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R.T. Clancy, M.J. Wolff (Space Science Institute), P.R. Christensen (Arizona State University)
The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES, Christensen et al., Science, v279, 1692-1697, 1998) on board the Mars Global Surveyor obtains simultaneous solar band and thermal IR spectral emission-phase-function (EPF) observations with global spatial coverage and continuous seasonal sampling. These measurements allow the first comprehensive study of the coupled visible scattering and thermal IR absorption properties of Mars atmospheric aerosols, a fundamental requirement towards defining opacities, particle sizes, and particle shapes for separable dust and water ice aerosol components. Furthermore, TES limb sounding at solar band and IR wavelengths may be analyzed in the context of these EPF column determinations to constrain the distinctive vertical profile behaviors of dust and ice clouds. We present initial radiative transfer analyses of TES visible and IR EPFs, which indicate surprisingly complex dust and ice aerosol behaviors over all latitudes and seasons. Distinctive backscattering peaks of variable intensity are observed for several types of water ice clouds, along with evidence for ice-coated dust aerosols. We will present a broad spatial and temporal sampling of solar band and spectral IR results for Mars atmospheric ice and dust aerosols observed over the 1998-2000 period. This research is supported by the MGS Participating Scientist and MED Science Data Analysis programs.