October 14, 2014

Exploration of Mars in the SPICAM-IR experiment onboard the Mars-Express spacecraft: 2. Nadir observations: Simultaneous observations of water vapor and O2 glow in the Martian atmosphere

Fedorova A., Korablev O.I., Perrier S., Bertaux J.-L., Lefevre F., Rodin A., Kiselev A.
Cosmic Research

Summary: The SPICAM experiment onboard the Mars-Express spacecraft includes sounding the Martian atmosphere in the ultra-violet (118-320 nm) and near IR (1-1.7 µm) ranges. The infrared spectrometer operates in the range of 1-1.7 µm with a resolution of 3.5 cm-1 in the mode of nadir observations and solar and stellar occulations. This paper is devoted to analyzing the basic results of nadir observations of the infra-red SPICAM channel during the first Martian year of the instrument operation: from January 2004 to November 2005. One of the primary goals of SPICAM-IR is water vapor monitoring in the atmosphere of Mars in the band of 1.37 µm and ozone abundance determination from the day-time airglow of molecular oxygen O2(a 1g) in the band of 1.27 µm. Simultaneous measurements of these minor constituents of the planet are necessary for understanding photochemical processes in the Martian atmosphere. The degree of their anticorrelation and a comparison with the results of photochemical modeling of the atmosphere will contribute to our knowledge of the Martian atmosphere stability. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2006.