DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 41. Future Missions and Instruments
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[41.02] The VIRTIS Infrared Imaging Spectrometer on the ESA/Venus Express Mission

P. Drossart (LESIA, Obs. Paris), G. Piccioni (IASF, Rome), G. Arnold (DLR, Berlin), A. Coradini (IASF, Rome), M. Cosi, E. Suetta (Galileo Avionica, Florence), A. Semery (LESIA, Obs. Paris), J. Benkhoff (DLR, Berlin), VIRTIS Team

Venus Express is an ESA mission scheduled for launch in November 2005. It will study the Venus atmosphere and environment during two Venusian days, starting in spring 2006, on an elliptical orbit (250-60,000~km). The VIRTIS (Visual and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument is adapted from the imaging spectrometer VIRTIS of the ESA/Rosetta cometary mission (Coradini et al., {\em Planet. Space Sci.}, 1998). It consists in two channels:\\ 1. An imaging Hoffner spectrometer (VIRTIS-M) working in combination in IR (1-5~\mum) and visible (0.25-1~\mum), providing spectral maps at 0.25 mrad spatial resolution and 300 spectral resolution.\\ 2. An echelle slit spectrometer (VIRTIS-H) working in the IR (2-5~\mum), at higher (\approx1500) spectral resolution, with a 0.5 mrad FOV coaligned with VIRTIS-M.\\ Following the Galileo/NIMS (Carlson et al., {\em Science}, 1991) and the Cassini/VIMS observations (Baines et al., {\em Icarus}, 2000) during their respective Venus encounters, the orbital observations by VIRTIS should provide an extended basis for Venus atmospheric investigation in the near infrared. The scientific objectives of VIRTIS range from surface detection in optical and near infrared windows in night side observations, to mesospheric sounding on day and night side. It will provide a tomography of the Venus atmosphere from 0 up to 110~km with:\\ - Surface and near-surface temperature variations H2O in the 0-15 km region\\ - H2O, D/H, CO, OCS, SO2 measurements in the 26-45~km region\\ - Cloud opacity in the lower cloud layers (45-70~km)\\ - O2 fluorescence in the 95-110~km range\\ Various science objectives are accessible from these observations, including the large scale circulation in the lower atmosphere, the meteorology, the dynamics of the mesosphere, and a search for active volcanism through D/H, SO2 and CH4 observations.

{\em This experiment is supported by CNES, ASI, DLR, and ESA}

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://servirtis.obspm.fr/Venus_Express/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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