DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 14. Mars Atmosphere II
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[14.16] Environmental Modeling of Mars: Thermal Behavior

T.Z. Martin, N.T. Bridges (JPL), J.R. Murphy (NMSU)

There is increasing demand for modeling of the Martian physical environment both for scientific studies and for design and operation of Mars missions. A variety of resources are available to meet these needs; most are the products of individual research efforts, and one - Mars-GRAM - is a parameterization model specifically intended for engineering applications. There is often a gap of understanding between the scientists and engineers that must be carefully addressed in order to portray accuracy of data, reliability of models, and applicability.

At JPL we are collecting the most relevant scientific results and providing them to engineering staff in order to carry out a variety of studies. Among these are estimation of minimum nighttime 1-m air temperatures at the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites, in order to predict thermal losses that could limit mission lifetime; evaluation of the thermal flux on MRO instruments and radiative coolers; bounding atmospheric dust opacities for balloon operations; and wind modeling for evaluation of landing risk at potential MER sites.

For MER, we combined thermal models validated by MGS TES data with a 1-D boundary layer model developed for Mars Pathfinder meteorology data modeling, to produce temperatures at 1 meter at 0600 hrs near the mission endpoints, to estimate whether certain landing sites would produce excessive cooling, and thus battery drain. Low thermal inertias at the Sinus Meridiani site produce temperatures that are problematical for a small fraction of the original landing ellipse.

Data have generously been provided by MGS TES and Odyssey THEMIS team members, as well as mesoscale and boundary layer modelers.

This research was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Terry.Z.Martin@jpl.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.