars years ago were found to be consistent with these loss rates. Last year at this meeting we compared surface pressure data from the MSL mission through sol 360 with that from Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) for the same period to determine if the trend continues. The results were ambiguous. This year we have a full Mars year of MSL data to work with. Using the Ames GCM to compensate for dynamics and environmental differences, our analysis suggests that the mean annual pressure has decreased by approximately 8 Pa since Viking. This result implies that the SPRC has gained (not lost) mass since Viking. However, the estimated uncertainties in our analysis are easily at the 10 Pa level and possibly higher. Chief among these are the hydrostatic adjustment of surface pressure from grid point elevations to actual elevations and the simulated regional environmental conditions at the lander sites. For these reasons, the most reasonable conclusion is that there is no significant difference in the size of the atmosphere between now and Viking. This implies, but does not demand, that the mass of the SPRC has not changed since Viking. Of course, year-to-year variations are possible as implied by the Phoenix data

  2. SAM : an experiment dedicated to the Carbon Quest at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris; Cabane, Michel; Tan, F.; Coscia, D.; Nolan, T.; Rahen, E.; Teinturier, S.; Goutail, J. P.; Martin, D.; Montaron, C.; Galic, A.

    SAM is a suite of instruments that will be onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consist of scientists and engineers at GSFC, U. Paris/CNRS, JPL, and Honeybee Robotics, along with many additional external partners. SAM's five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life -past, present, and future. Question 1: What does the inventory of carbon compounds near the surface of Mars tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 1: Survey carbon compound sources and evaluate their possible mechanism of formation and destruction. 2.Goal 2: Search for organic compounds of biotic and prebiotic importance expecially methane. Question 2: What are the chemical and isotopic states of the lighter elements in the solids and atmosphere of Mars and what do they tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 3: Reveal the chemical and isotopic state of elements (i.e., N, H, O, S and others) that are important for life as we know it. 2.Goal 4: Evaluate the habitability of Mars by studying its atmospheric chemistry and the composition of trace species that are evidence of interactions between the atmosphere and soil. Question 3: Were past habitability conditions different from today's? 1.Goal 5: Understand atmospheric and climatic evolution through measurements of noble gas and light element isotopes.

  3. Case for a wet, warm climate on early Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.; Kasting, J.F.; Richardson, S.M.; Poliakoff, K.

    1987-01-01

    Arguments are presented in support of the idea that Mars possessed a dense CO 2 atmosphere and a wet, warm climate early in its history. The plausibility of a CO 2 greenhouse is tested by formulating a simple model of the CO 2 geochemical cycle on early Mars. By scaling the rate of silicate weathering on Earth, researchers estimated a weathering time constant of the order of several times 10 to the 7th power years for early Mars. Thus, a dense atmosphere could have existed for a geologically significant time period (approx. 10 to the 9th power years) only if atmospheric CO 2 was being continuously resupplied. The most likely mechanism by which this could have been accomplished is the thermal decomposition of carbonate rocks induced directly or indirectly by intense, global scale volcanism

  4. Retrieving atmospheric dust opacity on Mars by imaging spectroscopy at large angles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douté, S.; Ceamanos, X.; Appéré, T.

    2013-09-01

    We propose a new method to retrieve the optical depth of Martian aerosols (AOD) from OMEGA and CRISM hyperspectral imagery at a reference wavelength of 1 μm. Our method works even if the underlying surface is completely made of minerals, corresponding to a low contrast between surface and atmospheric dust, while being observed at a fixed geometry. Minimizing the effect of the surface reflectance properties on the AOD retrieval is the second principal asset of our method. The method is based on the parametrization of the radiative coupling between particles and gas determining, with local altimetry, acquisition geometry, and the meteorological situation, the absorption band depth of gaseous CO2. Because the last three factors can be predicted to some extent, we can define a new parameter β that expresses specifically the strength of the gas-aerosols coupling while directly depending on the AOD. Combining estimations of β and top of the atmosphere radiance values extracted from the observed spectra within the CO2 gas band at 2 μm, we evaluate the AOD and the surface reflectance by radiative transfer inversion. One should note that practically β can be estimated for a large variety of mineral or icy surfaces with the exception of CO2 ice when its 2 μm solid band is not sufficiently saturated. Validation of the proposed method shows that it is reliable if two conditions are fulfilled: (i) the observation conditions provide large incidence or/and emergence angles (ii) the aerosols are vertically well mixed in the atmosphere. Experiments conducted on OMEGA nadir looking observations as well as CRISM multi-angular acquisitions with incidence angles higher than 65° in the first case and 33° in the second case produce very satisfactory results. Finally in a companion paper the method is applied to monitoring atmospheric dust spring activity at high southern latitudes on Mars using OMEGA.

  5. Mars Atmospheric Conversion to Methane and Water: An Engineering Model of the Sabatier Reactor with Characterization of Ru/Al2O3 for Long Duration Use on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Anne J.; Shah, Malay; Petersen, Elspeth; Hintze, Paul; Muscatello, Tony

    2017-01-01

    The Atmospheric Processing Module (APM) is a Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology designed to demonstrate conversion of the Martian atmosphere into methane and water. The Martian atmosphere consists of approximately 95 carbon dioxide (CO2) and residual argon and nitrogen. APM utilizes cryocoolers for CO2 acquisition from a simulated Martian atmosphere and pressure. The captured CO2 is sublimated and pressurized as a feedstock into the Sabatier reactor, which converts CO2 and hydrogen to methane and water. The Sabatier reaction occurs over a packed bed reactor filled with Ru/Al2O3 pellets. The long duration use of the APM system and catalyst was investigated for future scaling and failure limits. Failure of the catalyst was detected by gas chromatography and temperature sensors on the system. Following this, characterization and experimentation with the catalyst was carried out with analysis including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with elemental dispersive spectroscopy. This paper will discuss results of the catalyst performance, the overall APM Sabatier approach, as well as intrinsic catalyst considerations of the Sabatier reactor performance incorporated into a chemical model.

  6. Mars Atmospheric Escape Recorded by H, C and O Isotope Ratios in Carbon Dioxide and Water Measured by the Sam Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Leshin, L. A.; Atreya, S. K.; Flesch, G. J.; Stern, J.; Christensen, L. E.; Vasavada, A. R.; Owen, T.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope ratios in C, H, N, O and S are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes that can identify origin, transport, temperature history, radiation exposure, atmospheric escape, environmental habitability and biological activity [2]. For Mars, measurements to date have indicated enrichment in all the heavier isotopes consistent with atmospheric escape processes, but with uncertainty too high to tie the results with the more precise isotopic ratios achieved from SNC meteoritic analyses. We will present results to date of H, C and O isotope ratios in CO2 and H2O made to high precision (few per mil) using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) that is part of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL s Curiosity Rover.

  7. Assessment of Mars Atmospheric Temperature Retrievals from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer Radiances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Matthew J.; Eluszkiewicz, Janusz; Weisenstein, Deborah; Uymin, Gennady; Moncet, Jean-Luc

    2012-01-01

    Motivated by the needs of Mars data assimilation. particularly quantification of measurement errors and generation of averaging kernels. we have evaluated atmospheric temperature retrievals from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) radiances. Multiple sets of retrievals have been considered in this study; (1) retrievals available from the Planetary Data System (PDS), (2) retrievals based on variants of the retrieval algorithm used to generate the PDS retrievals, and (3) retrievals produced using the Mars 1-Dimensional Retrieval (M1R) algorithm based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS ) forward model. The retrieved temperature profiles are compared to the MGS Radio Science (RS) temperature profiles. For the samples tested, the M1R temperature profiles can be made to agree within 2 K with the RS temperature profiles, but only after tuning the prior and error statistics. Use of a global prior that does not take into account the seasonal dependence leads errors of up 6 K. In polar samples. errors relative to the RS temperature profiles are even larger. In these samples, the PDS temperature profiles also exhibit a poor fit with RS temperatures. This fit is worse than reported in previous studies, indicating that the lack of fit is due to a bias correction to TES radiances implemented after 2004. To explain the differences between the PDS and Ml R temperatures, the algorithms are compared directly, with the OSS forward model inserted into the PDS algorithm. Factors such as the filtering parameter, the use of linear versus nonlinear constrained inversion, and the choice of the forward model, are found to contribute heavily to the differences in the temperature profiles retrieved in the polar regions, resulting in uncertainties of up to 6 K. Even outside the poles, changes in the a priori statistics result in different profile shapes which all fit the radiances within the specified error. The importance of the a priori statistics prevents

  8. LISA Pathfinder: OPD loop characterisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Born, Michael; LPF Collaboration

    2017-05-01

    The optical metrology system (OMS) of the LISA Pathfinder mission is measuring the distance between two free-floating test masses with unprecedented precision. One of the four OMS heterodyne interferometers reads out the phase difference between the reference and the measurement laser beam. This phase from the reference interferometer is common to all other longitudinal interferometer read outs and therefore subtracted. In addition, the phase is fed back via the digital optical pathlength difference (OPD) control loop to keep it close to zero. Here, we analyse the loop parameters and compare them to on-ground measurement results.

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John P.; Crisp, Joy; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Anderson, Robert C.; Baker, Charles J.; Barry, Robert; Blake, David F.; Conrad, Pamela; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ferdowski, Bobak; Gellert, Ralf; Gilbert, John B.; Golombek, Matt; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hassler, Donald M.; Jandura, Louise; Litvak, Maxim; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Meyer, Michael; Malin, Michael C.; Mitrofanov, Igor; Simmonds, John J.; Vaniman, David; Welch, Richard V.; Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-09-01

    Scheduled to land in August of 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission was initiated to explore the habitability of Mars. This includes both modern environments as well as ancient environments recorded by the stratigraphic rock record preserved at the Gale crater landing site. The Curiosity rover has a designed lifetime of at least one Mars year (˜23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. Curiosity's science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere (SAM instrument); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin instrument); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, MARDI, and Mastcam instruments); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS instrument); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam instrument); an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN instrument); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS instrument); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation (RAD instrument). The various payload elements will work together to detect and study potential sampling targets with remote and in situ measurements; to acquire samples of rock, soil, and atmosphere and analyze them in onboard analytical instruments; and to observe the environment around the rover. The 155-km diameter Gale crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: an interior mountain of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mountain show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate

  10. Experimental simulations of oxidizing conditions and organic decomposition on the surface of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoker, C.R.; Mancinelli, R.L.; Mckay, C.P.

    1988-01-01

    One important scientific objective of a Mars Rover Sample Return mission would be to look for traces of living and extinct life on Mars. An instrument to search for organic carbon may be the simplest instrument that could screen samples which are interesting from a biological point of view. An experimental program is described which would help to understand the nature of the oxidizing soil on Mars and the mechanism responsible for organic degradation on the Martian surface. This is approached by lab simulations of the actual conditions that occur on Mars, particularly the oxidant production by atmospheric photochemistry, and the combined effects of UV light and oxidants in decomposing organic compounds. The results will be used to formulate models of the photochemistry of the atmospheric, the atmosphere-soil interaction, and the diffusion of reactive compounds into the soils. This information will provide insights and constraints on the design of a sampling strategy to search for organic compounds on Mars

  11. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

  12. A technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter in SAEF-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter which is scheduled to launch on Dec. 10, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface.

  13. BIRA-IASB Mars activities and instrument capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, R.; Vandaele, A.-C.; Gillotay, D.; Willame, Y.; Depiesse, C.; Patel, M.; Daerden, F.; Neefs, E.; Ristic, B.; Montmessin, F.

    2009-04-01

    The Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is involved in many areas of Mars exploration, and has been for a long time. Current activities include analysis of SPICAM data, 3D atmospheric modelling as well as instrument development and characterization. This paper will focus on two different instruments to study the Martian atmosphere. UVIS(Patel, 2006) is part of the Exomars payload, that will gather information on the UV levels on the ground, study climatology and sterilisation and also be able to detect organic material in sublimating permafrost. BIRA-IASB is carrying out the characterization and calibration of UVIS. SOIR is an infra-red spectrometer that uses solar occultation measurements to examine major and minor constituents of planetary atmospheres. SOIR is currently orbiting Venus on the VEX spacecraft and has already made several interesting discoveries including the first observations of a new band of a CO2 isotopologue. The data from SOIR-VEX has allowed us to study the instrumental characteristics and perform a sensitivity study(Mahieux, 2008). These properties have been used to simulate realistic SOIR measurements of Mars atmospheric spectra. This work is supported by extensive 3D chemistry modeling work, as described in a paper by Frank Daerden (PS2.9Atmospheres of terrestrial planets). M. R. Patel, et al.,(2006) The UV-VIS spectrometer for the ExoMars mission, in 36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Beijing, China. A. Mahieux, et al.,(2008), Appl. Opt. 47 (13), 2252-65.

  14. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  15. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  16. Use of Extraterrestrial Resources for Human Space Missions to Moon or Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Rapp, Donald

    2013-01-01

    This book carries out approximate estimates of the costs of implementing ISRU on the Moon and Mars. It is found that no ISRU process on the Moon has much merit. ISRU on Mars can save a great deal of mass, but there is a significant cost in prospecting for resources and validating ISRU concepts. Mars ISRU might have merit, but not enough data are available to be certain. In addition, this book provides a detailed review of various ISRU technologies. This includes three approaches for Mars ISRU based on processing only the atmosphere: solid oxide electrolysis, reverse water gas shift reaction (RWGS), and absorbing water vapor directly from the atmosphere. It is not clear that any of these technologies are viable although the RWGS seems to have the best chance. An approach for combining hydrogen with the atmospheric resource is chemically very viable, but hydrogen is needed on Mars. This can be approached by bringing hydrogen from Earth or obtaining water from near-surface water deposits in the soil. Bringing hy...

  17. The readout system and the trigger algorithm implementation for the UFFO Pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Na, G.W.; Ahmad, S.; Barrillon, P.

    2012-01-01

    ) Pathfinder, to take the sub-minute data for the early photons from GRB. The UFFO Pathfinder has a coded-mask X-ray camera to search the GRB location by the UBAT trigger algorithm. To determine the direction of GRB as soon as possible it requires the fast processing. We have ultimately implemented all...... have been measured within a minute after the gamma ray signal. This lack of sub-minute data limits the study for the characteristics of the UV-optical light curve of the short-hard type GRB and the fast-rising GRB. Therefore, we have developed the telescope named the Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO...

  18. Effects of Mars Regolith Analogs, UVC radiation, Temperature, Pressure, and pH on the Growth and Survivability of Methanogenic Archaea and Stable Carbon Isotope Fractionation: Implications for Surface and Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita

    Mars is one of the suitable bodies in our solar system that can accommodate extraterrestrial life. The detection of plumes of methane in the Martian atmosphere, geochemical evidence, indication of flow of intermittent liquid water on the Martian surface, and geomorphologies of Mars have bolstered the plausibility of finding extant or evidence of extinct life on its surface and/or subsurface. However, contemporary Mars has been considered as an inhospitable planet for several reasons, such as low atmospheric surface pressure, low surface temperature, and intense DNA damaging radiation. Despite the hostile conditions of Mars, a few strains of methanogenic archaea have shown survivability in limited surface and subsurface conditions of Mars. Methanogens, which are chemolithoautotrophic non-photosynthetic anaerobic archaea, have been considered ideal models for possible Martian life forms for a long time. The search for biosignatures in the Martian atmosphere and possibility of life on the Martian surface under UVC radiation and deep subsurface under high pressure, temperature, and various pHs are the motivations of this research. Analogous to Earth, Martian atmospheric methane could be biological in origin. Chapter 1 provides relevant information about Mars' habitability, methane on Mars, and different strains of methanogens used in this study. Chapter 2 describes the interpretation of the carbon isotopic data of biogenic methane produced by methanogens grown on various Mars analogs and the results provide clues to determine ambiguous sources of methane on Mars. Chapter 3 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrated and desiccated cultures of halophilic and non-halophilic methanogens to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiations, and the results imply that UVC radiation may not be an enormous constraint for methanogenic life forms on the surface of Mars. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 discuss the data for the survivability, growth, and morphology of methanogens in presumed deep subsurface

  19. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  20. Secular Climate Change on Mars: An Update Using MSL Pressure Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Juarez, M. de la Torre; Harri, A.-M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahanpaa, H.; Kahre, M. A.; Lemmon, M.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mischna, M.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars is an icy reservoir of CO2. If all the CO2 trapped in the SPRC were released to the atmosphere the mean annual global surface pressure would rise by approx. 20 Pa. Repeated MOC and HiRISE imaging of scarp retreat rates within the SPRC have led to the suggestion that the SPRC is losing mass. Estimates for the loss rate vary between 0.5 Pa per Mars Deacde to 13 Pa per Mars Decade. Assuming 80% of this loss goes directly to the atmosphere, and that the loss is monotonic, the global annual mean surface pressure should have increased between approx. 1-20 Pa since the Viking mission (19 Mars years ago).

  1. Solar radiation for Mars power systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    Detailed information about the solar radiation characteristics on Mars are necessary for effective design of future planned solar energy systems operating on the surface of Mars. A procedure and solar radiation related data from which the diurnally and daily variation of the global, direct (or beam), and diffuse insolation on Mars are calculated, are presented. The radiation data are based on measured optical depth of the Martian atmosphere derived from images taken of the Sun with a special diode on the Viking Lander cameras; and computation based on multiple wavelength and multiple scattering of the solar radiation.

  2. Ertel Potential Vorticity versus Bernoulli Streamfunction in Earth's Southern Ocean: Comparison with the Atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Timothy E.; Stanley, Geoff; Bradley, Mary Elizabeth; Marshall, David P.

    2017-10-01

    We are working to expand the comparative planetology of vorticity-streamfunction correlations established for the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn to include Earth’s Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is the only oceanic jet that encircles the planet. Interestingly, the ACC and its eddies scale like atmospheric jets and eddies on Jupiter and Saturn---the Southern Ocean is a “giant planet” with a zonal jet stream. Our input is the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE; Mazloff et al 2010, J. Phys. Ocean. 40, 880-899), an optimal combination of observations and primitive-equation model that spans 2005-2010. Two hurdles not encountered in atmospheric work arise from the nonlinear equation of state of ocean water: non-zero helicity, which prevents the existence of truly neutral (analogous to adiabatic) surfaces, and the lack of a geostrophic streamfunction in general. We follow de Szoeke et al (2000, J. Phys. Ocean. 30, 2830-2852) to overcome these hurdles, regionally, by using orthobaric density as the vertical coordinate. In agreement with results for all atmospheres analyzed to date, scatter plots of Ertel potential vorticity, Q, versus Bernoulli streamfunction, B, on orthobaric density surfaces in the Southern Ocean are well correlated. The general shape of the correlation is like a hockey stick, with the “blade” corresponding to a broad horizontal region that spans the ACC, and the “handle” corresponding to shallow water. The same linear-regression Q versus B model employed for Mars is applied to the ACC (“blade”) signal. Results include that the deeper water on the equatorward side of the ACC is most prone to shear instability, and elsewhere the ACC is “supersonic” such that the net propagation of vorticity waves is eastward, not the usual westward. During the 6-year span of the SOSE data, there is a steady drift of the correlation to larger values at the top of the vertical profile, and to smaller values in the middle of

  3. Transport of Mars atmospheric water into high northern latitudes during a polar warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    1988-01-01

    Several numerical experiments were conducted with a simplified tracer transport model in order to attempt to examine the poleward transport of Mars atmospheric water during a polar warming like that which occurred during the winter solstice dust storm of 1977. The flow for the transport experiments was taken from numerical simulations with a nonlinear beta-plane dynamical model. Previous studies with this model have demonstrated that a polar warming having essential characteristics like those observed during the 1977 dust storm can be produced by a planetary wave mechanism analogous to that responsible for terrestrial sudden stratospheric warmings. Several numerical experiments intended to simulate water transport in the absence of any condensation were carried out. These experiments indicate that the flow during a polar warming can transport very substantial amounts of water to high northern latitudes, given that the water does not condense and fall out before reaching the polar region.

  4. Aerial Deployment and Inflation System for Mars Helium Balloons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachenmeler, Tim; Fairbrother, Debora; Shreves, Chris; Hall, Jeffery, L.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.; Pauken, Michael T.; Walsh, Gerald J.; White, Christopher V.

    2009-01-01

    A method is examined for safely deploying and inflating helium balloons for missions at Mars. The key for making it possible to deploy balloons that are light enough to be buoyant in the thin, Martian atmosphere is to mitigate the transient forces on the balloon that might tear it. A fully inflated Mars balloon has a diameter of 10 m, so it must be folded up for the trip to Mars, unfolded upon arrival, and then inflated with helium gas in the atmosphere. Safe entry into the Martian atmosphere requires the use of an aeroshell vehicle, which protects against severe heating and pressure loads associated with the hypersonic entry flight. Drag decelerates the aeroshell to supersonic speeds, then two parachutes deploy to slow the vehicle down to the needed safe speed of 25 to 35 m/s for balloon deployment. The parachute system descent dynamic pressure must be approximately 5 Pa or lower at an altitude of 4 km or more above the surface.

  5. A Facility for Long-Term Mars Simulation Experiments: The Mars Environmental Simulation Chamber (MESCH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Lars Liengaard; Merrison, Jonathan; Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Mikkelsen, Karina Aarup; Kristoffersen, Tommy; Nørnberg, Per; Lomstein, Bente Aagaard; Finster, Kai

    2008-06-01

    We describe the design, construction, and pilot operation of a Mars simulation facility comprised of a cryogenic environmental chamber, an atmospheric gas analyzer, and a xenon/mercury discharge source for UV generation. The Mars Environmental Simulation Chamber (MESCH) consists of a double-walled cylindrical chamber. The double wall provides a cooling mantle through which liquid N2 can be circulated. A load-lock system that consists of a small pressure-exchange chamber, which can be evacuated, allows for the exchange of samples without changing the chamber environment. Fitted within the MESCH is a carousel, which holds up to 10 steel sample tubes. Rotation of the carousel is controlled by an external motor. Each sample in the carousel can be placed at any desired position. Environmental data, such as temperature, pressure, and UV exposure time, are computer logged and used in automated feedback mechanisms, enabling a wide variety of experiments that include time series. Tests of the simulation facility have successfully demonstrated its ability to produce temperature cycles and maintain low temperature (down to -140°C), low atmospheric pressure (5 10 mbar), and a gas composition like that of Mars during long-term experiments.

  6. The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Atacama Desert soils: A Possible Analog for Mars Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Amundson, R.; Ewing, S.; Rhodes, K. W.; McKay, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert in the world, having experienced its present hyper-arid climate since the Miocene. While Mars is vastly more dry and cold than the Atacama, the Atacama environment may be one of the best terrestrial Mars analog environments accessible to researchers. Because of the long-term hyperaridity, the soils retain atmospherically-derived elements, which accumulate to economically valuable quantities. The objective of this work was to examine physical and chemical evolution of the soils of the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to provide insight as to what soil properties may be found on Mars. Three soils were excavated and examined on widely representative landforms along a south to north transect (Copiapo > Altimira > Yungay) that coincides with decreasing moisture levels (~15mm to ~2 mm yr-1, south to north). Total chemical analyses were used to calculate strain (i.e. volume change) and elemental gains or losses (\\tau). Relative to parent material values, the Yungay and Altimira soils have expanded over 400% in certain horizons, while the Copiapo soil has collapsed by as much as 48%. The expansions are driven by elemental gains; the collapse by weathering losses. Calculations of \\tau indicate a 380 000% enrichment in Cl (halite) in the lower horizons, and S enrichments (anhydrite, gypsum) as high as 50 000% in the upper horizons, of the Yungay soil. The Altimira soil had a 110 000% enrichment of S (gypsum) and a 16,000% enrichment of carbonate, reflecting the higher precipitation and the relative solubility of salts. The southern, higher rainfall Copiapo soil had small \\tau values for S (283%) and Cl (63%) in the middle horizons, but significant gains of CaCO3 (\\tau values as high as 4 000% in certain horizons). In general, the type and depth of Cl, S, and CaCO3 enrichment in the soils varied predictably with rainfall. The results of this work, which document enormous atmospherically-derived elemental gains and

  7. Experimental Constraints On Transparency of The 1052;1040;rtian Atmosphere Out of Dust Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A. V.

    In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with = 0.2 in the atmo- sphere of Mars determines its thermal structure, as it has been shown by Gierasch and Goody [1972 JAS 29, 400] and is confirmed by modern Mars GCMs that include dust cycle. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it. Presently, these are the data of thermal IR instruments, benefiting from being insensitive to condensa- tional clouds: TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In calm atmospheric conditions (aphelion season) a typical value of 9-µm optical depth 9 of 0.05-0.15 is observed by these instruments [Smith et al. 2000, 2001 JGR 105, 9539; JGR 106, 23929; Martin and Richardson 1993 JGR 98, 10941]. In order to quantify the typical optical depth of the permanent dust haze, we will discuss, among others, the following two questions: 1) How to agree the above values and reliable measurements from the surface (VL, Pathfinder) which give the typical optical depth (out of dust storms) of = 0.5 from one side, and some ground-based observations (in UV-visible range) that frequently reveal < 0.02 on the other side. 2) What is the relationship between 9 and the visi- ble optical depth? Comparison of IRTM and VL measurements (the only simultaneous observations available so far) suggest vis/9 = 2.5, that contradict to vis/9 = 0.9 that follow from IRIS/Mariner 9 mineralogy model, which is confirmed by recent re- analysis of IRIS data.

  8. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, D., Jr.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate has been detected in Mars surface sediments and aeolian deposits by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover (Stern et al., 2015). This detection is significant because fixed nitrogen is necessary for life, a requirement that drove the evolution of N-fixing metabolism in life on Earth. The question remains as to the extent to which a primitive N cycle ever developed on Mars, and whether N is currently being deposited on the martian surface at a non-negligible rate. It is also necessary to consider processes that could recycle oxidized N back into the atmosphere, and how these processes may have changed the soil inventory of N over time. The abundance of fixed nitrogen detected as NO from thermal decomposition of nitrate is consistent with both delivery of nitrate via impact generated thermal shock early in martian history and dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO, occurring in the present. Processes that could recycle N back into the atmosphere may include nitrate reduction by Fe(II) in aqueous environments on early Mars, impact decomposition, and/or UV photolysis. In order to better understand the history of nitrogen fixation on Mars, we look to cycling of N in Mars analog environments on Earth such as the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In particular, we examine the ratio of nitrate to perchlorate (NO3-/ClO4-) in these areas compared to those calculated from data acquired on Mars.

  9. Extratropical Weather Systems on Mars: Radiatively-Active Water Ice Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahre, M. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Urata, R. A.; Montmessin, F.

    2017-01-01

    Extratropical, large-scale weather disturbances, namely transient, synoptic-period,baroclinic barotropic eddies - or - low- (high-) pressure cyclones (anticyclones), are components fundamental to global circulation patterns for rapidly rotating, differentially heated, shallow atmospheres such as Earth and Mars. Such "wave-like" disturbances that arise via (geophysical) fluid shear instability develop, mature and decay, and travel west-to-east in the middle and high latitudes within terrestrial-like planetary atmospheres. These disturbances serve as critical agents in the transport of heat and momentum between low and high latitudes of the planet. Moreover, they transport trace species within the atmosphere (e.g., water vapor/ice, other aerosols (dust), chemical species, etc). Between early autumn through early spring, middle and high latitudes on Mars exhibit strong equator-to-pole mean temperature contrasts (i.e., "baroclinicity"). Data collected during the Viking era and observations from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate that such strong baroclinicity supports vigorous, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems [Banfield et al., 2004; Barnes et al., 1993]. A good example of traveling weather systems, frontal wave activity and sequestered dust activity from MGS/MOC image analyses is provided in Figure 1 (cf. Wang et al. [2005]). Utilizing an upgraded and evolving version of the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) Mars global climate model, investigated here are key dynamical and physical aspects of simulated northern hemisphere (NH) large-scale extratropica lweather systems,with and without radiatively-active water ice clouds. Mars Climate Model:

  10. Hydrogen escape from Mars enhanced by deep convection in dust storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, Nicholas G.; Kleinböhl, Armin; Chaffin, Michael S.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Kass, David M.; Hayne, Paul O.; McCleese, Daniel J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Shirley, James H.; Schofield, John T.

    2018-02-01

    Present-day water loss from Mars provides insight into Mars's past habitability1-3. Its main mechanism is thought to be Jeans escape of a steady hydrogen reservoir sourced from odd-oxygen reactions with near-surface water vapour2, 4,5. The observed escape rate, however, is strongly variable and correlates poorly with solar extreme-ultraviolet radiation flux6-8, which was predicted to modulate escape9. This variability has recently been attributed to hydrogen sourced from photolysed middle atmospheric water vapour10, whose vertical and seasonal distribution is only partly characterized and understood11-13. Here, we report multi-annual observational estimates of water content and dust and water transport to the middle atmosphere from Mars Climate Sounder data. We provide strong evidence that the transport of water vapour and ice to the middle atmosphere by deep convection in Martian dust storms can enhance hydrogen escape. Planet-encircling dust storms can raise the effective hygropause (where water content rapidly decreases to effectively zero) from 50 to 80 km above the areoid (the reference equipotential surface). Smaller dust storms contribute to an annual mode in water content at 40-50 km that may explain seasonal variability in escape. Our results imply that Martian atmospheric chemistry and evolution can be strongly affected by the meteorology of the lower and middle atmosphere of Mars.

  11. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions — Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobron, Pablo; Wang, Alian; Sobron, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: ► Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. ► Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. ► Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. ► Fe curves probably related to the crystalline structure of Fe-sulfates. ► Extraction of degree of hydration in hydrous Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-sulfates.

  12. Solar Radiation on Mars: Tracking Photovoltaic Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Flood, Dennis J.; Crutchik, Marcos

    1994-01-01

    A photovoltaic power source for surface-based operation on Mars can offer many advantages. Detailed information on solar radiation characteristics on Mars and the insolation on various types of collector surfaces are necessary for effective design of future planned photovoltaic systems. In this article we have presented analytical expressions for solar radiation calculation and solar radiation data for single axis (of various types) and two axis tracking surfaces and compared the insulation to horizontal and inclined surfaces. For clear skies (low atmospheric dust load) tracking surfaces resulted in higher insolation than stationary surfaces, whereas for highly dusty atmospheres, the difference is small. The insolation on the different types of stationary and tracking surfaces depend on latitude, season and optical depth of the atmosphere, and the duration of system operation. These insolations have to be compared for each mission.

  13. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vago, Jorge L.; Westall, Frances; Pasteur Instrument Team; Pasteur Landing Team; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Rull, Fernando; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Goetz, Walter; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Vago, Jorge L.; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe; ExoMars Project Team

    2017-07-01

    The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information.

  14. Energy transfer in O collisions with He isotopes and helium escape from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovino, S.; Zhang, P.; Kharchenko, V.; Dalgarno, A.

    2010-12-01

    Helium is one of the dominant constituents in the upper atmosphere of Mars [1]. Thermal (Jeans’) escape of He is negligible on Mars [2] and major mechanism of escape is related to the collisional ejection of He atoms by energetic oxygen. Collisional ejection dominates over ion-related mechanisms [3] and evaluation of the escape flux of neutral He becomes an important issue. The dissociative recombination of O2+ is considered to be the major source of energetic oxygen atoms [4]. We report accurate data on energy-transfer collisions between hot oxygen atoms and the atmospheric helium gas. Angular dependent scattering cross sections for elastic collisions of O(3P) and O(1D) atoms with helium gas have been calculated quantum mechanically and found to be surprisingly similar. Cross sections, computed for collisions with both helium isotopes, 3He and 4He, have been used to construct the kernel of the Boltzmann equation, describing the energy relaxation of hot oxygen atoms. Computed rates of energy transfer in O + He collisions have been used to evaluate the flux of He atoms escaping from the Mars atmosphere at different solar conditions. We have identified atmospheric layers mostly responsible for production of the He escape flux. Our results are consistent with recent data from Monte Carlo simulations of the escape of O atoms: strong angular anisotropy of atomic cross sections leads to an increased transparency of the upper atmosphere for escaping O flux [5] and stimulate the collisional ejection of He atoms. References [1] Krasnopolsky, V. A., and G. R. Gladstone (2005), Helium on Mars and Venus: EUVE observations and modeling, Icarus, 176, 395. [2] Chassefiere E. and F. Leblanc (2004), Mars atmospheric escape and evolution; interaction with the solar wind, Planetary and Space Science, 52, 1039 [3] Krasnopolsky, V. (2010), Solar activity variations of thermospheric temperatures on Mars and a problem of CO in the lower atmoshpere, Icarus, 207, 638. [4] Fox, J. L

  15. Ionospheric Irregularities at Mars Probed by MARSIS Topside Sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Gurnett, D. A.; Kopf, A. J.; Halekas, J. S.; Ruhunusiri, S.

    2018-01-01

    The upper ionosphere of Mars contains a variety of perturbations driven by solar wind forcing from above and upward propagating atmospheric waves from below. Here we explore the global distribution and variability of ionospheric irregularities around the exobase at Mars by analyzing topside sounding data from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on board Mars Express. As irregular structure gives rise to off-vertical echoes with excess propagation time, the diffuseness of ionospheric echo traces can be used as a diagnostic tool for perturbed reflection surfaces. The observed properties of diffuse echoes above unmagnetized regions suggest that ionospheric irregularities with horizontal wavelengths of tens to hundreds of kilometers are particularly enhanced in the winter hemisphere and at high solar zenith angles. Given the known inverse dependence of neutral gravity wave amplitudes on the background atmospheric temperature, the ionospheric irregularities probed by MARSIS are most likely associated with plasma perturbations driven by atmospheric gravity waves. Though extreme events with unusually diffuse echoes are more frequently observed for high solar wind dynamic pressures during some time intervals, the vast majority of the diffuse echo events are unaffected by varying solar wind conditions, implying limited influence of solar wind forcing on the generation of ionospheric irregularities. Combination of remote and in situ measurements of ionospheric irregularities would offer the opportunity for a better understanding of the ionospheric dynamics at Mars.

  16. Benefits of Mars ISRU Regolith Water Processing: A Case Study for the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Paz, Aaron; Mueller, Robert

    2016-01-01

    ISRU of Mars resources was baselined in 2009 Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0, but only for Oxygen production using atmospheric CO2. The Methane (LCH4) needed for ascent propulsion of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) would need to be brought from Earth. However: Extracting water from the Martian Regolith enables the production of both Oxygen and Methane from Mars resources: Water resources could also be used for other applications including: Life support, radiation shielding, plant growth, etc. Water extraction was not baselined in DRA5.0 due to perceived difficulties and complexity in processing regolith. The NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) requested studies to look at the quantitative benefits and trades of using Mars water ISRUPhase 1: Examined architecture scenarios for regolith water retrieval. Completed October 2015. Phase 2: Deep dive of one architecture concept to look at end-to-end system size, mass, power of a LCH4/LO2 ISRU production system

  17. Ice haze, snow, and the Mars water cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahn, R.

    1990-01-01

    Images of the limb of Mars reveal discrete cloud layers between 20 and 80 km above the surface. They appear to be composed of water ice and have a number of characteristics similar to hazes that produce diamond dust precipitation in the continental Antarctic of Earth. Temperatures from 170 K to 190 K are deduced at the condensation levels. Eddy diffusion coefficients around 10 5 cm 2 s -1 , typical of a nonconvecting atmosphere, are also derived in the haze regions at times when the atmosphere is relatively clear of dust. This parameter apparently changes by more than 3 orders of magnitude with season and local conditions, with important implications for vertical transport of water and dust and for models of photochemistry and middle atmosphere dynamics. For the cases studied, particle sizes vary systematically by more than an order of magnitude with condensation level, in such a way that the characteristic fall time for particles is always about 1 Mars day, which is the dominant thermal forcing time. The hazes may play a key role in the seasonal water cycle of Mars. They provide a mechanism for growing particles large enough to move atmospheric water closer to the surface, thereby improving the efficiency of adsorption and ice deposit formation in the regolith. This is particularly likely in late northern summer, when the rapid hemispheric decrease in atmospheric water vapor may reflect the precipitation of snow. This rapid decrease in late summer involves atmospheric water vapor in about the quantities needed to supply the mid-latitude regolith with the water that appears in the atmosphere early in the following spring

  18. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  19. Large-Scale Traveling Weather Systems in Mars Southern Extratropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Kahre, Melinda A.

    2017-01-01

    Between late fall and early spring, Mars' middle- and high-latitude atmosphere supports strong mean equator-to-pole temperature contrasts and an accompanying mean westerly polar vortex. Observations from both the MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the MRO Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) indicate that a mean baroclinicity-barotropicity supports intense, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems (i.e., transient synoptic-period waves). Such extratropical weather disturbances are critical components of the global circulation as they serve as agents in the transport of heat and momentum, and generalized scalar/tracer quantities (e.g., atmospheric dust, water-vapor and ice clouds). The character of such traveling extratropical synoptic disturbances in Mars' southern hemisphere during late winter through early spring is investigated using a moderately high-resolution Mars global climate model (Mars GCM). This Mars GCM imposes interactively-lifted and radiatively-active dust based on a threshold value of the surface stress. The model exhibits a reasonable "dust cycle" (i.e., globally averaged, a dustier atmosphere during southern spring and summer occurs). Compared to the northern-hemisphere counterparts, the southern synoptic-period weather disturbances and accompanying frontal waves have smaller meridional and zonal scales, and are far less intense. Influences of the zonally asymmetric (i.e., east-west varying) topography on southern large-scale weather are investigated, in addition to large-scale up-slope/down-slope flows and the diurnal cycle. A southern storm zone in late winter and early spring presents in the western hemisphere via orographic influences from the Tharsis highlands, and the Argyre and Hellas impact basins. Geographically localized transient-wave activity diagnostics are constructed that illuminate dynamical differences amongst the simulations and these are presented.

  20. Periodontal status among adolescents in Georgia. A pathfinder study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liran Levin

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The aim of the present pathfinder study was to screen and map the periodontal status of Georgian population in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization for population based surveys. Methods. During 2012, a pathfinder study was conducted to collect this data. For the periodontal portion of the study, 15-year-old school children were examined in the capital city of Tbilisi as well as in two other large cities and 4 smaller villages. All participants were examined by a trained dental team in a classroom using a dental mirror and a periodontal probe. Periodontal examination included plaque scores, calculus scores, probing depth measurements and bleeding on probing. These measurements were recorded for the Ramfjord index teeth. Results. A total of 397 15-year-old participants were examined in this pathfinder study. There were 240 females (60.45% and 157 males (39.55%. Of the total participants 196 (49.37% were urban adolescents while 201 (50.63% were from rural communities. Mean probing depth was 3.34 ± 0.57 mm with a range of 1 to 10 mm; a relatively high proportion (34.26% of these subjects presented with at least one site with pockets of 5 mm or deeper. Males presented with greater plaque, calculus and probing depths than females. When urban and rural populations were compared, urban participants presented with more plaque, probing depths and bleeding on probing. Greater pocket depths were found to be related to the presence of plaque calculus and bleeding on probing. Conclusions. Overall, rather high incidences of periodontal pockets ≥ 5 mm were detected in this population. This data should serve to prepare further more detailed epidemiological studies that will serve to plan and implement prevent and treat strategies for periodontal diseases in Georgia and also help make manpower decisions.

  1. Periodontal status among adolescents in Georgia. A pathfinder study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Liran; Margvelashvili, Vladimer; Bilder, Leon; Kalandadze, Manana; Tsintsadze, Nino; Machtei, Eli E

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. The aim of the present pathfinder study was to screen and map the periodontal status of Georgian population in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization for population based surveys. Methods. During 2012, a pathfinder study was conducted to collect this data. For the periodontal portion of the study, 15-year-old school children were examined in the capital city of Tbilisi as well as in two other large cities and 4 smaller villages. All participants were examined by a trained dental team in a classroom using a dental mirror and a periodontal probe. Periodontal examination included plaque scores, calculus scores, probing depth measurements and bleeding on probing. These measurements were recorded for the Ramfjord index teeth. Results. A total of 397 15-year-old participants were examined in this pathfinder study. There were 240 females (60.45%) and 157 males (39.55%). Of the total participants 196 (49.37%) were urban adolescents while 201 (50.63%) were from rural communities. Mean probing depth was 3.34 ± 0.57 mm with a range of 1 to 10 mm; a relatively high proportion (34.26%) of these subjects presented with at least one site with pockets of 5 mm or deeper. Males presented with greater plaque, calculus and probing depths than females. When urban and rural populations were compared, urban participants presented with more plaque, probing depths and bleeding on probing. Greater pocket depths were found to be related to the presence of plaque calculus and bleeding on probing. Conclusions. Overall, rather high incidences of periodontal pockets ≥ 5 mm were detected in this population. This data should serve to prepare further more detailed epidemiological studies that will serve to plan and implement prevent and treat strategies for periodontal diseases in Georgia and also help make manpower decisions.

  2. Mimicking Mars: a vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrado, J M; Martín-Soler, J; Martín-Gago, J A

    2014-03-01

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10(-6) mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  3. Theoretical Investigations of Dielectric Breakdown in CO2: Implications for Atmospheric Discharges on Mars (and Venus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riousset, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of an atmospheric discharge in the Martian atmosphere by Ruf et al. [GRL, 36, L13202, 2009] supports the idea of a Martian atmospheric electric circuit [Farrell and Desch, JGR, 106, E4, 2001]. However, the lack of subsequent detection of similar events raises the question of the conditions of their initiation, and the existence of Martian lightning remains a controversial question. On Earth, atmospheric electricity manifests itself in the form of glow, corona, streamer, and leader discharges observed as Saint Elmo's fire, sprites, lightning and jets discharges, and other Transient Luminous Events (TLEs). All of these are dielectric breakdown governed by different physics. Their initiation is associated with the crossing of specific electric field thresholds: relativistic runaway, streamer propagation, conventional breakdown, or thermal runaway thresholds, some better understood than others. For example, the initiation of a lightning discharge is known to occur when the local electric field exceeds a value similar to relativistic runaway field, but the exact threshold, as well as the physical mechanisms at work, remain unclear to date. Scaling laws for electric fields (and other quantities) have been established by Pasko et al. [GRL, 25(12), 2123-2126, 1998] and Pasko [NATO Sci. Series, Springer, 253-311, 2006]. In this work, we develop profiles for initiation criteria in air and in other atmospheric environments. We further calculate their associated scaling laws to determine the ability to trigger lightning flashes and TLEs on Mars. This lets us predict the likelihood of electrical discharges and calculate the expected electric field conditions, under which discharges could be observed. We develop the analogy between Earth sand storm [Nicoll et al., Env. Res. Lett., 6, 014001, 2001] and Martian dust storms [Melnik and Parrot, JGR, 103(A12), 1998] to investigate the charge structure and resulting electric fields necessary to initiate dielectric

  4. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Mungas, G.; Chu, P.; Craft, J.; Davis, K.

    2008-12-01

    We are proposing a Mars Sample Return scheme whereby a sample of regolith is acquired directly into a Mars Ascent Vehicle using a pneumatic system. Unlike prior developments that used suction to collect fines, the proposed system uses positive pressure to move the regolith. We envisage 3 pneumatic tubes to be embedded inside the 3 legs of the lander. Upon landing, the legs will burry themselves into the regolith and the tubes will fill up with regolith. With one puff of gas, the regolith can be lifted into a sampling chamber onboard of the Mars Ascent Vehicle. An additional chamber can be opened to acquire atmospheric gas and dust. The entire MSR will require 1) an actuator to open/close sampling chamber and 2) a valve to open gas cylinder. In the most recent study related to lunar excavation and funded under the NASA SBIR program we have shown that it is possible lift over 3000 grams of soil with only 1 gram of gas at 1atm. Tests conducted under Mars atmospheric pressure conditions (5 torr). In September of 2008, we will be performing tests at 1/6thg (Moon) and 1/3g (Mars) to determine mass lifting efficiencies in reduced gravities.

  5. Simultaneous Observations of Atmospheric Tides from Combined in Situ and Remote Observations at Mars from the MAVEN Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, Scott L.; Liu, Guiping; Withers, Paul; Yigit, Erdal; Lo, Daniel; Jain, Sonal; Schneider, Nicholas M. (Inventor); Deighan, Justin; McClintock, William E.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the observations of longitudinal variations in the Martian thermosphere associated with nonmigrating tides. Using the Neutral Gas Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) and the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, this study presents the first combined analysis of in situ and remote observations of atmospheric tides at Mars for overlapping volumes, local times, and overlapping date ranges. From the IUVS observations, we determine the altitude and latitudinal variation of the amplitude of the nonmigrating tidal signatures, which is combined with the NGIMS, providing information on the compositional impact of these waves. Both the observations of airglow from IUVS and the CO2 density observations from NGIMS reveal a strong wave number 2 signature in a fixed local time frame. The IUVS observations reveal a strong latitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature. Combining this with the accurate CO2 density observations from NGIMS, this would suggest that the CO2 density variation is as high as 27% at 0-10 deg latitude. The IUVS observations reveal little altitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature, varying by only 20% from 160 to 200 km. Observations of five different species with NGIMS show that the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature varies in proportion to the inverse of the species scale height, giving rise to variation in composition as a function of longitude. The analysis and discussion here provide a roadmap for further analysis as additional coincident data from these two instruments become available.

  6. Salt Attack on Rocks and Expansion of Soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Carey, J. W.

    2004-12-01

    Salt-rich sediments observed by the MER rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum show that brines have been present on Mars in the past, but a role for groundwater in widespread rock weathering and soil formation is uncertain. Experiments by several groups suggest instead the action of acid fog over long time spans, with episodic input of volcanic gases, as a more significant agent of Mars weathering. Salt minerals formed in these acid weathering experiments consistently include gypsum and alunogen, with epsomite or hexahydrite forming where olivine provides a source of Mg. Analogous to the martian acid fog scenario are terrestrial acid rain or acid fog attacks on building and monument stone by chemical action and mechanical wedging through growth of gypsum, anhydrite, epsomite, hexahydrite, kieserite, and other sulfate minerals. Physical effects can be aggressive, operating by both primary salt growth and hydration of anhydrous or less-hydrous primary salts. In contrast, soils evolve to states where chemical attack is lessened and salt mineral growth leads to expansion with cementation; in this situation the process becomes constructive rather than destructive. We have made synthetic salt-cemented soils (duricrusts) from clays, zeolites, palagonites and other media mixed with ultrapure Mg-sulfate solutions. Although near-neutral in pH, these solutions still exchange or leach Ca from the solids to form cements containing gypsum as well as hexahydrite. At low total P (1 torr) and low RH (duricrust expands by formation of a complex mixture of Mg-sulfate phases with various hydration states. The expanded form is retained even if the duricrust is again dehydrated, suggesting that soil porosity thus formed is difficult to destroy. These processes can be considered in the context of Viking, Pathfinder, and MER evidence for differing salt components in the weathered surfaces of rocks versus duricrust-like materials in soils. The divergent chemical trends indicate that soil

  7. Disentangling the magnetic force noise contribution in LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armano, M; Audley, H; Born, M; Danzmann, K; Diepholz, I; Auger, G; Binetruy, P; Baird, J; Bortoluzzi, D; Brandt, N; Fitzsimons, E; Bursi, A; Caleno, M; Cavalleri, A; Cesarini, A; Dolesi, R; Ferroni, V; Cruise, M; Dunbar, N; Ferraioli, L

    2015-01-01

    Magnetically-induced forces on the inertial masses on-board LISA Pathfinder are expected to be one of the dominant contributions to the mission noise budget, accounting for up to 40%. The origin of this disturbance is the coupling of the residual magnetization and susceptibility of the test masses with the environmental magnetic field. In order to fully understand this important part of the noise model, a set of coils and magnetometers are integrated as a part of the diagnostics subsystem. During operations a sequence of magnetic excitations will be applied to precisely determine the coupling of the magnetic environment to the test mass displacement using the on-board magnetometers. Since no direct measurement of the magnetic field in the test mass position will be available, an extrapolation of the magnetic measurements to the test mass position will be carried out as a part of the data analysis activities. In this paper we show the first results on the magnetic experiments during an end- to-end LISA Pathfinder simulation, and we describe the methods under development to map the magnetic field on-board. (paper)

  8. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  9. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions - Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobron, Pablo, E-mail: pablo.sobron@asc-csa.gc.ca [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Wang, Alian [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Sobron, Francisco [Unidad Asociada UVa-CSIC a traves del Centro de Astrobiologia, Parque Tecnologico de Boecillo, Parcela 203, Boecillo (Valladolid), 47151 (Spain)

    2012-02-15

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Fe curves probably related to the crystalline

  10. Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thordarson, T.; Rampino, M.; Keszthelyi, L.P.; Self, S.

    2009-01-01

    Volcanic features are common on geologically active earthlike planets. Megascale or "super" eruptions involving >1000 Gt of magma have occurred on both Earth and Mars in the geologically recent past, introducing prodigious volumes of ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Here we discuss felsic (explosive) and mafi c (flood lava) supereruptions and their potential atmospheric and environmental effects on both planets. On Earth, felsic supereruptions recur on average about every 100-200,000 years and our present knowledge of the 73.5 ka Toba eruption implies that such events can have the potential to be catastrophic to human civilization. A future eruption of this type may require an unprecedented response from humankind to assure the continuation of civilization as we know it. Mafi c supereruptions have resulted in atmospheric injection of volcanic gases (especially SO2) and may have played a part in punctuating the history of life on Earth. The contrast between the more sustained effects of flood basalt eruptions (decades to centuries) and the near-instantaneous effects of large impacts (months to years) is worthy of more detailed study than has been completed to date. Products of mafi c supereruptions, signifi cantly larger than known from the geologic record on Earth, are well preserved on Mars. The volatile emissions from these eruptions most likely had global dispersal, but the effects may not have been outside what Mars endures even in the absence of volcanic eruptions. This is testament to the extreme variability of the current Martian atmosphere: situations that would be considered catastrophic on Earth are the norm on Mars. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  11. ERASMUS-F: pathfinder for an E-ELT 3D instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelz, Andreas; Roth, Martin M.; Bacon, Roland; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Nicklas, Harald E.; Bryant, Julia J.; Colless, Matthew; Croom, Scott; Ellis, Simon; Fleischmann, Andreas; Gillingham, Peter; Haynes, Roger; Hopkins, Andrew; Kosmalski, Johan; O'Byrne, John W.; Olaya, Jean-Christophe; Rambold, William N.; Robertson, Gordon

    2010-07-01

    ERASMUS-F is a pathfinder study for a possible E-ELT 3D-instrumentation, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The study investigates the feasibility to combine a broadband optical spectrograph with a new generation of multi-object deployable fibre bundles. The baseline approach is to modify the spectrograph of the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), which is a VLT integral-field instrument using slicers, with a fibre-fed input. Taking advantage of recent developments in astrophotonics, it is planed to equip such an instrument with fused fibre bundles (hexabundles) that offer larger filling factors than dense-packed classical fibres. The overall project involves an optical and mechanical design study, the specifications of a software package for 3Dspectrophotometry, based upon the experiences with the P3d Data Reduction Software and an investigation of the science case for such an instrument. As a proof-of-concept, the study also involves a pathfinder instrument for the VLT, called the FIREBALL project.

  12. Photochemistry of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Space Age started half a century ago. Today, with the completion of a fairly detailed study of the planets of the Solar System, we have begun studying exoplanets (or extrasolar planets). The overriding question in is to ask whether an exoplanet is habitable and harbors life, and if so, what the biosignatures ought to be. This forces us to confront the fundamental question of what controls the composition of an atmosphere. The composition of a planetary atmosphere reflects a balance between thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry (as in the interior of giant planets) and photochemistry (as in the atmosphere of Mars). The terrestrial atmosphere has additional influence from life (biochemistry). The bulk of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres is driven by UV radiation. Photosynthesis may be considered an extension of photochemistry by inventing a molecule (chlorophyll) that can harvest visible light. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of photochemistry is catalytic chemistry, the ability of trace amounts of gases to profoundly affect the composition of the atmosphere. Notable examples include HOx (H, OH and HO2) chemistry on Mars and chlorine chemistry on Earth and Venus. Another remarkable feature of photochemistry is organic synthesis in the outer solar system. The best example is the atmosphere of Titan. Photolysis of methane results in the synthesis of more complex hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon chemistry inevitably leads to the formation of high molecular weight products, giving rise to aerosols when the ambient atmosphere is cool enough for them to condense. These results are supported by the findings of the recent Cassini mission. Lastly, photochemistry leaves a distinctive isotopic signature that can be used to trace back the evolutionary history of the atmosphere. Examples include nitrogen isotopes on Mars and sulfur isotopes on Earth. Returning to the question of biosignatures on an exoplanet, our Solar System experience tells us to look for speciation

  13. Effects of Mars Atmosphere on Arc Welds: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2018-01-01

    Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a vital fusion welding process widely used throughout the aerospace industry. Its use may be critical for the repair or manufacture of systems, rockets, or facilities on the Martian surface. Aluminum alloy AA2219-T87 and titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V butt welds have been investigated for weldability and weld properties in a simulated Martian gas environment. The resulting simulated Martian welds were compared to welds made in a terrestrial atmosphere, all of which used argon shielding gas. It was found that GTAW is a process that may be used in a Martian gas environment, not accounting for pressure and gravitational effects, as long as adequate argon shielding gas is used to protect the weld metal. Simulated Martian welds exhibited higher hardness in all cases and higher tensile strength in the case of AA2219-T87. This has been attributed to the absorption of carbon into the fusion zone, causing carbide precipitates to form. These precipitates may act to pin dislocations upon tensile testing of AA2219-T87. Dissolved carbon may have also led to carburization, which may have caused the increase in hardness within the fusion zone of the welds. Based on the results of this experiment and other similar experiments, GTAW appears to be a promising process for welding in a Martian gas environment. Additional funding and experimentation is necessary to determine the effects of the low pressure and low gravity environment found on Mars on GTAW.

  14. Exploration of the Habitability of Mars with the SAM Suite Investigation on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) with a substantially larger payload capability that any other Mars rover, to date, is designed to quantitatively assess a local region on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Its goals are (1) to assess past or present biological potential of a target environment, (2) to characterize geology and geochemistry at the MSL landing site, and (3) to investigate planetary processes that influence habitability. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Suite, in its final stages of integration and test, enables a sensitive search for organic molecules and chemical and isotopic analysis of martian volatiles. MSL contact and remote surface and subsurface survey Instruments establish context for these measurements and facilitate sample identification and selection. The SAM instruments are a gas chromatograph (GC), a mass spectrometer (MS), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). These together with supporting sample manipulation and gas processing devices are designed to analyze either the atmospheric composition or gases extracted from solid phase samples such as rocks and fines. For example, one of the core SAM experiment sequences heats a small powdered sample of a Mars rock or soil from ambient to -1300 K in a controlled manner while continuously monitoring evolved gases. This is followed by GCMS analysis of released organics. The general chemical survey is complemented by a specific search for molecular classes that may be relevant to life including atmospheric methane and its carbon isotope with the TLS and biomarkers with the GCMS.

  15. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI): Complete Flight Data Set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheatwood, F. McNeil; Bose, Deepak; Karlgaard, Christopher D.; Kuhl, Christopher A.; Santos, Jose A.; Wright, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry vehicle (EV) successfully entered the Mars atmosphere and landed the Curiosity rover safely on the surface of the planet in Gale crater on August 6, 2012. MSL carried the MSL Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Instrumentation (MEDLI). MEDLI delivered the first in-depth understanding of the Mars entry environments and the response of the entry vehicle to those environments. MEDLI was comprised of three major subsystems: the Mars Entry Atmospheric Data System (MEADS), the MEDLI Integrated Sensor Plugs (MISP), and the Sensor Support Electronics (SSE). Ultimately, the entire MEDLI sensor suite consisting of both MEADS and MISP provided measurements that were used for trajectory reconstruction and engineering validation of aerodynamic, atmospheric, and thermal protection system (TPS) models in addition to Earth-based systems testing procedures. This report contains in-depth hardware descriptions, performance evaluation, and data information of the three MEDLI subsystems.

  16. Hillary Clinton visits Pathfinder projects in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    In October 1995, US First Lady Hillary Clinton visited a maternity hospital in Salvador, Brazil, in which a family planning (FP)/reproductive health program has been administered by Pathfinder International since 1981 with funding from USAID. During her tour of the facility, Clinton learned about the high degree of unmet need for FP in the region which results from a lack of sufficient resources to meet demand. Clinton, in turn, praised the state of Bahia for its emphasis on FP in low-income areas.

  17. The LISA Pathfinder DMU and Radiation Monitor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canizares, P; Conchillo, A; Gesa, L; Lloro, I; Lobo, A; Mateos, I; Sopuerta, Carlos F [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C5 parell, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Chmeissani, M [Institut de Fisica d' Altes Energies (IFAE), Edifici CN, UAB Campus, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Diaz-Aguilo, M; GarcIa-Berro, E; Gibert, F [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Grimani, C [Universita degli Studi di Urbino, MFI Department, Via Santa Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino, and INFN Florence (Italy); Nofrarias, M [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Callinstrasse 38, D-30167 Hannover (Germany); Ramos-Castro, J [Departament d' Enginyeria Electronica, UPC, Campus Nord, Edifici C4, Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Sanjuan, J [Department of Physics, University of Florida, NPB-22258 PO Box 118 440, Gainesville, FL 32611-8440 (United States); Araujo, H M; Wass, P, E-mail: lobo@ieec.fcr.es [High Energy Physics Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom)

    2011-05-07

    The LISA Pathfinder DMU (Data Management Unit) flight model was formally accepted by ESA and ASD on 11 February 2010, after all hardware and software tests had been successfully completed. The diagnostics items are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2010. In this paper, we review the requirements and performance of this instrumentation, specially focusing on the Radiation Monitor and the DMU, as well as the status of their programmed use during mission operations, on which work is ongoing at the time of writing.

  18. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

    The joint research interchange effort was directed at the following principal areas: u further development of NASA-Ames' Mars Micro-meteorology mission concept as a viable NASA space mission especially with regard to the science and instrument specifications u interaction with the flight team from NASA's New Millennium 'Deep-Space 2' (DS-2) mission with regard to selection and design of micro-pressure sensors for Mars u further development of micro-pressure sensors suitable for Mars The research work undertaken in the course of the Joint Research Interchange should be placed in the context of an ongoing planetary exploration objective to characterize the climate system on Mars. In particular, a network of small probes globally-distributed on the surface of the planet has often been cited as the only way to address this particular science goal. A team from NASA Ames has proposed such a mission called the Micrometeorology mission, or 'Micro-met' for short. Surface pressure data are all that are required, in principle, to calculate the Martian atmospheric circulation, provided that simultaneous orbital measurements of the atmosphere are also obtained. Consequently, in the proposed Micro-met mission a large number of landers would measure barometric pressure at various locations around Mars, each equipped with a micro-pressure sensor. Much of the time on the JRI was therefore spent working with the engineers and scientists concerned with Micro-met to develop this particular mission concept into a more realistic proposition.

  19. The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Christopher R.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Arvey, Robert; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Chalmers, Robert A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Errigo, Therese; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The SAM investigation is designed to contribute substantially to the mission goal of quantitatively assessing the habitability of Mars as an essential step in the search for past or present life on Mars. SAM is a 40 kg instrument suite located in the interior of MSL's Curiosity rover. The SAM instruments are a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and a 6-column gas chromatograph all coupled through solid and gas processing systems to provide complementary information on the same samples. The SAM suite is able to measure a suite of light isotopes and to analyze volatiles directly from the atmosphere or thermally released from solid samples. In addition to measurements of simple inorganic compounds and noble gases SAM will conduct a sensitive search for organic compounds with either thermal or chemical extraction from sieved samples delivered by the sample processing system on the Curiosity rover's robotic arm,

  20. Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aplin, Karen; Fischer, Georg

    2018-02-01

    Electricity occurs in atmospheres across the Solar System planets and beyond, spanning spectacular lightning displays in clouds of water or dust, to more subtle effects of charge and electric fields. On Earth, lightning is likely to have existed for a long time, based on evidence from fossilized lightning strikes in ancient rocks, but observations of planetary lightning are necessarily much more recent. The generation and observations of lightning and other atmospheric electrical processes, both from within-atmosphere measurements, and spacecraft remote sensing, can be readily studied using a comparative planetology approach, with Earth as a model. All atmospheres contain charged molecules, electrons, and/or molecular clusters created by ionization from cosmic rays and other processes, which may affect an atmosphere's energy balance both through aerosol and cloud formation, and direct absorption of radiation. Several planets are anticipated to host a "global electric circuit" by analogy with the circuit occurring on Earth, where thunderstorms drive current of ions or electrons through weakly conductive parts of the atmosphere. This current flow may further modulate an atmosphere's radiative properties through cloud and aerosol effects. Lightning could potentially have implications for life through its effects on atmospheric chemistry and particle transport. It has been observed on many of the Solar System planets (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and it may also be present on Venus and Mars. On Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, lightning is thought to be generated in deep water and ice clouds, but discharges can be generated in dust, as for terrestrial volcanic lightning, and on Mars. Other, less well-understood mechanisms causing discharges in non-water clouds also seem likely. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets has recently led to a range of further exotic possibilities for atmospheric electricity, though lightning detection beyond our Solar System

  1. Propulsive Maneuver Design for the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raofi, Behzad; Bhat, Ramachandra S.; Helfrich, Cliff

    2008-01-01

    On May 25, 2008, the Mars Phoenix Lander (PHX) successfully landed in the northern planes of Mars in order to continue and complement NASA's "follow the water" theme as its predecessor Mars missions, such as Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Exploration Rovers, have done in recent years. Instruments on the lander, through a robotic arm able to deliver soil samples to the deck, will perform in-situ and remote-sensing investigations to characterize the chemistry of materials at the local surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. Lander instruments will also identify the potential history of key indicator elements of significance to the biological potential of Mars, including potential organics within any accessible water ice. Precise trajectory control and targeting were necessary in order to achieve the accurate atmospheric entry conditions required for arriving at the desired landing site. The challenge for the trajectory control maneuver design was to meet or exceed these requirements in the presence of spacecraft limitations as well as other mission constraints. This paper describes the strategies used, including the specialized targeting specifically developed for PHX, in order to design and successfully execute the propulsive maneuvers that delivered the spacecraft to its targeted landing site while satisfying the planetary protection requirements in the presence of flight system constraints.

  2. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    There is persuasive evidence that liquid water has been a significant geological processes on Mars. In particular, evidence suggests that one of the major epochs of liquid water on Mars was during and after the late heavy bombardment. During this time life originated on Earth and may have originated on Mars as well. Liquid water per se, independent of models for the temperature or atmospheric pressure, motivate the question of life. Promising sites for searching for evidence of life on Mars include dry lake beds, the ancient cratered terrain, and the South Polar permafrost. Life on Earth in environments that are analogous to those that might have provided the final refuge for life on Mars provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of past life.

  3. GRS vs. OMS Calibration in LISA Pathfinder Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshksar, Neda; Ferraioli, Luigi; Mance, Davor; ten Pierick, Jan; Zweifel, Peter; Giardini, Domenico; ">LISA Pathfinder colaboration, Pathfinder spacecraft the test mass displacement along the main measurement axis is sensed in two different ways: optically and electrostatically. We have monitored the relative calibration between the two measurements during the mission science phase. The trend sensitivity of the relative calibration has been computed for different physical parameters, such as temperature, magnetic field, test mass bias voltage and current.

  4. Life On Mars: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Cyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Cyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued

  5. A New Vehicle for Planetary Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    The surface of Mars is currently being explored with a combination of orbiting spacecraft, stationary landers and wheeled rovers. However, only a small portion of the Martian surface has undergone in-situ examination. Landing sites must be chosen to insure the safety of the vehicles (and human explorers) and provide the greatest opportunity for mission success. While wheeled rovers provide the ability to move beyond the landing sites, they are also limited in their ability to traverse rough terrain; therefore, many scientifically interesting sites are inaccessible by current vehicles. In order to access these sites, a capability is needed that can transport scientific instruments across varied Martian terrain. A new "rover" concept for exploring the Martian surface, known as the Mars Tumbleweed, will derive mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, much like the Tumbleweed plant does here on Earth. Using the winds on Mars, a Tumbleweed rover could conceivably travel great distances and cover broad areas of the planetary surface. Tumbleweed vehicles would be designed to withstand repeated bouncing and rolling on the rock covered Martian surface and may be durable enough to explore areas on Mars such as gullies and canyons that are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Achieving Mars wind-driven mobility; however, is not a minor task. The density of the atmosphere on Mars is approximately 60-80 times less than that on Earth and wind speeds are typically around 2-5 m/s during the day, with periodic winds of 10 m/s to 20 m/s (in excess of 25 m/s during seasonal dust storms). However, because of the Martian atmosphere#s low density, even the strongest winds on Mars equate to only a gentle breeze on Earth. Tumbleweed rovers therefore need to be relatively large (4-6 m in diameter), very lightweight (10-20 kg), and equipped with lightweight, low-power instruments. This paper provides an overview of the Tumbleweed concept, presents several notional design

  6. A Reexamination of Deuterium Fractionation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathare, A.; Paige, D. A.

    1997-07-01

    The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the Martian atmosphere is enhanced by a factor of 5 with respect to the terrestrial value, probably due to fractionation associated with thermal Jeans escape from the top of the atmosphere. Theoretical analyses of the relative efficiency of H and D escape have suggested that the deuterium enrichment implies Mars has outgassed the vast majority of its H2O and that the Martian atmosphere is presently not exchanging water with a juvenile reservoir. However, measurements of high and variable D/H values within hydrous minerals in SNC meteorites strongly suggest that mixing between the atmosphere and juvenile water has taken place. Furthermore, the lack of any observed enrichment of atmospheric (18) O with respect to (16) O, in spite of fractionating nonthermal escape mechanisms, indicates buffering by some juvenile source of oxygen, most probably in the form of a surface or subsurface reservoir of water. We propose that this apparent paradox in the interpretation of isotopic hydrogen and oxygen fractionation --or lack thereof-- can be resolved by re-examining the standard model of deuterium fractionation efficiency on Mars. Specifically, we demonstrate the importance of using upper atmospheric temperatures more representative of the range experienced by the Martian exosphere over the course of the solar cycle. Preliminary calculations involving changes in effusion velocity and diffusive separation as a function of exospheric temperature indicate that incorporating these more representative lower exospheric temperatures will reduce the relative efficiency of D escape, in which case the observed enrichment of deuterium can indeed result from exchange with a juvenile source of water. We are in the process of confirming these computations with a one-dimensional upper atmospheric photochemical model that considers the effects of changing solar activity and exospheric temperature on ionospheric composition. If our initial calculations are

  7. Solar radiation on Mars: Stationary photovoltaic array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Sherman, I.; Landis, G. A.

    1993-01-01

    Solar energy is likely to be an important power source for surface-based operation on Mars. Photovoltaic cells offer many advantages. In this article we have presented analytical expressions and solar radiation data for stationary flat surfaces (horizontal and inclined) as a function of latitude, season and atmospheric dust load (optical depth). The diffuse component of the solar radiation on Mars can be significant, thus greatly affecting the optimal inclination angle of the photovoltaic surface.

  8. Disturbance observer based model predictive control for accurate atmospheric entry of spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chao; Yang, Jun; Li, Shihua; Li, Qi; Guo, Lei

    2018-05-01

    Facing the complex aerodynamic environment of Mars atmosphere, a composite atmospheric entry trajectory tracking strategy is investigated in this paper. External disturbances, initial states uncertainties and aerodynamic parameters uncertainties are the main problems. The composite strategy is designed to solve these problems and improve the accuracy of Mars atmospheric entry. This strategy includes a model predictive control for optimized trajectory tracking performance, as well as a disturbance observer based feedforward compensation for external disturbances and uncertainties attenuation. 500-run Monte Carlo simulations show that the proposed composite control scheme achieves more precise Mars atmospheric entry (3.8 km parachute deployment point distribution error) than the baseline control scheme (8.4 km) and integral control scheme (5.8 km).

  9. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

  10. Cloud Formation and Water Transport on Mars after Major Outflow Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, D. L.; Colaprete, A.; Kreslavsky, M.; Kahre, M. A.; Asphaug, E.

    2012-01-01

    The triggering of a robust water cycle on Mars might have been caused by the gigantic flooding events evidenced by outflow channels. We use the Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) to test this hypothesis, studying how these presumably abrupt eruptions of water might have affected the climate of Mars in the past. We model where the water ultimately went as part of a transient atmospheric water cycle, to answer questions including: (1) Can sudden introductions of large amounts of water on the Martian surface lead to a new equilibrated water cycle? (2) What are the roles of water vapor and water ice clouds to sudden changes in the water cycle on Mars? (3) How are radiative feedbacks involved with this? (4) What is the ultimate fate of the outflow water? (5) Can we tie certain geological features to outflow water redistributed by the atmosphere?

  11. Surface Properties and Characteristics of Mars Landing Sites from Remote Sensing Data and Ground Truth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.; Haldemann, A. F.; Simpson, R. A.; Furgason, R. L.; Putzig, N. E.; Huertas, A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Heet, T.; Bell, J. F.; Mellon, M. T.; McEwen, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    Surface characteristics at the six sites where spacecraft have successfully landed on Mars can be related favorably to their signatures in remotely sensed data from orbit and from the Earth. Comparisons of the rock abundance, types and coverage of soils (and their physical properties), thermal inertia, albedo, and topographic slope all agree with orbital remote sensing estimates and show that the materials at the landing sites can be used as ground truth for the materials that make up most of the equatorial and mid- to moderately high-latitude regions of Mars. The six landing sites sample two of the three dominant global thermal inertia and albedo units that cover ~80% of the surface of Mars. The Viking, Spirit, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix landing sites are representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and intermediate to high albedo unit that is dominated by crusty, cloddy, blocky or frozen soils (duricrust that may be layered) with various abundances of rocks and bright dust. The Opportunity landing site is representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and low albedo surface unit that is relatively dust free and composed of dark eolian sand and/or increased abundance of rocks. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques in the equatorial regions agrees with that determined from rock counts at the surface and varies from ~3-20% at the landing sites. The size-frequency distributions of rocks >1.5 m diameter fully resolvable in HiRISE images of the landing sites follow exponential models developed from lander measurements of smaller rocks and are continuous with these rock distributions indicating both are part of the same population. Interpretation of radar data confirms the presence of load bearing, relatively dense surfaces controlled by the soil type at the landing sites, regional rock populations from diffuse scattering similar to those observed directly at the sites, and root-mean-squared slopes that compare favorably

  12. The Physics, Biology, and Environmental Ethics of Making Mars Habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Marinova, Margarita M.

    2001-03-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules - carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen - needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take ~100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take >100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  13. The physics, biology, and environmental ethics of making mars habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Marinova, M. M.

    2001-01-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules--carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen--needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take approximately 100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take > 100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  14. Russian contribution to the ExoMars project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenyi, L.; Korablev, O.; Rodionov, D.; Khartov, V.; Martynov, M.; Lukyanchikov, A.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars ESA-led mission is dedicated to study of Mars and in particular its habitability. It consists of two launches, one planned in 2016 to deliver to Mars a telecommunication and science orbiter Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and a demonstrator of entry into the atmosphere and landing on the Mars surface, Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM). In 2018 a rover with drilling capability will be delivered to the surface of Mars. Since 2012 this mission, previously planned in cooperation with NASA is being developed in cooperation with Roscosmos. Both launches are planned with Proton-Breeze. In 2016 Russia contributes a significant part of the TGO science payload. In 2018 the landing will be provided by a joint effort capitalizing on the EDM technology. Russia contributes few science instruments for the rover, and leads the development of a long-living geophysical platform on the surface of Mars. Russian science instruments for TGO, the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) and the Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutrons Detector (FREND) constituent a half of its scientific payload, European instrument being NOMAD for mapping and detection of trace species, and CASSIS camera for high-resolution mapping of target areas. The ACS package consists of three spectrometers covering spectral range from 0.7 to 17 μm with spectral resolving power reaching 50000. It is dedicated to studies of the composition of the Martian atmosphere and the Martian climate. FREND is a neutron detector with a collimation module, which significantly narrows the field of view of the instrument, allowing to create higher resolution maps of hydrogen-abundant regions on Mars. The spatial resolution of FREND will be ~40 km from the 400- km TGO orbit that is ~10 times better than HEND on Mars-Odyssey. Additionally, FREND includes a dosimeter module for monitoring radiation levels in orbit around Mars. In the 2018 mission, Russia takes the major responsibility of the descent module. The primary

  15. Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2014-03-15

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10{sup −6} mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  16. Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-15

    REPORT Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: We have transformed a plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, with the...298 (Rev 8/98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 - 31-Mar-2012 Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane Report Title ABSTRACT We have transformed a...DD882) Scientific Progress See attachment Technology Transfer 1    Final Report for DARPA project W911NF1010027  Phytoremediation  of Atmospheric

  17. Planetary Surface-Atmosphere Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Bak, E.; Finster, K.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Holstein-Rathlou, C.; Knak Jensen, S.; Nørnberg, P.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary bodies having an accessible solid surface and significant atmosphere, such as Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, share common phenomenology. Specifically wind induced transport of surface materials, subsequent erosion, the generation and transport of solid aerosols which leads both to chemical and electrostatic interaction with the atmosphere. How these processes affect the evolution of the atmosphere and surface will be discussed in the context of general planetology and the latest laboratory studies will be presented.

  18. GRS vs. OMS Calibration in LISA Pathfinder Data Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meshksar, Neda; Ferraioli, Luigi; Mance, Davor; Zweifel, Peter; Giardini, Domenico; Ten Pierick, Jan

    2017-01-01

    On board LISA Pathfinder spacecraft the test mass displacement along the main measurement axis is sensed in two different ways: optically and electrostatically. We have monitored the relative calibration between the two measurements during the mission science phase. The trend sensitivity of the relative calibration has been computed for different physical parameters, such as temperature, magnetic field, test mass bias voltage and current. (paper)

  19. MGS Radio Science Measurements of Atmospheric Dynamics on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.

    2001-12-01

    The Sun-synchronous, polar orbit of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) provides frequent opportunities for radio occultation sounding of the neutral atmosphere. The basic result of each experiment is a profile of pressure and temperature versus planetocentric radius and geopotential. More than 4000 profiles were obtained during the 687-day mapping phase of the mission, and additional observations are underway. These measurements allow detailed characterization of planetary-scale dynamics, including stationary planetary (or Rossby) waves and transient waves produced by instability. For example, both types of dynamics were observed near 67° S during midwinter of the southern hemisphere (Ls=134° --160° ). Planetary waves are the most prominent dynamical feature in this subset of data. At zonal wave number s=1, both the temperature and geopotential fields tilt westward with increasing height, as expected for vertically-propagating planetary waves forced at the surface. The wave-2 structure is more nearly barotropic. The amplitude in geopotential height at Ls=150° increases from ~200 m near the surface to ~700 m at 10 Pa. The corresponding meridional wind speed increases from ~5 m s-1 near the surface to ~20 m s-1 at 10 Pa. Traveling ``baroclinic'' waves also appear intermittently during this interval. The dominant mode has a period of ~2 sols, s=3, and a peak amplitude of ~7 K at 300 Pa. Stong zonal variations in eddy amplitude signal the presence of a possible ``storm zone'' at 150° --330° E longitude. This talk will include other examples of these phenomena as well as comparisons with computer simulations by a Martian general circulation model (MGCM).

  20. The Role of APEX as a Pathfinder for AtLAST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrowski, Friedrich

    2018-01-01

    Now more than 12 years in operation, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) 12 m submillimeter telescope has significantly contributed to a wide variety of submillimeter astronomy science areas, ranging from the discoveries of new molecules to large and deep imaging of the submillimeter sky. While ALMA operation is in full swing, APEX is strengthening its role not only as pathfinder for studying large source samples and spatial scales to prepare detailed high angular resolution ALMA follow ups, but also as fast response instruments to complement new results from ALMA. Furthermore, APEX ensures southern hemisphere access for submillimeter projects complementing archival Herschel research as well as new SOFIA science. With new broadband and multipixel receivers as well as large cameras for wide-field continuum imaging, APEX will pave the way towards the science envisioned with ATLAST. In this contribution, the current status and ongoing upgrades of APEX will be discussed, with an emphasis on the importance of continuous cutting edge science and state-of-the-art instrumentation that will bridge the gap towards ATLAST.

  1. An Orbit Propagation Software for Mars Orbiting Spacecraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available An orbit propagation software for the Mars orbiting spacecraft has been developed and verified in preparations for the future Korean Mars missions. Dynamic model for Mars orbiting spacecraft has been studied, and Mars centered coordinate systems are utilized to express spacecraft state vectors. Coordinate corrections to the Mars centered coordinate system have been made to adjust the effects caused by Mars precession and nutation. After spacecraft enters Sphere of Influence (SOI of the Mars, the spacecraft experiences various perturbation effects as it approaches to Mars. Every possible perturbation effect is considered during integrations of spacecraft state vectors. The Mars50c gravity field model and the Mars-GRAM 2001 model are used to compute perturbation effects due to Mars gravity field and Mars atmospheric drag, respectively. To compute exact locations of other planets, JPL's DE405 ephemerides are used. Phobos and Deimos's ephemeris are computed using analytical method because their informations are not released with DE405. Mars Global Surveyor's mapping orbital data are used to verify the developed propagator performances. After one Martian day propagation (12 orbital periods, the results show about maximum ±5 meter errors, in every position state components(radial, cross-track and along-track, when compared to these from the Astrogator propagation in the Satellite Tool Kit. This result shows high reliability of the developed software which can be used to design near Mars missions for Korea, in future.

  2. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  3. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Paul M.; Mardesich, Nick; Ewell, Richard C.; Mueller, Robert L.; Endicter, Scott; Aiken, Daniel; Edmondson, Kenneth; Fetze, Chris

    2006-01-01

    Solar cells used for Mars surface applications have been commercial space qualified AM0 optimized devices. Due to the Martian atmosphere, these cells are not optimized for the Mars surface and as a result operate at a reduced efficiency. A multi-year program, MOST (Mars Optimized Solar Cell Technology), managed by JPL and funded by NASA Code S, was initiated in 2004, to develop tools to modify commercial AM0 cells for the Mars surface solar spectrum and to fabricate Mars optimized devices for verification. This effort required defining the surface incident spectrum, developing an appropriate laboratory solar simulator measurement capability, and to develop and test commercial cells modified for the Mars surface spectrum. This paper discusses the program, including results for the initial modified cells. Simulated Mars surface measurements of MER cells and Phoenix Lander cells (2007 launch) are provided to characterize the performance loss for those missions. In addition, the performance of the MER rover solar arrays is updated to reflect their more than two (2) year operation.

  4. Constraints on Mars Hydrogen loss from MAVEN: processes and present-day rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffin, M.; Deighan, J.; Stewart, I. F.; Schneider, N. M.; Chaufray, J. Y.; Jain, S.; Thiemann, E.; Mayyasi, M.; Clarke, J. T.; Crismani, M. M. J.; Stiepen, A.; Montmessin, F.; Epavier, F.; McClintock, B.; Holsclaw, G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of Mars today is dessicated and oxidized, despite a large body of evidence indicating that the planet was wet and redox neutral early in its history. H escape has the potential to explain both conditions, but until recently there was no long-term monitoring of H loss at Mars. The presence of MAVEN at Mars since late 2014 has established a seasonal record of H escape via airglow measurements of coronal hydrogen and the flux of energetic particles whose production is mediated by the H corona. H escape appears from multiple proxies to be more than an order of magnitude larger in Southern summer than Northern summer, potentially as a consequence of enhanced water transport to the middle atmosphere. This newly described escape channel potentially dominates water loss from Mars today and over its history, and may be the most important control on the chemistry of the atmosphere and surface. I will present an overview of MAVEN measurements of H loss, focusing on contributions made by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, and discuss how photochemical models of the atmosphere may need to be adjusted to incorporate new mechanisms for H loss.

  5. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    trajectory with Mars, on 20 December. It will enter the Martian atmosphere on Christmas day, after five days’ ballistic flight. As it descends, the lander will be protected in the first instance by a heat-shield; two parachutes will then open to provide further deceleration. With its weight down to 30 kg at most, it will land in an equatorial region known as Isidis Planitia. Three airbags will soften the final impact. This crucial phase in the mission will last just ten minutes, from entry into the atmosphere to landing. Meanwhile, the Mars Express probe proper will have performed a series of manœuvres through to a capture orbit. At this point its main motor will fire, providing the deceleration needed to acquire a highly elliptical transition orbit. Attaining the final operational orbit will call for four more firings. This 7.5 hour quasi-polar orbit will take the probe to within 250 km of the planet. Getting to know Mars - inside and out Having landed on Mars, Beagle 2 - named after HMS Beagle, on which Charles Darwin voyaged round the world, developing his evolutionary theory - will deploy its solar panels and the payload adjustable workbench, a set of instruments (two cameras, a microscope and two spectrometers) mounted on the end of a robot arm. It will proceed to explore its new environment, gathering geological and mineralogical data that should, for the first time, allow rock samples to be dated with absolute accuracy. Using a grinder and corer, and the “mole”, a wire-guided mini-robot able to borrow its way under rocks and dig the ground to a depth of 2 m, samples will be collected and then examined in the GAP automated mini-laboratory, equipped with 12 furnaces and a mass spectrometer. The spectrometer will have the job of detecting possible signs of life and dating rock samples. The Mars Express orbiter will carry out a detailed investigation of the planet, pointing its instruments at Mars for between half-an-hour and an hour per orbit and then, for the

  6. Traveling Weather Disturbances in Mars Southern Extratropics: Sway of the Great Impact Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.

    2016-01-01

    As on Earth, between late autumn and early spring on Mars middle and high latitudes within its atmosphere support strong mean thermal contrasts between the equator and poles (i.e. "baroclinicity"). Data collected during the Viking era and observations from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate that this strong baroclinicity supports vigorous, large-scale eastward traveling weather systems (i.e. transient synoptic-period waves). Within a rapidly rotating, differentially heated, shallow atmosphere such as on Earth and Mars, such large-scale, extratropical weather disturbances are critical components of the global circulation. These wave-like disturbances act as agents in the transport of heat and momentum, and moreover generalized tracer quantities (e.g., atmospheric dust, water vapor and water-ice clouds) between low and high latitudes of the planet. The character of large-scale, traveling extratropical synoptic-period disturbances in Mars' southern hemisphere during late winter through early spring is investigated using a high-resolution Mars global climate model (Mars GCM). This global circulation model imposes interactively lifted (and radiatively active) dust based on a threshold value of the instantaneous surface stress. Compared to observations, the model exhibits a reasonable "dust cycle" (i.e. globally averaged, a more dusty atmosphere during southern spring and summer occurs). In contrast to their northern-hemisphere counterparts, southern synoptic-period weather disturbances and accompanying frontal waves have smaller meridional and zonal scales, and are far less intense synoptically. Influences of the zonally asymmetric (i.e. east-west varying) topography on southern large-scale weather disturbances are examined. Simulations that adapt Mars' full topography compared to simulations that utilize synthetic topographies emulating essential large-scale features of the southern middle latitudes indicate that Mars

  7. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achieve the scientific investigation of the terrain, soil characteristics, material composition, magnetic field, atmosphere, etc. The landing process is divided into three phases (entry phase, parachute descent phase and powered descent phase, which are full of risks. There exit lots of indefinite parameters and design constrain to affect the selection of the landing sites and phase switch (mortaring the parachute, separating the heat shield and cutting off the parachute. A number of new technologies (disk-gap-band parachute, guidance and navigation, etc. need to be developed. Mars and Earth have gravity and atmosphere conditions that are significantly different from one another. Meaningful environmental conditions cannot be recreated terrestrially on earth. A full-scale flight validation on earth is difficult. Therefore the end-to-end simulation and some critical subsystem test must be considered instead. The challenges above and the corresponding design solutions are introduced in this paper, which can provide reference for the Mars exploration mission.

  8. Measurements in interplanetary space and in the Martian upper atmosphere with a hydrogen absorption-cell spectrophotometer for Lα-radiation on-board Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babichenko, S.I.; Deregusov, E.V.; Kurt, V.G.; Romanova, N.N.; Skljankin, V.A.; Smirnov, A.S.; Bertaux, J.J.; Blamont, J.

    1977-01-01

    An ultraviolet spectrophotometer UFS-2, designed to measure radiation of atomic hydrogen in the Lα-line, was installed onboard the interplanetary Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes launched in August 1973. The absorption cell which was used for the first time outside the hydrogen geocorona allowed direct temperature measurements of neutral interstellar hydrogen near the Sun and in the upper Martian atmosphere. (Auth.)

  9. A Little Vacation on Mars: Mars Simulation Microbial Challenge Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P.; Todd, P.; Van De Camp, J.; Northup, D.; Spilde, M.

    2008-06-01

    Communities of microbial organisms isolated from a variety of extreme environments were subjected to 1 to 5 weeks of simulated Martian environmental conditions using the Mars Environment Simulation Chamber at the Techshot, Inc. facility in Greenville, Indiana. The goal of the overall experiment program was to assess survival of test Earth organisms under Mars full spectrum sunlight, low-latitude daily temperature profile and various Mars-atmosphere pressures (~50 mbar to 500 mbar, 100% CO2) and low moisture content. Organisms surviving after 5 weeks at 100 mbar included those from gypsum surface fracture communities in a Permian aged evaporite basin, desert varnish on andesite lavas around a manganese mine, and iron and manganese oxidizing organisms isolated from two caves in Mew Mexico. Phylogenetic DNA analysis revealed strains of cyanobacteria, bacterial genera (present in all surviving communities) Asticacaulis, Achromobacter, Comamonas, Pantoea, Verrucomicrobium, Bacillus, Gemmatimonas, Actinomyces, and others. At least one microcolonial fungal strain from a desert varnish community and at least one strain from Utah survived simulations. Strains related to the unusual cave bacterial group Bacteroidetes are present in survivor communities that resist isolation into pure culture implying that their consortial relationships may be critical to their survival.

  10. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project was established to build and demonstrate a methane/oxygen propellant production system in a Mars analog environment. Proving a propellant production...

  11. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  12. On the paleo-magnetospheres of Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherf, Manuel; Khodachenko, Maxim; Alexeev, Igor; Belenkaya, Elena; Blokhina, Marina; Johnstone, Colin; Tarduno, John; Lammer, Helmut; Tu, Lin; Guedel, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    The intrinsic magnetic field of a terrestrial planet is considered to be an important factor for the evolution of terrestrial atmospheres. This is in particular relevant for early stages of the solar system, in which the solar wind as well as the EUV flux from the young Sun were significantly stronger than at present-day. We therefore will present simulations of the paleo-magnetospheres of ancient Earth and Mars, which were performed for ˜4.1 billion years ago, i.e. the Earth's late Hadean eon and Mars' early Noachian. These simulations were performed with specifically adapted versions of the Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model (PMM) of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Moscow State University, which serves as ISO-standard for the Earth's magnetic field (see e.g. Alexeev et al., 2003). One of the input parameters into our model is the ancient solar wind pressure. This is derived from a newly developed solar/stellar wind evolution model, which is strongly dependent on the initial rotation rate of the early Sun (Johnstone et al., 2015). Another input parameter is the ancient magnetic dipole field. In case of Earth this is derived from measurements of the paleomagnetic field strength by Tarduno et al., 2015. These data from zircons are varying between 0.12 and 1.0 of today's magnetic field strength. For Mars the ancient magnetic field is derived from the remanent magnetization in the Martian crust as measured by the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER experiment. These data together with dynamo theory are indicating an ancient Martian dipole field strength in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 of the present-day terrestrial dipole field. For the Earth our simulations show that the paleo-magnetosphere during the late Hadean eon was significantly smaller than today, with a standoff-distance rs ranging from ˜3.4 to 8 Re, depending on the input parameters. These results also have implications for the early terrestrial atmosphere. Due to the significantly higher EUV flux, the

  13. Water extraction on Mars for an expanding human colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralphs, M; Franz, B; Baker, T; Howe, S

    2015-11-01

    In-situ water extraction is necessary for an extended human presence on Mars. This study looks at the water requirements of an expanding human colony on Mars and the general systems needed to supply that water from the martian atmosphere and regolith. The proposed combination of systems in order to supply the necessary water includes a system similar to Honeybee Robotics' Mobile In-Situ Water Extractor (MISWE) that uses convection, a system similar to MISWE but that directs microwave energy down a borehole, a greenhouse or hothouse type system, and a system similar to the Mars Atmospheric Resource Recovery System (MARRS). It is demonstrated that a large water extraction system that can take advantage of large deposits of water ice at site specific locations is necessary to keep up with the demands of a growing colony. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Revised electrostatic model of the LISA Pathfinder inertial sensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, Nico [Astrium GmbH, 88039 Friedrichshafen (Germany); Fichter, Walter, E-mail: nico.brandt@astrium.eads.ne [iFR, Universitaet Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 7a, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-03-01

    A comprehensive electrostatic finite-element (FE) analysis of the LISA Pathfinder Inertial Sensor (IS) has been carried out at Astrium GmbH. Starting with a detailed geometrical model of the IS housing and test mass (TM) flight units, FE results were derived from multiple analyses runs applying the Maxwell 3D field simulation software. The electrostatic forces and torques on the TM in 6DoF, as well as all non-negligible capacitances between the TM, the 18 electrodes, and the housing, have been extracted for different TM translations and rotations. The results of the FE analyses were expected to confirm the existing IS electrostatic model predictions used for performance analysis, simulations, and on-board algorithms. Major discrepancies were found, however, between the results and the model used so far. In general, FE results give considerably larger capacitance values than the equivalent infinite non-parallel plate estimates. In contrast, the FE derived forces and torques are in general significantly lower compared to the analytic IS electrostatic model predictions. In this paper, these results are discussed in detail and the reasons for the deviations are elaborated. Based on these results, an adapted analytic IS electrostatic model is proposed that reflects the electrostatic forces, torques, and stiffness values in the LISA Pathfinder IS significantly more accurate.

  15. Revised electrostatic model of the LISA Pathfinder inertial sensor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, Nico; Fichter, Walter

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive electrostatic finite-element (FE) analysis of the LISA Pathfinder Inertial Sensor (IS) has been carried out at Astrium GmbH. Starting with a detailed geometrical model of the IS housing and test mass (TM) flight units, FE results were derived from multiple analyses runs applying the Maxwell 3D field simulation software. The electrostatic forces and torques on the TM in 6DoF, as well as all non-negligible capacitances between the TM, the 18 electrodes, and the housing, have been extracted for different TM translations and rotations. The results of the FE analyses were expected to confirm the existing IS electrostatic model predictions used for performance analysis, simulations, and on-board algorithms. Major discrepancies were found, however, between the results and the model used so far. In general, FE results give considerably larger capacitance values than the equivalent infinite non-parallel plate estimates. In contrast, the FE derived forces and torques are in general significantly lower compared to the analytic IS electrostatic model predictions. In this paper, these results are discussed in detail and the reasons for the deviations are elaborated. Based on these results, an adapted analytic IS electrostatic model is proposed that reflects the electrostatic forces, torques, and stiffness values in the LISA Pathfinder IS significantly more accurate.

  16. Low-latency Science Exploration of Planetary Bodies: a Demonstration Using ISS in Support of Mars Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Valinia, Azita; Bleacher, Jacob; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Garvin, Jim; Petro, Noah

    2014-01-01

    We summarize a proposed experiment to use the International Space Station to formally examine the application and validation of low-latency telepresence for surface exploration from space as an alternative, precursor, or potentially as an adjunct to astronaut "boots on the ground." The approach is to develop and propose controlled experiments, which build upon previous field studies and which will assess the effects of different latencies (0 to 500 msec), task complexity, and alternate forms of feedback to the operator. These experiments serve as an example of a pathfinder for NASA's roadmap of missions to Mars with low-latency telerobotic exploration as a precursor to astronaut's landing on the surface to conduct geological tasks.

  17. ExoMars entry, descent and landing science

    OpenAIRE

    Ferri, F.; Lewis, S. R.; Withers, P.; Aboudan, A.; Bettanini, C.; Colombatti, G.; Debei, S.; Golombek, M.; Harri, A. M.; Komatsu, G.; Leese, M. R.; Mäkinen, T.; Müller-Wodarg, I.; Ori, G. G.; Patel, M. R.

    2011-01-01

    The entry, descent and landing of ExoMars offer a rare (once-per-mission) opportunity to perform in situ investigation of the martian environment over a wide altitude range. Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) measurements can provide essential data for atmospheric scientific investigations.\\ud \\ud We intend to perform atmospheric science measurements by exploiting data from EDLS engineering sensors and exploiting their readings beyond the expected engineering information.

  18. PathfinderTURB: an automatic boundary layer algorithm. Development, validation and application to study the impact on in situ measurements at the Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Poltera

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We present the development of the PathfinderTURB algorithm for the analysis of ceilometer backscatter data and the real-time detection of the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer. Two aerosol layer heights are retrieved by PathfinderTURB: the convective boundary layer (CBL and the continuous aerosol layer (CAL. PathfinderTURB combines the strengths of gradient- and variance-based methods and addresses the layer attribution problem by adopting a geodesic approach. The algorithm has been applied to 1 year of data measured by two ceilometers of type CHM15k, one operated at the Aerological Observatory of Payerne (491 m a.s.l. on the Swiss plateau and one at the Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m a.s.l. in the Swiss Alps. The retrieval of the CBL has been validated at Payerne using two reference methods: (1 manual detections of the CBL height performed by human experts using the ceilometer backscatter data; (2 values of CBL heights calculated using the Richardson's method from co-located radio sounding data. We found average biases as small as 27 m (53 m with respect to reference method 1 (method 2. Based on the excellent agreement between the two reference methods, PathfinderTURB has been applied to the ceilometer data at the mountainous site of the Kleine Scheidegg for the period September 2014 to November 2015. At this site, the CHM15k is operated in a tilted configuration at 71° zenith angle to probe the atmosphere next to the Sphinx Observatory (3580 m a.s.l. on the Jungfraujoch (JFJ. The analysis of the retrieved layers led to the following results: the CAL reaches the JFJ 41 % of the time in summer and 21 % of the time in winter for a total of 97 days during the two seasons. The season-averaged daily cycles show that the CBL height reaches the JFJ only during short periods (4 % of the time, but on 20 individual days in summer and never during winter. During summer in particular, the CBL and the CAL modify the

  19. PathfinderTURB: an automatic boundary layer algorithm. Development, validation and application to study the impact on in situ measurements at the Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltera, Yann; Martucci, Giovanni; Collaud Coen, Martine; Hervo, Maxime; Emmenegger, Lukas; Henne, Stephan; Brunner, Dominik; Haefele, Alexander

    2017-08-01

    We present the development of the PathfinderTURB algorithm for the analysis of ceilometer backscatter data and the real-time detection of the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer. Two aerosol layer heights are retrieved by PathfinderTURB: the convective boundary layer (CBL) and the continuous aerosol layer (CAL). PathfinderTURB combines the strengths of gradient- and variance-based methods and addresses the layer attribution problem by adopting a geodesic approach. The algorithm has been applied to 1 year of data measured by two ceilometers of type CHM15k, one operated at the Aerological Observatory of Payerne (491 m a.s.l.) on the Swiss plateau and one at the Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m a.s.l.) in the Swiss Alps. The retrieval of the CBL has been validated at Payerne using two reference methods: (1) manual detections of the CBL height performed by human experts using the ceilometer backscatter data; (2) values of CBL heights calculated using the Richardson's method from co-located radio sounding data. We found average biases as small as 27 m (53 m) with respect to reference method 1 (method 2). Based on the excellent agreement between the two reference methods, PathfinderTURB has been applied to the ceilometer data at the mountainous site of the Kleine Scheidegg for the period September 2014 to November 2015. At this site, the CHM15k is operated in a tilted configuration at 71° zenith angle to probe the atmosphere next to the Sphinx Observatory (3580 m a.s.l.) on the Jungfraujoch (JFJ). The analysis of the retrieved layers led to the following results: the CAL reaches the JFJ 41 % of the time in summer and 21 % of the time in winter for a total of 97 days during the two seasons. The season-averaged daily cycles show that the CBL height reaches the JFJ only during short periods (4 % of the time), but on 20 individual days in summer and never during winter. During summer in particular, the CBL and the CAL modify the air sampled in situ at JFJ, resulting

  20. The seasonal cycle of water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.

    1985-01-01

    A review of the behavior of water in the Mars atmosphere and subsurface is appropriate now that data from the Mariner and Viking spacecraft have been analyzed and discussed for several years following completion of those missions. Observations and analyses pertinent to the seasonal cycle of water vapor in the atmosphere of Mars are reviewed, with attention toward transport of water and the seasonal exchange of water between the atmosphere and various non-atmospheric reservoirs. Possible seasonally-accessible sources and sinks for water include water ice on or within the seasonal and residual polar caps; surface or subsurface ice in the high-latitude regions of the planet; adsorbed or chemically-bound water within the near-surface regolith; or surface or subsurface liquid water. The stability of water within each of these reservoirs is discussed, as are the mechanisms for driving exchange of the water with the atmosphere and the timescales for exchange. Specific conclusions are reached about the distribution of water and the viability of each mechanism as a seasonal reservoir. Discussion is also included of the behavior of water on longer timescales, driven by the variations in solar forcing due to the quasi-periodic variations of the orbital obliquity. Finally, specific suggestions are made for future observations from spacecraft which would further define or constrain the seasonal cycle of water.

  1. Smectite Formation in Acid Sulfate Environments on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretyazhko, T. S.; Niles, P. B.; Sutter, B.; Clark, J. V.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    Phyllosilicates of the smectite group detected in Noachian and early Hesperian terrains on Mars were hypothesized to form under aqueous conditions that were globally neutral to alkaline. These pH conditions and the presence of a CO2-rich atmosphere should have been favorable for the formation of large carbonate deposits. However, large-scale carbonate deposits have not been detected on Mars. We hypothesized that smectite deposits are consistent with perhaps widespread acidic aqueous conditions that prevented carbonate precipitation. The objective of our work was to investigate smectite formation under acid sulfate conditions in order to provide insight into the possible geochemical conditions required for smectite formation on Mars. Hydrothermal batch incubation experiments were performed with Mars-analogue, glass-rich, basalt simulant in the presence of sulfuric acid of variable concentration.

  2. Symbolic PathFinder: Symbolic Execution of Java Bytecode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasareanu, Corina S.; Rungta, Neha

    2010-01-01

    Symbolic Pathfinder (SPF) combines symbolic execution with model checking and constraint solving for automated test case generation and error detection in Java programs with unspecified inputs. In this tool, programs are executed on symbolic inputs representing multiple concrete inputs. Values of variables are represented as constraints generated from the analysis of Java bytecode. The constraints are solved using off-the shelf solvers to generate test inputs guaranteed to achieve complex coverage criteria. SPF has been used successfully at NASA, in academia, and in industry.

  3. Life on Mars? II. Physical restrictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, R. L.; Banin, A.

    1995-01-01

    The primary physical factors important to life's evolution on a planet include its temperature, pressure and radiation regimes. Temperature and pressure regulate the presence and duration of liquid water on the surface of Mars. The prolonged presence of liquid water is essential for the evolution and sustained presence of life on a planet. It has been postulated that Mars has always been a cold dry planet; it has also been postulated that early mars possessed a dense atmosphere of CO2 (> or = 1 bar) and sufficient water to cut large channels across its surface. The degree to which either of these postulates is true correlates with the suitability of Mars for life's evolution. Although radiation can destroy living systems, the high fluxes of UV radiation on the martian surface do not necessarily stop the origin and early evolution of life. The probability for life to have arisen and evolved to a significant degree on Mars, based on the postulated ranges of early martian physical factors, is almost solely related to the probability of liquid water existing on the planet for at least hundreds of millions to billions of years.

  4. MetBaro - Pressure Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni; Harri, Ari-Matti; Schmidt, Walter; Leinonen, Jussi; Genzer, Maria; Mäkinen, Teemu

    2010-05-01

    MetNet Mars Mission focused for Martian atmospheric science is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called the MetNet Lander (MNL). The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. MetBaro is the pressure sensor of MetNet Lander designed to work on Martian surface. It is based on Barocap® technology developed by Vaisala, Inc. MetBaro is a capacitive type of sensing device where capasitor plates are moved by ambient pressure. MetBaro device consists of two pressure transducers including a total of 4 Barocap® sensor heads of high-stability and high-resolution types. The long-term stability of MetBaro is in order of 20…50 µBar and resolution a few µBar. MetBaro is small, lightweighed and has low power consumption. It weighs about 50g without wires and controlling FPGA, and consumes 15 mW of power. A similar device has successfully flown in Phoenix mission, where it performed months of measurements on Martian ground. Another device is also part of the Mars Science Laboratory REMS instrument (to be launched in 2011).

  5. The Mars Simulation Laboratory, University of Aarhus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Field, D.; Finster, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Nørnberg, P.; Ramsing, N. B.; Uggerhøj, E.

    2001-08-01

    Present day Mars presents an extremely hostile environment to organic material. The average temperature is low (-50C), the atmospheric pressure is also low (7mbar) and there is little water over most of the planet. Chemically the surface is extremely oxidising and no signs of organic material have been detected. There is also a strong component of ultra violet radiation in the Martian sun light, lethal to most organisms. At Aarhus University we have constructed a Mars simulation environment which reproduces the physical, chemical and mineralogical conditions on Mars. It is hoped to set limits on where organic matter (or even life) might exist on Mars, for example at some depth under the surface, beneath the polar ice or within rocks. It is also possible to adjust the conditions in the simulation to investigate the most extreme environments in which organisms can be preserved or still function.

  6. Russian contribution to ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter: Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakun, Alexey; Korablev, Oleg; Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Grigoriev, Alexey; Anufreychik, Konstantin; Fedorova, Anna; Ignatiev, Nikolay; Ivanov, Yuriy; Moshkin, Boris; Kalinnikov, Yuriy; Montmessin, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) is a part of science payload of Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), ExoMars mission. This project developed by European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos). Russian contribution to ExoMars TGO is the Proton rocket and two science instruments ACS (three infrared spectrometers) and FREND (neutron detector). ACS consists of three infrared spectrometers (ACS/NIR, ACS/MIR and ACS/TIRVIM) capable to take spectral measurements from near to thermal infrared range simultaneously or separately. Spectrometric channels of ACS share common mechanical, electrical, and thermal interfaces. Electronic box (ACS/BE) provides to spectrometric channels power and data transfer interfaces. SpaceWire link is used for science data transfer and MIL-1553 link - for commanding and housekeeping data transfer. The NIR channel is an echelle spectrometer with acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for the selection of diffraction orders. ACS NIR is capable to perform nadir and occultation observations. NIR covers the spectral range of 0.7-1.7 μm with resolving power of ~25000. NIR will perform unique for TGO instruments nightglow science (searching for O2, OH, NO nightglow emissions on Mars). From the 1.38 μm band NIR will do water vapour mapping in nadir and H2O vertical profiling in solar occultations. High resolution NIR measurements of 1.27 μm O2(a1Δg) dayglow will supply indirect ozone observations on the dayside on nadir. In solar occultation mode, the O2 vertical profiles will be measured from the surface (in case of low dust activity) to the 40 km altitude based on 0.76 μm absorption band. Together with MIR channel in solar occultation NIR will support the measurements of CO2 density profiles (based on 1.43 μm band) and aerosols characterization from 0.7 to 4 μm. The wide spectral range will allow not just determine aerosol particle sizes and density at different altitudes, but also distinguish between dust and ice particles

  7. Plasma Observations During the Mars Atmospheric Plume Event of March-April 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D. J.; Barabash, S.; Edberg, N. J. T.; Gurnett, D. A.; Hall, B. E. S.; Holmstrom, M.; Lester, M.; Morgan, D. D.; Opgenoorth, H. J.; Ramstad, R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present initial analysis and conclusions from plasma observations made during the reported Mars Dust plume event of March - April 2012. During this period, multiple independent amateur observers detected a localized, high-altitude plume over the Martian dawn terminator [Sanchez-Lavega7 et al., Nature, 2015, doi:10.1038nature14162], the origin of which remains to be explained. We report on in-situ measurements of ionospheric plasma density and solar wind parameters throughout this interval made by Mars Express, obtained over the surface region, but at the opposing terminator. We tentatively conclude that the formation and/or transport of this plume to the altitudes where it was observed could be due in part the result of a large interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) encountering the Martian system. Interestingly, we note that a similar plume detection in May 1997 may also have been associated with a large ICME impact at Mars.

  8. Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Dundas, Colin M.; Edgar, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    The study of Earth's surface and atmosphere evolved from local investigations to the incorporation of remote sensing on a global scale. The study of Mars has followed the opposite progression, beginning with telescopic observations, followed by flyby and orbital missions, landers, and finally rover missions in the last ∼20 years. This varied fleet of spacecraft (seven of which are currently operating as of this writing) provides a rich variety of datasets at spatial scales ranging from microscopic images to synoptic orbital remote sensing.

  9. Mars geodesy, rotation and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenblatt, Pascal; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-01-01

    This review provides explanations of how geodesy, rotation and gravity can be addressed using radioscience data of an orbiter around a planet or of the lander on its surface. The planet Mars is the center of the discussion. The information one can get from orbitography and radioscience in general concerns the global static gravitational field, the time variation of the gravitational field induced by mass exchange between the atmosphere and the ice caps, the time variation of the gravitational field induced by the tides, the secular changes in the spacecraft's orbit induced by the little moons of Mars named Phobos and Deimos, the gravity induced by particular targets, the Martian ephemerides, and Mars' rotation and orientation. The paper addresses as well the determination of the geophysical parameters of Mars and, in particular, the state of Mars' core and its size, which is important for understanding the planet's evolution. Indeed, the state and dimension of the core determined from the moment of inertia and nutation depend in turn on the percentage of light elements in the core as well as on the core temperature, which is related to heat transport in the mantle. For example, the radius of the core has implications for possible mantle convection scenarios and, in particular, for the presence of a perovskite phase transition at the bottom of the mantle. This is also important for our understanding of the large volcanic province Tharsis on the surface of Mars. (invited reviews)

  10. A Web-Portal Based Approach for Knowledge Networks in Support of the Pathfinder Programme

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tolk, Andreas; Turnitsa, Charles D; Oehlund, Gunnar; Sursal, Gokay

    2006-01-01

    Technical activity program MSG-027 "Pathfinder Integration Environment" has the task of bringing the integration knowledge required to build a federation to whatever organization is charged with a federating task...

  11. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Köhler

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD, on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements. We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  12. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, J.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Appel, J. [Kiel Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Experimental and Applied Physics; and others

    2016-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements.We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements.We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  13. Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Elvira, Javier Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Soler, Javier Martín; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-10-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the Martian atmosphere is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity. During the past decade, Earth-based telescopic observations reported “plumes” of methane of tens of parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and those from Mars orbit showed localized patches, prompting speculation of sources from subsurface bacteria or nonbiological sources. From in situ measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on Curiosity using a distinctive spectral pattern specific to methane, we report no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18 ± 0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence level), which reduces the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars and limits the recent contribution from extraplanetary and geologic sources.

  14. Review of A* (A Star Navigation Mesh Pathfinding as the Alternative of Artificial Intelligent for Ghosts Agent on the Pacman Game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moh. Zikky

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Shortest pathfinding problem has become a populer issue in Game’s Artificial Intelligent (AI. This paper discussed the effective way to optimize the shortest pathfinding problem, namely Navigation Mesh (NavMesh. This method is very interesting because it has a large area of implementation, especially in games world. In this paper, NavMesh was implemented by using A* (A star algorithm and examined in Unity 3D game engine. A* was an effective algorithm in shortest pathfinding problem because its optimization was made with effective tracing using segmentation line. Pac-Man game was chosen as the example of the shortest pathfinding by using NavMesh in Unity 3D. A* algorithm was implemented on the enemies of Pac-Man (three ghosts,  which path was designed by using NavMesh concept. Thus, the movement of ghosts in catching Pac-Man was the result of this review of the effectiveness of this concept. In further research, this method could be implemented on several optimization programmes, such as Geographic Information System (GIS, robotics, and statistics.

  15. A Global Electric Circuit on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, G. T.; Farrell, W. M.; Desch, M. D.

    2001-01-01

    We describe conditions on the surface of Mars conducive to the formation of a martian global electric circuit, in a direct analogy to the terrestrial case where atmospheric currents and electric fields are generated worldwide through the charging in thunderstorms. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    mobilize and redistribute volatile reservoirs both on and below the surface. And for Mars, these variations are large. In the past 20 My, for example, the obliquity is believed to have varied from a low of 15° to a high of 45° with a regular oscillation time scale of ~10^5 years. These variations are typically less than two degrees on the Earth. Mars, therefore, offers a natural laboratory for the study of orbitally induced climate change on a terrestrial planet. Finally, general circulation models (GCMs) for Mars have reached a level of sophistication that justifies their application to the study of spin axis/orbitally forced climate change. With recent advances in computer technology the models can run at reasonable spatial resolution for many Mars years with physics packages that include cloud microphysics, radiative transfer in scattering/absorbing atmospheres, surface heat budgets, boundary layer schemes, and a host of other processes. To be sure, the models will undergo continual improvement, but with carefully designed experiments they can now provide insights into mechanisms of climate change in the recent past. Thus, the geologic record is better preserved, the forcing function is large, and GCMs have become useful tools. While research efforts in each of these areas have progressed considerably over the past several decades, they have proceeded mostly on independent paths occasionally leading to conflicting ideas. To remedy this situation and accelerate progress in the area, the NASA/Ames Research Center's Mars General Circulation Modeling Group hosted a 3-day workshop on May 15-17, 2012 that brought together the geological and atmospheric science communities to collectively discuss the evidence for recent climate change on Mars, the nature of the change required, and how that change could be brought about. Over 50 researchers, students, and post-docs from the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan attended the meeting. The program and abstracts from the workshop are

  17. Physical Properties of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Analysis of Contradictions and Possible Ways of Their Resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Korablev, O. I.; Morozhenko, A. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in forming the Martian climate. However, the basic physical properties of the Martian aerosols are still poorly known; there are many contradictions in their estimates. We present an analytical overview of the published results and potentialities of various methods. We consider mineral dust. Zonally averaged data obtained from mapping IR instruments (TES and IRTM) give the optical thickness of mineral aerosols τ9 = 0.05-0.1 in the 9-μm band for quite atmospheric conditions. There is a problem of comparing these estimates with those obtained in the visible spectral range. We suggest that the commonly used ratio τvis/τ9 >2 depends on the interpretation and it may actually be smaller. The ratio τvis/τ9 ~ 1 is in better agreement with the IRIS data (materials like montmorillonite). If we assume that τvis/τ9 = 1 and take into account the nonspherical particle shape, then the interpretation of ground-based integrated polarimetric observations (τ < 0.04) can be reconciled with IR measurements from the orbit. However, for thin layers, the sensitivity of both methods to the optical thickness is poorly understood: on the one hand, polarimetry depends on the cloud cover and, on the other hand, the interpretation of IR measurements requires that the atmospheric temperature profile and the surface temperature and emissivity be precisely known. For quite atmospheric conditions, the local optical-thickness estimates obtained by the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method and from the sky brightness measured from Viking 1 and 2 and Mars Pathfinder landers are much larger: τ = 0.3-0.6. Estimates of the contrasts in images from the Viking orbiters yield the same values. Thus, there is still a factor of 3 to 10 difference between different groups of optical-thickness estimates for the quiet atmosphere. This difference is probably explained by the contribution of condensation clouds and/or by local/time variations.

  18. Origin of atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marx, Gy [Eotvos Lorand Tudomanyegyetem, Budapest (Hungary). Atomfizikai Tanszek

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth is described. Starting from the hot Universe the main steps of the ''cooling-down'' process as the different states of the condensation of the matter are discussed. After this nuclear evolution the chemical evolution could start on the solid Earth's crust. In the reductive primordial atmosphere mainly due to ultraviolet rays the basic molecules for life as sugars and amino acids were formed. The photosynthesis of the plants has later produced the oxygen being present in the recent atmosphere. The question whether pollution could affect the auto-stabilization loop of the atmosphere is also discussed. Finally the possibility of life on the Mars is studied.

  19. Did life exist on Mars? Search for organic and inorganic signatures, one of the goals for ``SAM'' (sample analysis at Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Israël, G.; Raulin, F.; Sternberg, R.; Mahaffy, P.; Person, A.; Rodier, C.; Navarro-Gonzàlez, R.; Niemann, H.; Harpold, D.; Brinckerhoff, W.

    2004-01-01

    Observation of Mars shows signs of a past Earth-like climate, and, in that case, there is no objection to the possible development of life, in the underground or at the surface, as in the terrestrial primitive biosphere. Sample analysis at Mars (SAM) is an experiment which may be proposed for atmospheric, ground and underground in situ measurements. One of its goals is to bring direct or indirect information on the possibility for life to have developed on Mars, and to detect traces of past or present biological activity. With this aim, it focuses on the detection of organic molecules: volatile organics are extracted from the sample by simple heating, whereas refractory molecules are made analyzable (i.e. volatile), using derivatization technique or fragmentation by pyrolysis. Gaseous mixtures thus obtained are analyzed by gas chromatography associated to mass spectrometry. Beyond organics, carbonates and other salts are associated to the dense and moist atmosphere necessary to the development of life, and might have formed and accumulated in some places on Mars. They represent another target for SAM. Heating of the samples allows the analysis of structural gases of these minerals (CO2 from carbonates, etc.), enabling to identify them. We also show, in this paper, that it may be possible to discriminate between abiotic minerals, and minerals (shells, etc.) created by living organisms.

  20. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Pressure Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kemppinen, Osku; Genzer, Maria; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Haberle, Robert M.; Schmidt, Walter; Savijärvi, Hannu; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Rafkin, Scott; Polkko, Jouni; Richardson, Mark; Newman, Claire; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Martín-Torres, Javier; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS pressure observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS pressure device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on silicon micro-machined capacitive pressure sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The pressure device makes use of two transducer electronics sections placed on a single multi-layer PCB inside the REMS Instrument Control Unit (ICU) with a filter-protected ventilation inlet to the ambient atmosphere. The absolute accuracy of the pressure device (< 3 Pa) and zero-drift (< 1 Pa/year) enables the investigations of long term and seasonal cycles of the Martian atmosphere. The relative accuracy, or repeatability, in the diurnal time scale is < 1.5 Pa, less than 2 % of the observed diurnal pressure variation at the landing site. The pressure device has special sensors with very high precision (less than 0.2 Pa) that makes it a good tool to study short-term atmospheric phenomena, e.g., dust devils and other convective vortices. The observed MSL pressure data enable us to study both the long term and short-term phenomena of the Martian atmosphere. This would add knowledge of these phenomena to that gathered by earlier Mars missions and modeling experiments [2,3]. Pressure observations are revealing new information on the local atmosphere and climate at Gale crater, and will shed light on the mesoscale and micrometeorological phenomena. Pressure observations show also

  1. Development of Slewing Mirror Telescope Optical System for the UFFO-pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeong, S.; Nam, J.W.; Ahn, K.-B.

    2013-01-01

    The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a 17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and ...

  2. Achieving bioinspired flapping wing hovering flight solutions on Mars via wing scaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluman, James E; Pohly, Jeremy; Sridhar, Madhu; Kang, Chang-Kwon; Landrum, David Brian; Fahimi, Farbod; Aono, Hikaru

    2018-05-29

    Achieving atmospheric flight on Mars is challenging due to the low density of the Martian atmosphere. Aerodynamic forces are proportional to the atmospheric density, which limits the use of conventional aircraft designs on Mars. Here, we show using numerical simulations that a flapping wing robot can fly on Mars via bioinspired dynamic scaling. Trimmed, hovering flight is possible in a simulated Martian environment when dynamic similarity with insects on earth is achieved by preserving the relevant dimensionless parameters while scaling up the wings three to four times its normal size. The analysis is performed using a well-validated two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation solver, coupled to a three-dimensional flight dynamics model to simulate free flight. The majority of power required is due to the inertia of the wing because of the ultra-low density. The inertial flap power can be substantially reduced through the use of a torsional spring. The minimum total power consumption is 188 W/kg when the torsional spring is driven at its natural frequency. © 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  3. Dications and thermal ions in planetary atmospheric escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilensten, J.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Barthélémy, M.; Thissen, R.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gronoff, G.; Witasse, O.

    2013-01-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly energetic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. The goal of this study is to assess the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions. We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO2++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering, etc.), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished and even contribute only marginally to this loss. We show that with these two mechanisms, the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible. When simulating the hot Jupiter HD 209458 b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+. This study shows that the dications may constitute a source of the escape of planetary atmospheres which had not been taken into account until now. This source, although marginal, is not negligible. The influence of the photoionization is of course large, but cannot explain alone the loss of Mars

  4. Early Mars serpentinization-derived CH4 reservoirs, H2 induced warming and paleopressure evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasue, J.; Chassefiere, E.; Langlais, B.; Quesnel, Y.

    2016-12-01

    CH4 has been observed on Mars both by remote sensing and in situ during the past 15 years. Early Mars serpentinization is one possible abiotic mechanism that could not only produce methane, but also explain the observed Martian remanent magnetic field. Assuming a cold early Mars, a cryosphere could trap such CH4 as clathrates in stable form at depth. We recently estimated the maximum storage capacity of such clathrate layer to be about 2x1019 to 2x1020 moles of methane. Such reservoirs may be stable or unstable, depending on many factors that are poorly constrained: major and sudden geological events such as the Tharsis bulge formation, the Hellas impact or the martian polar wander, could have destabilized the clathrates early in the history of the planet and released large quantities of gas in the atmosphere. Here we estimate the associated amounts of serpentinization-derived CH4 stored in the cryosphere that have been released to the atmosphere at the end of the Noachian and the beginning of the Hesperian. Due to rapid clathrate dissociation and photochemical conversion of CH4 to H2, these episodes of massive CH4 release may have resulted in transient H2-rich atmospheres, at typical levels of 10-20% in a background 1-2 bar CO2 atmosphere. We propose that the early Mars cryosphere had a sufficient CH4 storage capacity to have maintained H2-rich transient atmospheres during a total time period up to several Myr or tens of Myr, having potentially contributed - by collision-induced heating effect of atmospheric H2 - to the formation of valley networks during the late Noachian and early Hesperian.

  5. Habitat Options to Protect Against Decompression Sickness on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conkin, J.

    2000-07-01

    Men and women are alive today, although perhaps still in diapers, who will explore the surface of Mars. Two achievable goals to enable this exploration are to use Martian resources, and to provide a safe means for unrestricted access to the surface. A cost-effective approach for Mars exploration is to use the available resources, such as water and atmospheric gases. Nitrogen (N2) and Argon (Ar) in a concentration ratio of 1.68/1.0 are available, and could form the inert gas component of a habitat atmosphere at 8.0, 9.0, or 10.0 pounds per square inch absolute (psia). The habitat and space suit must be designed as an integrated, complementary, system: a comfortable living environment about 85% of the time and a safe working environment about 15% of the time. A goal is to provide a system that permits unrestricted exploration of Mars. However the risk of decompression sickness (DCS) during the extravehicular activity (EVA) in a 3.75 psia suit after exposure to either of the three habitat conditions may limit unrestricted exploration.

  6. Updates from the MSL-RAD Experiment on the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Cary

    2015-01-01

    The MSL-RAD instrument continues to operate flawlessly on Mars. As of this writing, some 1040 sols (Martian days) of data have been successfully acquired. Several improvements have been made to the instrument's configuration, particularly aimed at enabling the analysis of neutral-particle data. The dose rate since MSL's landing in August 2012 has remained remarkably stable, reflecting the unusual and very weak solar maximum of Cycle 24. Only a few small SEP events have been observed by RAD, which is shielded by the Martian atmosphere. Gale Crater, where Curiosity landed, is 4.4 km below the mean surface of Mars, and the column depth of atmosphere above is approximately 20 g/sq cm, which provides significant attenuation of GCR heavy ions and SEPs. Recent analysis results will be presented, including updated estimates of the neutron contributions to dose and dose equivalent in cruise and on the surface of Mars.

  7. Low-cost autonomous orbit control about Mars: Initial simulation results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, S. D.; Early, L. W.; Potterveld, C. W.; Königsmann, H. J.

    1999-11-01

    Interest in studying the possibility of extraterrestrial life has led to the re-emergence of the Red Planet as a major target of planetary exploration. Currently proposed missions in the post-2000 period are routinely calling for rendezvous with ascent craft, long-term orbiting of, and sample-return from Mars. Such missions would benefit greatly from autonomous orbit control as a means to reduce operations costs and enable contact with Mars ground stations out of view of the Earth. This paper present results from initial simulations of autonomously controlled orbits around Mars, and points out possible uses of the technology and areas of routine Mars operations where such cost-conscious and robust autonomy could prove most effective. These simulations have validated the approach and control philosophies used in the development of this autonomous orbit controller. Future work will refine the controller, accounting for systematic and random errors in the navigation of the spacecraft from the sensor suite, and will produce prototype flight code for inclusion on future missions. A modified version of Microcosm's commercially available High Precision Orbit Propagator (HPOP) was used in the preparation of these results due to its high accuracy and speed of operation. Control laws were developed to allow an autonomously controlled spacecraft to continuously control to a pre-defined orbit about Mars with near-optimal propellant usage. The control laws were implemented as an adjunct to HPOP. The GSFC-produced 50 × 50 field model of the Martian gravitational potential was used in all simulations. The Martian atmospheric drag was modeled using an exponentially decaying atmosphere based on data from the Mars-GRAM NASA Ames model. It is hoped that the simple atmosphere model that was implemented can be significantly improved in the future so as to approach the fidelity of the Mars-GRAM model in its predictions of atmospheric density at orbital altitudes. Such additional work

  8. Pathfinder: multiresolution region-based searching of pathology images using IRM.

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, J. Z.

    2000-01-01

    The fast growth of digitized pathology slides has created great challenges in research on image database retrieval. The prevalent retrieval technique involves human-supplied text annotations to describe slide contents. These pathology images typically have very high resolution, making it difficult to search based on image content. In this paper, we present Pathfinder, an efficient multiresolution region-based searching system for high-resolution pathology image libraries. The system uses wave...

  9. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

    The current-generation RTGs (both GPHS and MOD) are designed for operation in a vacuum environment. The multifoil thermal insulation used in those RTGs only functions well in a good vacuum. Current RTGs are designed to operate with an inert cover gas before launch, and to be vented to space vacuum after launch. Both RTGs are sealed with a large number of metallic C-rings. Those seals are adequate for retaining the inert-gas overpressure during short-term launch operations, but would not be adequate to prevent intrusion of the Martian atmospheric gases during long-term operations there. Therefore, for the Mars Rover application, those RTGs just be modified to prevent the buildup of significant pressures of Mars atmosphere or of helium (from alpha decay of the fuel). In addition, a Mars Rover RTG needs to withstand a long-term dynamic environment that is much more severe than that seen by an RTG on an orbiting spacecraft or on a stationary planetary lander. This paper describes a typical Rover mission, its requirements, the environment it imposes on the RTG, and a design approach for making the RTG operable in such an environment. Specific RTG designs for various thermoelectric element alternatives are presented.; Reference CID #9268 and CID #9276.

  10. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Fossils are not enough. We will want to determine if life on Mars was a separate genesis from life on Earth. For this determination we need to access intact martian life; possibly frozen in the deep old permafrost. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be the most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Slewing Mirror Telescope and the Data-Acquisition System for the UFFO-Pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lim, H.; Ahmad, S.; Barrillon, P.

    2013-01-01

    The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) aims to detect the earliest moment of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) which is not well known, resulting into the enhancement of GRB mechanism understanding. The pathfinder mission was proposed to be a scaled-down version of UFFO, and only contains the UFFO Burst A...

  12. Simulated orbits of heavy planetary ions at Mars for different IMF configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Livi, Roberto; Hara, Takuya; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; McFadden, James; Bougher, Stephen

    2014-11-01

    We present simulated detections of O+, O2+ and CO2+ ions at Mars along a virtual orbit in the Mars space environment. Planetary pick-up ions are formed through the direct interaction of the solar wind with the neutral upper atmosphere, causing the newly created ions to be picked up and accelerated by the background convective electric field. Because previous missions such as Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Express (MEX) have not been able to measure the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) components simultaneously with plasma measurements, the response of heavy planetary pick-up ions to changes in the IMF has not been well characterized. Using a steady-state multi-species MHD model to provide the background electric and magnetic fields, the Mars Test Particle (MTP) simulation can trace each of these particles along field lines in near-Mars space and construct virtual ion detections from a spacecraft orbit. Specifically, we will present energy-time spectrograms and velocity space distributions (VSDs) for a selection of orbits during different IMF configurations and solar cycle conditions. These simulated orbits have broader implications for how to measure ion escape. Using individual particle traces, the origin and trajectories of different ion populations can be analyzed in order to assess how and where they contribute to the total atmospheric escape rate, which is a major objective of the upcoming MAVEN mission.

  13. Mesoscale modeling of the water vapor cycle at Mawrth Vallis: a Mars2020 and ExoMars exploration rovers high-priority landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    Introduction: The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) was used to predict meteorological conditions that are likely to be encountered by the Mars 2020 (NASA) Rover at several of their respective proposed landing sites during entry, descent, and landing at Ls5 [1] and by the ExoMars (ESA) Rover at one of the final landing sites. MRAMS is ideally suited for this type of investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simu-late Mars' atmospheric circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high-resolution surface proper-ties [2, 3]. One of the sights studied for both rovers was Mawrth Vallis (MV), an ancient water outflow channel with light colored clay-rich rocks in the mid-latitude north hemisphere (Oxia Palus quadrangle). MV is the northernmost of the Mars2020 and ExoMars landing sites and the closest to the northern polar cap water source. The primary source of water vapor to the atmosphere is the northern polar cap during the northern summer. In order to highlight MV habitability implications, additional numerical experiments at Ls90, 140 and 180, highest column abundance of water vapor is found over MV [4], were performed to study how the atmospheric circulation connects MV with the polar water source. Once the winter CO2 retreats, the underlying polar water ice is exposed and begins to sublimate. The water is transported equatorward where it is manifested in the tropical aphelion cloud belt. If transport is assumed to be the result of the summer Hadley Cell, then the polar water is carried aloft in the northern high latitude rising branch before moving equatorward and eventually toward the southern high latitudes. Thus, the mean meridional summer circulation precludes a direct water vapor connection between MV and the polar source. Around the equinoxes (Ls0 and Ls180), there is a brief transition period where the rising branch quickly crosses from one hemisphere into the other as it migrates to its more typical solstitial location

  14. The Contribution of Water Ice Clouds to the Water Cycle in the North Polar Region of Mars: Preliminary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, D. S.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2000-01-01

    While it has long been known that Mars' north residual polar cap and the Martian regolith are significant sources of atmospheric water vapor, the amount of water vapor observed in the northern spring season by the Viking Mars Atmospheric Water Detector instrument (MAWD) cannot be attributed to cap and regolith sources alone. Kahn suggested that ice hazes may be the mechanism by which additional water is supplied to the Martian atmosphere. Additionally, a significant decrease in atmospheric water vapor was observed in the late northern summer that could not be correlated with the return of the cold seasonal C02 ice. While the detection of water ice clouds on Mars indicate that water exists in Mars' atmosphere in several different phases, the extent to which water ice clouds play a role in moving water through the Martian atmosphere remains uncertain. Work by Bass et. al. suggested that the time dependence of water ice cap seasonal variability and the increase in atmospheric water vapor depended on the polar cap center reaching 200K, the night time saturation temperature. Additionally, they demonstrated that a decrease in atmospheric water vapor may be attributed to deposition of water ice onto the surface of the polar cap; temperatures were still too warm at this time in the summer for the deposition of carbon dioxide. However, whether water ice clouds contribute significantly to this variability is unknown. Additional information is contained in original extended abstract.

  15. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Mischna, Michael A.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Christensen, Lance E.; Pavlov, Alexander A.; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A.; Archer, P. Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P.; Moores, John E.; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Bridges, John C.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T.; MSL Science Team; Abbey, William; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alexandre Alves Verdasca, José; Anderson, Dana; Anderson, Robert C.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Appel, Jan Kristoffer; Archer, Paul Douglas; Arevalo, Ricardo; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Raymond; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Andrew Sushil; Azeez, Aubrey Sherif; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Battalio, Michael; Beach, Michael; Bean, Keri; Beck, Pierre; Becker, Richard; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Belgacem, Inès; Bell, James F., III; Bender, Steven; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Berger, Thomas; Berlanga, Genesis; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blacksberg, Jordana; Blake, David F.; José Blanco, Juan; Blaney, Ávalos Diana; Blank, Jennifer; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Bonnet, Jean-Yves; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, William; Braswell, Shaneen; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John C.; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Burton, John; Buz, Jennifer; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John L.; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Clifton, Carey, Jr.; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Cavanagh, Patrick; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Christensen, Lance; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Coman, Ecaterina I.; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy A.; Cropper, Kevin; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Francis; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; Daydou, Yves; DeFlores, Lauren; Dehouck, Erwin; Delapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; Dequaire, Tristan; Des Marais, David; Desrousseaux, Roch; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Robert; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason P.; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher S.; Edwards, Laurence; Edwards, Peter; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Kenneth; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Fendrich, Kim; Fischer, Erik; Fisk, Martin; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Gregory; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fox, Valerie; Fraeman, Abigail; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Getty, Stephanie; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Graham, Heather; Grant, John; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Victoria; Hand, Kevin; Hardgrove, Craig; Hardy, Keian; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alexander; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Stephen; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jean-Rigaud, Laurent; Jensen, Elsa; Kløvgaard Jensen, Jaqueline; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Stephen; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John H.; Joseph, Jonathan; Joulin, Mélissa; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda C.; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Kaplan, Hannah; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kashyap, Srishti; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kelley, Simon; Kempe, Fabian; Kemppinen, Osku; Kennedy, Megan R.; Keymeulen, Didier; Kharytonov, Alexander; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penelope; Kirk, Randolph; Kirkland, Laurel; Kloos, Jacob; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kotrc, Benjamin; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krau, Johannes; Krezoski, ß. Gillian; Kronyak, Rachel; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lapôtre, Mathieu; Larif, Marie-France; Lasue, Jérémie; Le Deit, Laetitia; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lee, Rebekka; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette, Alain; Lepore, Malvitte Kate; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lichtenberg, Kimberly; Lipkaman, Leslie; Lisov, Denis; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Liu, Lu; Lohf, Henning; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Günter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten Bo; Magee, Angela; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Mäkinen, Teemu; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gerard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, David K.; Martin, Mildred; Martin, Peter; Martínez Martínez, Germán; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Sauceda, Jaime; Martín-Soler, Martín Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mason, Emily; Matthews, Tristan; Matthiä, Daniel; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McBride, Marie; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLain, Hannah; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mendaza de Cal, Teresa; Merikallio, Sini; Merritt, Sean; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Milkovich, Sarah; Millan, Maëva; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitchell, Julie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeffrey; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina, Antonio; Moore, Jurado Casey; Moores, John E.; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Moreno, Gines; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard V.; Morrison, Shaunna; Mousset, Valérie; Mrigakshi, Alankrita; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Nastan, Abbey; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nikitczuk, Matthew; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Noblet, Audrey; Noe, Eldar; Nolan, Dobrea Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Orthen, Tobias; Owen, Tobias; Ozanne, Marie; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Pagel, Hannah; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Parra, Alex; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alexander; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Pérez, René; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joseph; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pinnick, Veronica; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Rapin, William; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Ren, Jun; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Ritter, Birgit; Rivera-Hernández, Frances; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; José Romeral-Planelló, Julio; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Said, David; Salamon, Andrew; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Sciascia Borlina, Cauê; Scodary, Anthony; Sebastián Martínez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shechet, Jennifer Griffes; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, John J.; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susan; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael D.; Sobron Sanchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Spring, Justin; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Starr, Richard; Stein, Andrew Steele Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stewart, Wayne; Stipp, Svane Susan Louise; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Edward; Sucharski, Robert; Sullivan, Robert; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Thomas, Alicia; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Thuillier, Franck; Thulliez, Emmanual; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Michael; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Ullán-Nieto, Aurora; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Valentín-Serrano, Patricia; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Vasconcelos, Paulo; de Vicente-Retortillo Rubalcaba, Álvaro; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Watkins, Jessica; Webster, Christopher R.; Weigle, Gerald; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B.; Williford, Kenneth; Wilson, Michael A.; Wilson, Sharon A.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Michael; Wong, Michael; Wray, James; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2015-01-01

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source.

  16. Exospheric density and escape fluxes of atomic isotopes on Venus and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, M.K.

    1978-01-01

    Energetic neutrals in dissociative recombinations near or above the exobase provided an important component of exospheric density and escape fluxes. Plasma thermal velocities provide the main contribution to the velocity spread and an exact integral for the escape flux applicable in marginal cases is found for a simple atmosphere and collisional cut-off. Atomic fragments from recombination of diatomic oxygen and nitrogen ions in the Venus and Mars atmospheres are examined and density integrals derived. The oxygen escape flux on Mars is half that previously estimated and there is very little isotope preference supplementing diffusive separation. However, escape of the heavier 15 N isotope is low by a factor two. Reinterpretation of its 75% enrichment as detected by Viking leads to a range 0.4-1.4 mbar for the primeval nitrogen content on Mars. (author)

  17. The development of a Martian atmospheric Sample collection canister

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczycki, E.; Galey, C.; Kennedy, B.; Budney, C.; Bame, D.; Van Schilfgaarde, R.; Aisen, N.; Townsend, J.; Younse, P.; Piacentine, J.

    The collection of an atmospheric sample from Mars would provide significant insight to the understanding of the elemental composition and sub-surface out-gassing rates of noble gases. A team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology have developed an atmospheric sample collection canister for Martian application. The engineering strategy has two basic elements: first, to collect two separately sealed 50 cubic centimeter unpressurized atmospheric samples with minimal sensing and actuation in a self contained pressure vessel; and second, to package this atmospheric sample canister in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the orbiting sample capsule for collection and return to Earth. Sample collection and integrity are demonstrated by emulating the atmospheric collection portion of the Mars Sample Return mission on a compressed timeline. The test results achieved by varying the pressure inside of a thermal vacuum chamber while opening and closing the valve on the sample canister at Mars ambient pressure. A commercial off-the-shelf medical grade micro-valve is utilized in the first iteration of this design to enable rapid testing of the system. The valve has been independently leak tested at JPL to quantify and separate the leak rates associated with the canister. The results are factored in to an overall system design that quantifies mass, power, and sensing requirements for a Martian atmospheric Sample Collection (MASC) canister as outlined in the Mars Sample Return mission profile. Qualitative results include the selection of materials to minimize sample contamination, preliminary science requirements, priorities in sample composition, flight valve selection criteria, a storyboard from sample collection to loading in the orbiting sample capsule, and contributions to maintaining “ Earth” clean exterior surfaces on the orbiting sample capsule.

  18. Measurements of Forbush decreases at Mars: both by MSL on ground and by MAVEN in orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jingnan; Lillis, Robert; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Zeitlin, Cary; Simonson, Patrick; Rahmati, Ali; Posner, Arik; Papaioannou, Athanasios; Lundt, Niklas; Lee, Christina O.; Larson, Davin; Halekas, Jasper; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent; Dunn, Patrick; Böttcher, Stephan

    2018-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Curiosity rover, has been measuring ground level particle fluxes along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars since August 2012. Similar to neutron monitors at Earth, RAD sees many Forbush decreases (FDs) in the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) induced surface fluxes and dose rates. These FDs are associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and/or stream/corotating interaction regions (SIRs/CIRs). Orbiting above the Martian atmosphere, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft has also been monitoring space weather conditions at Mars since September 2014. The penetrating particle flux channels in the solar energetic particle (SEP) instrument onboard MAVEN can also be employed to detect FDs. For the first time, we study the statistics and properties of a list of FDs observed in-situ at Mars, seen both on the surface by MSL/RAD and in orbit detected by the MAVEN/SEP instrument. Such a list of FDs can be used for studying interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICME) propagation and SIR evolution through the inner heliosphere. The magnitudes of different FDs can be well-fitted by a power-law distribution. The systematic difference between the magnitudes of the FDs within and outside the Martian atmosphere may be mostly attributed to the energy-dependent modulation of the GCR particles by both the pass-by ICMEs/SIRs and the Martian atmosphere.

  19. Present Status and Near Term Activities for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, H.; Vago, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    The ExoMars 2016 mission was launched on a Proton rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 14 March 2016 and arrived at Mars on 19 October 2016. The spacecraft is now performing aerobraking to reduce its orbital period from initial post-insertion orbital period of one Sol to the final science orbit with a 2 hours period. The orbital inclination will be 74 degrees. During the aerobraking a wealth of data has been acquired on the state of the atmosphere along the tracks between 140km and the lowest altitude at about 105 km. These data are now being analysed and compared with existing models. In average TGO measures a lower atmospheric density than predicted, but the numbers lay within the expected variability. ExoMars is a joint programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, Russia. It consists of the ExoMars 2016 mission with the Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, and the Entry Descent and Landing Demonstrator, EDM, named Schiaparelli, and the ExoMars 2020 mission, which carries a lander and a rover. The TGO scientific payload consists of four instruments: ACS and NOMAD, both infrared spectrometers for atmospheric measurements in solar occultation mode and in nadir mode, CASSIS, a multichannel camera with stereo imaging capability, and FREND, an epithermal neutron detector to search for subsurface hydrogen (as proxy for water ice and hydrated minerals). The launch mass of the TGO was 3700 kg, including fuel. In addition to its scientific measurements TGO will act as a relay orbiter for NASA's landers on Mars and as from 2021 for the ESA-Roscosmos Rover and Surface Station.

  20. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

  1. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Larsen, Michael G.; Moeller, Ralf

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors......, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model...... of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions...

  2. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Investigation: Overview of Results from the First 120 Sols on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Benna, M.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; hide

    2013-01-01

    During the first 120 sols of Curiosity s landed mission on Mars (8/6/2012 to 12/7/2012) SAM sampled the atmosphere 9 times and an eolian bedform named Rocknest 4 times. The atmospheric experiments utilized SAM s quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) while the solid sample experiments also utilized the gas chromatograph (GC). Although a number of core experiments were pre-programmed and stored in EEProm, a high level SAM scripting language enabled the team to optimize experiments based on prior runs.

  3. LISA Pathfinder instrument data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman, Felipe

    LISA Pathfinder (LPF) is an ESA-launched demonstration mission of key technologies required for the joint NASA-ESA gravitational wave observatory in space, LISA. As part of the LPF interferometry investigations, analytic models of noise sources and corresponding noise subtrac-tion techniques have been developed to correct for effects like the coupling of test mass jitter into displacement readout, and fluctuations of the laser frequency or optical pathlength difference. Ground testing of pre-flight hardware of the Optical Metrology Subsystem is currently ongoing at the Albert Einstein Institute Hannover. In collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the LPF mission data analysis tool LTPDA is being used to analyze the data product of these tests. Furthermore, the noise subtraction techniques and in-flight experiment runs for noise characterization are being defined as part of the mission experiment master plan. We will present the data analysis outcome of pre-flight hardware ground tests and possible noise subtraction strategies for in-flight instrument operations.

  4. Mars gravity field error analysis from simulated radio tracking of Mars Observer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, D.E.; Lerch, F.J.; Chan, J.C.; Chinn, D.S.; Iz, H.B.; Mallama, A.; Patel, G.B.

    1990-01-01

    The Mars Observer (MO) Mission, in a near-polar orbit at 360-410 km altitude for nearly a 2-year observing period, will greatly improve our understanding of the geophysics of Mars, including its gravity field. To assess the expected improvement of the gravity field, the authors have conducted an error analysis based upon the mission plan for the Mars Observer radio tracking data from the Deep Space Network. Their results indicate that it should be possible to obtain a high-resolution model (spherical harmonics complete to degree and order 50 corresponding to a 200-km horizontal resolution) for the gravitational field of the planet. This model, in combination with topography from MO altimetry, should provide for an improved determination of the broad scale density structure and stress state of the Martian crust and upper mantle. The mathematical model for the error analysis is based on the representation of doppler tracking data as a function of the Martian gravity field in spherical harmonics, solar radiation pressure, atmospheric drag, angular momentum desaturation residual acceleration (AMDRA) effects, tracking station biases, and the MO orbit parameters. Two approaches are employed. In the first case, the error covariance matrix of the gravity model is estimated including the effects from all the nongravitational parameters (noise-only case). In the second case, the gravity recovery error is computed as above but includes unmodelled systematic effects from atmospheric drag, AMDRA, and solar radiation pressure (biased case). The error spectrum of gravity shows an order of magnitude of improvement over current knowledge based on doppler data precision from a single station of 0.3 mm s -1 noise for 1-min integration intervals during three 60-day periods

  5. Reaching High Altitudes on Mars with an Inflatable Hypersonic Drag Balloon (Ballute)

    CERN Document Server

    Griebel, Hannes

    2010-01-01

    The concept of probing the atmosphere of planet Mars by means of a hypersonic drag balloon, a device known as a “ballute”, is a novel approach to planetary science. In this concept, the probe deploys an inflatable drag body out in space and may then enter the atmosphere either once or several times until it slowly descends towards the ground, taking continuous atmospheric and other readings across a large altitude and ground range. Hannes Griebel discusses the theory behind such a mission along with experience gained during its practical implementation, such as mission design, manufacturing, packing and deployment techniques as well as ground and flight tests. The author also studies other ballute applications, specifically emergency low Earth orbit recovery and delivering payloads to high altitude landing sites on Mars.

  6. The Nitrate/Perchlorate Ratio on Mars as an Indicator for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; Freissinet, C.; Conrad, P. G.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and the potential development of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected evolved nitric oxide (NO) gas during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled mudstone acquired in Gale Crater. The detection of NO suggests an indigenous source of fixed N, and may indicate a mineralogical sink for atmospheric N2 in the form of nitrate. The ratio of nitrate to oxychlorine species (e.g. perchlorate) may provide insight into the extent of development of a nitrogen cycle on Mars.

  7. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alston, Christie; Hancock, Sean; Laub, Joshua; Perry, Christopher; Ash, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Mars sample return mission will be completed using natural Martian resources for the majority of its operations. The system uses the following technologies: In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP), a methane-oxygen propelled Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a carbon dioxide powered hopper, and a hydrogen fueled balloon system (large balloons and small weather balloons). The ISPP system will produce the hydrogen, methane, and oxygen using a Sabatier reactor. a water electrolysis cell, water extracted from the Martian surface, and carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere. Indigenous hydrogen will fuel the balloon systems and locally-derived methane and oxygen will fuel the MAV for the return of a 50 kg sample to Earth. The ISPP system will have a production cycle of 800 days and the estimated overall mission length is 1355 days from Earth departure to return to low Earth orbit. Combining these advanced technologies will enable the proposed sample return mission to be executed with reduced initial launch mass and thus be more cost efficient. The successful completion of this mission will serve as the next step in the advancement of Mars exploration technology.

  8. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  9. The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the European Mars Express mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formisano, V.; Angrilli, F.; Arnold, G.; Atreya, S.; Bianchini, G.; Biondi, D.; Blanco, A.; Blecka, M. I.; Coradini, A.; Colangeli, L.; Ekonomov, A.; Esposito, F.; Fonti, S.; Giuranna, M.; Grassi, D.; Gnedykh, V.; Grigoriev, A.; Hansen, G.; Hirsh, H.; Khatuntsev, I.; Kiselev, A.; Ignatiev, N.; Jurewicz, A.; Lellouch, E.; Lopez Moreno, J.; Marten, A.; Mattana, A.; Maturilli, A.; Mencarelli, E.; Michalska, M.; Moroz, V.; Moshkin, B.; Nespoli, F.; Nikolsky, Y.; Orfei, R.; Orleanski, P.; Orofino, V.; Palomba, E.; Patsaev, D.; Piccioni, G.; Rataj, M.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Rossi, M.; Saggin, B.; Titov, D.; Zasova, L.

    2005-08-01

    The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) for the Mars Express mission is an infrared spectrometer optimised for atmospheric studies. This instrument has a short wave (SW) channel that covers the spectral range from 1700 to 8200.0cm-1 (1.2- 5.5μm) and a long-wave (LW) channel that covers 250- 1700cm-1 (5.5- 45μm). Both channels have a uniform spectral resolution of 1.3cm-1. The instrument field of view FOV is about 1.6∘ (FWHM) for the Short Wavelength channel (SW) and 2.8∘ (FWHM) for the Long Wavelength channel (LW) which corresponds to a spatial resolution of 7 and 12 km when Mars is observed from an height of 250 km. PFS can provide unique data necessary to improve our knowledge not only of the atmosphere properties but also about mineralogical composition of the surface and the surface-atmosphere interaction. The SW channel uses a PbSe detector cooled to 200-220 K while the LW channel is based on a pyroelectric ( LiTaO3) detector working at room temperature. The intensity of the interferogram is measured every 150 nm of physical mirrors displacement, corresponding to 600 nm optical path difference, by using a laser diode monochromatic light interferogram (a sine wave), whose zero crossings control the double pendulum motion. PFS works primarily around the pericentre of the orbit, only occasionally observing Mars from large distances. Each measurements take 4 s, with a repetition time of 8.5 s. By working roughly 0.6 h around pericentre, a total of 330 measurements per orbit will be acquired 270 looking at Mars and 60 for calibrations. PFS is able to take measurements at all local times, facilitating the retrieval of surface temperatures and atmospheric vertical temperature profiles on both the day and the night side.

  10. The Mars Climate Database (MCD version 5.3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, Francois; Spiga, Aymeric; Vals, Margaux; Zakharov, Vladimir; Navarro, Thomas; Montabone, Luca; Lefevre, Franck; Montmessin, Franck; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel; Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Lewis, Stephen; Read, Peter; Desjean, Marie-Christine; MCD/GCM Development Team

    2017-04-01

    Our Global Circulation Model (GCM) simulates the atmospheric environment of Mars. It is developped at LMD (Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique, Paris, France) in close collaboration with several teams in Europe (LATMOS, France, University of Oxford, The Open University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia), and with the support of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (French Space Agency). GCM outputs are compiled to build a Mars Climate Database, a freely available tool useful for the scientific and engineering communities. The Mars Climate Database (MCD) has over the years been distributed to more than 300 teams around the world. The latest series of reference simulations have been compiled in a new version (v5.3) of the MCD, released in the first half of 2017. To summarize, MCD v5.3 provides: - Climatologies over a series of synthetic dust scenarios: standard (climatology) year, cold (ie: low dust), warm (ie: dusty atmosphere) and dust storm, all topped by various cases of Extreme UV solar inputs (low, mean or maximum). These scenarios have been derived from home-made, instrument-derived (TES, THEMIS, MCS, MERs), dust climatology of the last 8 Martian years. The MCD also provides simulation outputs (MY24-31) representative of these actual years. - Mean values and statistics of main meteorological variables (atmospheric temperature, density, pressure and winds), as well as surface pressure and temperature, CO2 ice cover, thermal and solar radiative fluxes, dust column opacity and mixing ratio, [H20] vapor and ice columns, concentrations of many species: [CO], [O2], [O], [N2], [H2], [O3], ... - A high resolution mode which combines high resolution (32 pixel/degree) MOLA topography records and Viking Lander 1 pressure records with raw lower resolution GCM results to yield, within the restriction of the procedure, high resolution values of atmospheric variables. - The possibility to reconstruct realistic conditions by combining the provided climatology with

  11. Seasonal Transport in Mars' Mesosphere-Thermosphere revealed by Nitric Oxide nightglow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, E. M.; Stiepen, A.; Schneider, N. M.; Jain, S.; Milby, Z.; Deighan, J.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Bougher, S. W.; Gerard, J. C. M. C.; Stevens, M. H.; Evans, J. S.; Stewart, I. F.; Chaffin, M.; McClintock, B.; Clarke, J. T.; Montmessin, F.; Holsclaw, G.; Lefèvre, F.; Forget, F.; Lo, D.; Hubert, B. A.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    We analyze the ultraviolet nightglow in the atmosphere of Mars through the Nitric Oxide (NO) δ and γ band emissions observed by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS, McClintock et al., 2015) when the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is at apoapsis and periapsis. On the dayside thermosphere of Mars, solar extreme ultraviolet radiation dissociates CO2 and N2 molecules. O(3P) and N(4S) atoms are carried by the day-to-night hemispheric transport. They descend in the nightside mesosphere, where they can radiatively recombine to form NO(C2Π). The excited molecules rapidly relax by emitting UV photons in the δ and γ bands. These emissions are thus indicators of the N and O atom fluxes transported from the dayside to Mars' nightside and the descending circulation pattern from the nightside thermosphere to the mesosphere (e.g. Bertaux et al., 2005 ; Bougher et al., 1990 ; Cox et al., 2008 ; Gagné et al., 2013 ; Gérard et al., 2008 ; Stiepen et al., 2015, 2017). A large dataset of nightside disk images and vertical limb scans during southern winter, fall equinox and southern summer conditions have been accumulated since the beginning of the mission. We will present a discussion regarding the variability of the brightness and altitude of the emission with season, geographical position (longitude) and local time and possible interpretation for local and global changes in the mesosphere dynamics. We show the possible impact of atmospheric waves structuring the emission longitudinally and indicating a wave-3 structure in Mars' nightside mesosphere. Quantitative comparison with calculations from the LMD-MGCM (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique-Mars Global Climate Model) show that the model globally reproduces the trends of the NO nightglow emission and its seasonal variation but also indicates large discrepancies (up to a factor 50 fainter in the model) suggesting that the predicted transport is too efficient toward the night winter pole

  12. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

  13. The Mars Dust Cycle: Investigating the Effects of Radiatively Active Water Ice Clouds on Surface Stresses and Dust Lifting Potential with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahre, Melinda A.; Hollingsworth, Jeffery

    2012-01-01

    The dust cycle is a critically important component of Mars' current climate system. Dust is present in the atmosphere of Mars year-round but the dust loading varies with season in a generally repeatable manner. Dust has a significant influence on the thermal structure of the atmosphere and thus greatly affects atmospheric circulation. The dust cycle is the most difficult of the three climate cycles (CO2, water, and dust) to model realistically with general circulation models. Until recently, numerical modeling investigations of the dust cycle have typically not included the effects of couplings to the water cycle through cloud formation. In the Martian atmosphere, dust particles likely provide the seed nuclei for heterogeneous nucleation of water ice clouds. As ice coats atmospheric dust grains, the newly formed cloud particles exhibit different physical and radiative characteristics. Thus, the coupling between the dust and water cycles likely affects the distributions of dust, water vapor and water ice, and thus atmospheric heating and cooling and the resulting circulations. We use the NASA Ames Mars GCM to investigate the effects of radiatively active water ice clouds on surface stress and the potential for dust lifting. The model includes a state-of-the-art water ice cloud microphysics package and a radiative transfer scheme that accounts for the radiative effects of CO2 gas, dust, and water ice clouds. We focus on simulations that are radiatively forced by a prescribed dust map, and we compare simulations that do and do not include radiatively active clouds. Preliminary results suggest that the magnitude and spatial patterns of surface stress (and thus dust lifting potential) are substantial influenced by the radiative effects of water ice clouds.

  14. Mars, solar wind, and supernova - implications of the Viking data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimizu, M.

    1977-01-01

    A scenario for the evolution of the Martian atmosphere consistent with various data of the Viking 1 and 2 and the Mariner 9 has been presented: Mars was formed from Renazzo-type meteorites polluted by the products of supernova explosion. A dense ancient Martian atmosphere has been swept away by the solar wind and the present tenuous atmosphere was supplied recently by the volcanic gas from the Tharsis region, after the occurrence of the magnetic field. (Auth.)

  15. Vertical distribution of Martian aerosols from SPICAM/Mars-Express limb observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Rodin, A.; Perrier, S.; Moroz, V. I.

    Limb spectroscopic observations provide invaluable information about vertical distribution of main atmospheric components in the Martian atmosphere, in particular vertical distribution and structure of aerosols, which play an important role in the heat balance of the planet. Only limited set of successful limb spectroscopic observations have been carried out on Mars so far, including those by MGS/TES spectrometer and Thermoscan and Auguste experiments of Phobos mission. Currently SPICAM instrument onboard Mars-Express spacecraft has accomplished several sequences of limb observations. First analysis of limb sounding data received by SPICAM IR and UV channels, which imply the presence of fine, deep, optically thin aerosol fraction extended over broad range of altitudes, is presented.

  16. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  17. Design of a Mars Airplane Propulsion System for the Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl. Christopher A.

    2009-01-01

    The Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) is a Mars exploration mission concept with the goal of taking scientific measurements of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface of Mars by using an airplane as the payload platform. ARES team first conducted a Phase-A study for a 2007 launch opportunity, which was completed in May 2003. Following this study, significant efforts were undertaken to reduce the risk of the atmospheric flight system, under the NASA Langley Planetary Airplane Risk Reduction Project. The concept was then proposed to the Mars Scout program in 2006 for a 2011 launch opportunity. This paper summarizes the design and development of the ARES airplane propulsion subsystem beginning with the inception of the ARES project in 2002 through the submittal of the Mars Scout proposal in July 2006.

  18. On the Origins of Mars' Exospheric Nonthermal Oxygen Component as Observed by MAVEN and Modeled by HELIOSARES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblanc, F.; Chaufray, J. Y.; Modolo, R.; Leclercq, L.; Curry, S.; Luhmann, J.; Lillis, R.; Hara, T.; McFadden, J.; Halekas, J.; Schneider, N.; Deighan, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Benna, M.; Johnson, R. E.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B.

    2017-12-01

    The first measurements of the emission brightness of the oxygen atomic exosphere by Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission have clearly shown that it is composed of a thermal component produced by the extension of the upper atmosphere and of a nonthermal component. Modeling these measurements allows us to constrain the origins of the exospheric O and, as a consequence, to estimate Mars' present oxygen escape rate. We here propose an analysis of three periods of MAVEN observations based on a set of three coupled models: a hybrid magnetospheric model (LATmos HYbrid Simulation (LatHyS)), an Exospheric General Model (EGM), and the Global Martian Circulation model of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-GCM), which provide a description of Mars' environment from the surface up to the solar wind. The simulated magnetosphere by LatHyS is in good agreement with MAVEN Plasma and Field Package instruments data. The LMD-GCM modeled upper atmospheric profiles for the main neutral and ion species are compared to Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer/MAVEN data showing that the LMD-GCM can provide a satisfactory global view of Mars' upper atmosphere. Finally, we were able to reconstruct the expected emission brightness intensity from the oxygen exosphere using EGM. The good agreement with the averaged measured profiles by Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph during these three periods suggests that Mars' exospheric nonthermal component can be fully explained by the reactions of dissociative recombination of the O2+ ion in Mars' ionosphere, limiting significantly our ability to extract information from MAVEN observations of the O exosphere on other nonthermal processes, such as sputtering.

  19. The origin of atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marx, Gy.

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth is described. Starting from the hot Universe the main steps of the ''cooling-down'' process as the different states of the condensation of the matter are discussed. After this nuclear evolution the chemical evolution could start on the solid Earth's crust. In the reductive primordial atmosphere mainly due to ultraviolet rays the basic molecules for life as sugars and amino acids were formed. The photosynthesis of the plants has later produced the oxygen being present in the recent atmosphere. The question whether the pollution could affect the auto-stabilization loop of the atmosphere is also discussed. Finally the possibility of life on the Mars is studied. (Sz.Z.)

  20. Assessment of environments for Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent, and surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Chen, Allen; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Burkhart, P. Daniel; Cantor, Bruce A.; Dwyer-Cianciolo, Alicia M.; Fergason, Robini L.; Hinson, David P.; Justh, Hilary L.; Kass, David M.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Mischna, Michael A.; Murphy, James R.; Rafkin, Scot C.R.; Tyler, Daniel; Withers, Paul G.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission aims to land a car-sized rover on Mars' surface and operate it for at least one Mars year in order to assess whether its field area was ever capable of supporting microbial life. Here we describe the approach used to identify, characterize, and assess environmental risks to the landing and rover surface operations. Novel entry, descent, and landing approaches will be used to accurately deliver the 900-kg rover, including the ability to sense and "fly out" deviations from a best-estimate atmospheric state. A joint engineering and science team developed methods to estimate the range of potential atmospheric states at the time of arrival and to quantitatively assess the spacecraft's performance and risk given its particular sensitivities to atmospheric conditions. Numerical models are used to calculate the atmospheric parameters, with observations used to define model cases, tune model parameters, and validate results. This joint program has resulted in a spacecraft capable of accessing, with minimal risk, the four finalist sites chosen for their scientific merit. The capability to operate the landed rover over the latitude range of candidate landing sites, and for all seasons, was verified against an analysis of surface environmental conditions described here. These results, from orbital and model data sets, also drive engineering simulations of the rover's thermal state that are used to plan surface operations.

  1. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

    The ionosphere of Mars is rather poorly understood. The only direct measurements were performed by the Viking 1 and 2 landers in 1976, both of which carried a Retarding Potential Analyzer. The RPA was designed to measure ion properties during the descent, although electron fluxes were estimated from changes in the ion currents. Using these derived low-energy electron fluxes, Mantas and Hanson studied the photoelectron and the solar wind electron interactions with the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. Unanswered questions remain regarding the origin of the low-energy electron fluxes in the vicinity of the Mars plasma boundary. Crider, in an analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer measurements, has attributed the formation of the magnetic pile-up boundary to electron impact ionization of exospheric neutral species by solar wind electrons. However, the role of photoelectrons escaping from the lower ionosphere was not determined. In the proposed work, we will examine the role of solar wind and ionospheric photoelectrons in producing ionization in the upper ionosphere of Mars. Low-energy (internal (photoelectron) sources of ionization, and accounts for Auger electron production. The code will be used to analyze Mars Global Surveyor measurements of solar wind and photoelectrons down to altitudes below 200 km in the Mars ionosphere, in order to determine the relative roles of solar wind and escaping photoelectrons in maintaining plasma densities in the region of the Mars plasma boundary.

  2. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-10-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  3. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  4. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  5. What would we miss if we characterized the Moon and Mars with just planetary meteorites, remote mapping, and robotic landers?. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    Exploration of the Moon and planets began with telescopic studies of their surfaces, continued with orbiting spacecraft and robotic landers, and will culminate with manned exploration and sample return. For the Moon and Mars we also have accidental samples provided by impacts on their surfaces, the lunar and martian meteorites. How much would we know about the lunar surface if we only had lunar meteorites, orbital spacecraft, and robotic exploration, and not the Apollo and Luna returned samples? What does this imply for Mars? With martian meteorites and data from Mariner, Viking, and the future Pathfinder missions, how much could we learn about Mars? The basis of most of our detailed knowledge about the Moon is the Apollo samples. They provide ground truth for the remote mapping, timescales for lunar processes, and samples from the lunar interior. The Moon is the foundation of planetary science and the basis for our interpretation of the other planets. Mars is similar to the Moon in that impact and volcanism are the dominant processes, but Mars' surface has also been affected by wind and water, and hence has much more complex surface geology. Future geochemical or mineralogical mapping of Mars' surface should be able to tell us whether the dominant rock types of the ancient southern highlands are basaltic, anorthositic, granitic, or something else, but will not be able to tell us the detailed mineralogy, geochemistry, or age. Without many more martian meteorites or returned samples we will not know the diversity of martian rocks, and therefore will be limited in our ability to model martian geological evolution.

  6. Overview of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillman, Robert; Corliss, James

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) project will bring Mars surface and atmosphere samples back to Earth for detailed examination. Langley Research Center's MSR Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) is a core part of the mission, protecting the sample container during atmospheric entry, descent, and landing. Planetary protection requirements demand a higher reliability from the EEV than for any previous planetary entry vehicle. An overview of the EEV design and preliminary analysis is presented, with a follow-on discussion of recommended future design trade studies to be performed over the next several years in support of an MSR launch in 2018 or 2020. Planned topics include vehicle size for impact protection of a range of sample container sizes, outer mold line changes to achieve surface sterilization during re-entry, micrometeoroid protection, aerodynamic stability, thermal protection, and structural materials selection.

  7. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul; Hayden, Jeff; Agre, Jonathan R.; Clare, Loren P.; Yan, Tsun-Yee

    2001-01-01

    Next-generation Mars communications networks will provide communications and navigation services to a wide variety of Mars science vehicles including: spacecraft that are arriving at Mars, spacecraft that are entering and descending in the Mars atmosphere, scientific orbiter spacecraft, spacecraft that return Mars samples to Earth, landers, rovers, aerobots, airplanes, and sensing pods. In the current architecture plans, the communication services will be provided using capabilities deployed on the science vehicles as well as dedicated communication satellites that will together make up the Mars network. This network will evolve as additional vehicles arrive, depart or end their useful missions. Cost savings and increased reliability will result from the ability to share communication services between missions. This paper discusses the basic architecture that is needed to support the Mars Communications Network part of NASA's Space Science Enterprise (SSE) communications architecture. The network may use various networking technologies such as those employed in the terrestrial Internet, as well as special purpose deep-space protocols to move data and commands autonomously between vehicles, at disparate Mars vicinity sites (on the surface or in near-Mars space) and between Mars vehicles and earthbound users. The architecture of the spacecraft on-board local communications is being reconsidered in light of these new networking requirements. The trend towards increasingly autonomous operation of the spacecraft is aimed at reducing the dependence on resource scheduling provided by Earth-based operators and increasing system fault tolerance. However, these benefits will result in increased communication and software development requirements. As a result, the envisioned Mars communications infrastructure requires both hardware and protocol technology advancements. This paper will describe a number of the critical technology needs and some of the ongoing research

  8. Joint US-USSR Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, S. R.; Trombka, J. I.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R.; Squyres, S. W.; Surkov, Iu. A.; Moskaleva, L. P.; Shcheglov, O.; Mitugov, A. G.; Rester, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    The Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) project has been established at Goddard Space Flight Center for the evaluation and cross calibration of U.S. and USSR remote sensing gamma-ray and neutron detectors. These detectors are analogs of those flown on the Soviet Phobos mission around Mars and those to be flown on the upcoming U.S. Mars Observer mission. Cosmic rays, which are normally filtered out by the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field, will induce gamma-ray and neutron emissions from about a half ton of simulated Mars soil aboard the gondola. The cross calibration of these instruments should greatly facilitate the data analysis from both missions and play a role in U.S.-USSR cooperation in space.

  9. Human Health and Performance Aspects of the Mars Design Reference Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2000-01-01

    This paper will describe the current planning for exploration-class missions, emphasizing the medical, and human factors aspects of such expeditions. The details of mission architecture are still under study, but a typical Mars design reference mission comprises a six-month transit from Earth to Mar, eighteen months in residence on Mars, and a six-month transit back to Earth. Physiological stressors will include environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to radiation, weightlessness in transit, and hypogravity and a toxic atmosphere while on Mars. Psychological stressors will include remoteness from Earth, confinement, and potential interpersonal conflicts, all complicated by circadian alterations. Medical risks including trauma must also be considered. Results of planning for assuring human health and performance will be presented.

  10. GCR flux 9-day variations with LISA Pathfinder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grimani, C; Benella, S; Fabi, M; Finetti, N; Telloni, D

    2017-01-01

    Galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) energy spectra in the heliosphere vary on the basis of the level of solar activity, the status of solar polarity and interplanetary transient magnetic structures of solar origin. A high counting rate particle detector (PD) aboard LISA Pathfinder (LPF) allows for the measurement of galactic cosmic-ray and solar energetic particle (SEP) integral fluxes at energies > 70 MeV n −1 up to 6500 counts s −1 . Data are gathered with a sampling time of 15 s. A study of GCR flux depressions associated with the third harmonic of the Sun rotation period (∼ 9 days) is presented here. (paper)

  11. LISA Pathfinder: Optical Metrology System monitoring during operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audley, Heather E.; LISA Pathfinder Collaboration

    2017-05-01

    The LISA Pathfinder (LPF) mission has demonstrated excellent performance. In addition to having surpassed the main mission goals, data has been collected from the various subsystems throughout the duration of the mission. This data is a valuable resource, both for a more complete understanding of the LPF satellite and the differential acceleration measurements, as well as for the design of the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission. Initial analysis of the Optical Metrology System (OMS) data was performed as part of daily system monitoring, and more in-depth analyses are ongoing. This contribution presents an overview of these activities along with an introduction to the OMS.

  12. SUV Tracks On Mars? The 'Devil' is in the Details

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    rises into the spinning air, giving the appearance of a tornado-like column that moves across the landscape. As the column of air moves, its ability to pick up dust varies--sometimes they hold a lot of dust and are nearly opaque; sometimes you cannot even see them. Dust-devils rarely last long, since their very motion changes the conditions that allowed them to form in the first place.Mars Pathfinder detected the passage of several dust devils during its 83 days of operation on Mars in 1997. Mariner 9 and the Viking landers and orbiters of the 1970s also found evidence that dust devils occur on Mars; indeed, some Viking Orbiter images actually show dust devil clouds. MOC image 26403 is the latest entry in the body of evidence for the work of wind in the modern martian environment. The MOC Science Team is continuing to study these and other streaks caused by wind interacting with the martian surface.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  13. Ultra-High Resolution Spectroscopic Remote Sensing: A Microscope on Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostiuk, Theodor

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing of planetary atmospheres is not complete without studies of all levels of the atmosphere, including the dense cloudy- and haze filled troposphere, relatively clear and important stratosphere and the upper atmosphere, which are the first levels to experience the effects of solar radiation. High-resolution spectroscopy can provide valuable information on these regions of the atmosphere. Ultra-high spectral resolution studies can directly measure atmospheric winds, composition, temperature and non-thermal phenomena, which describe the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. Spectroscopy in the middle to long infrared wavelengths can also probe levels where dust of haze limit measurements at shorter wavelength or can provide ambiguous results on atmospheric species abundances or winds. A spectroscopic technique in the middle infrared wavelengths analogous to a radio receiver. infrared heterodyne spectroscopy [1], will be describe and used to illustrate the detailed study of atmospheric phenomena not readily possible with other methods. The heterodyne spectral resolution with resolving power greater than 1,000.000 measures the true line shapes of emission and absorption lines in planetary atmospheres. The information on the region of line formation is contained in the line shapes. The absolute frequency of the lines can be measured to I part in 100 ,000,000 and can be used to accurately measure the Doppler frequency shift of the lines, directly measuring the line-of-sight velocity of the gas to --Im/s precision (winds). The technical and analytical methods developed and used to measure and analyze infrared heterodyne measurements will be described. Examples of studies on Titan, Venus, Mars, Earth, and Jupiter will be presented. 'These include atmospheric dynamics on slowly rotating bodies (Titan [2] and Venus [3] and temperature, composition and chemistry on Mars 141, Venus and Earth. The discovery and studies of unique atmospheric phenomena will also be

  14. First in...Last Out: History of the U.S. Army Pathfinder (1942-2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-21

    Brittany, it would seize the Port of Brest , and cover the south flank, while the First Army began an attack to the northeast toward Paris .63 87 On the......it will provide insights into Pathfinder doctrine, “tactics, techniques and procedures,” strategy, technology and lessons learned from their origin

  15. Observation of early photons from gamma-ray bursts with the Lomonosov / UFFO-pathfinder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeong, S.; Brandt, Søren; Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl

    2014-01-01

    UFFO-pathfinder is a pioneering space mission to observe the early evolution of Gamma-ray Bursts using a fast slewing strategy. It consists of the Slewing Mirror Telescope, for rapid pointing at UV/optical wavelengths and the UFFO Burst Alert and Trigger Telescope. It has a total weight of ~ 20 k...

  16. LISA Pathfinder: hardware tests and their input to the mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audley, Heather

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a joint ESA-NASA mission for the first space-borne gravitational wave detector. LISA aims to detect sources in the 0.1mHz to 1Hz range, which include supermassive black holes and galactic binary stars. Core technologies required for the LISA mission, including drag-free test mass control, picometre interferometry and micro-Newton thrusters, cannot be tested on-ground. Therefore, a precursor satellite, LISA Pathfinder, has been developed as a technology demonstration mission. The preparations for the LISA Pathfinder mission have reached an exciting stage. Tests of the engineering model of the optical metrology system have recently been completed at the Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover, and flight model tests are now underway. Significantly, they represent the first complete integration and testing of the space-qualified hardware and are the first tests on system level. The results and test procedures of these campaigns will be utilised directly in the ground-based flight hardware tests, and subsequently within in-flight operations. In addition, they allow valuable testing of the data analysis methods using the MatLab based LTP data analysis toolbox. This contribution presents an overview of the test campaigns calibration, control and perfor-mance results, focusing on the implications for the Experimental Master Plan which provides the basis for the in-flight operations and procedures.

  17. New Model for Ionospheric Irregularities at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskinen, M. J.

    2018-03-01

    A new model for ionospheric irregularities at Mars is presented. It is shown that wind-driven currents in the dynamo region of the Martian ionosphere can be unstable to the electromagnetic gradient drift instability. This plasma instability can generate ionospheric density and magnetic field irregularities with scale sizes of approximately 15-20 km down to a few kilometers. We show that the instability-driven magnetic field fluctuation amplitudes relative to background are correlated with the ionospheric density fluctuation amplitudes relative to background. Our results can explain recent observations made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft in the Martian ionosphere dynamo region.

  18. Photovoltaic Cell Operation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Kerslake, Thomas; Jenkins, Phillip P.; Scheiman, David A.

    2004-01-01

    The Martian surface environment provides peculiar challenges for the operation of solar arrays: low temperature, solar flux with a significant scattered component that varies in intensity and spectrum with the amount of suspended atmospheric dust, and the possibility of performance loss due to dust deposition on the array surface. This paper presents theoretical analyses of solar cell performance on the surface of Mars and measurements of cells under Martian conditions.

  19. Free-Suspension Residual Flexibility Testing of Space Station Pathfinder: Comparison to Fixed-Base Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinker, Michael L.

    1998-01-01

    Application of the free-suspension residual flexibility modal test method to the International Space Station Pathfinder structure is described. The Pathfinder, a large structure of the general size and weight of Space Station module elements, was also tested in a large fixed-base fixture to simulate Shuttle Orbiter payload constraints. After correlation of the Pathfinder finite element model to residual flexibility test data, the model was coupled to a fixture model, and constrained modes and frequencies were compared to fixed-base test. modes. The residual flexibility model compared very favorably to results of the fixed-base test. This is the first known direct comparison of free-suspension residual flexibility and fixed-base test results for a large structure. The model correlation approach used by the author for residual flexibility data is presented. Frequency response functions (FRF) for the regions of the structure that interface with the environment (a test fixture or another structure) are shown to be the primary tools for model correlation that distinguish or characterize the residual flexibility approach. A number of critical issues related to use of the structure interface FRF for correlating the model are then identified and discussed, including (1) the requirement of prominent stiffness lines, (2) overcoming problems with measurement noise which makes the antiresonances or minima in the functions difficult to identify, and (3) the use of interface stiffness and lumped mass perturbations to bring the analytical responses into agreement with test data. It is shown that good comparison of analytical-to-experimental FRF is the key to obtaining good agreement of the residual flexibility values.

  20. Evidence for Neutrals-Foreshock Electrons Impact at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazelle, C. X.; Meziane, K.; Mitchell, D. L.; Garnier, P.; Espley, J. R.; Hamza, A. M.; Halekas, J.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2018-05-01

    Backstreaming electrons emanating from the bow shock of Mars reported from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN/Solar Wind Electron Analyzer observations show a flux fall off with the distance from the shock. This feature is not observed at the terrestrial foreshock. The flux decay is observed only for electron energy E ≥ 29 eV. A reported recent study indicates that Mars foreshock electrons are produced at the shock in a mirror reflection of a portion of the solar wind electrons. In this context, and given that the electrons are sufficiently energetic to not be affected by the interplanetary magnetic field fluctuations, the observed flux decrease appears problematic. We investigate the possibility that the flux fall off with distance results from the impact of backstreaming electrons with Mars exospheric neutral hydrogen. We demonstrate that the flux fall off is consistent with the electron-atomic hydrogen impact cross section for a large range of energy. A better agreement is obtained for energy where the impact cross section is the highest. One important consequence is that foreshock electrons can play an important role in the production of pickup ions at Mars far exosphere.

  1. Biomedical Aspects of Lunar and Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2006-01-01

    Recent long-range planning for exploration-class missions has emphasized the need for anticipating the medical and human factors aspects of such expeditions. Missions returning Americans to the moon for stays of up to 6 months at a time will provide the opportunity to demonstrate the means to function safely and efficiently on another planet. Details of mission architectures are still under study, but a typical Mars design reference mission comprises a six-month transit from Earth to Mars, eighteen months in residence on Mars, and a six-month transit back to Earth. Physiological stresses will come from environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to radiation, weightlessness en route to Mars and then back to Earth, and low gravity and a toxic atmosphere while on Mars. Psychological stressors will include remoteness from Earth, confinement, and potential interpersonal conflicts, all complicated by circadian alterations. Medical risks including trauma must be considered. The role of such risk-modifying influences as artificial gravity and improved propulsion technologies to shorten round-trip time will also be discussed. Results of planning for assuring human health and performance will be presented.

  2. Mars expert Edwin, 17, amazes Euro.

    CERN Multimedia

    2001-01-01

    Edwin Kite represented the UK in the 'Life in the Universe' competition held at CERN, Geneva. In his presentation Could Mars Have Supported Advanced Life?, he presented models of the Martian atmosphere