October 14, 2014

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

Bertaux J.-L., Korablev O., Fonteyn D., Guibert S., Chassefiere E., Lefevre F., 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 E., Simon P.C., Forget F., Hourdin F., Talagrand O., Moroz V.I., Rodin A., Sandel B., Stern A.
Advances in Space Research

Summary: 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. © 2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.