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L. Ben-Jaffel (IAP-CNRS), D. Feng (Univ. Arizona), F. Herbert (LPL-Tucson), B. Hermann (Univ. Arizona)
We propose a new method that uses occultation observations and solar reflected spectra to derive self-consistently the abundance of several minor constituents in the upper atmosphere of planets. The data analysis process iterates between matrix inversion of occultation data and radiative transfer calculations of the reflected spectra. Simultaneous analysis of respectively the Voyager 2 UVS stellar Occultation observations obtained during the spacecraft encounter with Saturn and an IUE albedo spectrum of the planet obtained in 1983, provided the height distribution of eleven minor constituents from the top of the troposphere up to the atmospheric homopause region. These constituents are: CH4, C2H2, C2H4, C4H2, C2H6, H2O, GeH4, PH3, AsH3, CO2, and NH3. H2O appears as a key element of the upper atmosphere of Saturn that strongly influences its chemistry. Our results seem to be consistent with some HC abundances, recently derived from ISO observations.