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Sample records for martian dust simulation

  1. Simulation of Martian dust accumulation on surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.; Kress, Robert; Grimalda, Justus

    1990-01-01

    Future NASA space missions include the possibility of manned landings and exploration of Mars. Environmental and operational constraints unique to Mars must be considered when selecting and designing the power system to be used on the Mars surface. A technique is described which was developed to simulate the deposition of dust on surfaces. Three kinds of dust materials were studied: aluminum oxide, basalt, and iron oxide. The apparatus was designed using the Stokes and Stokes-Cunningham law for particle fallout, with additional consideration given to particle size and shape. Characterization of the resulting dust films on silicon dioxide, polytetrafluoroethylene, indium tin oxide, diamondlike carbon, and other surfaces are discussed based on optical transmittance measurements. The results of these experiments will guide future studies which will consider processes to remove the dust from surfaces under Martian environmental conditions.

  2. Numerical simulations of the decay of Martian global dust storms

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, J.R. ); Toon, O.B.; Haberle, R.M.; Pollack, J.B. )

    1990-08-30

    The decay of Martian global (great) dust storms is investigated. One-dimensional (vertical, static atmosphere) and two-dimensional (latitude-height, steady state circulation) simulations carried out with an aerosol transport-microphysical model indicate that atmospheric motions play a significant role in the observed decay of global dust storms. Spacecraft observations (Mariner 9, Viking) of the 1971 and the two 1977 planet-encircling dust storms have provided suggestions about some characteristics of storm decay. Specifically, the dust particle size distribution is inferred to have remained essentially unchanged for particles with radii between 1 and 10 {mu}m during decay of the 1971 storm, and surface visible opacity declined quasi-exponentially with time in northern mid-latitudes during the decay of the two 1977 storms. The results from this investigation indicate that two- or three-dimensional dynamical processes play a significant role in the observed decay features of Martian global dust storms. The most important processes are the lofting of dust by vertical motions in the dust source region of the southern hemisphere subtropics and a continuing advective resupply of atmospheric dust into the dust sink regions of the northern hemisphere. This work has implications for Viking data analyses and future Mars observer observations and requires that the particle size distribution be treated as a time and latitude dependent quantity.

  3. Electrostatic Characteristics of Materials Exposed to Martian Simulant Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calle, C. I.; Kim, H. S.; Young, S.; Jackson, D.; Lombardi, A. J.

    1998-11-01

    The Pathfinder mission to Mars identified Andesitic rock as the primary type of rock at the landing site. Several experiments were designed at NASA/Kennedy Space Center to determine the charging characteristics of common space materials exposed to small particles derived from those rocks. MARS-1, a Martian soil simulant prepared from Andesitic rocks by NASA/JSC was used in this work. Characterization of this simulant was made using scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled argon plasma spectroscopy coupled with a carbon-sulfur detector. These results were compared to the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer analysis on Pathfinder. The simulant was found to be a suitable substitute for Martian soil for our purposes. Two experimental designs and methods to simulate the exposure of different materials to wind-blown dust were made. These designs permit dust particle delivery to samples at different speeds. Initial experiments made with these designs to determine their viability were promising.

  4. Simulation of Martian surface conditions and dust transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nørnberg, P.; Merrison, J. P.; Finster, K.; Folkmann, F.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Hansen, A.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Mugford, R.

    2002-11-01

    The suspended atmospheric dust which is also found deposited over most of the Martian globe plays an important (possibly vital) role in shaping the surface environment. It affects the weather (solar flux), water transport and possibly also the electrical properties at the surface. The simulation facilities at Aarhus provide excellent tools for studying the properties of this Martian environment. Much can be learned from such simulations, supporting and often inspiring new investigations of the planet. Electrical charging of a Mars analogue dust is being studied within a wind tunnel simulation aerosol. Here electric fields are used to extract dust from suspension. Although preliminary the results indicate that a large fraction of the dust is charged to a high degree, sufficient to dominate adhesion/cohesion processes. A Mars analogue dust layer has been shown to be an excellent trap for moisture, causing increased humidity in the soil below. This allows the possibility for liquid water to be stable close to the surface (less than 10 cm). This is being investigated in an environment simulator where heat and moisture transport can be studied through layers of Mars analogue dust.

  5. Martian Dust Devils: Laboratory Simulations of Particle Threshold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Balme, Matthew R.; Iverson, James D.; Metzger, Stephen; Mickelson, Robert; Phoreman, Jim; White, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    An apparatus has been fabricated to simulate terrestrial and Martian dust devils. Comparisons of surface pressure profiles through the vortex core generated in the apparatus with both those in natural dust devils on Earth and those inferred for Mars are similar and are consistent with theoretical Rankine vortex models. Experiments to determine particle threshold under Earth ambient atmospheric pressures show that sand (particles > 60 micron in diameter) threshold is analogous to normal boundary-layer shear, in which the rotating winds of the vortex generate surface shear and hence lift. Lower-pressure experiments down to approx. 65 mbar follow this trend for sand-sized particles. However, smaller particles (i.e., dust) and all particles at very low pressures (w 10-60 mbar) appear to be subjected to an additional lift function interpreted to result from the strong decrease in atmospheric pressure centered beneath the vortex core. Initial results suggest that the wind speeds required for the entrainment of grains approx. 2 microns in diameter (i.e., Martian dust sizes) are about half those required for entrainment by boundary layer winds on both Earth and Mars.

  6. Numerical simulations of dust transport into northern high latitudes during a Martian polar warming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. R.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    The formation and evolution of the polar laminated terrain depends on rates of dust transport to the polar caps. A simplified dynamical model is shown similar to models used to simulate terrestrial stratospheric polar warmings could simulate certain observed features of the circulation during Martian global dust storms. Model simulations of dust transport showed that substantial quantities of dust, enough to produce optical depths of approx. 1, could reach the pole during these storms.

  7. Martian dust devil statistics from high-resolution large-eddy simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizawa, Seiya; Odaka, Masatsugu; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki O.; Sugiyama, Ko-ichiro; Nakajima, Kensuke; Ishiwatari, Masaki; Takehiro, Shin-ichi; Yashiro, Hisashi; Sato, Yousuke; Tomita, Hirofumi; Hayashi, Yoshi-Yuki

    2016-05-01

    Dust devils are one of the key elements in the Martian atmospheric circulation. In order to examine their statistics, we conducted high-resolution (up to 5 m) and wide-domain (about 20 × 20 km2) large-eddy simulations of the Martian daytime convective layer. Large numbers of dust devils developed spontaneously in the simulations, which enabled us to represent a quantitative consideration of Martian dust devil frequency distributions. We clarify the distributions of size and intensity, a topic of debate, and conclude that the maximum vertical vorticity of an individual dust devil has an exponential distribution, while the radius and circulation have power law distributions. A grid refinement experiment shows that the rate parameter of the vorticity distribution and the exponent of the circulation distribution are robust. The mode of the size distribution depends on the resolution, and it is suggested that the mode is less than 5 m.

  8. Effect of ultraviolet on the survival of bacteria airborne in simulated Martian dust clouds.

    PubMed

    Hagen, C A; Hawrylewicz, E J; Anderson, B T; Cephus, M L

    1970-01-01

    A chamber was constructed to create simulated Martian dust storms and thereby study the survival of airborne micro-organisms while exposed to the rigors of the Martian environment, including ultraviolet irradiation. Representative types of sporeforming and non-sporeforming bacteria present in spacecraft assembly areas and indigenous to humans were studied. It was found that daily ultraviolet irradiation of 2 to 9 X 10(7) erg cm-2 was not sufficient to sterilize the dust clouds. The soil particles protected the organisms from ultraviolet irradiation since the numbers of survivors from irradiated environments were similar to those from unirradiated environments. Pending further data of the Martian environment, the contamination and dissemination of Mars with terrestrial micro-organisms is still a distinct possibility. PMID:12664918

  9. The impact of a realistic vertical dust distribution on the simulation of the Martian General Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Richardson, Mark I.; Newman, Claire E.; Talaat, Elsayed R.; Waugh, Darryn W.; McConnochie, Timothy H.

    2013-05-01

    Limb-scanning observations with the Mars Climate Sounder and Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) have identified discrete layers of enhanced dust opacity well above the boundary layer and a mean vertical structure of dust opacity very different from the expectation of well-mixed dust in the lowest 1-2 scale heights. To assess the impact of this vertical dust opacity profile on atmospheric properties, we developed a TES limb-scan observation-based three-dimensional and time-evolving dust climatology for use in forcing general circulation models (GCMs). We use this to force the MarsWRF GCM and compare with simulations that use a well-mixed (Conrath-ν) vertical dust profile and Mars Climate Database version 4 (MCD) horizontal distribution dust opacity forcing function. We find that simulated temperatures using the TES-derived forcing yield a 1.18 standard deviation closer match to TES temperature retrievals than a MarsWRF simulation using MCD forcing. The climatological forcing yields significant changes to many large-scale features of the simulated atmosphere. Notably the high-latitude westerly jet speeds are 10-20 m/s higher, polar warming collar temperatures are 20-30 K warmer near northern winter solstice and tilted more strongly poleward, the middle and lower atmospheric meridional circulations are partially decoupled, the migrating diurnal tide exhibits destructive interference and is weakened by 50% outside of equinox, and the southern hemisphere wave number 1 stationary wave is strengthened by up to 4 K (45%). We find the vertical dust distribution is an important factor for Martian lower and middle atmospheric thermal structure and circulation that cannot be neglected in analysis and simulation of the Martian atmosphere.

  10. Pulmonary Toxicity Study of Lunar and Martian Dust Simulants Intratracheally Instilled in Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; Latch, John A.; Holian, A.; McCluskey, R.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and the Moon for further exploration. The properties of Hawaiian and Californian volcanic ashes allow them to be used to simulate Martian and lunar dusts, respectively. NASA laboratories use these dust simulants to test performance of hardware destined for Martian or lunar environments. Workers in these test facilities are exposed to low levels of these dusts. The present study was conducted to investigate the toxicity of these dust simulants. Particles of respirable-size ranges of lunar simulant (LS), Martian simulant (MS), TiO2 (negative control) and quartz (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled (saline as vehicle) to groups of 4 mice (C57BL, male, 2-3 month old) at a single treatment of 1 (Hi dose) or 0.1 (Lo dose) mg/mouse. The lungs were harvested at the end of 7 days or 90 days for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LS-Lo groups had no evidence of inflammation, edema or fibrosis. The LS-Hi-7d group had mild to moderate acute inflammation, and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the LS-Hi-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation and some fibrosis. Lungs of the MS-Lo-7d group revealed mild inflammation and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the MS-Lo-90d group showed mild fibrosis and particle-laden macrophages (PLM). Lungs of the MS-Hi-7d group demonstrated mild to moderate inflammation and large foci of PLM; the MS-Hi-90d group showed chronic mild to moderate inflammation and fibrosis. To mimic the effects of the oxidative and reactive properties of Martian soil surface, groups of mice were exposed to ozone (3 hour at 0.5 ppm) prior to MS dust instillation. Lung lesions in the MS group were more severe with the pretreatment. The results for the negative and positive controls were consistent with the known pulmonary toxicity of these compounds. The overall severity of toxic insults to the lungs were TiO2

  11. Pulmonary Toxicity of Simulated Lunar and Martian Dusts Intratracheally Instilled into Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John; Holian, Andrij; Latch, Judith N.; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos; Cowper, Shawn; McCluskey, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the Moon for further exploration. Equipment designated for these extraterrestrial bases will require testing in simulated Martian or lunar environments. The properties of Hawaiian and San Francisco Mountain volcanic ashes make them suitable to be used in these test environments as Martian and lunar dust simulants, respectively. The present toxicity study was conducted to address NASA's concern about the health risk of dust exposures in the test facilities. In addition, the results obtained on these simulants can be used to design a toxicity study of actual moon dust and Martian dust, which will probably be available in a few years. Respirable portions of lunar soil simulant (LSS) and Martian soil simulant (MSS) were separated from their respective raw materials. These soil simulants, together- with fine titanium dioxide (negative control for fibrogenesis in mice), and crystalline silica (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled in saline to groups of 4 male mice (C57BL/6J, 2-3 months old) at 0.1 mg/mouse (LD) or lmg/mouse (HD). The lungs were harvested 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LSS-LD groups on either the 7- or 90-day study showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis. Clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages, visible in the lungs examined after 7 days, were absent after 90 days. The LSS-HD-7d group showed mild to moderate alveolitis with neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration, and mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation: septal thickening, mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation, mild alveolitis and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lungs of the MSS-LD-7d group revealed mild focal intraalveolar inflammation with neutrophilic and

  12. Toxicity of lunar and martian dust simulants to alveolar macrophages isolated from human volunteers.

    PubMed

    Latch, Judith N; Hamilton, Raymond F; Holian, Andrij; James, John T; Lam, Chiu-wing

    2008-01-01

    NASA is planning to build a habitat on the Moon and use the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars. JSC-1, an Arizona volcanic ash that has mineral properties similar to those of lunar soil, is used to produce lunar environments for instrument and equipment testing. NASA is concerned about potential health risks to workers exposed to these fine dusts in test facilities. The potential toxicity of JSC-1 lunar soil simulant and a Martian soil simulant (JSC-Mars-1, a Hawaiian volcanic ash) was evaluated using human alveolar macrophages (HAM) isolated from volunteers; titanium dioxide and quartz were used as reference dusts. This investigation is a prerequisite to studies of actual lunar dust. HAM were treated in vitro with these test dusts for 24 h; assays of cell viability and apoptosis showed that JSC-1 and TiO2 were comparable, and more toxic than saline control but less toxic than quartz. HAM treated with JSC-1 or JSC-Mars 1 showed a dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. To elucidate the mechanism by which these dusts induce apoptosis, we investigated the involvement of scavenger receptors (SR). Pretreatment of cells with polyinosinic acid, an SR blocker, significantly inhibited both apoptosis and necrosis. These results suggest HAM cytotoxicity may be initiated by interaction of the dust particles with SR. Besides being cytotoxic, silica is known to induce shifting of HAM phenotypes to an immune active status. The immunomodulatory effect of the dust simulants was investigated. Treatment of HAM with either simulant caused preferential damage to the suppressor macrophage subpopulation, leading to a net increase in the ratio of activator (RFD1+) to suppressor (RFD1+7+) macrophages, an effect similar to that of treatment with silica. It is recommended that appropriate precautions be used to minimize exposure to these fine dusts in large-scale engineering applications. PMID:18236230

  13. Martian dust threshold measurements: Simulations under heated surface conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Bruce R.; Greeley, Ronald; Leach, Rodman N.

    1991-01-01

    Diurnal changes in solar radiation on Mars set up a cycle of cooling and heating of the planetary boundary layer, this effect strongly influences the wind field. The stratification of the air layer is stable in early morning since the ground is cooler than the air above it. When the ground is heated and becomes warmer than the air its heat is transferred to the air above it. The heated parcels of air near the surface will, in effect, increase the near surface wind speed or increase the aeolian surface stress the wind has upon the surface when compared to an unheated or cooled surface. This means that for the same wind speed at a fixed height above the surface, ground-level shear stress will be greater for the heated surface than an unheated surface. Thus, it is possible to obtain saltation threshold conditions at lower mean wind speeds when the surface is heated. Even though the mean wind speed is less when the surface is heated, the surface shear stress required to initiate particle movement remains the same in both cases. To investigate this phenomenon, low-density surface dust aeolian threshold measurements have been made in the MARSWIT wind tunnel located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. The first series of tests examined threshold values of the 100 micron sand material. At 13 mb surface pressure the unheated surface had a threshold friction speed of 2.93 m/s (and approximately corresponded to a velocity of 41.4 m/s at a height of 1 meter) while the heated surface equivalent bulk Richardson number of -0.02, yielded a threshold friction speed of 2.67 m/s (and approximately corresponded to a velocity of 38.0 m/s at a height of 1 meter). This change represents an 8.8 percent decrease in threshold conditions for the heated case. The values of velocities are well within the threshold range as observed by Arvidson et al., 1983. As the surface was heated the threshold decreased. At a value of bulk Richardson number equal to -0.02 the threshold

  14. Toxicity of Lunar and Martian Dust Simulants to Alveolar Macrophages Isolated from Human Volunteers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Latch, Judith N.; Hamilton, Raymond F., Jr.; Holian, Andrij; James, John T.

    2007-01-01

    NASA is planning to build a habitat on the Moon and use the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars. JSC-1, an Arizona volcanic ash that has mineral properties similar to lunar soil, is used to produce lunar environments for instrument and equipment testing. NASA is concerned about potential health risks to workers exposed to these fine dusts in test facilities. The potential toxicity of JSC-1 and a Martian soil simulant (JSC-Mars-1, a Hawaiian volcanic ash) was evaluated using human alveolar macrophages (HAM) isolated from volunteers; titanium dioxide and quartz were used as reference dusts. This investigation is a prerequisite to studies of actual lunar dust. HAM were treated in vitro with these test dusts for 24 h; assays of cell viability and apoptosis showed that JSC-1 and TiO2 were comparable, and more toxic than saline control, but less toxic than quartz. HAM treated with JSC-1 or JSC-Mars 1 showed a dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. To elucidate the mechanism by which these dusts induce apoptosis, we investigated the involvement of the scavenger receptor (SR). Pretreatment of cells with polyinosinic acid, an SR blocker, significantly inhibited both apoptosis and necrosis. These results suggest HAM cytotoxicity may be initiated by interaction of the dust particles with SR. Besides being cytotoxic, silica is known to induce shifting of HAM phenotypes to an immune active status. The immunomodulatory effect of the simulants was investigated. Treatment of HAM with either simulant caused preferential damage to the suppressor macrophage subpopulation, leading to a net increase in the ratio of activator (RFD1+) to suppressor (RFD1+7+) macrophages, a result similar to treatment with silica. It is recommended that appropriate precautions be used to minimize exposure to these fine dusts in large-scale engineering applications.

  15. The Martian dust cycle: A proposed model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1987-01-01

    Despite more than a decade of study of martian dust storms, many of their characteristics and associated processes remain enigmatic, including the mechanisms for dust raising, modes of settling, and the nature of dust deposits. However, observations of Mars dust, considerations of terrestrial analogs, theoretical models, and laboratory simulations permit the formulation of a Martian Dust Cycle Model, which consists of three main processes: (1) suspension threshold, (2) transportation, and (3) deposition; two associated processes are also included: (4) dust removal and (5) the addition of new dust to the cycle. Although definitions vary, dust includes particles less than 4 to approx. 60 microns in diameter, which by terrestrial usage includes silt, loess, clay, and aerosolic dust particles. The dust cycle model is explained.

  16. The effects of combined application of inorganic Martian dust simulant and carbon dots on glutamate transport rat brain nerve terminals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Pastukhov, Artem; Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Dudarenko, Marina

    2016-07-01

    During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the central nervous system (Oberdorster et al., 2004). Recently, the research team of this study found the minor fractions of nanoparticles with the size ~ 50 -60 nm in Lunar and Martian dust stimulants (JSC-1a and JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin), whereas the average size of the simulants was 1 mm and 4mm, respectively (Krisanova et al., 2013). Also, the research team of this study discovered new phenomenon - the neuromodulating and neurotoxic effect of carbon nano-sized particles - Carbon dots (C-dots), originated from ash of burned carbon-containing product (Borisova et al, 2015). The aims of this study was to analyse acute effects of upgraded stimulant of inorganic Martian dust derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, carbon dots, on the key characteristic of synaptic neurotransmission. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogue resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The ambient level of the neurotransmitter in the preparation of nerve terminals increased in the presence of carbon dot-contained Martian dust analogue. These effects were associated with action of carbon component of the upgraded Martian dust stimulant but not with its inorganic constituent.

  17. Dust transport into Martian polar latitudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, J. R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1992-01-01

    The presence of suspended dust in the Martian atmosphere, and its return to the planet's surface, is implicated in the formation of the polar layered terrain and the dichotomy in perennial CO2 polar cap retention in the two hemispheres. A three dimensional model was used to study Martian global dust storms. The model accounts for the interactive feedbacks between the atmospheric thermal and dynamical states and an evolving radiatively active suspended dust load. Results from dust storm experiments, as well as from simulations in which there is interest in identifying the conditions under which surface dust lifting occurs at various locations and times, indicate that dust transport due to atmospheric eddy motions is likely to be important in the arrival of suspended dust at polar latitudes. The layered terrain in both polar regions of Mars is interpreted as the reality of cyclical episodes of volatile (CO2, H2O) and dust deposition.

  18. The Martian Dust Cycle: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.

    2013-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for Mars' current climate system. Suspended atmospheric dust affects the radiative balance of the atmosphere, and thus greatly influences the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere. Evidence for the presence of dust in the Martian atmosphere can be traced back to yellow clouds telescopically observed as early as the early 19th century. The Mariner 9 orbiter arrived at Mars in November of 1971 to find a planet completely enshrouded in airborne dust. Since that time, the exchange of dust between the planet's surface and atmosphere and the role of airborne dust on Mars' weather and climate has been studied using observations and numerical models. The goal of this talk is to give an overview of the observations and to discuss the successes and challenges associated with modeling the dust cycle. Dust raising events on Mars range in size from meters to hundreds of kilometers. During some years, regional storms merge to produce hemispheric or planet encircling dust clouds that obscure the surface and raise atmospheric temperatures by tens of kelvin. The interannual variability of planet encircling dust storms is poorly understood. Although the occurrence and season of large regional and global dust storms are highly variable from one year to the next, there are many features of the dust cycle that occur year after year. A low-level dust haze is maintained during northern spring and summer, while elevated levels of atmospheric dust occur during northern autumn and winter. During years without global-scale dust storms, two peaks in total dust loading are generally observed: one peak occurs before northern winter solstice and one peak occurs after northern winter solstice. Numerical modeling studies attempting to interactively simulate the Martian dust cycle with general circulation models (GCMs) include the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Two dust lifting processes are commonly represented in

  19. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: II. Biomarkers of acute responses after intratracheal instillation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; Latch, Judith N.; Hamilton, Raymond F Jr; Holian, Andrij

    2002-01-01

    Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii, with chemical and mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument tests. NASA needs toxicity data on these volcanic soils to assess health risks from potential exposures of workers in facilities where these soil simulants are used. In this study we investigated the acute effects of lunar soil simulant (LSS) and Martian soil simulant (MSS), as a complement to a histopathological study assessing their subchronic effects (Lam et al., 2002). Fine dust of LSS, MSS, TiO(2), or quartz suspended in saline was intratracheally instilled into C57Bl/6J mice (4/group) in single doses of 0.1 mg/mouse or 1 mg/mouse. The mice were euthanized 4 or 24 h after the dust treatment, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained. Statistically significant lower cell viability and higher total protein concentration in the BALF were seen only in mice treated with the high dose of quartz for 4 h and with the high dose of MSS or quartz for 24 h, compared to mice treated only with saline. A significant increase in the percentage of neutrophils was not observed with any dust-treated group at 4 h after the instillation, but was observed after 24 h in all the dust-treated groups. This observation indicates that these dusts were not acutely toxic and the effects were gradual; it took some time for neutrophils to be recruited into and accumulate significantly in the lung. A statistically significant increase in apoptosis of lavaged macrophages from mice 4 h after treatment was found only in the high-dose silica group. The overall results of this study on the acute effects of these dusts in the lung indicate that LSS is slightly more toxic than TiO(2), and that MSS is comparable to quartz. These results were consistent with the subchronic histopathological findings in that the order of severity of

  20. Time Dependent Responses of the Martian Upper Atmosphere to the 2001 Global Dust Storm using Mars GITM Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, Stephen W.; Pawlowski, David J.; Murphy, James R.

    2014-11-01

    Various Mars spacecraft datasets reveal that the Martian thermosphere-ionosphere 100-250 km) is significantly impacted by the occurrence of regional or global lower atmosphere dust storm events. For example, thermospheric responses during the regional MY23 Noachis storm (late 1997) during its onset phase include: (a) a factor of 3 enhancement of MGS Accelerometer mass densities at 130 km near 38 N latitude, (b) a factor of 2.5 enhancement of corresponding zonal winds near 120-130 km, and (c) the associated ~8 km rise in the height of the 1.26-nbar reference pressure level (Keating et al.. 1998; Baird et al. 2007). These features correspond to a rapidly warming (and vertically expanding) lower atmosphere due to “dust-lifting latitude” aerosol heating, the resulting acceleration of global winds and amplification of tidal amplitudes throughout the atmosphere, and adiabatic warming arising from downwelling winds. Furthermore, during the 2001 MY25 global dust storm, MGS/ER photo-electron measurements at 400 km reveal that fluxes were enhanced, possibly related to long-lived changes in thermosphere-exosphere composition (Liemohn et al., 2012). These responses to dust events, and associated atmospheric feedbacks, provide excellent constraints for Mars GCMs. The recently developed and initially validated 3-D Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (M-GITM) (e.g. Bougher et al., 2014) is used to investigate these feedbacks and responses of the Mars thermosphere-ionosphere for the 2001 global dust storm. The M-GITM code simulates the conditions of the Martian atmosphere from the surface to the exosphere 0-250 km), utilizing physical processes and subroutines largely taken from previous Mars GCMs. Empirical (time evolving) dust opacities are specified from MGS/TES datasets for MY25 (starting in July 2001). The time evolution of the resulting thermosphere and ionosphere fields is examined; comparisons with available MGS datasets are made.

  1. Interannual Variability of Martian Global Dust Storms: Simulations with a Low-Order Model of the General Circulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pankine, A. A.; Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2002-01-01

    We present simulations of the interannual variability of martian global dust storms (GDSs) with a simplified low-order model (LOM) of the general circulation. The simplified model allows one to conduct computationally fast long-term simulations of the martian climate system. The LOM is constructed by Galerkin projection of a 2D (zonally averaged) general circulation model (GCM) onto a truncated set of basis functions. The resulting LOM consists of 12 coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations describing atmospheric dynamics and dust transport within the Hadley cell. The forcing of the model is described by simplified physics based on Newtonian cooling and Rayleigh friction. The atmosphere and surface are coupled: atmospheric heating depends on the dustiness of the atmosphere, and the surface dust source depends on the strength of the atmospheric winds. Parameters of the model are tuned to fit the output of the NASA AMES GCM and the fit is generally very good. Interannual variability of GDSs is possible in the IBM, but only when stochastic forcing is added to the model. The stochastic forcing could be provided by transient weather systems or some surface process such as redistribution of the sand particles in storm generating zones on the surface. The results are sensitive to the value of the saltation threshold, which hints at a possible feedback between saltation threshold and dust storm activity. According to this hypothesis, erodable material builds up its a result of a local process, whose effect is to lower the saltation threshold until a GDS occurs. The saltation threshold adjusts its value so that dust storms are barely able to occur.

  2. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: I. Histopathology 7 and 90 days after intratracheal instillation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; McCluskey, Richard; Cowper, Shawn; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos

    2002-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the moon for further exploration. Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii with mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument testing. Martian soil is highly oxidative; this property is not found in Earth's volcanic ashes. NASA is concerned about the health risk from potential exposure of workers in the test facilities. Fine lunar soil simulant (LSS), Martian soil simulant (MSS), titanium dioxide, or quartz in saline was intratracheally instilled into groups of 4 mice (C57BL/6J) at 0.1 mg/mouse (low dose, LD) or 1 mg/mouse (high dose, HD). Separate groups of mice were exposed to ozone (0.5 ppm for 3 h) prior to MSS instillation. Lungs were harvested for histopathological examination 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment. The lungs of the LSS-LD groups showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis; clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages were visible after 7 days but not 90 days. In the LSS-HD-7d group, the lungs showed mild to moderate alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of mild chronic pulmonary inflammation, septal thickening, and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lung lesions in the MSS-LD-7d group were similar to those observed in the LSS-HD-7d group. The MSS-LD-90d group had PLMs and scattered foci of mild fibrosis in the lungs. The MSS-HD-7d group showed large foci of PLMs, intra-alveolar debris, mild-to-moderate focal alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The MSS-HD-90d group showed focal chronic mild-to-moderate alveolitis and fibrosis. The findings in the O(3)-MSS-HD-90d group included widespread intra-alveolar debris, focal moderate alveolitis, and fibrosis. Lung lesions in the MSS groups were more severe with the ozone pretreatment. The effects of

  3. Electric field generation in martian dust devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barth, Erika L.; Farrell, William M.; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial dust devils are known to generate electric fields from the vertical separation of charged dust particles. The particles present within the dust devils on Mars may also be subject to similar charging processes and so likely contribute to electric field generation there as well. However, to date, no Mars in situ instrumentation has been deployed to measure electric field strength. In order to explore the electric environment of dust devils on Mars, the triboelectric dust charging physics from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS). Using this model, we examine how macroscopic electric fields are generated within martian dust disturbances and attempt to quantify the time evolution of the electrodynamical system. Electric fields peak for several minutes within the dust devil simulations. The magnitude of the electric field is a strong function of the size of the particles present, the average charge on the particles and the number of particles lifted. Varying these parameters results in peak electric fields between tens of millivolts per meter and tens of kilovolts per meter.

  4. Estimation of high altitude Martian dust parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Bhalodi, Pinali

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils are known to occur near the Martian surface mostly during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer and they play vital role in deciding background dust opacity in the atmosphere. The second source of high altitude Martian dust could be due to the secondary ejecta caused by impacts on Martian Moons, Phobos and Deimos. Also, the surfaces of the Moons are charged positively due to ultraviolet rays from the Sun and negatively due to space plasma currents. Such surface charging may cause fine grains to be levitated, which can easily escape the Moons. It is expected that the escaping dust form dust rings within the orbits of the Moons and therefore also around the Mars. One more possible source of high altitude Martian dust is interplanetary in nature. Due to continuous supply of the dust from various sources and also due to a kind of feedback mechanism existing between the ring or tori and the sources, the dust rings or tori can sustain over a period of time. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, it is mystery how dust has reached to such high altitudes. Estimation of dust parameters before-hand is necessary to design an instrument for the detection of high altitude Martian dust from a future orbiter. In this work, we have studied the dust supply rate responsible primarily for the formation of dust ring or tori, the life time of dust particles around the Mars, the dust number density as well as the effect of solar radiation pressure and Martian oblateness on dust dynamics. The results presented in this paper may be useful to space scientists for understanding the scenario and designing an orbiter based instrument to measure the dust surrounding the Mars for solving the mystery. The further work is underway.

  5. The impact of surface dust source exhaustion on the martian dust cycle, dust storms and interannual variability, as simulated by the MarsWRF General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Claire E.; Richardson, Mark I.

    2015-09-01

    variability. For the parameter space explored, no simulation achieves a steady state with continuing major storms lasting longer than 60 years when a constant wind stress lifting threshold is used. However, such a long-term steady state is achieved when a variable threshold is introduced, in which the threshold increases as dust is removed. This negative feedback on lifting slows it sufficiently for a balance to be produced between dust removal and re-deposition, even in key source regions for major storms. One concern is that the long-term surface dust distributions produced in these simulations show significant differences to the observed northern hemisphere albedo map, in particular predicting Tharsis and NE Arabia to be relatively dust-free. Although some observed high albedo regions may not have significant mobile dust, others likely have a dust cover several meters thick. The mismatches may reflect deficiencies in the GCM or the iterative process used, or the existence of ancient deep dust deposits formed during a past climate epoch.

  6. Enhancement of inorganic Martian dust simulant with carbon component and its effects on key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Pastukhov, Artem; Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Dudarenko, Marina

    2016-07-01

    Evidence on the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars was recently achieved basing on the investigation of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite (Lin et al., 2014). Tremendous amount of meteorites containing abundant carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily (Pizzarello and Shock 2010). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institute of Health panel of research scientists revealed recently that accumulating evidences suggest that nano-sized air pollution may have a significant impact on central nervous system in health and disease (Block et al., Neurotoxicology, 2012). During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the central nervous system (Oberdorster et al., 2004). Based on above facts, the aims of this study were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust stimulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded stimulant on the key characteristic of synaptic neurotransmission and to compare its effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogue resulted in a significant decrease in Na+-dependent uptake of L-[14C]glutamate that is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). The ambient level of the neurotransmitter in the preparation of isolated rat brain nerve terminals increased in the presence of carbon-contained Martian dust analogue. This fact indicated that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamatergic neurtransmission.

  7. The Martian Dust Cycle: Investigation of the Surface Lifting Component

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, James R.; Bridger, Alison F. C.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1996-01-01

    We have investigated the nature of the annual cycle of suspended dust in the martian atmosphere. This has been undertaken to understand the dynamical processes responsible for lifting dust from the surface, locations where dust is preferentially lifted, and preferred sites for dust deposition upon the surface. Our efforts have involved carrying out a number of numerical simulations with the Ames Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) interactively coupled with an aerosol transport/ micro-physical model. The model generates an annual dust cycle similar to that observed. Various feedbacks are present in the atmosphere/ surface system which enter into the generation of the cycle. Several locations are primary surface sources of dust, while much of the remaining planet's surface acts a sink for suspended dust.

  8. Investigation of Drag and Heat Transfer for Martian Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozawa, T.; Suzuki, T.; Takayanagi, H.; Fujita, K.

    2011-05-01

    A Mars non-stop dust sample return project has been going on in a Mars exploration mission at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. In the project, sampling of Martian dust particles is planned between 35 and 45 km, and thus, the survivability of micron-size particles during traveling through a hot-temperature shock is crucial. In this work, the dust particle heating was investigated from macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints. Drag and heat transfer coefficients calculated by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method were found to agree well with Koshmarov and Svirshevskii and free-molecule models at both altitudes, and particle heating estimations calculated by these models were validated.

  9. Martian Dust Collected by Phoenix's Arm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Lander's Optical Microscope shows particles of Martian dust lying on the microscope's silicon substrate. The Robotic Arm sprinkled a sample of the soil from the Snow White trench onto the microscope on July 2, 2008, the 38th Martian day, or sol, of the mission after landing.

    Subsequently, the Atomic Force Microscope, or AFM, zoomed in one of the fine particles, creating the first-ever image of a particle of Mars' ubiquitous fine dust, the most highly magnified image ever seen from another world.

    The Atomic Force Microscope was developed by a Swiss-led consortium in collaboration with Imperial College London. The AFM is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer instrument.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  10. The Effect of Martian Dust on Radiator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollingsworth, D. Keith; Witte, Larry C.; Hinke, Jaime; Hulbert, Kathryn

    2004-01-01

    Experiments were performed in which the effective emittance of three types of radiator Coatings was measured as Martian dust simulant was added to the radiator face. The apparatus consisted of multiple radiator coupons on which Carbondale Red Clay dust was deposited. The coupons were powered by electric heaters, using a guard-heating configuration to achieve the accuracy required for acceptable emittance calculations. The apparatus was containing in a vacuum chamber that featured a liquid-nitrogen cooled shroud that simulated the Martian sky temperature. Radiator temperatures ranged from 250 to 350 K with sky temperatures from 185 to 248 K. Results show that as dust was added to the radiator surfaces, the effective emittance of the high - emittance coatings decreased from near 0.9 to a value of about 0.5. A low-emittance control surface, polished aluminum, demonstrated a rise in effective emittance for thin dust layers, and then a decline as the dust layer thickened. This behavior is attributed to the conductive resistance caused by the dust layer.

  11. Clearing the Martian air - The troubled history of dust storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, L. J.

    1984-03-01

    This note is an attempt to resolve some misconceptions regarding the historical record of the Martian atmospheric phenomena referred to as 'dust storms,' but often called yellow storms, yellow clouds, planetwide dust storms, global dust storms, great dust storms, etc. The known frequency of planet-encircling storms will be specifically addressed. Better knowledge of the sizes, frequencies, and locations of Martian dust storms is needed for atmospheric modeling and for future mission planning.

  12. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, W.

    2015-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a proposed program using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  13. Martian Arctic Dust Devil, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in the center of this image just below the horizon is estimated to be about 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  14. Martian Atmospheric Dust Mitigation for ISRU Intakes via Electrostatic Precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, James R., III; Pollard, Jacob R. S.; Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, Paul J.; Clements, J. Sid; Calle, Carlos I.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars 2020 and Mars Sample Return missions expected to fly to Mars within the next ten years will each include an In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) system. They convert carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into consumable oxygen at 1% and 20% of the rate required by a full scale human exploration Mars mission, respectively. The ISRU systems will need to draw in the surrounding atmosphere at a rate of 110L/min and 550L/min, respectively, in order to meet their oxygen production goals. Over the duration of each respective mission, a total atmospheric dust mass of 4.86g and 243g will be drawn into each system, respectively. Ingestion of large quantities of dust may interfere with ISRU operations, so a dust mitigation device will be required. The atmospheric volume and dust mass flow rates above will be utilized to simulate Martian environmental conditions in a laboratory electrostatic precipitator being developed to provide active dust mitigation support for atmospheric ISRU systems such as these.

  15. How can secondary electron emission from dust affect Martian atmosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlu, Jiri; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek; Beranek, Martin; Vaverka, Jakub; Richterova, Ivana

    2014-05-01

    Growing interest to Mars connected with recent and forthcoming missions led to numerous studies dealing with behavior of dust grains on the Martian surface and within its atmosphere. The present paper discusses electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1) involving the dust charging experiment where a single dust grain is trapped and stored for a long time in a vacuum chamber and its emission characteristics, especially the secondary electron emission, are studied. The interaction of the grain with the intense electron beam showed the grain surface potential is generally low and determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at a low-energy range (< 1 keV), whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by more energetic electrons. Experimental results are compared with numerical simulations showing a crucial influence of the grain shape and size in the range of higher (> 2 keV) electron energies. We further discuss possible implications of the secondary electron emission from dust grains for the generation of lightnings on Mars.

  16. Martian Dust Devil Movie, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west of the lander in four frames shot about 50 seconds apart from each other between 11:53 a.m. and 11:56 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in this sequence was about 1,000 meters (about 3,300 feet) from the lander when the first frame was taken, and had moved to about 1,700 meters (about 5,600 feet) away by the time the last frame was taken about two and a half minutes later. The dust devil was moving westward at an estimated speed of 5 meters per second (11 miles per hour), which is similar to typical late-morning wind speed and direction indicated by the telltale wind gauge on Phoenix.

    This dust devil is about 5 meters (16 feet) in diameter. This is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those..

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see. Some of the frame-to-frame differences in the appearance of foreground rocks is because each frame was taken through a different color filter.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  17. Spectroscopic Identification of Carbonate Minerals in the Martian Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandfield, Joshua L.; Glotch, Timothy D.; Christensen, Philip R.

    2003-08-01

    Thermal infrared spectra of the martian surface indicate the presence of small concentrations (~2 to 5 weight %) of carbonates, specifically dominated by magnesite (MgCO3). The carbonates are widely distributed in the martian dust, and there is no indication of a concentrated source. The presence of small concentrations of carbonate minerals in the surface dust and in martian meteorites can sequester several bars of atmospheric carbon dioxide and may have been an important sink for a thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere in the martian past.

  18. Martian dust devils detector over FPGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lucas, E.; Miguel, M. J.; Mozos, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2012-04-01

    Digital applications that must be on-board space missions must comply with a very restrictive set of requirements. These include energy efficiency, small volume and weight, robustness and high performance. Moreover, these circuits cannot be repaired in case of error, so they must be reliable or provide some way to recover from errors. These features make reconfigurable hardware (FPGAs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays) a very suitable technology to be used in space missions. This paper presents a Martian dust devil detector implemented on an FPGA. The results show that a hardware implementation of the algorithm presents very good numbers in terms of performance compared with the software version. Moreover, as the amount of time needed to perform all the computations on the reconfigurable hardware is small, this hardware can be used most of the time to realize other applications.

  19. Martian dust devils detector over FPGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lucas, E.; Miguel, M. J.; Mozos, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2011-12-01

    Digital applications that must be on-board of space missions must accomplish a very restrictive set of requirements. These include energy efficiency, small volume and weight, robustness and high performance. Moreover these circuits can not be repaired in case of error, so they must be reliable or provide some way to recover from errors. These features make reconfigurable hardware (FPGAs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays) a very suitable technology to be used in space missions. This paper presents a Martian dust devil detector implemented on a FPGA. The results show that a hardware implementation of the algorithm present very good numbers in terms of performance compared with the software version. Moreover, as the amount of time needed to perform all the computations on the reconfigurable hardware is small, this hardware can be used more of the time to realize other applications.

  20. Dust Ejection Induced by Small Meteoroids Impacting Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shuvalov, Valery

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this study is numerical modeling of meteoroid impact on the martian surface and determination of the resulting dust cloud parameters. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Dating of Martian Meteorites: Characterization of Luminescence from a Martian Soil Simulant and Martian Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, D.; Blair, M.; Sears, D. W. G.; McKeever, S. W. S.

    2002-03-01

    This paper characterizes the thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence signals from polymineral fine-grains of a Martian soil simulant JSC Mars-1, and the bulk fraction of an SNC Martian meteorite ALH 77005,74.

  2. Dust at the Martian moons and in the circummartian space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Horanyi, Mihály; Lee, Pascal; Witasse, Olivier; Cipriani, Fabrice

    2014-11-01

    The paper provides the current understanding of the dust particle dynamics near the surface and in the circummatrian space of the Martian moons based on existing models developed for airless and non-magnetized bodies. In particular we discuss the response of the regolith of the Martian moons to exposure to radiation, the dynamics of charged dust on their surfaces, their plasma environments, the models and indirect observations of their putative dust tori. It is concluded that there is a good theoretical understanding of the behavior of the dynamics of dust particles near the moons Phobos and Deimos. Current models predict dust rings near orbits of the Martian moons based on detailed estimates for the sources and sinks of the dust particles as well as their lifetimes. However, there is no compelling observational evidence for the predicted dust torus around Phobos or Deimos orbits, and there are no observations yet of dust dynamics near their surfaces. Naturally, in order to detect the motion of dust near the surfaces of these moons, and their dust tori we need measurements using a complementary set of sensitive instruments, including impart dust detectors, electric field sensors, and optical cameras in future missions to Mars and its moons.

  3. Rocket dust storms and detached layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, A.; Faure, J.; Madeleine, J.; Maattanen, A. E.; Forget, F.

    2012-12-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling with radiatively-active transported dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA onboard Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, in lieu of latent heating in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm", or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30 to 50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms form detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with instruments onboard Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Detached layers are stable over several days owing to nighttime sedimentation being unable to counteract daytime convective transport, and to the resupply of convective energy at sunrise. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear season, which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maximum unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Our findings on dust-driven deep convection have strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.ensity-scaled dust optical depth at local times 1400 1600 and 1800 (lat 2.5°S, Ls 135°) hortwave heating rate at local time 1500 and latitude 2.5°S.

  4. Modeling Martian Dust Using Mars-GRAM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Justh, Hilary L.; Justus, C. G.

    2010-01-01

    Engineering-level atmospheric model widely used for diverse mission applications. Mars-GRAM s perturbation modeling capability is commonly used, in a Monte-Carlo mode, to perform high fidelity engineering end-to-end simulations for entry, descent, and landing (EDL). From the surface to 80 km altitude, Mars-GRAM is based on NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM). Mars-GRAM and MGCM use surface topography from Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), with altitudes referenced to the MOLA areoid, or constant potential surface. Traditional Mars-GRAM options for representing the mean atmosphere along entry corridors include: TES Mapping Years 1 and 2, with Mars-GRAM data coming from MGCM model results driven by observed TES dust optical depth TES Mapping Year 0, with user-controlled dust optical depth and Mars-GRAM data interpolated from MGCM model results driven by selected values of globally-uniform dust optical depth. Mars-GRAM 2005 has been validated against Radio Science data, and both nadir and limb data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES).

  5. Martian surface simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaskell, R. W.

    1993-06-01

    Computer generated surfaces have been created to aid in imaging, landing and rover studies for Mars and the moon. They are also being applied to the study of cratering histories. The surfaces are generated in steps which attempt to mimic geologic episodes. Surface roughness is realized fractally, while craters and other specific features have shapes and distributions dictated by observation. Surface materials are assigned appropriate albedos, making the images more realistic. With the inclusion of correlations between crater and rock distributions, the simulations are beginning to acquire a predictive capability.

  6. Chemistry and mineralogy of Martian dust: An explorer's primer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gooding, James L.

    1991-01-01

    A summary of chemical and mineralogical properties of Martian surface dust is offered for the benefit of engineers or mission planners who are designing hardware or strategies for Mars surface exploration. For technical details and specialized explanations, references should be made to literature cited. Four sources used for information about Martian dust composition: (1) Experiments performed on the Mars surface by the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and Earth-based lab experiments attempting to duplicate these results; (2) Infrared spectrophotometry remotely performed from Mars orbit, mostly by Mariner 9; (3) Visible and infrared spectrophotometry remotely performed from Earth; and (4) Lab studies of the shergottite nakhlite chassignite (SNC) clan of meteorites, for which compelling evidence suggests origin on Mars. Source 1 is limited to fine grained sediments at the surface whereas 2 and 3 contain mixed information about surface dust (and associated rock) and atmospheric dust. Source 4 has provided surprisingly detailed information but investigations are still incomplete.

  7. Secondary electron emission from Martian soil simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlů, J.; Beránek, M.; Vaverka, J.; Å afránková, J.; Němeček, Z.; Richterová, I.

    2014-01-01

    In the recent years, growing interest in dust charging physics is connected with several lander missions running on or planned to the Moon, Mars, and Mercury for a near future. In support of these missions, laboratory simulations are a potential tool to optimize in situ exploration and measurements. In the paper, we have investigated electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant prepared at the Johnson Space Center under name JSC Mars-1 using the dust charging experiment when a single dust grain is trapped in a vacuum chamber and its secondary electron emission is studied. The exposure of the grain to the electron beam revealed that the grain surface potential is low and generally determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at a low-energy range (<1 keV), whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by more energetic electrons. A comparison of model and experimental results reveals an influence of the grain shape and size predominantly in the range of higher (>2 keV) electron energies. We discuss possible implications of the secondary electron emission for the presence of lightnings on Mars.

  8. Development of a Charged Particle Detector for Windborne Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Groop, E. E.; Buehler, M. G.; Buhler, C. R.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    A prototype of an aerodynamic electrometer to measure the electrostatic properties of Martian atmospheric dust has been constructed. The instrument will enable a more thorough understanding of the potential for electrostatic discharge of different materials on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Martian Atmospheric Dust Mitigation for ISRU Intakes via Electrostatic Precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, James R., III; Pollard, Jacob R. S.; Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, Paul J.; Clements, Sid; Calle, Carlos I.

    2016-01-01

    This document is the presentation to be given at the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers Earth and Space Conference to examine the concept of using electrostatic precipitation for Martian atmospheric dust mitigation of the intakes of in-situ resource utilization reactors.

  10. Active Dust Control and Mitigation Technology for Lunar and Martian Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Johansen, M. R.; Hogue, M. D.; Immer, C. D.; Ferreira, J.; Snyder, S. J.

    2010-01-01

    Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been homogenized by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is the dominant weather phenomenon on Mars. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. The Apollo missions to the moon showed that lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned exploration activities. In this paper, we report on our efforts to develop and electrodynamic dust shield to prevent the accumulation of dust on surfaces and to remove dust already adhering to those surfaces. The technology uses electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to carry dust particles off surfaces and to generate an electrodynamic shield that prevents further accumulation of dust. The concept of the electrodynamic dust shield was introduced by NASA in the late 1960s and later reduced to practice during the 1970s for terrestrial applications. In 2003, our laboratory, in collaboration with several universities, applied this technology to space applications, specifically to remove dust from solar panels on Mars. We show how, with an appropriate design, we can prevent the electrostatic breakdown at the low Martian atmospheric pressures. We are also able to show that uncharged dust can be lifted and removed from surfaces under simulated Martian environmental conditions. We have also been able to develop a version of the electrodynamic dust shield working under hard vacuum conditions that simulate the lunar environment. We have implemented the electrodynamic dust shield on solar arrays, optical systems, spectrometers, viewports, thermal radiators

  11. Gaussian-based filters for detecting Martian dust devils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yang, F.; Mlsna, P.A.; Geissler, P.

    2006-01-01

    The ability to automatically detect dust devils in the Martian atmosphere from orbital imagery is becoming important both for scientific studies of the planet and for the planning of future robotic and manned missions. This paper describes our approach for the unsupervised detection of dust devils and the preliminary results achieved to date. The algorithm centers upon the use of a filter constructed from Gaussian profiles to match dust devil characteristics over a range of scale and orientation. The classification step is designed to reduce false positive errors caused by static surface features such as craters. A brief discussion of planned future work is included. ?? 2006 IEEE.

  12. Radio and optical detection of Martian dust storm discharges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W. M.; Desch, M. D.; Kaiser, M. L.; Houser, J.; Landis, G. A.; Wilt, D. M.

    2000-02-01

    Given the known physical attributes of Martian dust storms, we derive their electromagnetic signatures as they would be perceived both remotely and in situ. We also describe a radiowave and optical experiment (REDD), suitable for deployment on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander, whose primary scientific objective is to establish the electrical nature of dust storms in the Martian atmosphere. This experiment would be capable of the remote tracking of dust storms across the Martian surface while estimating electrical properties of dust, dust densities, and surface conductivities. The experiment sensors consist of two orthogonal magnetic search coil antennas, an electric field antenna, and a horizon-looking photodetector. The sensors drive a waveform capture system and a set of multichannel analyzers that span the radio spectrum from 1 kHz to 100 MHz. The data sampling strategy incorporates a low-resolution survey mode and a high time-resolution direction-finding mode. Intelligent use of an event-trigger system, circular buffer storage, and data compression minimize the instrument data rate and the impact on spacecraft resources.

  13. Measurements of Martian dust devil winds with HiRISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, D. S.; Dundas, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    We report wind measurements within Martian dust devils observed in plan view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) orbiting Mars. The central color swath of the HiRISE instrument has three separate charge-coupled devices (CCDs) and color filters that observe the surface in rapid cadence. Active features, such as dust devils, appear in motion when observed by this region of the instrument. Our image animations reveal clear circulatory motion within dust devils that is separate from their translational motion across the Martian surface. Both manual and automated tracking of dust devil clouds reveal tangential winds that approach 20-30 m s-1 in some cases. These winds are sufficient to induce a ˜1% decrease in atmospheric pressure within the dust devil core relative to ambient, facilitating dust lifting by reducing the threshold wind speed for particle elevation. Finally, radial velocity profiles constructed from our automated measurements test the Rankine vortex model for dust devil structure. Our profiles successfully reveal the solid body rotation component in the interior, but fail to conclusively illuminate the profile in the outer regions of the vortex. One profile provides evidence for a velocity decrease as a function of r-1/2, instead of r-1, suggestive of surface friction effects. However, other profiles do not support this observation, or do not contain enough measurements to produce meaningful insights.

  14. HiRISE Wind Measurements of Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, D. S.; Dundas, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    We report direct measurements of the winds within Martian dust devils from HiRISE imagery. The central color swath of the HiRISE instrument has three separate CCDs and color filters that observe the surface in rapid cadence. Active features, such as dust devils, appear in motion when serendipitously captured by this region of the instrument. Though apparent movement of cloud features can be attributed to parallax from the spacecraft's motion, we determine that this is a relatively minor effect in our observations. Our image animations reveal clear circulatory motion within dust devils separate from their tangential motion across the Martian surface. Both manual and automated tracking of dust devil clouds reveal tangential winds that approach 20-30 m/s in some cases. These winds are sufficient to induce a ˜1% decrease in atmospheric pressure within the dust devil core relative to ambient, facilitating the lifting of dust particles into the Martian atmosphere. Finally, radial velocity profiles of dust devils constructed from our automated measurements test the Rankine vortex model for dust devil dynamics: the vortex consists of an interior region in solid body rotation and an outer region where tangential velocity decreases as a function of r-1. Our profiles successfully reveal the solid body rotation component in the interior, but fail to conclusively illuminate the profile in the outer regions of the vortex. One profile provides evidence for a velocity decrease as a function of r-1/2, instead of r-1, suggestive of surface friction effects. However, other profiles do not support this observation, or do not contain enough measurements to produce meaningful insights.

  15. Rocket dust storms and detached dust layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Faure, Julien; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Määttänen, Anni; Forget, François

    2013-04-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling that includes the transport of radiatively active dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA on board Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, rather than by latent heating as in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm," or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30-50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms produce detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since nighttime sedimentation is less efficient than daytime convective transport, and the detached dust layers can convect during the daytime, these layers can be stable for several days. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear seasons (late northern winter to late northern summer), which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maxima unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Dust-driven deep convection has strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.

  16. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    SciTech Connect

    Sobrado, J. M. Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  17. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover.

    PubMed

    Sobrado, J M; Martín-Soler, J; Martín-Gago, J A

    2015-10-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration. PMID:26520990

  18. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-10-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  19. Decay of a Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars, taken on June 27, 1997 (left) and July 9, 1997 (right), document the dissipation of a large dust storm during the 12 days separating the two observations.

    The images were taken to monitor the weather conditions near Ares Vallis, the site where NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft landed on July 4. Maps of the equatorial region were constructed from the images and are shown at the bottom of the figure; a green cross marks the Pathfinder landing site. (All images are oriented with North to the top).

    These two sets of observations show a number of dramatic changes in the planet's atmosphere. At about the 7 o'clock position on the June 27 image, the eastern end of the Valles Marineris canyon system is just coming into daylight and can be seen to be filled with yellowish dust. The dust appears to be confined to the canyons, which can be as much as 8 km deep and hundreds of km wide. Estimates of the quantity of dust involved in this storm indicate that 96% of the incoming sunlight is being blocked from reaching the surface by the dust clouds. Note that on the July 9 image, the dust storm appears to be subsiding; it is estimated that the dust quantity in most of the visible canyon system has dropped to only 10% to 20% of that seen on June 27.

    However, on July 9 a streamer of dust is visible in the North polar region, extending about 1200 km southward from the dark sand dunes surrounding the polar ice cap; diffuse dust is visible over much of Acidalia, the dark region to the north of the Pathfinder landing site. The extent of clouds visible across the planet has also changed considerably between the two dates. Just to the west (left) of the July 9 dust streamer, a very bright area of water-ice clouds is seen; this area was considerably cloudier on June 27.

    These images dramatically show that atmospheric conditions can change rapidly on Mars. Observations such as these will continue to be made over the next several months

  20. Applications of Electrified Dust and Dust Devil Electrodynamics to Martian Atmospheric Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, R. G.; Barth, E.; Esposito, F.; Merrison, J.; Montmessin, F.; Aplin, K. L.; Borlina, C.; Berthelier, J. J.; Déprez, G.; Farrell, W. M.; Houghton, I. M. P.; Renno, N. O.; Nicoll, K. A.; Tripathi, S. N.; Zimmerman, M.

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric transport and suspension of dust frequently brings electrification, which may be substantial. Electric fields of 10 kV m-1 to 100 kV m-1 have been observed at the surface beneath suspended dust in the terrestrial atmosphere, and some electrification has been observed to persist in dust at levels to 5 km, as well as in volcanic plumes. The interaction between individual particles which causes the electrification is incompletely understood, and multiple processes are thought to be acting. A variation in particle charge with particle size, and the effect of gravitational separation explains to, some extent, the charge structures observed in terrestrial dust storms. More extensive flow-based modelling demonstrates that bulk electric fields in excess of 10 kV m-1 can be obtained rapidly (in less than 10 s) from rotating dust systems (dust devils) and that terrestrial breakdown fields can be obtained. Modelled profiles of electrical conductivity in the Martian atmosphere suggest the possibility of dust electrification, and dust devils have been suggested as a mechanism of charge separation able to maintain current flow between one region of the atmosphere and another, through a global circuit. Fundamental new understanding of Martian atmospheric electricity will result from the ExoMars mission, which carries the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface)—MicroARES (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor) instrumentation to Mars in 2016 for the first in situ electrical measurements.

  1. Phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic dust from Mauna Kea Volcano (Hawaii): A mineralogical analogue for magnetic Martian dust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, R. V.; Graff, T. G.; Mertzman, S. A.

    2001-03-01

    The mineralogical and elemental composition of dust size fractions (<2 and <5 μm) of eight samples of phyllosilicate-poor palagonitic tephra from the upper slopes of Mauna Kea Volcano (Hawaii) were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), visible and near-IR reflectance spectroscopy, Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetic properties methods, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The palagonitic dust samples are spectral analogues of Martian bright regions at visible and near-IR wavelengths. The crystalline phases in the palagonitic dust are, in variable proportions, plagioclase feldspar, Ti-containing magnetite, minor pyroxene, and trace hematite. No basal reflections resulting from crystalline phyllosilicates were detected in XRD data. Weak, broad XRD peaks corresponding to X-ray amorphous phases (allophane, nanophase ferric oxide (possibly ferrihydrite), and, for two samples, hisingerite) were detected as oxidative alteration products of the glass; residual unaltered glass was also present. Mössbauer spectroscopy showed that the iron-bearing phases are nanophase ferric oxide, magnetite/titanomagnetite, hematite, and minor glass and ferrous silicates. Direct observation by TEM showed that the crystalline and X-ray amorphous phases observed by XRD and Mössbauer are normally present together in composite particles and not normally present as discrete single-phase particles. Ti-bearing magnetite occurs predominantly as 5-150 nm particles embedded in noncrystalline matrix material and most likely formed by crystallization from silicate liquids under conditions of rapid cooling during eruption and deposition of glassy tephra and prior to palagonitization of glass. Rare spheroidal halloysite was observed in the two samples that also had XRD evidence for hisingerite. The saturation magnetization Js and low-field magnetic susceptibility for bulk dust range from 0.19 to 0.68 Am2/kg and 3.4×10-6 to 15.5×10-6m3/kg at 293 K, respectively. Simulation

  2. Sensitivity of simulated Martian atmospheric temperature to prescribed dust opacity distribution: Comparison of model results with reconstructed data from Mars Exploration Rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Richardson, Mark I.; McConnochie, Timothy H.

    2015-11-01

    We use the Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) general circulation model to simulate the atmospheric structure corresponding to the landing location and time of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (A) and Opportunity (B) in 2004. The multiscale capability of MarsWRF facilitates high-resolution nested model runs centered near the landing site of each of the rovers. Dust opacity distributions based on measurements by Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, and those from an old version of the Mars Climate Database (MCD v3.1 released in 2001) are used to study the sensitivity of the model temperature profile to variations in the dust prescription. The reconstructed entry, descent, and landing (EDL) data from the rover missions are used for comparisons. We show that the model using dust opacity from TES limb and nadir data for the year of MER EDL, Mars Year 26 (MY26), yields temperature profiles in closer agreement with the reconstructed data than the prelaunch EDL simulations and models using other dust opacity specifications. The temperature at 100 Pa from the model (MY26) and the reconstruction are within 5°K. These results highlight the role of vertical dust opacity distribution in determining the atmospheric thermal structure. Similar studies involving data from past missions and models will be useful in understanding the extent to which atmospheric variability is captured by the models and in developing realistic preflight characterization required for future lander missions to Mars.

  3. Reduced Baroclinicity During Martian Global Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battalio, Joseph; Szunyogh, Istvan; Lemmon, Mark

    2015-11-01

    The eddy kinetic energy equation is applied to the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) dataset during the pre-winter solstice period for the northern hemisphere of Mars. Traveling waves are triggered by geopotential flux convergence, grow baroclinically, and decay barotropically. Higher optical depth increases the static stability, which reduces vertical and meridional heat fluxes. Traveling waves during a global dust storm year develop a mixed baroclinic/barotropic growth phase before decaying barotropically. Baroclinic energy conversion is reduced during the global dust storm, but eddy intensity is undiminished. Instead, the frequency of storms is reduced due to a stabilized vertical profile.

  4. Effect of particle size of Martian dust on the degradation of photovoltaic cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Perez-Davis, Marla E.

    1991-01-01

    Glass coverglass and SiO2 covered and uncovered silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells were subjected to conditions simulating a Mars dust storm, using the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel, to assess the effect of particle size on the performance of PV cells in the Martian environment. The dust used was an artificial mineral of the approximate elemental composition of Martian soil, which was sorted into four different size ranges. Samples were tested both initially clean and initially dusted. The samples were exposed to clear and dust laden winds, wind velocities varying from 23 to 116 m/s, and attack angles from 0 to 90 deg. It was found that transmittance through the coverglass approximates the power produced by a dusty PV cell. Occultation by the dust was found to dominate the performance degradation for wind velocities below 50 m/s, whereas abrasion dominates the degradation at wind velocities above 85 m/s. Occultation is most severe at 0 deg (parallel to the wind), is less pronounced from 22.5 to 67.5 deg, and is somewhat larger at 90 deg (perpendicular to the wind). Abrasion is negligible at 0 deg, and increases to a maximum at 90 deg. Occultation is more of a problem with small particles, whereas large particles (unless they are agglomerates) cause more abrasion.

  5. Impact Produced and Mobilized Dust in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemtchinov, I. V.; Shuvalov, V. V.; Greeley, R.

    2001-12-01

    The objective of this work is to study possible mechanisms of new dust production and existing dust entrainment after impacts of meteoroids onto Mars and to assess the possible relationship to dust clouds. We use detailed numerical simulations based on the SOVA multi-dimensional multi-material hydrocode [1]. In the first run of simulations, partially described in [2], only the dust ejected from the crater was taken into account. In the process of ejection soil density decreases near the cavity boundary. At the moment when the density falls below some critical value the solid material is replaced by a set of discrete particles (dust, boulders) of equivalent mass [3]. The distribution of particles by sizes was taken according experimental data obtained in the course of large-scale TNT and nuclear explosions on the Earth's ground [4]. The radius of impactor was varied from 1 to 100 m. The lowest value corresponds to high strength meteoroids passing through the rarefied Martian atmosphere without substantial fragmentation and deceleration. The impact velocity was taken to be 11 and 20 km/s. In all the variants the mass of the dust ejected from the forming craters was about 10 M, where M is the impactor mass. It was suggested [5] that the dust may be mobilized even if the impactor does not reach the ground surface. To check this idea the code was modified to take into account blast produced impulsive winds blowing the preexisting dust from the surface by mechanism similarly to that of the stationary winds [6]. Turbulent viscosity and diffusion were taken into acount. Some portions of dust are deposited on the surface due to gravity. The particles striking the surface increase a flux of the suspended dust. The saltation thresholds were taken according [7-8]. For a 1 m radius stony asteroid releasing its energy (0.15 kt TNT) at an altitude of about 100 m above the surface after first two seconds the mass of the dust in the air was 3.5 M, and after 15 s it decreased to 2

  6. Transient Density Enhancements of the Martian Orbiting Dust Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juhasz, A.; Horanyi, M.

    2014-12-01

    The moons Phobos and Deimos have been suggested to be responsible for sustaining a permanently present dust cloud around Mars. The equilibrium size and spatial distribution of this dust torus has been the subject of numerous theoretical studies. However, no observational evidence has been found as of yet. Because of the renewed interest in Phobos and Deimos as potential targets for human precursor mission to Mars, there is a new opportunity for the detection of the putative Martian dust clouds using in situ measurements. Both Phobos and Deimos, as all airless bodies in the solar system, are continually bombarded by interplanetary dust grains, generating secondary ejecta particles. The surface gravity escape of these objects are low, hence most secondary particles escapethem, but remain in orbit about Mars. Subsequent perturbations by solar radiation pressure, electromagnetic forces acting on charged grains, and collisions with the moons or Mars itself limit the lifetime of the produced particles. The size dependent production rates and lifetimes set the most abundant particle size range of 10 - 30 micron in radius. Large, but short-lived, dust density enhancements can be predicted during periods of meteor showers. Also, comet Siding Spring will flyby Mars in October, 2014. Its dust tail can 'sand-blast' both Phobos and Deimos, dramatically increasing their dust production for a few hours. We present the results of our numerical studies on the temporal and spatial evolution of the dust clouds raised during highly enhanced production rates that last only hours-to-days.

  7. Martian Dust Storms — Observations by MGS-MOC and MRO-MARCI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, B. A.; Malin, M. C.; Edgett, K. S.

    2014-07-01

    Dust storms play an important role in the martian dust cycle. MGS-MOC and MRO-MARCI daily global mapping images provide a unique and continuous opportunity to study martian dust storms on time scales ranging from diurnally to nearly decadal.

  8. Martian Dust Storm on May 18, 2008

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation

    This false-color polar map was generated from images obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on May 18, 2008. It shows a large local dust storm that researchers were monitoring to see if it would affect weather conditions at NASA's Phoenix spacecraft's landing site on landing day, May 25, 2008. The landing site is labeled and marked with the yellow dot.

    The dust storm, indicated with yellow arrows in the close-up view, is the sinuous, light-colored feature to the left of the white northern polar cap at the center of the map.

    This dust storm was too early and too far away to affect the lander.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  9. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment.

    PubMed

    Delory, Gregory T; Farrell, William M; Atreya, Sushil K; Renno, Nilton O; Wong, Ah-San; Cummer, Steven A; Sentman, Davis D; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and desert field tests indicate that aeolian dust transport can generate atmospheric electricity via contact electrification or "triboelectricity." In convective structures such as dust devils and dust storms, grain stratification leads to macroscopic charge separations and gives rise to an overall electric dipole moment in the aeolian feature, similar in nature to the dipolar electric field generated in terrestrial thunderstorms. Previous numerical simulations indicate that these storm electric fields on Mars can approach the ambient breakdown field strength of approximately 25 kV/m. In terrestrial dust phenomena, potentials ranging from approximately 20 to 160 kV/m have been directly measured. The large electrostatic fields predicted in martian dust devils and storms can energize electrons in the low pressure martian atmosphere to values exceeding the electron dissociative attachment energy of both CO2 and H2O, which results in the formation of the new chemical products CO/O- and OH/H-, respectively. Using a collisional plasma physics model, we present calculations of the CO/O- and OH/H- reaction and production rates. We demonstrate that these rates vary geometrically with the ambient electric field, with substantial production of dissociative products when fields approach the breakdown value of approximately 25 kV/m. The dissociation of H2O into OH/H- provides a key ingredient for the generation of oxidants; thus electrically charged dust may significantly impact the habitability of Mars. PMID:16805701

  10. Infrared radiative transfer in the dust-free Martian atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Crisp, D. )

    1990-08-30

    Gases in the Martian atmosphere, including CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O, CO, and O{sub 3}, combine to produce some absorption at most infrared wavelengths. Line-by-line and quasi-random models are used to derive synthetic spectra of dust-free Martian atmospheres. These spectra show where gases absorb most strongly and provide a baseline for comparison with the results from more complete models that include the effects of dust. Gas absorption and emission features at many infrared wavelengths provide a source of contamination that must be removed from remote sensing observations of the Martian surface. For example, the weak reflectance minimum observed at wavelengths near 2.35 {mu}m, which has been interpreted as evidence for a variety of surface materials, is produced almost entirely by atmospheric CO and CO{sub 2} absorption. Isotopic CO{sub 2} bands near 7 and 8 {mu}m and near-infrared water vapor absorption bands partially overlap strong carbonate and hydrate features and frustrate systematic spectroscopic searches for these important candidate surface materials on Mars. In other spectral regions, gas absorption bands provide opportunities to study the structure and composition of the Martian atmosphere. Computed radiances within the strong CO{sub 2} 15-{mu}m band are incorporated into an atmospheric retrieval algorithm to derive the atmospheric temperature structure from Mariner 9 IRIS observations. Absorption and emission by gases also contributes to the energetics of the Martian atmosphere. Near-infrared CO{sub 2} bands absorb enough sunlight to produce globally-averaged solar heating rates that vary from 1 K/Earth day at the surface, to 10 K/Earth day at pressures near 0.01 mbar. Other gases contribute 1-5% of the heating at some levels.

  11. Dust-dynamic feedbacks in the Martian atmosphere: Surface dust lifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, James R.; Pollack, James B.

    1993-01-01

    Numerical models have been developed to study surface dust lifting in the Martian atmosphere. The present model is comprised of interactively coupled 3-D dynamical and aerosol transport/microphysical models. The nature of possible feedbacks between surface dust lifting and the amplification/damping of near-surface wind and thermal fields and their implications for additional lifting is investigated. These studies have examined large scale Martian topography for its impact upon the ability of the atmospheric circulation to lift dust from the surface, and the particular component(s) responsible for the lifting (e.g. overturning circulation, thermal tides, baroclinic waves). Analogous experiments in which the lifted dust is radiatively inactive (passive tracer) have been conducted to act as a control against which feedbacks are defined.

  12. Late-summer Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This is an image of Mars taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI). The Red Planet's polar ice-cap is in the middle of the image. Captured in this image is a 37,000 square-kilometer (almost 23,000 miles) dust storm that moved counter-clockwise through the Phoenix landing site on Oct 11, 2008, or Sol 135 of the mission.

    Viewing this image as if it were the face of a clock, Phoenix is shown as a small white dot, located at about 10 AM. The storm, which had already passed over the landing site earlier in the day, is located at about 9:30 AM.

  13. The wavelength dependence of Martian atmospheric dust radiative properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, J. B.; Ockert-Bell, M. E.; Arvidson, R.; Shepard, M.

    1993-01-01

    One of the key radiative agents in the atmosphere of Mars is the suspended dust particles. A new analysis of two data sets of the Martian atmosphere is being carried out in order to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the size distribution, optical constants, and other radiative properties, such as the single-scattering albedo and phase function. Of prime importance is the wavelength dependence of these radiative properties throughout the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Understanding the wavelength dependence of absorption and scattering characteristics will provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere.

  14. Impact-Mobilized Dust in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nemtchinov, I. V.; Shuvalov, V. V.; Greeley, R.

    2002-01-01

    We consider dust production and entrainment into the atmosphere of Mars by impacts. Numerical simulations based on the multidimensional multimaterial hydrocode were conducted for impactors 1 to 100 m in size and velocities 11 and 20 kilometers per second. The size distribution of particles was based on experimentrr wing TNT explosions. Dust can be mobilized even when the impactor does not reach the ground through the release of energy in the atmosphere, We found that the blast produced winds entrained dust by a mechanism similar to boundary layer winds as determined from the wind-tunnel tests. For a l-m radius stony asteroid releasing its energy in the atmosphere the lifted mass of dust is larger than that in a typical dust devil and could trigger local dust storms, For a 100-m-radius meteoroid the amount of injected dust is comparable with the tota! mass of a global dust storm.

  15. Reinterpretation of Mariner 9 IRIS data on the basis of a simulation of radiative-conductive convective transfer in the dust laden Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pallman, A. J.

    1974-01-01

    Time dependent vertical distributions of atmospheric temperature and static stability were determined by a radiative-convective-conductive heat transfer model attuned to Mariner 9 IRIS radiance data. Of particular interest were conditions of both the dust-laden and dust-free atmosphere in the middle latitudes on Mars during the late S.H. summer season. The numerical model simulates at high spatial and temporal resolution (52 atmospheric and 30 subsurface levels; with a time-step of 7.5 min.) the heat transports in the ground-atmosphere system. The algorithm is based on the solution of the appropriate heating rate equation which includes radiative, molecular-conductive and convective heat transfer terms. Ground and atmosphere are coupled by an internal thermal boundary condition.

  16. Temperature measurements of a Martian local dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Ralph

    1995-01-01

    A technique for estimating the ground and near-ground atmospheric temperatures within a Martian local dust storm is presented. It is applied to soundings taken by the Viking orbiter infrared thermal mapper (IRTM) instrument at four times-of-day for one storm. Essentially, a comparison is made between infrared radiances emerging from the storm interior and those from the region surrounding the storm. Particle extinction properties are assumed to be independent of position in the storm region, and scattering properties must be selected arbitrarily. For the storm studied here, the ground temperature in the interior is at least 6 K cooler, whereas the near-ground atmospheric temperature may be less than or comparable to, those of the surroundings. The thermal structure of the storm interior did not change measurably between 11.5 and 16.6 hours local time. These observations favor the theories of dust storm development in which regional winds rather than local, dust driven convection initiate the mobilization of dust from the surface. It also concluded that the optical properties of dust particles in this local storm differ from those observed by Mariner 9 during the 1971-1972 global dust storm.

  17. Temperature measurements of a Martian local dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Ralph

    1995-01-01

    A technique for estimating the ground and near-ground atmospheric temperatures within a Martian local dust storm is presented. It is applied to soundings taken by the Viking orbiter infrared thermal mapper (IRTM) instrument at four times-of-day for one storm. Essentially, a comparison is made between infrared radiances emerging from the storm interior and those from the region surrounding the storm. Particle extinction properties are assumed to be independent of position in the storm region, and scattering properties must be selected arbitrarily. For the storm studied here, the ground temperature in the interior is at least 6 K cooler, whereas the near-ground atmospheric temperature may be less than or comparable to, those of the surroundings. The thermal structure of the storm interior did not change measurably between 11.5 and 16.6 hours local time. These observations favor theories of dust storm development in which regional winds rather than local, dust-driven convection initiate the mobilization of dust from the surface. It is also concluded that the optical properties of dust particles in this local storm differ from those observed by Mariner 9 during the 1971-1972 global dust storm.

  18. Simulation of the UV-radiation at the Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, C.; Stimpfl, P.; Krenn, H.; Lammer, H.; Kargl, G.; Abart, R.; Patel, M. R.

    The UV-radiation at the Martian surface is for several reasons of importance. UV radiation can cause specific damages in the DNA-containing living systems and is involved in the formation of catalytically produced oxidants such as superoxide ions and peroxides. These are capable to oxidize and subsequently destroy organic matter. Lab simulations are necessary to investigate and understand the effects of organic matter removal at the Martian surface. We designed a radiation apparatus which simulates the solar spectrum at the Martian surface between 200 and 700 nm. The system consists of an UV-enhanced xenon arc lamp and special exchangeable filter-sets and mirrors for simulating the effects of the Martian atmospheric column and dust loading. A special collimating system bundles the final parallel beam so that the intensity at the target spot is independent from the distance between the ray source and the sample. The system was calibrated by means of an optical photo-spectrometer to align the ray output with the theoretical target spectrum and to ensure spectral homogeneity. We present preliminary data on calibration and performance of our system, which is integrated in the Austrian Mars simulation facility.

  19. Martian Arctic Dust Devil and Phoenix Meteorology Mast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The vertical post near the left edge of this image is the mast of the Meteorological Station on Phoenix. The dust devil visible at the horizon just to the right of the mast is estimated to be 600 to 700 meters (about 2,000 to 2,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 to 5 meters (10 to 13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  20. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz Caro, G. M.; Mateo-Martí, E.; Martínez-Frías, J.

    2006-01-01

    The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm). Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiation of basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance as a function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify the absorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Mars surface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance in the near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolith at deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.

  1. Parameters of Dust Particles in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Morozhenko, A. V.

    2001-11-01

    A critical analysis of the methods and results of estimating the optical thickness of the dust component in the Martian atmosphere τ_0, the particle size r_0, and the imaginary part of the refractive index n_ihas shown the following. (1) Observational data on the brightness distribution over the Martian disk as well as the phase dependences of diffusely reflected light and the azimuthal dependences of diffusely transmitted light are most appropriate to use only for verifying the reliability of the aerosol parameters determined by other methods. (2) If the morning and evening fogs in the atmosphere are disregarded, the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method used to analyze the solar-brightness attenuation measured on the planetary surface yields overestimated extraatmospheric solar intensity I_0and atmospheric optical depth τ_0. At the Viking 1landing site, I_0and τ_0could be overestimated by a factor of 1.7 and by 0.35, respectively. (3) The aerosol size determined by analyzing measurements of the azimuthal dependences for the Martian sky brightness at low elevations of the Sun most likely corresponds to the fog particles. (4) If overestimated values of I_0were used to standardize the observations of the solar radiation transmitted by the Martian atmosphere, then n_iwere also overestimated; using overestimated τ_0also affected the reliability of the latter. (5) The problem of reliability of the available τ_0and r_0estimates for periods of high atmospheric transparency is yet to be solved. For the highest activity of the dust storm in 1971, it was found that 4.5 <= r_0<= 7.5 μm for the lognormal particle size distribution with σ^2= 0.2 and the optical thickness of a dust cloud τ_0>= 15. (6) The spectral values of the apparent albedo of Mars measured in October 1971 at a phase angle of 42° in the spectral range 0.250 <= λ <= 0.717 allowed the imaginary part of the refractive index to be estimated in terms of a model of a dust cloud composed of spherical particles with

  2. The effects and characteristics of atmospheric dust during martian global dust storm 2001A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elteto, Attila; Toon, Owen B.

    2010-12-01

    We present retrieved trends in dust optical depth, dust effective radius and surface temperature from our analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer daytime data from global dust storm 2001A, and describe their significance for the martian dust cycle. The dust optical depth becomes correlated with surface pressure during southern spring and summer in years both with and without a global dust storm, indicating that global dust mixing processes are important at those seasons. The correlation is low at other times of the year. We found that the observed decay of optical depths at the later stages of the dust storm match, to first-order, theoretical values of clearing from Stokes-Cunningham fallout of the dust. Zonally averaged effective radius is constant within standard deviation of results (between 1.2 and 2.0 μm, with a global mean for all seasons of 1.7 μm), at all latitudes and seasons except at southern latitudes of 35° and higher around equinoxes in both martian years, where it is larger than average (2-3 μm). The emergence and disappearance of these larger particles correlates with observations of polar cap edge storms at those latitudes. Northern latitude observations under similar conditions did not yield a similar trend of larger average effective radii during the equinoxes. We also report on a linear correlation between daytime surface temperature drop and rise in optical depth during the global dust storm. Global dust storm 2001A produced a significant optical depth and surface temperature change.

  3. Laboratory investigation of Martian water ice cloud formation using dust aerosol stimulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladino, L. A.; Abbatt, J. P. D.

    2013-01-01

    The ice nucleation abilities of submicron aerosol particles of two Martian regolith analogs, the Mojave Mars simulant and Johnson Space Center Mars-1, were investigated with the University of Toronto continuous flow diffusion chamber. The temperature range studied (> 200 K) is relevant to low-altitude water ice cloud formation in the Martian atmosphere and the aerosol particles were suspended in air, in contrast to previous experiments. Both simulants were found to be active ice nuclei in the deposition nucleation mode between 223 K and 203 K. The Mojave Mars simulant particles were found to be better ice nuclei than the Johnson Space Center Mars-1 particles requiring lower supersaturations to nucleate ice. It was observed that the critical supersaturation (Scrit) to activate 1% of the particles increased with decreasing temperature in accord with previous low-temperature studies, rising to a value of above 1.7 at 203 K. This corroborates literature results that there is a substantial barrier to ice nucleation at low temperatures, underlining the need for incorporating this effect in Martian cloud microphysical models. It was also found that Scrit did not change when the size of the Mojave Mars simulant particles was increased from 240 to 400 nm. Comparison of the Martian simulants with other mineral dusts shows that the Johnson Space Center Mars-1 analog behaves similarly to the well-known terrestrial ice nuclei such as kaolinite and Arizona test dust particles, whereas the Mojave Mars simulant behaves closer to another clay, montmorillonite. The wettability parameter, m, was calculated to range from 0.955 to 0.959.

  4. The optical depth sensor (ODS) for column dust opacity measurements and cloud detection on martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, D.; Rannou, P.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Foujols, T.

    2016-08-01

    A lightweight and sophisticated optical depth sensor (ODS) able to measure alternatively scattered flux at zenith and the sum of the direct flux and the scattered flux in blue and red has been developed to work in martian environment. The principal goals of ODS are to perform measurements of the daily mean dust opacity and to retrieve the altitude and optical depth of high altitude clouds at twilight, crucial parameters in the understanding of martian meteorology. The retrieval procedure of dust opacity is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations reproducing observed changes in the solar flux during the day as a function of 4 free parameters: dust opacity in blue and red, and effective radius and effective width of dust size distribution. The detection of clouds is undertaken by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between red and blue ODS channels, at twilight. The retrieval of altitude and optical depth of clouds is carried out using a radiative transfer model in spherical geometry to simulate the CI time variation at twilight. Here the different retrieval procedures to analyze ODS signals, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis are presented and discussed.

  5. The optical depth sensor (ODS) for column dust opacity measurements and cloud detection on martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, D.; Rannou, P.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Foujols, T.

    2016-05-01

    A lightweight and sophisticated optical depth sensor (ODS) able to measure alternatively scattered flux at zenith and the sum of the direct flux and the scattered flux in blue and red has been developed to work in martian environment. The principal goals of ODS are to perform measurements of the daily mean dust opacity and to retrieve the altitude and optical depth of high altitude clouds at twilight, crucial parameters in the understanding of martian meteorology. The retrieval procedure of dust opacity is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations reproducing observed changes in the solar flux during the day as a function of 4 free parameters: dust opacity in blue and red, and effective radius and effective width of dust size distribution. The detection of clouds is undertaken by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between red and blue ODS channels, at twilight. The retrieval of altitude and optical depth of clouds is carried out using a radiative transfer model in spherical geometry to simulate the CI time variation at twilight. Here the different retrieval procedures to analyze ODS signals, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis are presented and discussed.

  6. Positive Radiative-Dynamic Feedback in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafkin, S. C.; Rothchild, A.; Pielke, R. A., Sr.

    2010-12-01

    This work follows from the work of Rafkin [2010] that identified a positive radiative-dynamic feedback mechanism for the growth and maintenance of Mars dust storms under idealized conditions. In this study, the feedback mechanism is explored under more realistic settings including complex background atmospheric structures, topography, thermal tidal forcing, and a variety of mesoscale circulations. As expected, the more complex situation tends to mute the evidence and the impact of the proposed feedback process. Nonetheless, telltale signatures of the feedback mechanism are present and are consistent with the findings from the idealized scenario. Mesoscale simulations at the proposed MSL landing site of Mawrth Valles serve as the foundation for feedback studies with the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. A background dust field is specified based on MGS-TES retrievals and a dynamically active perturbation dust field is superimposed. The perturbation field arises from dust lifting (both resolved and subgrid scale) and it is subject to transport, diffusion, and sedimentation; the perturbation field is allowed to evolve over time consistent with the dynamics. The dust is tracked via a bin model with 8 discrete mass bins. To test for radiative-dynamic feedback, the radiative activity of the perturbation dust can be toggled on or off. If lifted dust behaves as a passive tracer then the simulations with radiatively active perturbation dust should evolve similarly to those with radiatively inactive dust. In idealized cases, a large difference was noted between these two scenarios indicating that lifted dust was modifying the local circulation. In the realistic scenarios presented here, simulations with radiatively active dust produce a noticeable local drop in atmospheric pressure and an increase in wind speeds, particularly in dust lifting regions where atmospheric dust concentrations are maximized. Analysis of wind residuals show a tendency for rotational and

  7. Dust Complex onboard the ExoMars-2018 lander for investigations of Martian dust dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Horanyi, Mihaly; Afonin, Valeri; Esposito, Francesca; Seran, Elena; Gotlib, Vladimir; Koepke, Mark; Kuznetsov, Ilya; Lyash, Andrey; Dolnikov, Gennady

    The load of suspended dust in the Martian atmosphere varies dramatically but never drops entirely to zero. Effects of airborne dust contribute to the dynamic and thermodynamic evolution of the atmosphere and its large-scale circulation processes on diurnal, seasonal and annual time-scales. Suspended dust plays a key role in determining the present climate of Mars and probably influenced the past climatic conditions and surface evolution. Atmosphere dust and windblown dust are responsible for erosion, redistribution of dust on the surface, and surface weathering. The mechanisms for dust entrainment in the atmosphere are not completely understood, as the current data available so far do not allow us to identify the efficiency of the various processes. Dust-grain transport on the surface of Mars has never been directly measured despite great interest in and high scientific and technological ramifications of the associated phenomena. This paper describes planned, future investigations of the Martian dust environment made possible by the proposed scientific payload “Dust Complex” (DC) of the ExoMars-2018 mission’s landing platform. DC is a suite of four sensors devoted to the study of Aeolian processes on Mars with a primary aim of monitoring the diurnal, seasonal, and annual dust-environment cycles by Martian-ground-based measurements of dust flux in situ, i.e., in the near-surface atmosphere of Mars. This suite includes 1) an Impact Sensor, for the measurement of the sand-grain dynamics and electrostatics, 2) a particle-counter sensor, MicroMED, for the measurement of airborne dust size distribution and number density, 3) an Electric Probe, for the measurement of the ambient electric field, and 4) a radiofrequency antenna. Besides outlining design details of DC and the characterisation of its capabilities, this presentation reviews various dust effects and dust phenomena that are anticipated to occur in the near-surface environment on Mars and that are possible

  8. Mars dust storm simulations: Analysis of surface stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, J. R.; Leovy, C. B.

    1992-01-01

    The primary mechanism by which dust is inserted into the Martian atmosphere is the interaction of low-level atmospheric motions with the planet's surface. Near-surface winds exert a shear stress upon dust particles resting on the Martian surface, and at some lower threshold limit of stress magnitude, approximately 0.04 N-m(exp -2), particles are set into motion. Wind tunnel studies indicate that the first particles are too large to remain in suspension in the Martian atmosphere, but their impact back upon the surface can set smaller suspendable particles into motion. This process is termed saltation. Numerical simulations of Martian dust storms were carried out via the interactive coupling of the NASA Ames Mars general circulation Model with an aerosol transport/microphysical model.

  9. Amplification of dust loading in Martian dust devils by self-shadowing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuepper, M.; Wurm, G.

    2016-08-01

    Insolation of the Martian soil leads to a sub-surface overpressure due to thermal creep gas flow. This could support particle entrainment into the atmosphere. Short time shadowing e.g. by the traverse of a larger dust devil would enhance this effect. We find in microgravity experiments that mass ejection rates are increased by a factor of 10 for several seconds if a light source of 12.6 kW/m2 is turned off. Scaled to Mars this implies that self-shadowing of a partially opaque dust devil might lead to a strongly amplified flux of lifted material. We therefore suggest that self-shadowing might be a mechanism on Mars to increase the total dust loading of a dust devil and keep it self-sustained.

  10. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977, 1979) by deriving more accurate brightness closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius r(sub eff) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 micrometers at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 micrometers at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance nu(sub eff) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 micrometers. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollak et al. (1977, 1979) estimates.

  11. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.

  12. Ion Chemistry and Dust Aerosols in the Martian Lower Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheel, Varun; Haider, Syed A.

    2012-07-01

    Models of the daytime upper ionosphere and nighttime models have been able to explain some of the observations of the Martian atmosphere. However, not much attention has been paid to the ionosphere below 100 km. We have developed a detailed chemistry model of 35 ions and 12 neutral species with galactic cosmic rays as the primary source of ionization to calculate the densities of ions in the daytime lower atmosphere of Mars (Haider et al., 2008). The chemical model couples various processes through 101 chemical reactions. We do a quantitative comparison between various production and loss processes, in order to tag each of them with their relative importance in determining the ion densities. Impact of galactic cosmic rays initially produces CO_{2}^{+} and O_{2}^{+} ions, but the ion chemistry eventually leads to the dominance of hydrated positive and negative ions with maximum densities of about 10^{3} cm^{-3}. It is found that out of all the processes included in the model, the most important process is the ion-neutral collisions wherein the reaction of H_{3}O^{+}(H_{2}O)_{2,3} with water and air molecules having the highest rates of ˜10^5 cm^{-3} s^{-1} (Sheel et al., PSS, in press). These ions can charge dust aerosols in the lower ionosphere of Mars. Periodical massive dust storms with high surface winds disturb surface sediments and lift large amounts of dust into the atmosphere. We have extended the ion model to study the effect of dust on ions in the troposphere of Mars. The dust vertical profile, used as an input to our model, is calculated using the Conrath parametrisation and constrained with dust opacities observed by THEMIS onboard the Mars Odyssey. We observe that the major positive and negative hydrated ions decrease by upto two orders of magnitude in the presence of dust (Haider at al, 2010). These results will be presented and dust variability observed by MGS and Mars Odyssey will also be discussed in the talk. Our calculations provide an initial

  13. Photo-induced free radicals on a simulated Martian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tseng, S.-S.; Chang, S.

    1974-01-01

    Results of an electron spin resonance study of free radicals in the ultraviolet irradiation of a simulated Martian surface suggest that the ultraviolet photolysis of CO or CO2, or a mixture of both, adsorbed on silica gel at minus 170 C involves the formation of OH radicals and possibly of H atoms as the primary process, followed by the formation of CO2H radicals. It is concluded that the photochemical synthesis of organic compounds could occur on Mars if the siliceous surface dust contains enough silanol groups and/or adsorbed H2O in the form of bound water.

  14. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  15. Springtime Dust Storm Swirls at Martian North Pole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Two Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars, taken about a month apart on September 18 and October 15, 1996, reveal a state-sized dust storm churning near the edge of the Martian north polar cap. The polar storm is probably a consequence of large temperature differences between the polar ice and the dark regions to the south, which are heated by the springtime sun. The increased sunlight also causes the dry ice in the polar cap to sublime and shrink.

    Mars is famous for large, planet-wide dust storms. Smaller storms resembling the one seen here were observed in other regions by Viking orbiters in the late 1970s. However, this is the first time that such an event has been caught near the receding north polar cap. The Hubble images provide valuable new insights into the behavior of localized dust storms on Mars, which are typically below the resolution of ground-based telescopes. This kind of advanced planetary 'weather report' will be invaluable for aiding preparation for the landing of NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft in July 1997 and the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor orbiter in September 1997.

    Top (September 18, 1996) - The salmon colored notch in the white north polar cap is a 600-mile (1,000 kilometer) long storm -- nearly the width of Texas. The bright dust can also be seen over the dark surface surrounding the cap, where it is caught up in the Martian jet stream and blown easterly. The white clouds at lower latitudes are mostly associated with major Martian volcanos such as Olympus Mons. This image was taken when Mars was more than 186 million miles (300 million kilometers) from Earth, and the planet was smaller in angular size than Jupiter's Great Red Spot!

    Bottom (October 15, 1996) - Though the storm has dissipated by October, a distinctive dust-colored comma-shaped feature can be seen curving across the ice cap. The shape is similar to cold fronts on Earth, which are associated with low pressure systems. Nothing quite like this feature has been seen

  16. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  17. Microscopic Comparison of Airfall Dust to Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This pair of images taken by the Optical Microscope on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander offers a side-by-side comparison of an airfall dust sample collected on a substrate exposed during landing (left) and a soil sample scooped up from the surface of the ground beside the lander. In both cases the sample is collected on a silicone substrate, which provides a sticky surface holding sample particles for observation by the microscope.

    Similar fine particles at the resolution limit of the microscope are seen in both samples, indicating that the soil has formed from settling of dust.

    The microscope took the image on the left during Phoenix's Sol 9 (June 3, 2008), or the ninth Martian day after landing. It took the image on the right during Sol 17 (June 11, 2008).

    The scale bar is 1 millimeter (0.04 inch).

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  18. Prototype detector development for measurement of high altitude Martian dust using a future orbiter platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Patel, Darshil; Chokhawala, Vimmi; Bogavelly, Anvesh

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils mostly occur during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer on Mars and play a key role in the background dust opacity. Due to continuous bombardment of micrometeorites, secondary ejecta come out from the Moons of the Mars and can easily escape. This phenomenon can contribute dust around the Moons and therefore, also around the Mars. Similar to the Moons of the Earth, the surfaces of the Martian Moons get charged and cause the dust levitation to occur, adding to the possible dust source. Also, interplanetary dust particles may be able to reach the Mars and contribute further. It is hypothesized that the high altitude Martian dust could be in the form of a ring or tori around the Mars. However, no such rings have been detected to the present day. Typically, width and height of the dust torus is ~5 Mars radii wide (~16950 km) in both the planes as reported in the literature. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, a langmuir probe cannot explain the source of such dust particles. It is a puzzling question to the space scientist how dust has reached to such high altitudes. A dedicated dust instrument on future Mars orbiter may be helpful to address such issues. To study origin, abundance, distribution and seasonal variation of Martian dust, a Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX) is proposed. In order to measure the Martian dust from a future orbiter, design of a prototype of an impact ionization dust detector has been initiated at PRL. This paper presents developmental aspects of the prototype dust detector and initial results. The further work is underway.

  19. Investigating the Use of Aerogel Collectors for the SCIM Martian-Dust Sample Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jurewicz, A. J. G.; Forney, L.; Bomba, J.; Vicker, D.; Jones, S.; Yen, A.; Clark, B.; Gamber, T.; Goreva, J.; Minitti, M.

    2002-01-01

    SCIM (sample collection for the investigation of Mars) proposes to return Martian dust and atmospheric samples to Earth. The collection will occur during a high-speed pass of Mars. We discuss the engineering challenges that the Martian atmosphere imposes on this type of experiment, and how we are proceeding to meet them. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Martian global dust storm 2001A as observed by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elteto, Attila

    2009-06-01

    The purpose of this work is to study the general characteristics of Martian global dust storms, and their relation to the Martian dust cycle using infrared observations. I devised a parameter retrieval algorithm for Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer daytime data from global dust storm 2001A that extracts information about dust optical depth, effective radius, and surface temperature using Newtonian first-order sensitivity functions of the infrared spectrum in response to variations in these parameters. This algorithm is both relatively accurate and very fast, successfully retrieving parameters from 56878 spectra for global dust storm 2001A, as well as a subsequent Martian year in comparison. There are uncertainties introduced into the retrievals, especially by parameters that could not be constrained such as the optical constants of the Martian dust. Uncertainties in assumed vertical mixing of dust can lead to significant uncertainties in retrieved optical depth and dust effective radius. I discovered several aspects of the dust storm that have not previously been recognized. One of these is that the dust optical depth becomes correlated with surface pressure during the decay phase of the dust storm. Similar pressure optical depth correlations were found the following Martian year when no global dust storm occurred. Global correlation of dust optical depth and surface pressure, indicative of global dust mixing processes, also varies with the season. It is generally larger during southern hemisphere late spring and summer, and very low at all other seasons when there is no global dust storm. These pressure and optical depth data provide a tool to study atmospheric dynamics. I also found that the observed decay of optical depths at the later stages of the dust storm match, to first order, theoretical values of clearing from Stokes-Cunningham fallout of the dust. The unprecedented coverage of the retrieval of dust effective radii allowed me to

  1. Detection of Polonium-210 on Spirit Dust Magnets and Implications for the Global Martian Dust Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, R.; Meslin, P.; Sabroux, J.; Madsen, M. B.; Pineau, J.; Richon, P.

    2013-12-01

    The radioactivity of airborne aerosols, which originates from the attachment of radionuclides produced by radon disintegration, Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) or anthropogenic activities, especially fallouts from nuclear weapons testing, can be used to measure the residence time of these aerosols in the atmosphere and their deposition rate. It is also used to characterize soils erosion rates (Matissof et al., 2002) or to investigate the origin of desert rock varnish (Hodge et al., 2005), to name only a few terrestrial applications. A translation of these nuclear methods to the Martian atmosphere, which is characterized by a very active dust cycle, is tempting, and has the potential to offer a unique insight into the present-day recycling of the Martian surface. This approach is made possible by two facts: 1) the presence of radon in the Martian atmosphere, which produces long-lived radioactive decay products, in particular polonium-210, and whose abundance can be indirectly inferred by gamma ray spectrometry from orbit using Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) (Meslin et al., 2012); 2) the presence at the surface of Mars of two Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometers (APXS), onboard Opportunity and Spirit Mars Exploration Rovers, whose energy range (in the alpha mode) very fortuitously happens to include the energy of alpha particles emitted by the decay of polonium-210. The long half-life of this radionuclide is such that it is almost entirely attached to the particles that have been in suspension in the atmosphere, especially those characterized by a large specific surface area or by a long atmospheric residence time. It can therefore be used as a tracer of the dust cycle. An analysis of the alpha spectra acquired on the dust Capture and Filter magnets of the Spirit rover confirms results obtained by Meslin et al. (2006) that the Martian dust is radioactive w/r to polonium-210, thereby extending Opportunity's result to a global scale. This result enables us to

  2. Multiyear Simulations of the Martian Water Cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Schaeffer, J. R.; Nelli, S. M.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide dominated with non-negligible amounts of water vapor and suspended dust particles. The atmospheric dust plays an important role in the heating and cooling of the planet through absorption and emission of radiation. Small dust particles can potentially be carried to great altitudes and affect the temperatures there. Water vapor condensing onto the dust grains can affect the radiative properties of both, as well as their vertical extent. The condensation of water onto a dust grain will change the grain s fall speed and diminish the possibility of dust obtaining high altitudes. In this capacity, water becomes a controlling agent with regard to the vertical distribution of dust. Similarly, the atmosphere s water vapor holding capacity is affected by the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Dust is an excellent green house catalyst; it raises the temperature of the atmosphere, and thus, its water vapor holding capacity. There is, therefore, a potentially significant interplay between the Martian dust and water cycles. Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

  3. Development of an Electrostatic Precipitator to Remove Martian Atmospheric Dust from ISRU Gas Intakes During Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clements, J. Sidney; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.; Hogue, Michael D.; Lowder, M. Loraine; Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    Manned exploration missions to Mars will need dependable in situ resource utilization (ISRU) for the production of oxygen and other commodities. One of these resources is the Martian atmosphere itself, which is composed of carbon dioxide (95.3%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), oxygen (0.13%), carbon monoxide (0.07%), and water vapor (0.03%), as well as other trace gases. However, the Martian atmosphere also contains relatively large amounts of dust, uploaded by frequent dust devils and high Winds. To make this gas usable for oxygen extraction in specialized chambers requires the removal of most of the dust. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) system is an obvious choice. But with an atmospheric pressure just one-hundredth of Earth's, electrical breakdown at low voltages makes the implementation of the electrostatic precipitator technology very challenging. Ion mobility, drag forces, dust particle charging, and migration velocity are also affected because the low gas pressure results in molecular mean free paths that are approximately one hundred times longer than those at Earth .atmospheric pressure. We report here on our efforts to develop this technology at the Kennedy Space Center, using gases with approximately the same composition as the Martian atmosphere in a vacuum chamber at 9 mbars, the atmospheric pressure on Mars. We also present I-V curves and large particle charging data for various versions of wire-cylinder and rod-cylinder geometry ESPs. Preliminary results suggest that use of an ESP for dust collection on Mars may be feasible, but further testing with Martian dust simulant is required.

  4. Martian dust aerosols in the North Polar summer: scattering properties and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, E.; Lemmon, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    Martian atmospheric dust appears to be largely homogenized, yet many sources are present through seasonally distinct processes: Southern summer dust storms, polar cap edge storms, and dust devils. The Phoenix landing site fell within a region of a northern seasonal ice cap with the receding cap edge to its north. The Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to characterize atmospheric dust in the Martian north polar environment. These surveys, comparable to those by the Viking and Pathfinder landers and the Mars Exploration Rovers, constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust. We analyze a set taken in early summer in order to compare the results to those of previous missions and constrain the size of dust in a near-cap-edge environment. The spectrophotometric data from 440-1000 nm were taken shortly after a period of local dust storms and during a period of active dust devil lifting, and thus approximate a measurement of the lifted dust. We will present a discussion of constraints on the size distribution, spectral single scattering albedo and imaginary index of refraction of the dust. We also present the first polarimetric observations from inside the Martian atmosphere. These observations show the dust is weakly polarizing in a way that is, as expected, inconsistent with Mie scattering.

  5. Martian dust aerosols in the North Polar summer: scattering properties and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Emily; Lemmon, M.

    2013-10-01

    Martian atmospheric dust appears to be largely homogenized. However, there are a continuum of sources that are accessed by seasonally distinct processes: Southern summer dust storms, polar cap edge storms, and dust devils. The Phoenix landing site was in a region that fell within the northern seasonal ice cap; its mission began while the receding cap edge was north of the site. The Phoenix Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to characterize atmospheric dust in the Martian north polar environment. These surveys, comparable to those by the Viking and Pathfinder landers and the Mars Exploration Rovers, constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust. We analyze a set taken in early summer in order to compare the results to those of previous missions and constrain the size of dust in a near-cap-edge environment. The spectrophotometric data from 440-1000 nm were taken shortly after a period of local dust storms and during a period of active dust-devil lifting, and thus approximate a measurement of the lifted dust. We will present a discussion of constraints on the size distribution, spectral single scattering albedo and imaginary index of refraction of the dust. We also present the first polarimetric observations from inside the Martian atmosphere. These observations show the dust is weakly polarizing in a way that is, as expected, inconsistent with Mie scattering.

  6. Variability of the Martian thermosphere during eight Martian years as simulated by a ground-to-exosphere global circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Galindo, F.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Forget, F.; García-Comas, M.; Millour, E.; Montabone, L.

    2015-11-01

    Using a ground-to-exosphere general circulation model for Mars we have simulated the variability of the dayside temperatures at the exobase during eight Martian years (MY, from MY24 to MY31, approximately from 1998 to 2013), taking into account the observed day-to-day solar and dust load variability. We show that the simulated temperatures are in good agreement with the exospheric temperatures derived from Precise Orbit Determination of Mars Global Surveyor. We then study the effects of the solar variability and of two planetary-encircling dust storms on the simulated temperatures. The seasonal effect produced by the large eccentricity of the Martian orbit translates in an aphelion-to-perihelion temperature contrast in every simulated year. However, the magnitude of this seasonal temperature variation is strongly affected by the solar conditions, ranging from 50 K for years corresponding to solar minimum conditions to almost 140 K during the last solar maximum. The 27 day solar rotation cycle is observed on the simulated temperatures at the exobase, with average amplitude of the temperature oscillation of 2.6 K but with a significant interannual variability. These two results highlight the importance of taking into account the solar variability when simulating the Martian upper atmosphere and likely have important implications concerning the atmospheric escape rate. We also show that the global dust storms in MY25 and MY28 have a significant effect on the simulated temperatures. In general, they increase the exospheric temperatures over the low latitude and midlatitude regions and decrease them in the polar regions.

  7. The Martian Dust Chronicle and the Impact on the Atmospheric Polar Vortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montabone, L.; Forget, F.; Millour, E.; Wilson, R. J.; Mitchell, D.; Thomson, S. I.; Lewis, S. R.; Read, P. L.

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, we describe the chronicle of the dust distribution from martian year 24 to MY 31, and we analyze the impact of large-scale dust storms on the dynamics of the atmospheric polar vortices, as an example of effect at distance.

  8. An assessment of the impact of local processes on dust lifting in martian climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulholland, David P.; Spiga, Aymeric; Listowski, Constantino; Read, Peter L.

    2015-05-01

    Simulation of the lifting of dust from the planetary surface is of substantially greater importance on Mars than on Earth, due to the fundamental role that atmospheric dust plays in the former's climate, yet the dust emission parameterisations used to date in martian global climate models (MGCMs) lag, understandably, behind their terrestrial counterparts in terms of sophistication. Recent developments in estimating surface roughness length over all martian terrains and in modelling atmospheric circulations at regional to local scales (less than O(100 km)) presents an opportunity to formulate an improved wind stress lifting parameterisation. We have upgraded the conventional scheme by including the spatially varying roughness length in the lifting parameterisation in a fully consistent manner (thereby correcting a possible underestimation of the true threshold level for wind stress lifting), and used a modification to account for deviations from neutral stability in the surface layer. Following these improvements, it is found that wind speeds at typical MGCM resolution never reach the lifting threshold at most gridpoints: winds fall particularly short in the southern midlatitudes, where mean roughness is large. Sub-grid scale variability, manifested in both the near-surface wind field and the surface roughness, is then considered, and is found to be a crucial means of bridging the gap between model winds and thresholds. Both forms of small-scale variability contribute to the formation of dust emission 'hotspots': areas within the model gridbox with particularly favourable conditions for lifting, namely a smooth surface combined with strong near-surface gusts. Such small-scale emission could in fact be particularly influential on Mars, due both to the intense positive radiative feedbacks that can drive storm growth and a strong hysteresis effect on saltation. By modelling this variability, dust lifting is predicted at the locations at which dust storms are frequently

  9. Martian soil simulant: Focus on secondary electron emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlu, Jiri; Beranek, Martin; Vaverka, Jakub; Richterova, Ivana; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek

    2013-04-01

    Growing interest in dust charging physics is connected with several lander missions (running or planned) to the Moon, Mars, and Mercury. In support of these missions, simulations in laboratories are expected tools to optimize in situ explorations and measurements. In this paper, we have investigated some of the electrical properties of a Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1) using the dust charging experiment, where a single dust grain is trapped in a vacuum chamber and its secondary electron emission is studied. The exposure of the grain to the electron beam revealed that the grain surface potential is low and generally determined by a mean atomic number of the grain material at the low-beam energies (< 1 keV). Whereas it can reach a limit of the field ion emission being irradiated by energetic electrons (> 5 keV). Observations are also compared with our advanced numerical model of the secondary electron emission which takes into account (besides chemical content and dimension) an influence of shape and surface roughness.

  10. Review of dust transport and mitigation technologies in lunar and Martian atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshar-Mohajer, Nima; Wu, Chang-Yu; Curtis, Jennifer Sinclair; Gaier, James R.

    2015-09-01

    Dust resuspension and deposition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in all lunar and Martian missions. The near-term plans to return to the Moon as a stepping stone to further exploration of Mars and beyond bring scientists' attention to development and evaluation of lunar and Martian dust mitigation technologies. In this paper, different lunar and Martian dust transport mechanisms are presented, followed by a review of previously developed dust mitigation technologies including fluidal, mechanical, electrical and passive self-cleaning methods for lunar/Martian installed surfaces along with filtration for dust control inside cabins. Key factors in choosing the most effective dust mitigation technology are recognized to be the dust transport mechanism, energy consumption, environment, type of surface materials, area of the surface and surface functionality. While electrical methods operating at higher voltages are identified to be suitable for small but light sensitive surfaces, pre-treatment of the surface is effective for cleaning thermal control surfaces, and mechanical methods are appropriate for surfaces with no concerns of light blockage, surface abrasion and 100% cleaning efficiency. Findings from this paper can help choose proper surface protection/cleaning for future space explorations. Hybrid techniques combining the advantages of different methods are recommended.

  11. On the shape of martian dust and water ice aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitman, K. M.; Wolff, M. J.; Clancy, R. T.; Clayton, G. C.

    2000-10-01

    Researchers have often calculated radiative properties of Martian aerosols using either Mie theory for homogeneous spheres or semi-empirical theories. Given that these atmospheric particles are randomly oriented, this approach seems fairly reasonable. However, the idea that randomly oriented nonspherical particles have scattering properties equivalent to even a select subset of spheres is demonstratably false} (Bohren and Huffman 1983; Bohren and Koh 1985, Appl. Optics, 24, 1023). Fortunately, recent computational developments now enable us to directly compute scattering properties for nonspherical particles. We have combined a numerical approach for axisymmetric particle shapes, i.e., cylinders, disks, spheroids (Waterman's T-Matrix approach as improved by Mishchenko and collaborators; cf., Mishchenko et al. 1997, JGR, 102, D14, 16,831), with a multiple-scattering radiative transfer algorithm to constrain the shape of water ice and dust aerosols. We utilize a two-stage iterative process. First, we empirically derive a scattering phase function for each aerosol component (starting with some ``guess'') from radiative transfer models of MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer Emission Phase Function (EPF) sequences (for details on this step, see Clancy et al., DPS 2000). Next, we perform a series of scattering calculations, adjusting our parameters to arrive at a ``best-fit'' theoretical phase function. In this presentation, we provide details on the second step in our analysis, including the derived phase functions (for several characteristic EPF sequences) as well as the particle properties of the best-fit theoretical models. We provide a sensitivity analysis for the EPF model-data comparisons in terms of perturbations in the particle properties (i.e., range of axial ratios, sizes, refractive indices, etc). This work is supported through NASA grant NAGS-9820 (MJW) and JPL contract no. 961471 (RTC).

  12. Scattering matrices of martian dust analogs at 488 nm and 647 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowska, Dominika D.; Muñoz, Olga; Moreno, Fernando; Ramos, José L.; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Wurm, Gerhard

    2015-04-01

    We present measurements of the complete scattering matrix as a function of the scattering angle of five martian dust analogs, namely montmorillonite, two palagonite (JSC-1) samples, basalt, and calcite. The measurements are performed at 488 and 647 nm, covering the scattering angle range from 3° to 177°. The experimental scattering matrices are compared with results of Lorenz-Mie calculations performed for the same size distributions and refractive indices as our analog samples. As expected, we find that scattering matrices of realistic polydispersions of dust particles cannot be replaced by such calculated matrices. In contrast, the measured phase functions for our martian dust analogs may be considered a good approximation for martian dust at the studied wavelengths. Further, because of the sensitivity of polarimetry to particle microphysics, spectro-polarimetric observations from the martian surface appear to be a powerful diagnostic tool to infer the composition of the dust in the martian atmosphere. To facilitate the use of the experimental matrices for multiple-scattering calculations with polarization included, we compute the corresponding synthetic scattering matrices based on the measurements and defined in the full angle range from 0° to 180°.

  13. Martian dust devil and storm electric fields: The formation of an O- plasma and new local chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W.; Delory, G.; Sentmann, D.; Renno, N.; Atreya, S.; Wong, A.; Cummer, S.; Marshall, J.; Rafkin, S.; Catling, D.

    2005-12-01

    It has been demonstrated via laboratory studies, numerical simulations and desert field tests that dust devils and possibly larger dust storms contain significant electrical energy, with electric fields in excess of 20 kV/m. Such fields in Martian dust devils and storms will accelerate electrons (i.e., increase the electron drift speed) thereby creating secondary electrons via impact ionization, the formation of negative ions via dissociative attachment, and new chemical pathway in subsequent recombination. In this presentation, we discuss the nature of the collisional CO2+/O- plasma that may form in the dust devil and storm, the possibility of glow emissions, and the implications for stability of important species such as methane.

  14. Thermal Tides During the 2001 Martian Global-Scale Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Wilson, R. John; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Bandfield, Donald J.; Smith, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    The 2001 (Mars Year 25) global dust storm radically altered the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere. Using observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and Mars WRF general circulation model simulations, we examine the changes to thermal tides and planetary waves caused by the storm. We find that the extratropical diurnal migrating tide is dramatically enhanced during the storm, particularly in the southern hemisphere, reaching amplitudes of more than 20 K. The tropical diurnal migrating tide is weakened to almost undetectable levels. The diurnal Kelvin waves are also significantly weakened, particularly during the period of global expansion at Ls=200deg-210deg. In contrast, the westward propagating diurnal wavenumber 2 tide strengthens to 4-8 K at altitudes above 30km. The wavenumber 1 stationary wave reaches amplitudes of 10-12 K at 50deg-70degN, far larger than is typically seen during this time of year. The phase of this stationary wave and the enhancement of the diurnal wavenumber 2 tide appear to be responses to the high-altitude westward propagating equatorial wavenumber 1 structure in dust mixing ratio observed during the storm in previous works. This work provides a global picture of dust storm wave dynamics that reveals the coupling between the tropics and high-latitude wave responses. We conclude that the zonal distribution of thermotidal forcing from atmospheric aerosol concentration is as important to understanding the atmospheric wave response as the total global mean aerosol optical depth.

  15. Cooling the Martian atmosphere: The spectral overlap of the C02 15 micrometers band and dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    Careful consideration must be given to the simultaneous treatment of the radiative transfer of the CO2 15 micron band and dust calculations for the Martian winter polar region show that a simple sum of separately calculated CO2 cooling rates and dust cooling rates can easily result a 30 percent error in the net cooling particularly near the surface. CO2 and dust hinder each others ability to cool the atmosphere. Even during periods of low dust opacity, dust still reduces the efficacy of CO2 at cooling the atmosphere. At the other extreme, when dust storms occur, CO2 still significantly impedes the ability of dust to cool the atmosphere. Hence, both CO2 and dust must be considered in radiative transfer models.

  16. AFM investigation of Martian soil simulants on micromachined Si substrates.

    PubMed

    Vijendran, S; Sykulska, H; Pike, W T

    2007-09-01

    The micro and nanostructures of Martian soil simulants with particles in the micrometre-size range have been studied using a combination of optical and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in preparation for the 2007 NASA Phoenix Mars Lander mission. The operation of an atomic force microscope on samples of micrometre-sized soil particles is a poorly investigated area where the unwanted interaction between the scanning tip and loose particles results in poor image quality and tip contamination by the sample. In order to mitigate these effects, etched silicon substrates with a variety of features have been used to facilitate the sorting and gripping of particles. From these experiments, a number of patterns were identified that were particularly good at isolating and immobilizing particles for AFM imaging. This data was used to guide the design of micromachined substrates for the Phoenix AFM. Both individual particles as well as aggregates were successfully imaged, and information on sizes, shapes and surface morphologies were obtained. This study highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of AFM for the potential in situ investigation of Martian soil and dust. Also presented are more general findings of the limiting operational constraints that exist when attempting the AFM of high aspect ratio particles with current technology. The performance of the final designs of the substrates incorporated on Phoenix will be described in a later paper. PMID:17760618

  17. An Application Using Triaxial Ellipsoids to Model Martian Dust at the Phoenix Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, E. L.; Lemmon, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Martian atmospheric dust is not spherical and contains irregular shaped particles. This irregularity adds complexity to models determining radiative heating of the atmosphere. Particle size has been studied extensively with remote sensing, but particle shape is still poorly understood. Bi et al. show that an assortment of triaxial ellipsoids provides a good analog for the scattering properties of terrestrial dust aerosols. In addition Z. Meng et al. (2010) have developed a database containing single-scattering properties of irregularly shaped dust particles with pre-defined microphysical and optical parameters. The tabulation allows quick and efficient use of the results from time-consuming models and can be applied to the Martian atmosphere. The landing site for Phoenix was in a region that fell within the northern seasonal ice cap and was active during a period of large dust upwelling. The lander's Surface Stereo Imager performed several cross-sky brightness surveys to constrain the size distribution and scattering and absorption properties of the airborne dust in the Martian northern polar environment. Using the database, single scattering properties adapted to the Martian atmosphere can be used to determine bulk scattering properties of the medium at the Phoenix landing site. We will present a comparison of triaxial ellipsoids with spheroidal models using Phoenix spectrophotometric data and show that triaxial ellipsoid properties can produce a good fit to the observed data. In addition we will provide initial results of polarization to test the triaxial ellipsoid hypothesis.

  18. Toward understanding the fate of dust lost from the Martian satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horanyi, M.; Burns, J. A.; Tatrallyay, M.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1990-01-01

    The dynamics of small dust grains ejected from the Martian satellites is investigated, considering both the solar radiation perturbation and electromagnetic forces since the grains move in a magnetized plasma. Lorentz forces can dramatically change the nature of the trajectories, resulting in, for example, prolonged lifetimes for submicron-sized grains moving through an idealized model. It is suggested that a permanent, nonuniform and time-dependent dust halo of grains predominantly around 0.1 micron may exist about Mars.

  19. Toward understanding the fate of dust lost from the Martian satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horanyi, M.; Burns, J. A.; Tatrallyay, M.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1990-05-01

    The dynamics of small dust grains ejected from the Martian satellites is investigated, considering both the solar radiation perturbation and electromagnetic forces since the grains move in a magnetized plasma. Lorentz forces can dramatically change the nature of the trajectories, resulting in, for example, prolonged lifetimes for submicron-sized grains moving through an idealized model. It is suggested that a permanent, nonuniform and time-dependent dust halo of grains predominantly around 0.1 micron may exist about Mars.

  20. The Impact of Surface Dust Source Exhaustion on the Martian Dust Cycle in the MarsWRF General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, C. E.; Richardson, M. I.

    2014-07-01

    Observations of surface dust rearrangement following major storms suggest that its availability may be a major factor in Mars's dust cycle. We demonstrate the impact of surface dust exhaustion on dust cycles and storms simulated by the MarsWRF GCM.

  1. Organic degradation under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Bullock, Mark A.

    1997-05-01

    We report on laboratory experiments which simulate the breakdown of organic compounds under Martian surface conditions. Chambers containing Mars-analog soil mixed with the amino acid glycine were evacuated and filled to 100 mbar pressure with a Martian atmosphere gas mixture and then irradiated with a broad spectrum Xe lamp. Headspace gases were periodically withdrawn and analyzed via gas chromatography for the presence of organic gases expected to be decomposition products of the glycine. The quantum efficiency for the decomposition of glycine by light at wavelengths from 2000 to 2400 Å was measured to be 1.46+/-1.0×10-6molecules/photon. Scaled to Mars, this represents an organic destruction rate of 2.24+/-1.2×10-4g of Cm-2yr-1. We compare this degradation rate with the rate that organic compounds are brought to Mars as a result of meteoritic infall to show that organic compounds are destroyed on Mars at rates far exceeding the rate that they are deposited by meteorites. Thus the fact that no organic compounds were found on Mars by the Viking Lander Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer experiment can be explained without invoking the presence of strong oxidants in the surface soils. The organic destruction rate may be considered as an upper bound for the globally averaged biomass production rate of extant organisms at the surface of Mars. This upper bound is comparable to the slow growing cryptoendolithic microbial communities found in dry Antarctica deserts. Finally, comparing these organic destruction rates to recently reported experiments on the stability of carbonate on the surface of Mars, we find that organic compounds may currently be more stable than calcite.

  2. Solar Heating of Suspended Particles and the Dynamics of Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuerstenau, Stephen D.

    2006-01-01

    The heat input to Martian dust devils due to solar warming of suspended particles is assessed based on a prior estimate of dust loading and from an analysis of shadows cast by dust devils in images taken from orbit. Estimated values for solar heating range from 0.12 to 0.57 W/m3 with associated temperature increases of 0.011 to 0.051(deg)C per second. These warming rates are comparable to the adiabatic cooling rate expected for a gas parcel rising on Mars with a vertical velocity of 10 m/s. Solar warming of suspended dust serves to maintain buoyancy in a rising dust plume and may be one cause for the large scale of dust devils observed on Mars.

  3. Dust storms on Mars: Considerations and simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; White, B. R.; Pollack, J. B.; Iverson, J. D.; Leach, R. N.

    1977-01-01

    Aeolian processes are important in modifying the surface of Mars at present, and appear to have been significant in the geological past. Aeolian activity includes local and global dust storms, the formation of erosional features such as yardangs and depositional features such as sand dunes, and the erosion of rock and soil. As a means of understanding aeolian processes on Mars, an investigation is in progress that includes laboratory simulations, field studies of earth analogs, and interpretation of spacecraft data. This report describes the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel, an experimental facility established at NASA-Ames Research Center, and presents some results of the general investigation. Experiments dealing with wind speeds and other conditions required for the initiation of particle movement on Mars are described and considerations are given to the resulting effectiveness of aeolian erosion.

  4. Mixing relationships in the Martian regolith and the composition of globally homogeneous dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Keil, Klaus

    2000-06-01

    Comparison of the chemical compositions of Martian soils reveals distinct mixing trends, resulting from admixture of variable amounts of sulfate/chloride cement at Viking landing sites and of the local andesitic rock fragments at the Mars Pathfinder site. These trends, most easily visualized in plots of oxides versus SO 3, intersect approximately at a common composition, thought to represent a global dust that has been homogenized by pervasive aeolian activity. The source rocks that were weathered to produce the global dust are inferred to have been basalts rather than felsic rocks, based on the observation that the dust lies along well-established chemical weathering trends for terrestrial basalts. The basaltic protolith was chemically similar (e.g., high Fe/Mg, low Al 2O 3) to basaltic shergottite meteorites. Chemical changes during the weathering of Martian basaltic rocks are apparently not as drastic as in terrestrial weathering, perhaps because of evaporation of hydrous fluids that leave soluble components behind in the residue. Comparison with chemical trends for previously proposed Martian soil-formation mechanisms suggests that palagonitization of basalts more readily explains the dust composition than do hydrothermal alteration at higher temperatures or reactions of rocks with an acid fog produced by volcanic exhalations. Local or temporal processing of dust into soil involves not only cementation by salts and mixing with rock fragments, but also chemical fractionations of Fe 2O 3/TiO 2 presumably resulting from aeolian sorting by grain size and density. If the global dust represents a broad average of the Martian surficial or upper crustal composition, the planet's surface geology is dominated by basaltic volcanic rocks and evaporitic salts.

  5. Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; de Vera, J.-P.; Rettberg, P.; Flemming, H.-C.; Szewzyk, U.

    2014-08-01

    Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.

  6. Propagation through Martian dust at 8.5 and 32 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, E. K.; Flock, W. L.

    1986-01-01

    Independent studies of attenuation of X-band (8.5 GHz) and Ka-band (32 Ghz) radio signals when traversing Martian dust were carried out. These analyses turned out remarkably similar. The computational method is essentially that of T. S. Chu but uses observed optical depth at 0.67 microns rather than visibility as the measure of optical attenuation from which to derive the microwave attenuation. An awkwardness in the approach is that the size distribution of Martian dust particles is not well known, but the mean is probably around 4 microns, whereas in the terrestrial case it is nearer 10 microns. As a consequence, there will be a larger tail of particles still in the Mie regime in the Martian case as compared to the terrestrial one. The computational error will, therefore, be somewhat larger for Martian than Earth-bound dust. Fortunately, the indicated attenuations are small enough for the worst case (1.3 dB at 32 GHz) that the error is academic.

  7. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  8. Variations of Martian surface albedo: Evidence for yearly dust deposition and removal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christensen, Philip R.

    1987-01-01

    The purpose is to determine the degree, spatial distribution and timing of the deposition and removal of dust storm fallout, and to relate the current patterns of dust deposition and removal to the long-term evolution of the Martian surface. Southern Hemisphere dark areas are found to quickly return to close to their pre-storm albedos, suggesting rapid removal of any dust that was deposited. Northern Hemisphere dark regions are brighter post-storm, but gradually darken to pre-storm levels over the Mars year. In doing so they act as local sources of dust during otherwise clear periods. Dust does not appear to be removed from bright regions, resulting in the 1 to 2 m thick deposits observed today.

  9. Seasonal and diurnal variability of detached dust layers in the tropical Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, Nicholas G.; Johnson, Morgan S.; Abdou, Wedad A.; Kass, David M.; Kleinböhl, Armin; McCleese, Daniel J.; Shirley, James H.; Wilson, R. John

    2014-08-01

    Evidence for widespread nonuniform vertical mixing of dust in Mars's tropical atmosphere (in the form of features called "detached dust layers" or DDLs) is a challenge for atmospheric modeling. We characterize the seasonal, diurnal, and geographic variability of DDL activity in retrievals from observations by the Mars Climate Sounder onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. We find that dust injection above the boundary layer, which forms DDLs, is a spatially ubiquitous phenomenon in the tropics during the daytime, implying that it has a significant nontopographic component. DDL formation is more intense in northern spring and summer than in southern spring and summer but is still common when the zonal average dust distribution appears uniformly mixed. DDLs do not appear to follow the upwelling associated with Mars's Hadley circulation or the extant climatology of local dust storm activity in the tropics. Geographic variability in the nightside vertical dust distribution does not always correlate with the dayside vertical dust distribution, implying that there is spatial and seasonal variability in the efficiency of dust deposition/removal processes. Nighttime dust removal is especially efficient over the Tharsis Montes during northern spring and summer, which suggests some association between water ice clouds and removal. Intense injection combined with efficient removal results in a high amplitude of diurnal variability in the dust distribution at 15-30 km above the surface of the tropics during much of the Martian year.

  10. The Nature of Martian Dust Storms as Revealed by Long Term Daily Global Atmospheric Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    The Martian dust cycle is composed of dust lifting and transport events that span a very wide spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. The largest storm events occur with sufficiently low frequency that we are only beginning to be able to provide an observational baseline for these events after seven Martian years of roughly continuous global atmospheric imaging. Creation of daily global maps from Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Wide Angle and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) images allows the occurrence, evolutionary pathway and development style of large dust storms to be examined in detail. For the period of observations with Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) or Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), we can also examine commensurate changes in atmospheric opacity, temperature and crudely track those in surface dust cover (for TES). These observations allow us to construct a "climatology" of large dust storms, which shows distinct families of dust storm types on the basis of the season and location of storm origin, replacing prior simplified descriptions of a single "dust storm season". We are also able to describe common transport and evolutionary pathways for storms, including very different behaviors of storms originating in the northern versus the southern mid- and high-latitudes. For some of the larger storms during Mars Years 24-26, we are also able to show how the storms modified the surface dust cover, and on what time scales and by what processes the surface dust distribution "recovers" to pre-storm conditions. The results from MOC and MARCI suggest that we have only just begun to collect enough data for a statistically-meaningful climatology of regional-scale storms, and that substantially longer time series would be needed to understanding the diversity and nature of the very largest, global-scale storms. A planned successor for MARCI is greatly needed for our prospects of adequately understanding these dust storm systems, not only for the current and past climate

  11. Nine martian years of dust optical depth observations: A reference dataset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montabone, Luca; Forget, Francois; Kleinboehl, Armin; Kass, David; Wilson, R. John; Millour, Ehouarn; Smith, Michael; Lewis, Stephen; Cantor, Bruce; Lemmon, Mark; Wolff, Michael

    2016-07-01

    We present a multi-annual reference dataset of the horizontal distribution of airborne dust from martian year 24 to 32 using observations of the martian atmosphere from April 1999 to June 2015 made by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard Mars Global Surveyor, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard Mars Odyssey, and the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Our methodology to build the dataset works by gridding the available retrievals of column dust optical depth (CDOD) from TES and THEMIS nadir observations, as well as the estimates of this quantity from MCS limb observations. The resulting (irregularly) gridded maps (one per sol) were validated with independent observations of CDOD by PanCam cameras and Mini-TES spectrometers aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity", by the Surface Stereo Imager aboard the Phoenix lander, and by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars aboard MRO. Finally, regular maps of CDOD are produced by spatially interpolating the irregularly gridded maps using a kriging method. These latter maps are used as dust scenarios in the Mars Climate Database (MCD) version 5, and are useful in many modelling applications. The two datasets (daily irregularly gridded maps and regularly kriged maps) for the nine available martian years are publicly available as NetCDF files and can be downloaded from the MCD website at the URL: http://www-mars.lmd.jussieu.fr/mars/dust_climatology/index.html

  12. Dust-Driven Halos on the Martian South Polar Residual CAP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, P.; Byrne, S.; Brown, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    The CO2 ice South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars may be a sensitive indicator of inter-annual planetary climate variability. Imaging by HiRISE [1], and CTX [2] found that many scarps and pits in the 'Swiss cheese terrain' [3] of the SPRC exhibited a bright 'halo' around their edges. These halos appeared during Martian southern summer in Mars Year 28 (MY28, [4]), and have been observed in only one of eight mars years for which observations at high enough resolution exist. We hypothesize that the formation of these features is linked to the late-summer global dust storm of MY28 and report on observations and formation models. We surveyed HiRISE, CTX, and CRISM [5] data to constrain the optical properties and composition of the halos, as well as their time of appearance and location within the SPRC. The halos appeared throughout most of the surface area of the SPRC between Ls 280° and 330° in MY28. The widest portions of the halos occurred adjacent to north-facing walls, and the brightest parts adjacent to sun-facing walls, which points to a connection between insolation and halo appearance. CRISM spectral products rule out the presence of water ice as a factor in the halos' appearance. These data also imply larger CO2 ice grain sizes where the bright halos were seen, which are normally associated with lower, rather than higher, albedos [6]. Thus, we also ruled out CO2 ice grain size differences as the main cause for the halos. The remaining possibility is that the halos appeared due to differences in dust content between the terrain adjacent to the pit walls and the surrounding ice. To investigate this we made a Hapke [7] surface reflectance model in which the CO2 ice grain size, dust volumetric content and dust particle size were free parameters. We used the HiRISE and CRISM bandpass coefficients to simulate HiRISE I/F values and CRISM spectra, and attempted to match the HiRISE RED I/F, HiRISE BG/RED color ratio, and the CRISM 1.43 μm band depths. A self

  13. Evidence of 210Po on Martian dust at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Sabroux, Jean-Christophe; Berger, Lionel; Pineau, Jean-François; Chassefière, Eric

    2006-09-01

    Since the Surveyor and Apollo missions and up to the recent Lunar Prospector mission, 222Rn and 210Po have been key isotopes for understanding gas release events and their spatial and temporal variations on the Moon. Comparatively, these isotopes have drawn much less attention on Mars, if any, despite the wealth of information it could bring on the uppermost meters of the regolith, the exchange of volatiles at the surface, and the atmospheric aerosol cycle. Here we present a statistical analysis of the high-energy end of alpha spectra obtained by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and report evidence of 210Po, a decay product of 222Rn, attached to atmospheric dust. The 210Po surface activity on rocks and soils at the landing site is lower than 3.1 × 10-4 Bq cm-2, but analysis of spectra obtained on the dust capture magnet reveals a 210Po activity of (4.6 +/- 2.4) × 10-3 Bq cm-2 (+/-2σ). This difference is due to the very low dust cover index at the landing site. Owing to frequent dust devils, regional and global dust storms that mobilize substantial amounts of dust and homogenize the dust surface layer, we infer that the global average 222Rn exhalation rate is significantly greater on Mars than on the Moon. This comparison supports the hypothesis that on Mars, radon emanation could be comparatively enhanced by the presence of water in the surficial soil. Analysis of atmospheric spectra yields a radon activity upper limit of 16 +/- 5 Bq m-3 during nighttime at the landing site.

  14. Dust and Ice Deposition in the Martian Geologic Record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, K.L.

    2000-01-01

    The polar layered deposits of Mars demonstrate that thick accumulations of dust and ice deposits can develop on the planet if environmental conditions are favorable. These deposits appear to be hundreds of millions of years old, and other deposits of similar size but of greater age in nonpolar regions may have formed by similar processes. Possible relict dust deposits include, from oldest to youngest: Noachian intercrater materials, including Arabia mantle deposits, Noachian to Early Hesperian south polar pitted deposits, Early Hesperian Hellas and Argyre basin deposits, Late Hesperian Electris deposits, and the Amazonian Medusae Fossae Formation. These deposits typically are hundreds of meters to a couple kilometers thick and cover upward of a million or more square kilometers. The apparent persistence of dust sedimentation at the south pole back to the Early Hesperian or earlier and the early growth of Tharsis during the Late Noachian and perhaps earlier indicates that extensive polar wandering is unlikely following the Middle Noachian. A scenario for the overall history of dust and perhaps ice deposition on Mars includes widespread, voluminous accumulations perhaps planetwide during the Noachian as impacts, volcanism, and surface processes generated large amounts of dust; the Arabia deposits may have formed as ice availability and dust accumulation waned. During the Early Hesperian, thick dust sedimentation became restricted to the south pole and the deep Hellas and Argyre basins; the north polar sedimentary record prior to the Amazonian is largely obscured. Deposits at Electris and Medusae Fossae may have resulted from local sources of fine-grained material - perhaps volcanic eruptions.

  15. Martian Dust Aerosol Size and Shape as Constrained by Phoenix Lander Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Mason, Emily L.

    2014-11-01

    Dust aerosol morphology is important to dust transport and the radiative heating of the Martian atmosphere. Previous analyses of Mars dust have shown that spherical particles are a bad analog for the dust, in terms of reproducing the distribution of scattered light. Parameterized scattering, based on laboratory observations of scattering by irregular dust particles, has been used for Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover data [Pollack et al., J. Geophys. Res. 100, 1995; Tomasko et al., J. Geophys. Res. 104, 1999; Lemmon et al., Science 306, 2004]. Analytical calculations have shown that cylinders are a better scattering analog than spheres [Wolff et al., J. Geophys. Res. 114, 2009]. Terrestrial studies have shown that a diverse assortment of triaxial ellipsoids is a good analog for dust aerosol [Bi et al., Applied Optics 48, 2009].The Phoenix Lander operated in the Martian arctic for 5 months of 2008, around the northern summer solstice. During the mission atmospheric optical depth was tracked through direct solar imaging by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). For solar longitude (Ls) 78-95 and 140-149, small dust storms dominated the weather. Low-dust conditions (optical depths <0.4) dominated during Ls 95-140, with sporadic ice clouds becoming more common after Ls 108. The SSI also obtained occasional cross-sky photometric data through several filters from 440 to 1000 nm and cross-sky polarimetry at 750 nm wavelength. Radiative transfer models of the sky radiance distribution are consistent with dust aerosols in the same 1.3-1.6 micron range reported for models of observations from previous missions. Cylinders, triaxial ellipsoids, and the parametric model can fit sky radiances; spheres cannot. The observed linear polarization, which reached 4-5% and had a similar angular distribution to Rayleigh polarization, is similar to the triaxial ellipsoid model, but not spheres or cylinders. An extension to the parametric model using 7-10% Rayleigh scattering mixed

  16. A Study of the Electrostatic Interaction Between Insulators and Martian/Lunar Soil Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mantovani, James G.

    2001-01-01

    Using our previous experience with the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) electrometer, we have designed a new type of aerodynamic electrometer. The goal of the research was to measure the buildup of electrostatic surface charge on a stationary cylindrical insulator after windborne granular particles have collided with the insulator surface in a simulated dust storm. The experiments are performed inside a vacuum chamber. This allows the atmospheric composition and pressure to be controlled in order to simulate the atmospheric conditions near the equator on the Martian surface. An impeller fan was used to propel the dust particles at a cylindrically shaped insulator under low vacuum conditions. We tested the new electrometer in a 10 mbar CO2 atmosphere by exposing two types of cylindrical insulators, Teflon (1.9 cm diameter) and Fiberglass (2.5 cm diameter), to a variety of windborne granular particulate materials. The granular materials tested were JSC Mars-1 simulant, which is a mixture of coarse and fine (<5microns diameter) particle sizes, and some of the major mineral constituents of the Martian soil. The minerals included Ottawa sand (SiO2), iron oxide (Fe2O3), aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and magnesium oxide (MgO). We also constructed a MECA-like electrometer that contained an insulator capped planar electrode for measuring the amount of electrostatic charge produced by rubbing an insulator surface over Martian and lunar soil simulants. The results of this study indicate that it is possible to detect triboelectric charging of insulator surfaces by windborne Martian soil simulant, and by individual mineral constituents of the soil simulant. We have also found that Teflon and Fiberglass insulator surfaces respond in different ways by developing opposite polarity surface charge, which decays at different rates after the particle impacts cease.

  17. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  18. Martian dust aerosols and clouds in the North Polar summer: size and sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, M. T.; Mason, E.

    2013-12-01

    Martian dust aerosols control an important part of the energy transport in the Martian atmosphere. Ice aerosols, especially in the North Polar summer, play an important role in energy transport, scavenge the atmosphere of dust, and play a role in the vertical and horizontal transport of water away from the sublimating polar cap. Their physical properties, such as size and shape, have not been directly measured, and are only measureable through remote sensing. We report two novel measurements of dust and ice aerosol physical properties with data from the Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager. First, the scoop on the Phoenix Robotic Arm was used as an occultation instrument, blocking the Sun and allowing images of the near-Sun sky without contamination from the much-brighter direct sunlight. This allows the use of diffraction scattering to measure the dust size distribution. The general technique has been used frequently, but the shading of the Sun allows much more precise and accurate probing, especially of the larger end of the size distribution. Second, direct solar images on many occasions show scattered sky light significantly above the instrument background during cloudy times. These measurements, corrected for the dust background, show light diffracted by cloud particles. Statistics of the magnitude and width of the diffraction peak demonstrate the common presence of 30-micron scale ice crystals above the Phoenix site, consistent with estimates made from the observation of fall streaks by the Lidar.

  19. Martian dust aerosols and clouds in the North Polar summer: size and sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Mason, E.

    2013-10-01

    Martian dust aerosols control an important part of the energy transport in the Martian atmosphere. Ice aerosols, especially in the North Polar summer, play an important role in energy transport, scavenge the atmosphere of dust, and play a role in the vertical and horizontal transport of water away from the sublimating polar cap. Their physical properties, such as size and shape, have not been directly measured, and are only measureable through remote sensing. We report two novel measurements of dust and ice aerosol physical properties with data from the Phoenix Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager. First, the scoop on the Phoenix Robotic Arm was used as an occultation instrument, blocking the Sun and allowing images of the near-Sun sky without contamination from the much-brighter direct sunlight. This allows the use of diffraction scattering to measure the dust size distribution. The general technique has been used frequently, but the shading of the Sun allows much more precise and accurate probing, especially of the larger end of the size distribution. Second, direct solar images on many occasions show scattered sky light significantly above the instrument background during cloudy times. These measurements, corrected for the dust background, show light diffracted by cloud particles. Statistics of the magnitude and width of the diffraction peak demonstrate the common presence of 30-micron scale ice crystals above the Phoenix site, consistent with estimates made from the observation of fall streaks by the Lidar.

  20. THEMIS VIS and IR observations of a high-altitude Martian dust devil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cushing, G.E.; Titus, T.N.; Christensen, P.R.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) imaged a Martian dust devil in both visible and thermal-infrared wavelengths on January 30, 2004. We believe this is the first documented infrared observation of an extraterrestrial dust devil, and the highest to be directly observed at more than 16 kilometers above the equatorial geoid of Mars. This dust devil measured over 700 meters in height and 375 meters across, and the strongest infrared signature was given by atmospheric dust absorption in the 9-micron range (THEMIS IR band 5). In addition to having formed in the extremely low-pressure environment of about 1 millibar, this dust devil is of particular interest because it was observed at 16:06 local time. This is an unusually late time of day to find dust devils on Mars, during a period when rapid surface cooling typically reduces the boundary-layer turbulence necessary to form these convective vortices. Understanding the mechanisms for dust-devil formation under such extreme circumstances will help to constrain theories of atmospheric dynamics, and of dust lifting and transport mechanisms on Mars. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Complex refractive index of Martian dust - Mariner 9 ultraviolet observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pang, K.; Ajello, J. M.; Hord, C. W.; Egan, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    Mariner 9 ultraviolet spectrometer observations of the 1971 dust clouds obscuring the surface of Mars have been analyzed by matching the observed dust phase function with Mie scattering calculations for size distributions of homogeneous and isotropic material. Preliminary results indicate an effective particle radius of not less than 0.2. The real component of the index of refraction is not less than 1.8 at both 268 and 305 nm; corresponding values for the imagery component are 0.02 and 0.01. These values are consistent with those found by Mead (1970) for the visible and near-visible wavelengths. The refractive index and the absorption coefficient increase rapidly with decreasing wavelength in going from the visible to the ultraviolet, indicating the presence of an ultraviolet absorption band which may shield organisms from ultraviolet irradiation.

  2. Automated width measurements of Martian dust devil tracks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, Thiago; Pina, Pedro; da Silva, Erivaldo Antônio

    2016-03-01

    Studying dust devils is important to better understand Mars climate and resurfacing phenomena. This paper presents an automated approach to calculate the width of tracks in orbital images. The method is based on Mathematical Morphology and was applied to a set of 200 HiRISE and MOC images of five Mars quadrangles, which were Aeolis, Argyre, Noachis, Hellas and Eridania. Information obtained by our method was compared with results of manual analysis performed by other authors. In addition, we show that track widths do not follow a normal distribution.

  3. Preliminary Testing of a Pressurized Space Suit and Candidate Fabrics Under Simulated Mars Dust Storm and Dust Devil Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; deLeon, Pablo G.; Lee, Pascal; McCue, Terry R.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Thrasher, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    In August 2009 YAP Films (Toronto) received permission from all entities involved to create a documentary film illustrating what it might be like to be on the surface of Mars in a space suit during a dust storm or in a dust devil. The science consultants on this project utilized this opportunity to collect data which could be helpful to assess the durability of current space suit construction to the Martian environment. The NDX-1 prototype planetary space suit developed at the University of North Dakota was used in this study. The suit features a hard upper torso garment, and a soft lower torso and boots assembly. On top of that, a nylon-cotton outer layer is used to protect the suit from dust. Unmanned tests were carried out in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at the NASA Ames Research Center, with the suit pressurized to 10 kPa gauge. These tests blasted the space suit upper torso and helmet, and a collection of nine candidate outer layer fabrics, with wind-borne simulant for five different 10 min tests under both terrestrial and Martian surface pressures. The infiltration of the dust through the outer fabric of the space suit was photographically documented. The nine fabric samples were analyzed under light and electron microscopes for abrasion damage. Manned tests were carried out at Showbiz Studios (Van Nuys, California) with the pressure maintained at 20 2 kPa gauge. A large fan-created vortex lifted Martian dust simulant (Fullers Earth or JSC Mars-1) off of the floor, and one of the authors (Lee) wearing the NDX-1 space suit walked through it to judge both subjectively and objectively how the suit performed under these conditions. Both the procedures to scale the tests to Martian conditions and the results of the infiltration and abrasion studies will be discussed.

  4. Preliminary Testing of a Pressurized Space Suit and Candidate Fabrics Under Simulated Mars Dust Storm and Dust Devil Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; deLeon, Pablo G.; Lee, Pascal; McCue, Terry R.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Thrasher, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    In August 2009 YAP Films (Toronto) received permission from all entities involved to create a documentary film illustrating what it might be like to be on the surface of Mars in a space suit during a dust storm or in a dust devil. The science consultants on this project utilized this opportunity to collect data which could be helpful to assess the durability of current space suit construction to the Martian environment. The NDX?1 prototype planetary space suit developed at the University of North Dakota was used in this study. The suit features a hard upper torso garment, and a soft lower torso and boots assembly. On top of that, a nylon-cotton outer layer is used to protect the suit from dust. Unmanned tests were carried out in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at the NASA Ames Research Center, with the suit pressurized to 10 kPa gauge. These tests blasted the space suit upper torso and helmet, and a collection of nine candidate outer layer fabrics, with wind-borne simulant for five different 10 minute tests under both terrestrial and Martian surface pressures. The infiltration of the dust through the outer fabric of the space suit was photographically documented. The nine fabric samples were analyzed under light and electron microscopes for abrasion damage. Manned tests were carried out at Showbiz Studios (Van Nuys, CA) with the pressure maintained at 20?2 kPa gauge. A large fan-created vortex lifted Martian dust simulant (Fullers Earth or JSC Mars?1) off of the floor, and one of the authors (Lee) wearing the NDX?1 space suit walked through it to judge both subjectively and objectively how the suit performed under these conditions. Both the procedures to scale the tests to Martian conditions and the results of the infiltration and abrasion studies will be discussed.

  5. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  6. Inference of dust opacities for the 1977 Martian great dust storms from Viking Lander 1 pressure data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, R. W.

    1981-01-01

    The tidal heating components for the dusty Martian atmosphere are computed based on dust optical parameters estimated from Viking Lander imaging data, and used to compute the variation of the tidal surface pressure components at the Viking Lander sites as a function of season and the total vertical extinction optical depth of the atmosphere. An atmospheric tidal model is used which is based on the inviscid, hydrostatic primitive equations linearized about a motionless basic state the temperature of which varies only with height, and the profiles of the tidal forcing components are computed using a delta-Eddington approximation to the radiative transfer equations. Comparison of the model results with the observed variations of surface pressure and overhead dust opacity at the Viking Lander 1 site reveal that the dust opacities and optical parameters derived from imaging data are roughly representative of the global dust haze necessary to reproduce the observed surface pressure amplitudes, with the exception of the model-inferred asymmetry parameter, which is smaller during the onset of a great storm. The observed preferential enhancement of the semidiurnal tide with respect to the diurnal tide during dust storm onset is shown to be due primarily to the elevation of the tidal heating source in a very dusty atmosphere.

  7. Triboelectric Charging of an Insulator's Surface Using Martian Soil Simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Calle, C. I.; Groop, E. E.; Buehler, M. G.

    2000-11-01

    We have investigated the simultaneous triboelectric charging of five types of insulating materials under identical conditions using frictional contact with Martian soil simulant (JSC Mars-1). The insulators studied were fiberglass/epoxy, polycarbonate, teflon, Rulon J, and polymethylmethacrylate. The amount of electric charge that developed on each insulator's surface was measured simultaneously by five independent electrometer circuits contained in the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) electrometer. This is a flight instrument designed at JPL and NASA Kennedy Space Center for a future robotic lander mission of the Martian surface. We will describe the proposed robotic operation of the MECA electrometer on Mars, and will present data that was taken with the electrometer at NASA KSC using Martian soil simulant at room temperature inside a vacuum chamber containing a CO2 atmosphere at a pressure of 7 Torr.

  8. Martian airfall dust on smooth, inclined surfaces as observed on the Phoenix Mars Lander telltale mirror

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moores, John E.; Ha, Taesung; Lemmon, Mark T.; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur Páll

    2015-10-01

    The telltale mirror, a smooth inclined surface raised over 1 m above the deck of the Phoenix Mars Lander, was observed by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) several times per sol during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission. These observations were combined with a radiative transfer model to determine the thickness of dust on the wind telltale mirror as a function of time. 239 telltale sequences were analyzed and dustiness was determined on a diurnal and seasonal basis. The thickness of accumulated dust did not follow any particular diurnal or seasonal trend. The dust thickness on the mirror over the mission was 0.82±0.39 μm, which suggests a similar thickness to the modal scattering particle diameter. This suggests that inclining a surface beyond the angle of repose and polishing it to remove surface imperfections is an effective way to mitigate the accumulation of dust to less than a micron over a wide range of meteorological conditions and could be beneficial for surfaces which can tolerate some dust but not thick accumulations, such as solar panels. However, such a surface will not remain completely dust free through this action alone and mechanical or electrical clearing must be employed to remove adhered dust if a pristine surface is required. The single-scattering phase function of the dust on the mirror was consistent with the single-scattering phase function of martian aerosol dust at 450 nm, suggesting that this result is inconsistent with models of the atmosphere which require vertically or horizontally separated components or broad size distributions to explain the scattering behavior of these aerosols in the blue. The single-scattering behavior of the dust on the mirror is also consistent with Hapke modeling of spherical particles. The presence of a monolayer of particles would tend to support the spherical conclusion: such particles would be most strongly adhered electrostatically.

  9. Composition of Simulated Martian Brines and Implications for the Origin of Martian Salts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bullock, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Mellon, M. T.

    2004-01-01

    We report on laboratory experiments that have produced dilute brines under controlled conditions meant to simulate past and present Mars. We allowed an SNC-derived mineral mix to react with pure water under a simulated present-Mars atmosphere for seven months. We then subjected the same mineral mix to a similar aqueous environment for one year, but with a simulated Mars atmosphere that contained the added gases SO2, HCl and NO2. The addition of acidic gases was designed to mimic the effects of volcanic gases that may have been present in the martian atmosphere during periods of increased volcanic activity. The experiments were performed at one bar and at two different temperatures in order to simulate subsurface conditions where liquid water and rock are likely to interact on Mars. The dominant cations dissolved in the solutions we produced were Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Al(3+) and Na(+), while the major anions are dissolved C, F(-), SO4(2-) and Cl(-). Typical solution pH was 4.2 to 6.0 for experiments run with a Mars analog atmosphere, and 3.6-5.0 for experiments with acidic gases added. Abundance patterns of elements in the synthetic sulfate-chloride brines produced under acidic conditions were distinctly unlike those of terrestrial ocean water, terrestrial continental waters, and those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. In particular, the S/Cl ratio in these experiments was about 200, compared with an average value of approx. 5 in martian fines. In contrast, abundance patterns of elements in the brines produced under a present day Mars analog atmosphere were quite similar to those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. This suggests that salts present in the martian regolith may have formed over time as a result of the interaction of surface or subsurface liquid water with basalts in the presence of a martian atmosphere similar in composition to that of today, rather than

  10. The Effects of Thermal Tides and Dust on Traveling Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Toigo, A. D.; Richardson, M. I.

    2014-12-01

    Observations show that traveling waves with zonal wavenumber k = 3 correlate closely with the development of frontal / flushing dust storms which are important in the Martian dust cycle. Previous modeling work suggests that both the polar hood [Barnes et al., 2014] and the cap edge dust storms [Wang et al., 2013] have the potential to enhance these waves. In this presentation, we investigate the case of cap edge dust further, focusing on the following results. We will show that the relative strength of the traveling waves depends not only on the time, geolocation, height and variable under consideration, but also on the analysis method. For near surface temperature which is observable by spacecraft, the spectral and time averaged wave power can lead to a different answer than the monochromatic wave power. In particular, in the presence of cap edge dust, the modeled zonal wavenumber k = 3 can dominate the traveling wave spectra at times. In the presence of cap edge dust in the model, the enhancement of the k = 3 traveling waves is accompanied by pronounced increase of the diurnal tide. To test the effect of thermal tides on traveling waves, we have performed sensitivity runs where the insolation is replaced by the diurnally averaged value. We find that the amplitude of the k = 3 traveling waves are greatly reduced without thermal tides. Detailed analyses of the relationship between the waves will be presented.

  11. Bacterial growth in a simulated Martian subsurface environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronyak, R. E.; Pavlov, A.; House, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    The ability of microorganisms to grow under Martian conditions has implications in both the search for life and habitability of Mars as well as the potential contamination of Mars by landing spacecraft. Factors that inhibit the growth of organisms on Mars include UV radiation, low pressure and temperature, CO2 atmosphere, lack of liquid water, and extreme desiccation. Yet a possible biozone capable of supporting microbial life on Mars exists in the shallow subsurface where there is protection from harsh UV rays. In addition, the presence of widespread subsurface ice, confirmed by the Phoenix Lander, offers a water source as the ice sublimates through the upper soil. Here we will determine the ability of the organism Halomonas desiderata strain SP1 to grow in the simulated Martian subsurface environment. Halomonas was chosen as the bacteria of interest due to its tolerance to extreme environments, including carrying salt concentrations and pH. Experiments were carried out in the Mars Simulation Chamber, where temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric composition can be closely monitored to simulate Martian conditions. A series of stress experiments were conducted to observe Halomonas's ability to withstand exposure to a Mars analog soil, freezing temperatures, anoxic conditions, and low pressures. We have determined that Halomonas is able to survive exposures to low temperatures, pressures, and anoxic conditions. We will report on the survival and growth of Halomonas in the simulated Martian permafrost under low (6-10 mbar) atmospheric pressures.

  12. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartzkopf, Steven H.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1991-01-01

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the earth atmosphere controls.

  13. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartzkopf, Steven H.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat ( Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the Earth atmosphere controls.

  14. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    PubMed

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it. PMID:16805700

  15. An ultraviolet simulator for the incident Martian surface radiation and its applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, C.; Abart, R.; Bérces, A.; Garry, J. R. C.; Hansen, A. A.; Hohenau, W.; Kargl, G.; Lammer, H.; Patel, M. R.; Rettberg, P.; Stan-Lotter, H.

    2005-10-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can act on putative organic/biological matter at the Martian surface in several ways. Only absorbed, but not transmitted or reflected, radiation energy can be photo-chemically effective. The most important biological UV effects are due to photochemical reactions in nucleic acids, DNA or RNA, which constitute the genetic material of all cellular organisms and viruses. Protein or lipid effects generally play a minor role, but they are also relevant in some cases. UV radiation can induce wavelengths-specific types of DNA damage. At the same time it can also induce the photo-reversion reaction of a UV induced DNA photoproduct of nucleic acid bases, the pyrimidine dimers. Intense UVB and UVC radiation, experienced on early Earth and present-day Mars, has been revealed to be harmful to all organisms, including extremophile bacteria and spores. Moreover, the formation of oxidants, catalytically produced in the Martian environment through UV irradiation, may be responsible for the destruction of organic matter on Mars. Following this, more laboratory simulations are vital in order to investigate and understand UV effects on organic matter in the case of Mars. We have designed a radiation apparatus that simulates the anticipated Martian UV surface spectrum between 200 and 400 nm (UVC UVA). The system comprises a UV enhanced xenon arc lamp, special filter-sets and mirrors to simulate the effects of the Martian atmospheric column and dust loading. We describe the technical setup and performance of the system and discuss its uses for different applications. The design is focused on portability, therefore, the Mars-UV simulator represents a device for several different Mars simulation facilities with specific emphasis on Mars research topics.

  16. A Study of Mars Dust Environment Simulation at NASA Johnson Space Center Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Yuan-Liang Albert

    1999-01-01

    The dust environment on Mars is planned to be simulated in a 20 foot thermal-vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center, Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility in Houston, Texas. This vacuum chamber will be used to perform tests and study the interactions between the dust in Martian air and ISPP hardware. This project is to research, theorize, quantify, and document the Mars dust/wind environment needed for the 20 foot simulation chamber. This simulation work is to support the safety, endurance, and cost reduction of the hardware for the future missions. The Martian dust environment conditions is discussed. Two issues of Martian dust, (1) Dust Contamination related hazards, and (2) Dust Charging caused electrical hazards, are of our interest. The different methods of dust particles measurement are given. The design trade off and feasibility were studied. A glass bell jar system is used to evaluate various concepts for the Mars dust/wind environment simulation. It was observed that the external dust source injection is the best method to introduce the dust into the simulation system. The dust concentration of 30 Mg/M3 should be employed for preparing for the worst possible Martian atmosphere condition in the future. Two approaches thermal-panel shroud for the hardware conditioning are discussed. It is suggested the wind tunnel approach be used to study the dust charging characteristics then to be apply to the close-system cyclone approach. For the operation cost reduction purpose, a dehumidified ambient air could be used to replace the expensive CO2 mixture for some tests.

  17. The Martian annual atmospheric pressure cycle - Years without great dust storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillman, James E.; Johnson, Neal C.; Guttorp, Peter; Percival, Donald B.

    1993-01-01

    A model of the annual cycle of pressure on Mars for a 2-yr period, chosen to include one year at the Viking Lander 2 and to minimize the effect of great dust storms at the 22-deg N Lander 1 site, was developed by weighted least squares fitting of the Viking Lander pressure measurements to an annual mean, and fundamental and the first four harmonics of the annual cycle. Close agreement was obtained between the two years, suggesting that an accurate representation of the annual CO2 condensation-sublimation cycle can be established for such years. This model is proposed as the 'nominal' Martian annual pressure cycle, and applications are suggested.

  18. Absorption and scattering properties of the Martian dust in the solar wavelengths.

    PubMed

    Ockert-Bell, M E; Bell JF 3rd; Pollack, J B; McKay, C P; Forget, F

    1997-04-25

    A new wavelength-dependent model of the single-scattering properties of the Martian dust is presented. The model encompasses the solar wavelengths (0.3 to 4.3 micrometers at 0.02 micrometer resolution) and does not assume a particular mineralogical composition of the particles. We use the particle size distribution, shape, and single-scattering properties at Viking Lander wavelengths presented by Pollack et al. [1995]. We expand the wavelength range of the aerosol model by assuming that the atmospheric dust complex index of refraction is the same as that of dust particles in the bright surface geologic units. The new wavelength-dependent model is compared to observations taken by the Viking Orbiter Infrared Thermal Mapper solar channel instrument during two dust storms. The model accurately matches afternoon observations and some morning observations. Some of the early morning observations are much brighter than the model results. The increased reflectance can be ascribed to the formation of a water ice shell around the dust particles, thus creating the water ice clouds which Colburn et al. [1989], among others, have predicted. PMID:11541455

  19. Techniques for carrying out radiative transfer calculations for the Martian atmospheric dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aronson, J. R.; Emslie, A. G.; Strong, P. F.

    1974-01-01

    A description is given of the modification of a theory on the reflectance of particulate media so as to apply it to analysis of the infrared spectra obtained by the IRIS instrument on Mariner 9. With the aid of this theory and the optical constants of muscovite mica, quartz, andesite, anorthosite, diopside pyroxenite, and dunite, modeling calculations were made to refine previous estimates of the mineralogical composition of the Martian dust particles. These calculations suggest that a feldspar rich mixture is a very likely composition for the dust particles. The optical constants used for anorthosite and diopside pyroxenite were derived during this program from reflectance measurements. Those for the mica were derived from literature reflectance data. Finally, a computer program was written to invert the measured radiance data so as to obtain the absorption coefficient spectrum which should then be independent of the temperature profile and gaseous component effects.

  20. S.A.M., the Italian Martian Simulation Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galletta, G.; Ferri, F.; Fanti, G.; D'Alessandro, M.; Bertoloni, G.; Pavarin, D.; Bettanini, C.; Cozza, P.; Pretto, P.; Bianchini, G.; Debei, S.

    2006-12-01

    The Martian Environment Simulator (SAM “Simulatore di Ambiente Marziano”) is a interdisciplinary project of Astrobiology done at University of Padua. The research is aimed to the study of the survival of the microorganisms exposed to the “extreme” planetary environment. The facility has been designed in order to simulate Mars’ environmental conditions in terms of atmospheric pressure, temperature cycles and UV radiation dose. The bacterial cells, contained into dedicated capsules, will be exposed to thermal cycles simulating diurnal and seasonal Martian cycles. The metabolism of the different biological samples will be analysed at different phases of the experiment, to study their survival and eventual activity of protein synthesis (mortality, mutations and capability of DNA reparing). We describe the experimental facility and provide the perspectives of the biological experiments we will perform in order to provide hints on the possibility of life on Mars either autochthonous or imported from Earth.

  1. A Physical Taxonomy of Martian Sand and Dust Grainsat the Phoenix Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, John; Stoker, Carol

    2014-11-01

    A quantitative taxonomy of martian sand and dust grains for soil samples at the Phoenix lander site has been developed from the mission’s optical microscope data with a resolution of 4 μm per pixel. Approx. 3-4000 grains were analyzed for color, hue, size, shape, surface texture, aspect ratio, and optical properties. At least 26 types of sand and dust grains have been identified. Grain colors include black, brown, orange, red, white, and clear. Most grains are opaque, but many are translucent or transparent. Grain shapes range from botryoidal, blackberry-like, bead-like and rounded, to subrounded, elongate, angular, and highly irregular forms. Surface textures range from knobbly, rough, and multifaceted to smooth and polished. Surface reflectivity varied from dull to shiny to specularly reflective. Materials may include augite, pyroxenes, olivine, volcanic glass, hematite, other iron oxides, and salts. Grain size of the sand has a modal value of ~90 μm, but there is no gradation into dust sizes, indicating a bimodal distribution of the samples. The dust was probably imported into the region from aeolian dust storms. This accords with a mineralogical dissimilarity between the sand and dust grain populations. The sand is dominated by black and brown grains; the dust is dominated by orange grains. The Phoenix site also has centimeter and larger stones in abundance that again have no apparent gradation into the sand size material. Thus, the Phoenix landing site soil appears multimodal. The soil appears to be magnetically susceptible, but it is unclear what the source of magnetism might be. Specific magnetic minerals were not identified in the samples with the possible exception of paramagnetic microbotryoidal hematite. The soil was nevertheless adhesive to the substrates and internally cohesive (forming spherical aggregates) owing to van der Waals forces and possibly salt/moisture bonding.

  2. Temperature and dust profiles in Martian dust storm conditions retrieved from Mars Climate Sounder measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; McCleese, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) is a mid- and far-infrared thermal emission radiometer on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It measures radiances in limb and nadir/on-planet geometry from which vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, water vapor, dust and condensates can be retrieved in an altitude range from 0 to 80 km and with a vertical resolution of ~5 km. Due to the limb geometry used as the MCS primary observation mode, retrievals in conditions with high aerosol loading are challenging. We have developed several modifications to the MCS retrieval algorithm that will facilitate profile retrievals in high-dust conditions. Key modifications include a retrieval option that uses a surface pressure climatology if a pressure retrieval is not possible in high dust conditions, an extension of aerosol retrievals to higher altitudes, and a correction to the surface temperature climatology. In conditions of a global dust storm, surface temperatures tend to be lower compared to standard conditions. Taking this into account using an adaptive value based on atmospheric opacity leads to improved fits to the radiances measured by MCS and improves the retrieval success rate. We present first results of these improved retrievals during the global dust storm in 2007. Based on the limb opacities observed during the storm, retrievals are typically possible above ~30 km altitude. Temperatures around 240 K are observed in the middle atmosphere at mid- and high southern latitudes after the onset of the storm. Dust appears to be nearly homogeneously mixed at lower altitudes. Significant dust opacities are detected at least up to 70 km altitude. During much of the storm, in particular at higher altitudes, the retrieved dust profiles closely resemble a Conrath-profile.

  3. Mariner 9 views Olympus Mons standing above the Martian Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    In pictures taken early in the Mariner 9 mission, this region, shows a dark mountain standing above the Martian dust storm. This higher resolution photograph shows that the area contains a complex crater, called Olympus Mons (Nix Olympica or Snows of Olympus), nearly 64 kilometers (40 miles) in diameter. The multiple crater form with scalloped margins, is characteristic of calderas--volcanic collapse depressions on Earth. In the Mariner 6 and 7 flights in 1969, an outer ring, 1600 kilometers (1,000 miles) in diameter, was seen. It is hidden by the dust in the oblique picture. Earth-based radar observations show that this is a high region on Mars and is usually covered by a white cloud when observed telescopically. This picture was taken on November 27, 1971.

    Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. The spacecraft was designed to continue the atmospheric studies begun by Mariners 6 and 7, and to map over 70% of the Martian surface from the lowest altitude (1500 kilometers [900 miles])and at the highest resolutions (1 kilometer per pixel to 100 meters per pixel) of any previous Mars mission.

    Mariner 9 was launched on May 30, 1971 and arrived on November 14, 1971.

  4. Response of terrestrial microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, T. L.; Winans, L., Jr.; Casey, R. C.; Kirschner, L. E.

    1978-01-01

    Soil samples from Cape Canaveral were subjected to a simulated Martian environment and assayed periodically over 45 days to determine the effect of various environmental parameters on bacterial populations. The simulated environment was based on the most recent available data, prior to the Viking spacecraft, describing Martian conditions and consisted of a pressure of 7 millibars, an atmosphere of 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, a freeze-thaw cycle of -65 C for 16 h and 24 C for 8 h, and variable moisture and nutrients. Reduced pressure had a significant effect, reducing growth under these conditions. Slight variations in gaseous composition of the simulated atmosphere had negligible effect on growth. The freeze-thaw cycle did not inhibit growth, but did result in a slower rate of decline after growth had occurred. Dry samples exhibited no change during the 45-day experiment, indicating that the simulated Martian environment was not toxic to bacterial populations. Psychrotrophic organisms responded more favorably to this environment than mesophiles, although both types exhibited increases of approximately 3 logs in 7 to 14 days when moisture and nutrients were available.

  5. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bell, J.F., III; McSween, H.Y., Jr.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  6. Human locomotion and workload for simulated lunar and Martian environments.

    PubMed

    Newman, D J; Alexander, H L

    1993-08-01

    Human locomotion in simulated lunar and Martian environments is investigated. A unique human-rated underwater treadmill and an adjustable ballasting harness simulate partial gravity in order to better understand how gravity determines the biomechanics and energetics of human locomotion. This study has two research aspects, biomechanics and energetics. The fundamental biomechanics measurements are continuously recorded vertical forces as exerted by subjects of the treadmill which is instrumented with a force platform. Experimental results indicate that peak vertical force and stride frequency decrease as the gravity level is reduced. Foot contact time is independent of gravity level. Oxygen uptake measurements, VO2, constitute the energetics, or workload, data for this study. As theory predicts, locomotion energy requirements for lunar (1/6-g) and Martian (3/8-g) gravity levels are significantly less than at 1-g. The observed variation in workload with gravity level is nonmonotonic, however, in over half the subject population. The hypothesis is offered that energy expenditure increases for lunar, as compared with Martian, locomotion due to the subject "wasting energy" for stability and posture control in simulated lunar gravity. Biomechanics data could influence advanced spacesuit design and planetary habitat design, while workload data will help define oxygen requirements for planetary life support systems. PMID:11541642

  7. Optimization of the concentration optics of the Martian airborne dust sensor for MetNet space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortés, F.; González, A.; de Castro, A. J.; López, F.

    2012-06-01

    Martian atmosphere contains a significant and rapidly changing load of suspended dust that never drops to zero. The main component of Martian aerosol is micron-sized dust thought to be a product of soil weathering. Although airborne dust plays a key role in Martian climate, the basic physical properties of these aerosols are still poorly known. The scope of Mars MetNet Mission is to deploy several tens of mini atmospheric stations on the Martian surface. MEIGA-MetNet payload is the Spanish contribution in MetNet. Infrared Laboratory of University Carlos III (LIR-UC3M) is in charge of the design and development of a micro-sensor for the characterization of airborne dust. This design must accomplish with a strict budget of mass and power, 45 g and 1 W respectively. The sensor design criteria have been obtained from a physical model specifically developed for optimizing IR local scattering. The model calculates the spectral power density scattered and detected between 1 and 5 μm by a certain particle distribution and sensor configuration. From model calculations a modification based on the insertion of a compound ellipsoidal concentrator (CEC) has appeared as necessary. Its implementation has multiplied up to 100 the scattered optical power detected, significantly enhancing the detection limits of the sensor.

  8. Laboratory Simulations of Martian Meteorite Impacts and Their Seismic Signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedar, S.; Richardson, J. E.; Harvey, N. E.; Perry, D. C.; Bowling, T. J.; Kanamori, H.; Webb, F.; Li, M.; Garnero, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    Recent satellite images have revealed that meteorites regularly impact the Martian surface. Such impacts provide a constant background of planet-wide seismicity, and add a substantial number of seismic sources to an otherwise seismically quiet planet, with a natural quake rate estimated to be ~1000 times lower than on Earth. This is a potentially rich and relatively unexplored source of seismic activity that may be used to answer fundamental questions about the planet's internal structure, such as the size and nature of the core, the composition and layering of the mantle, and the planets crustal thickness and variability. Determining whether meteoritic impacts can be used as seismic sources for studying the Martian interior depends directly upon two fundamental parameters: (1) the rate of transfer of momentum to the elastic medium as defined by an impact's source-time function (or its power spectrum); and (2) the efficiency with which the kinetic energy of the impacting body is transferred to seismic energy. However, uncertainty of the impact source time function, combined with the wide range of impact seismic efficiency factors observed in various settings, makes it very difficult to determine the efficacy of natural impacts for seismic exploration. To overcome these challenges, we have begun a campaign combining impact laboratory experiments and numerical simulations with the goal of determining how well the observed meteoritic impact distribution on Mars can be used to resolve the Martian interior structure. To simulate the seismic signals expected from meteorite impacts on the Martian surface, we carried out a series of high velocity impact experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) facility. The experiments spanned a variety of projectile impact velocities and angles, and were carried out in near vacuum conditions to mimic Martian atmospheric conditions. Seismic sensors were embedded in target material analogous to the Martian surface and were

  9. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  10. Rocket Cratering in Simulated Lunar and Martian Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Immer, Christopher; Metzger, Phillip

    2010-01-01

    With NASA's planned return to the moon and possibly with lunar outposts being formed, repeated landings at the same site will be necessary. Understanding rocket plume interaction with lunar and Martian surfaces is of paramount importance in order to safely land and protect hardware surrounding the landing site. This work will report on results of three small experiments intended to explore plume impingement onto lunar and Martian surfaces: Handheld Observation of Scour Holes (HOOSH), Handheld Angle of Repose Measurements of Lunar Simulants (HARMLuS), and Mars Architecture Team study (MATS). The first two experiments were performed during two sorties of reduced gravity flights. HOOSH was designed to investigate crater formation as a function of gravitational level (lunar and Martian gravity). HARMLuS was designed to measure the Angle of Failure (related to the angle of repose) at lunar and Martian gravity. Both experiments have complex findings indicative of the hysteretic behavior of granular materials, especially resulting from reduced gravity. The MATS experiment was designed to investigate the effects of regolith compaction on the granular mechanics of crater formation . In general, the granular mechanics is a much stronger function of compaction than gravitation acceleration. Crater formation is greatly enhanced at reduced gravity (resulting in much larger craters). The angle of failure of the lunar simulants increases with decreasing gravitational acceleration, and occasionally becomes infinite for some compactions at lunar gravity. The angle of failure also increases with increasing compaction. While compaction does play a role in the time development of crater formation, the asymptotic behavior is largely unaffected.

  11. Is the electron avalanche process in a martian dust devil self-quenching?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, W. M.; McLain, J. L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-07-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (∼10 μA/m2), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  12. Is the Electron Avalanche Process in a Martian Dust Devil Self-Quenching?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, William M.; McLain, Jason L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (approx. 10 microA/m(exp. 2)), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  13. The evolution of dust deposits in the Martian north polar region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    1979-01-01

    The origin and evolution of two major eolian deposits of the Martian north polar region, the layered deposits and the debris mantle, are examined. Both apparently result from deposition of dust along with the seasonal CO2 frost cap. Dust deposited onto the perennial ice is incorporated into the layered deposits, while dust deposited directly onto the surface becomes part of the debris mantle. Climatically induced fluctuation of the perennial ice margin has influenced the evolution of both units. Periodic exposure to the atmosphere has allowed erosion of curvilinear troughs in the surface of the layered deposits. Intervening periods of deposition may have resulted in gradual poleward migration of the trough forms, leaving behind sets of low-amplitude surface undulations in former trough locations. Advance and retreat of the perennial ice margin has also probably resulted in a fine interfingering of the layered deposits-debris mantle contract. Limited post-depositional stripping of the debris mantle has been accomplished by intense winds blowing outward from the pole.

  14. JSC Mars-1 - Martian regolith simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. C.; Morris, R. V.; Lindstrom, D. J.; Lindstrom, M. M.; Lockwood, J. P.

    1997-03-01

    We have developed a simulant to the regolith of Mars for support of scientific research, engineering studies, and education. JSC Mars-1 is the less than 1-mm size fraction of a palagonitic tephra (glassy volcanic ash altered at low temperatures). The material was collected from the Pu'u Nene cinder cone, located in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii. Palagonitic tephra from this cone has been repeatedly cited as a close spectral analog to the bright regions of Mars.

  15. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ticoş, C. M.; Scurtu, A.; Toader, D.; Banu, N.

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  16. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet.

    PubMed

    Ticoş, C M; Scurtu, A; Toader, D; Banu, N

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic. PMID:25832231

  17. Effects of Martian Dust Storms on Ionization Profiles and Surface Dose Rates From Solar Energetic Proton Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norman, R. B.; Gronoff, G.; Mertens, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Global dust storms can engulf Mars and distribute dust throughout the atmosphere. The change in composition and density of the atmosphere due to dust storms affects the ionization rate due to cosmic rays impinging on Mars. To model the effect of dust storms on the Martian ionization profile, five solar energetic proton event models are used as inputs into the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model. NAIRAS is a cosmic ray irradiation model adapted for fast computations and has been applied to the Martian atmosphere. Full atmosphere ionization profiles for both dust storms and quiet times are reported at multiple sites on Mars, including the Gale Crater, site of the Curiosity rover landing. Variation in the ionization profile and surface dose rates is observed as a function of input event spectrum, atmospheric dust load, and elevation. Variation in the dose rate at the surface due to dust loading is bounded by approximately 25% for large integral fluence events with a soft spectral shape, while variation due to input spectrum and elevation can be two orders of magnitude. In addition, it is demonstrated that solar energetic proton events can create ionization rates large enough at the appropriate altitudes to account for the observed radio blackouts by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft.

  18. Magnetic levitation-based Martian and Lunar gravity simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valles, J. M. Jr; Maris, H. J.; Seidel, G. M.; Tang, J.; Yao, W.

    2005-01-01

    Missions to Mars will subject living specimens to a range of low gravity environments. Deleterious biological effects of prolonged exposure to Martian gravity (0.38 g), Lunar gravity (0.17 g), and microgravity are expected, but the mechanisms involved and potential for remedies are unknown. We are proposing the development of a facility that provides a simulated Martian and Lunar gravity environment for experiments on biological systems in a well controlled laboratory setting. The magnetic adjustable gravity simulator will employ intense, inhomogeneous magnetic fields to exert magnetic body forces on a specimen that oppose the body force of gravity. By adjusting the magnetic field, it is possible to continuously adjust the total body force acting on a specimen. The simulator system considered consists of a superconducting solenoid with a room temperature bore sufficiently large to accommodate small whole organisms, cell cultures, and gravity sensitive bio-molecular solutions. It will have good optical access so that the organisms can be viewed in situ. This facility will be valuable for experimental observations and public demonstrations of systems in simulated reduced gravity. c2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  19. Study of Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms with the Deep Space Network antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, S.; Kuiper, T. B. H.; Majid, W. A.; Garcia-Miro, C.; Tamppari, L. K.; Renno, N. O.; Ruf, C.; Trinh, J. T.

    2012-09-01

    Evidence for non-thermal emission produced by electrostatic discharges in a deep Martian dust storm has been reported by Ruf et al. 2009 [1]. Such discharges had been detected with an innovative kurtosis detector installed in a 34m radio telescope of the Deep Space Network (DSN) in June of 2006. The kurtosis (the fourth central moment of the signal normalized by the square of the second central moment) is extremely sensitive to the presence of non-thermal radiation, but is insensitive to variations in the intensity of the thermal radiation and instrument gain. The non-thermal radiation was detected while a 35 Km deep Martian dust storm was within the field of view of the radio telescope and presented signatures of modulation by the Martian Schumann Resonance. Encouraged by this discovery, several attempts have been made within the DSN to confirm the detection using the R&D antenna (DSS-13) and other antennas in the Madrid and Goldstone complexes, but using a very limited receiver, in terms of recorded data rates, the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Science Receiver (VSR). We are planning to initiate an extensive monitoring of Mars emission in a noninterfering basis while our antennas are tracking various Mars probes, using the Wideband Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Science Receiver (WVSR). The WVSR is a very flexible open-loop digital backend that is used for radio science and spacecraft navigation support in the DSN. This instrument allows us to sample a larger bandwidth than with previously used detectors. The processing to look for the kurtosis signature will be performed in software, limited only by the computer capacity. Additionally there are plans to develop an even more powerful custom-built detector based in CASPER technology and Graphic Processing Units for enhance computational power. This contribution will describe how we plan to select the target Mars tracking passes from the DSN schedule. An automated process will generate

  20. Simulation and Comparison of Martian Surface Ionization Radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Zeitlin, Cary; Hassler, Donald M.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2013-01-01

    The spectrum of energetic particle radiation and corresponding doses at the surface of Mars is being characterized by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), one of ten science instruments on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover. The time series of dose rate for the first 300 Sols after landing on Mars on August 6, 2012 is presented here. For the comparison to RAD measurements of dose rate, Martian surface ionization radiation is simulated by utilizing observed space quantities. The GCR primary radiation spectrum is calculated by using the Badhwar-O'Neill 2011 (BO11) galactic cosmic ray (GCR) model, which has been developed by utilizing all balloon and satellite GCR measurements since 1955 and the newer 1997-2012 Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) measurements. In the BO11 model, solar modulation of the GCR primary radiation spectrum is described in terms of the international smoothed sunspot number and a time delay function. For the transport of the impingent GCR primary radiation through Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of atmospheric thickness at each elevation is calculated using the vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and pressure made by Mars Global Surveyor measurements. At Gale Crater in the southern hemisphere, the seasonal variation of atmospheric thickness is accounted for the daily atmospheric pressure measurements of the MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) by using low- and high-density models for cool- and warm-season, respectively. The spherically distributed atmospheric distance is traced along the slant path, and the resultant directional shielding by Martian atmosphere is coupled with Curiosity vehicle for dose estimates. We present predictions of dose rate and comparison to the RAD measurements. The simulation agrees to within +/- 20% with the RAD measurements showing clearly the variation of dose rate by heliospheric conditions, and presenting the sensitivity of dose rate by atmospheric pressure

  1. Biological space experiments for the simulation of Martian conditions: UV radiation and Martian soil analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, P.; Rabbow, E.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.

    2004-01-01

    The survivability of resistant terrestrial microbes, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting FOTON satellites (BIOPAN I -III missions). The spores were exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites). The results of the three space experiments confirmed the deleterious effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation which, in contrast to the UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth, also contains the very energy-rich, short wavelength UVB and UVC radiation. Thin layers of clay, rock or meteorite material were shown to be only successful in UV-shielding, if they are in direct contact with the spores. On Mars the UV radiation climate is similar to that of the early Earth before the development of a protective ozone layer in the atmosphere by the appearance of the first aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of B. subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment, MARSTOX. Different types of Mars soil analogues will be used to determine on one hand their potential toxicity alone or in combination with solar UV (phototoxicity) and on the other hand their UV protection capability. Two sets of samples will be placed under different cut-off filters used to simulate the UV radiation climate of Mars and Earth. After exposure in space the survival of and mutation induction in the spores will be analyzed at the DLR, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the laboratory. This experiment will provide new insights into the principal limits of life and its adaptation to environmental extremes on Earth or other planets which and will also have implications for the potential for the

  2. Biological space experiments for the simulation of Martian conditions: UV radiation and Martian soil analogues.

    PubMed

    Rettberg, P; Rabbow, E; Panitz, C; Horneck, G

    2004-01-01

    The survivability of resistant terrestrial microbes, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting FOTON satellites (BIOPAN I -III missions). The spores were exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites). The results of the three space experiments confirmed the deleterious effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation which, in contrast to the UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth, also contains the very energy-rich, short wavelength UVB and UVC radiation. Thin layers of clay, rock or meteorite material were shown to be only successful in UV-shielding, if they are in direct contact with the spores. On Mars the UV radiation climate is similar to that of the early Earth before the development of a protective ozone layer in the atmosphere by the appearance of the first aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of B. subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment, MARSTOX. Different types of Mars soil analogues will be used to determine on one hand their potential toxicity alone or in combination with solar UV (phototoxicity) and on the other hand their UV protection capability. Two sets of samples will be placed under different cut-off filters used to simulate the UV radiation climate of Mars and Earth. After exposure in space the survival of and mutation induction in the spores will be analyzed at the DLR, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the laboratory. This experiment will provide new insights into the principal limits of life and its adaptation to environmental extremes on Earth or other planets which and will also have implications for the potential for the

  3. Simulating Mars' Dust Cycle with a Mars General Circulation Model: Effects of Water Ice Cloud Formation on Dust Lifting Strength and Seasonality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.; Haberle, Robert; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.

    2012-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for the current climate of Mars. The radiative effects of dust impact the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere [1,2,3]. Although dust is present in the Martian atmosphere throughout the year, the level of dustiness varies with season. The atmosphere is generally the dustiest during northern fall and winter and the least dusty during northern spring and summer [4]. Dust particles are lifted into the atmosphere by dust storms that range in size from meters to thousands of kilometers across [5]. Regional storm activity is enhanced before northern winter solstice (Ls200 degrees - 240 degrees), and after northern solstice (Ls305 degrees - 340 degrees ), which produces elevated atmospheric dust loadings during these periods [5,6,7]. These pre- and post- solstice increases in dust loading are thought to be associated with transient eddy activity in the northern hemisphere with cross-equatorial transport of dust leading to enhanced dust lifting in the southern hemisphere [6]. Interactive dust cycle studies with Mars General Circulation Models (MGCMs) have included the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Although the predicted global dust loadings from these simulations capture some aspects of the observed dust cycle, there are marked differences between the simulated and observed dust cycles [8,9,10]. Most notably, the maximum dust loading is robustly predicted by models to occur near northern winter solstice and is due to dust lifting associated with down slope flows on the flanks of the Hellas basin. Thus far, models have had difficulty simulating the observed pre- and post- solstice peaks in dust loading.

  4. Simulation of dust-acoustic waves

    SciTech Connect

    Winske, D.; Murillo, M.S.; Rosenberg, M.

    1998-12-01

    The authors use molecular dynamics (MD) and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation methods to investigate the dispersion relation of dust-acoustic waves in a one-dimensional, strongly coupled (Coulomb coupling parameter = {Lambda} = ratio of the Coulomb energy to the thermal energy = 120) dusty plasma. They study both cases where the dust is represented by a small number of simulation particles that form into a regular array structure (crystal limit) as well as where the dust is represented by a much larger number of particles (fluid limit).

  5. Experimental Study of the Angle of Repose of Surrogate Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moeller, L. E.; Tuller, M.; Baker, L.; Marshall, J.; Castiglione, P.; Kuhlman, K.

    2003-01-01

    Accumulation of wind-blown dust particles on solar cells and instruments will be a great challenge in the exploration of Mars, significantly reducing their lifetime, durability, and power output. For future Mars Lander missions it is crucial to gain information about the ideal angle at which solar panels can be positioned to minimize dust deposition and thus, maximize the power output and lifetime of the solar cells. The major determinant for the optimal panel angle is the angle of repose of the dust particles that is dependent on a variety of physical and chemical properties of the particles, the panel surface, and the environmental conditions on the Mars surface. To gain a basic understanding of the physical and chemical processes that govern dust deposition and to get feedback for the design of an experiment suitable for one of the future Mars Lander missions we simulate atmospheric conditions expected on the Mars surface in a controlled chamber, and observe the angle of repose of Mars dust surrogates. Dust deposition and angle of repose were observed on different sized spheres. To cover a range of potential materials we will use spheres made of 7075 aluminum (10 mm, and 15 mm), alumina oxide ceramic (10 mm), and Teflon(trademark) (10 mm) and wafers of gallium arsenide, silicon.

  6. Simulations of Carbon Dioxide Cloud Formation at the Martian Poles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colaprete, A.; Toon, O. B.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) experiment flying onboard the Mars Global Surveyor has observed echoes from cloud tops above the north polar cap. Due to the location and time of year that these clouds are forming, it has been assumed that these clouds consist primarily of carbon dioxide ice particles. The structure of these echoes suggests that a number of these clouds may be the product of buoyancy or gravity waves (Zuber et al., 1998). While the presence of carbon dioxide clouds in the Martian atmosphere is generally accepted, how and where they form is still not understood and little is known about the physics of carbon dioxide particle formation. Recently, Glandorf et al. (personal communication) measured the critical saturation ratio required for carbon dioxide to nucleate onto ice. From this measurement, using nucleation theory, the contact parameter between ice and carbon dioxide under Martian conditions was determined. Using the nucleation rates measured by Glandorf et al. we have developed a 2D time dependent microphyical simulation of carbon dioxide clouds forming in the Mars polar regions. In this simulation we explore the mechanism of cloud initiation by orographic waves and compare our results to MOLA observations.

  7. Early Dust Storm Season Thermal State of the Martian Atmosphere - Latest Results from the Horizon Science Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, T. Z.; Murphy, J. R.

    1999-09-01

    The Horizon Science Experiment (HORSE) uses the Mars Horizon Sensor Assembly on the MGS orbiter to measure 15 micrometer band thermal emission from the middle Martian atmosphere. Since mapping began in March 1999, data acquisition has been continuous, with 12 orbits/day providing rapid longitudinal coverage. The instrument's four quadrants aligned orthogonally on the Martian limb provide important coverage in local time; two quadrants fore and aft give redundant sampling of the ground track, while the other two sample +/- 1.4 hrs in local time at the equator. Equator crossing is nominally at 3 AM and 3 PM. This coverage of six local times per day for most of the planet means that the MHSA is well suited to detect diurnal temperature variations, including the semidiurnal tidal mode, which is particularly sensitive to the presence of atmospheric dust. We report recent results on the global thermal state; specific dust events; diurnal behavior; and other wavelike phenomena.

  8. Effective mie-scattering and CO2 absorption in the dust-laden Martian atmosphere and its impact on radiative-convective temperature changes in the lower scale heights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pallmann, A. J.

    1976-01-01

    A time dependent computer model of radiative-convective-conductive heat transfer in the Martian ground-atmosphere system was refined by incorporating an intermediate line strength CO2 band absorption which together with the strong-and weak-line approximation closely simulated the radiative transmission through a vertically inhomogeneous stratification. About 33,000 CO2 lines were processed to cover the spectral range of solar and planetary radiation. Absorption by silicate dust particulates, was taken into consideration to study its impact on the ground-atmosphere temperature field as a function of time. This model was subsequently attuned to IRIS, IR-radiometric and S-band occultation data. Satisfactory simulations of the measured IRIS spectra were accomplished for the dust-free condition. In the case of variable dust loads, the simulations were sufficiently fair so that some inferences into the effect of dust on temperature were justified.

  9. Characterization of the Resource Potential of Martian Soil using the Integrated Dust/Soil Experiment Package (IDEP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.; Mckay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.; Hoffman, John H.; Gittleman, Mark E.

    1997-01-01

    The Integrated Dust/Soil Experiment Package (IDEP) is a suite of instruments that can detect and quantify the abundances of useful raw materials on Mars. We focus here on its capability for resource characterization in the martian soil; however, it is also capable of detecting and quantifying gases in the atmosphere. This paper describes the scientific rationale and the engineering design behind the IDEP.

  10. Characterization of dust activity from Martian Year (MY) 27 to MY 32 observed by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard the Mars Express spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkenberg, Paulina; Giuranna, Marco; Aoki, Shohei; Scaccabarozzi, Diego; Saggin, Bortolino; Formisano, Vittorio

    2016-04-01

    More than 2,500,000 spectra have been collected by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer aboard Mars Express spacecraft after 12 years of activity. The data span more than six Martian years, from MY26, Ls = 331°, to MY 33, Ls = 78°. This huge dataset has been used to build a new database of atmospheric parameters, including atmospheric and surface temperatures, and dust and water ice opacity. Dust aerosols suspended in the atmosphere affect its thermal structure and are a major driver of the circulation. They are always present in the Martian atmosphere, but the amount varies greatly depending on location and season. We analyze dust opacities at 1075 cm-1 retrieved from the PFS long-wavelength channel spectra to characterize the dust activity on Mars for the relevant period. The dust storm season (Ls= 185° - 310°) is monitored for each Martian year. All dust observations show a seasonal pattern, which is ruled by the occurrence of regional and/or global dust storms. Regional dust storms are observed every year, while a planet encircling dust storm occurred in MY 28, when the highest values of dust opacity are also observed (~ 2.45). We characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of these regional and global dust events and investigate the effect of dust on surface and atmospheric temperatures.

  11. Evolution of Martian polar landscapes - Interplay of long-term variations in perennial ice cover and dust storm intensity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Blasius, K. R.; Roberts, W. J.

    1979-01-01

    The discovery of a new type of Martian polar terrain, called undulating plain, is reported and the evolution of the plains and other areas of the Martian polar region is discussed in terms of the trapping of dust by the perennial ice cover. High-resolution Viking Orbiter 2 observations of the north polar terrain reveal perennially ice-covered surfaces with low relief, wavelike, regularly spaced, parallel ridges and troughs (undulating plains) occupying areas of the polar terrain previously thought to be flat, and associated with troughs of considerable local relief which exhibit at least partial annual melting. It is proposed that the wavelike topography of the undulating plains originates from long-term periodic variations in cyclical dust precipitation at the margin of a growing or receding perennial polar cap in response to changes in insolation. The troughs are proposed to originate from areas of steep slope in the undulating terrain which have lost their perennial ice cover and have become incapable of trapping dust. The polar landscape thus appears to record the migrations, expansions and contractions of the Martian polar cap.

  12. Dust storm simulation over Iran using HYSPLIT.

    PubMed

    Ashrafi, Khosro; Shafiepour-Motlagh, Majid; Aslemand, Alireza; Ghader, Sarmad

    2014-01-01

    Particulate matters have detrimental effects on human health, environment and economic. This pollutant may emit from anthropogenic or natural sources. On global scale, main proportion of natural particulate matter release to the atmosphere because of wind erosion from arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, the amount of dust coming from Arabian countries has dramatically increased, especially dust storms that are affecting western and even central parts of Iran. This phenomenon has caused a lot of environmental problems. Dust source identification and trajectory simulation using numerical techniques are the main aims of this study. HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model dust module and trajectory simulation are utilized in this research and two case studies are investigated (in May and June 2010). The base of the HYSPLIT dust module is the PM10 dust storm emission algorithm for desert land use. This methodology is applied to estimate hotspots and trajectories. Due to the results, dust storms started on May 17th and June 7th because of high wind shear (>8.5 m/s) from the western Syrian Desert. The source region limited to 32.50 °N to 33.80 °N and 38.00 °E to 38.80 °E coordinates. Dust plumes lifted and dispersed towards the east and southeast of the sources and reached Ahvaz on May 18th and June 8th. The average of PM10 concentration in these dates reached 625 and 494 μgm3 on Ahvaz monitoring stations, respectively. Moreover, the results gained from the model for dust motion simulation are similar to the MODIS satellite images. PMID:24397928

  13. Dust storm simulation over Iran using HYSPLIT

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Particulate matters have detrimental effects on human health, environment and economic. This pollutant may emit from anthropogenic or natural sources. On global scale, main proportion of natural particulate matter release to the atmosphere because of wind erosion from arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, the amount of dust coming from Arabian countries has dramatically increased, especially dust storms that are affecting western and even central parts of Iran. This phenomenon has caused a lot of environmental problems. Dust source identification and trajectory simulation using numerical techniques are the main aims of this study. HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model dust module and trajectory simulation are utilized in this research and two case studies are investigated (in May and June 2010). The base of the HYSPLIT dust module is the PM10 dust storm emission algorithm for desert land use. This methodology is applied to estimate hotspots and trajectories. Due to the results, dust storms started on May 17th and June 7th because of high wind shear (>8.5 m/s) from the western Syrian Desert. The source region limited to 32.50 °N to 33.80 °N and 38.00 °E to 38.80 °E coordinates. Dust plumes lifted and dispersed towards the east and southeast of the sources and reached Ahvaz on May 18th and June 8th. The average of PM10 concentration in these dates reached 625 and 494 μgm3 on Ahvaz monitoring stations, respectively. Moreover, the results gained from the model for dust motion simulation are similar to the MODIS satellite images. PMID:24397928

  14. MLAM Simulation of Martian Atmosphere around Curiosity Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atlaskin, Evgeny; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kauhanen, Janne; Määttänen, Anni; Paton, Mark; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero

    2013-04-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory 'Curiosity' landed successfully in the Martian Gale crater close to the equator on 6 Aug 2012. As part of the environment monitoring instrument package REMS [1] the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provided the pressure and humidity sensors. A similar pressure sensor was successfully flown earlier on the Phoenix lander mission in 2008 and on the Cassini / Huygens probe to Titan in 2005. The behaviour of the Martian atmosphere inside the Gale crater is dominated by its location close to the equator, the steep outer rims and the slopes of the central mountain. These complex topographical features make it ideally suited for a mesoscale atmospheric model like the Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM), developed jointly by the University of Helsinki (UH) and FMI to study mesoscale phenomena in the Martian Atmosphere [2]. MLAM is based on the hydro-static dynamical core of the HIgh Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM), an operational weather prediction model-analysis system used by several European countries. Using the simulation tools already published observational data from the first three months of Curiosity's operations and detailed topographical feature information we will show the observations in the context of the atmospheric conditions in the wider Gale crater region. In preparation of the simulation also the UH 1-dimensional model [3] is being used to study the boundary layer behaviour in that area. The expected long operation time of the rover will additionally provide insight in the seasonal change of atmospheric conditions at the equator. Some aspects might already become visible by the time of the conference. Newest Curiosity/REMS data will be shown in session PS2.5 "Curiosity on Mars: First results". Reference: [1] Gómez-Elvira J. et al. (2012), Space Sci. Rev. 170, 583-640. [2] Kauhanen, J., Siili T., Järvenoja, S. and Savijärvi, H. (2008) , The Mars Limited Area Model (MLAM) and simulations of atmospheric circulations

  15. Polar Layered Terrains: Links Between the Martian Volatile and Dust Cycles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, R. W.

    1999-01-01

    The nature, origin and evolution of the polar layered terrains are a major mystery of Martian climate. Almost every aspect of these enigmatic terrains surrounding, and probably underlying, the polar residual ice caps is in contention. Are the polar laminae forming today? Are they inactive or even eroding, being mere relics of the past? Are the north and south polar layered terrains fundamentally different in composition, age or process? Are they a physical record of past, possibly cyclic, climate change and, if so, can we learn to read that record? We know from past Mariner 9 and Viking orbital observations that there are layered terrains at high latitudes, defined by alternating bands of visually lighter and darker material appearing in stacks hundreds of meters thick with individual bands as thin as could then be resolved (tens of meters). In this talk, aspects of the polar layered terrains will be reviewed with emphasis on issues likely to be addressed with data from ongoing and near-term flight missions to Mars. Particular attention will be given to what might be learned from observing the present seasonal cycles of dust, water and carbon dioxide on Mars, in conjunction with in situ data from one site on the south polar layered terrain.

  16. Static Structure Factor Effects on Theoretical Emissivity Profiles of Martian Surface Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitman, K. M.; Wolff, M. J.; Clayton, G. C.

    2003-05-01

    We continue our exploration of the behavior of Martian surface emissivity spectra in response to four fundamental particle microphysical properties (particle size, shape, surface roughness, and packing fraction) for micron-sized dust grains. In this work, we focus on the influence of the static structure factor [1, 2] on single-scattering albedo, particle scattering phase function, and asymmetry parameter for a variety of Mars-relevant effective grain radii in the thermal IR (TES, Odyssey) wavelength regime. By using modified single-scattering input parameters, we effectively use clusters of particles to determine reasonable packing fraction values for a theoretical planetary regolith. We compare our radiative transfer formulation to that of Mackowski's multisphere code (SCSMFO) [3]. The effects of packing fraction may also be examined experimentally by varying the compression of laboratory samples; we briefly discuss planned experiments. This work is supported through NASA MDAP (MJW) and LSU Board of Regents (KMP). [1] Mishchenko, M. I. (1994) JQSRT, 52, 1, 95-110. [2] Mishchenko, M. I., & Macke, A. (1997) JQSRT, 57, 1, 767-794. [3] Mackowski, D. W. (1994) J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 11, 2851-2861.

  17. Temperature and Dust Profiles During the Martian Global Dust Storm in 2007 from Mars Climate Sounder Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; McCleese, D. J.

    2014-07-01

    In 2007 the Mars Climate Sounder observed a global dust storm on Mars. We will present results that show the development of the dust storm over time and the vertical structure of atmospheric temperature and dust.

  18. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 Under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Davidson, Mark M.; Pacala, Stephen W.; Bakermans, Corien; Onstott, Tullis C.

    2009-03-01

    Spacecraft launched to Mars can retain viable terrestrial microorganisms on board that may survive the interplanetary transit. Such biota might compromise the search for life beyond Earth if capable of propagating on Mars. The current study explored the survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5, a psychrotolerant microorganism obtained from a Siberian permafrost cryopeg, under simulated martian surface conditions of high ultraviolet irradiation, high desiccation, low temperature, and low atmospheric pressure. First, a desiccation experiment compared the survival of P. cryohalolentis cells embedded, or not embedded, within a medium/salt matrix (MSM) maintained at 25°C for 24 h within a laminar flow hood. Results indicate that the presence of the MSM enhanced survival of the bacterial cells by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Second, tests were conducted in a Mars Simulation Chamber to determine the UV tolerance of the microorganism. No viable vegetative cells of P. cryohalolentis were detected after 8 h of exposure to Mars-normal conditions of 4.55 W/m2 UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5°C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O2 (0.2%), and H2O (0.03%). Third, an experiment was conducted within the Mars chamber in which total atmospheric opacities were simulated at τ = 0.1 (dust-free CO2 atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO2-only opacity), and 3.5 (global dust storm) to determine the survivability of P. cryohalolentis to partially shielded UVC radiation. The survivability of the bacterium increased with the level of UVC attenuation, though population levels still declined several orders of magnitude compared to UVC-absent controls over an 8 h exposure period.

  19. Survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 Under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Davidson, Mark M.; Pacala, Stephen W.; Bakermans, Corien; Onstott, Tullis

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft launched to Mars can retain viable terrestrial microorganisms on board that may survive the interplanetary transit. Such biota might compromise the search for life beyond Earth if capable of propagating on Mars. The current study explored the survivability of Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5, a psychrotolerant microorganism obtained from a Siberian permafrost cryopeg, under simulated martian surface conditions of high ultraviolet irradiation, high desiccation, low temperature, and low atmospheric pressure. First, a desiccation experiment compared the survival of P. cryohalolentis cells embedded, or not embedded, within a medium/salt matrix (MSM) maintained at 25 degrees C for 24 hr within a laminar flow hood. Results indicate that the presence of the MSM enhanced survival of the bacterial cells by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Second, tests were conducted in a Mars Simulation Chamber to determine the UV tolerance of the microorganism. No viable vegetative cells of P. cryohalolentis were detected after 8 hr of exposure to Mars-normal conditions of 4.55 W/m(2) UVC irradiation (200-280 nm), -12.5 degrees C, 7.1 mbar, and a Mars gas mix composed of CO2 (95.3%), N2 (2.7%), Ar (1.6%), O2 (0.2%), and H(2)O (0.03%). Third, an experiment was conducted within the Mars chamber in which total atmospheric opacities were simulated at tau = 0.1 (dust-free CO2 atmosphere at 7.1 mbar), 0.5 (normal clear sky with 0.4 = dust opacity and 0.1 = CO2-only opacity), and 3.5 (global dust storm) to determine the survivability of P. cryohalolentis to partially shielded UVC radiation. The survivability of the bacterium increased with the level of UVC attenuation, though population levels still declined several orders of magnitude compared to UVC-absent controls over an 8 hr exposure period.

  20. Martian environmental simulation for a deployable lattice mast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warden, Robert M.

    1994-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission (formerly Mars Environmental Survey or MESUR) is scheduled for launch in December 1996 and is designed to place a small lander on the surface of Mars. After impact, the lander unfolds to expose its solar panels and release a miniature rover. Also on board is the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) binocular camera which is elevated by a deployable mast to obtain a panoramic view of the landing area. The design of this deployable mast is based on similar designs which have a long and successful flight history. In the past when this type of self-deployable mast has been used, a rate limiter has been incorporated to control the speed of deployment. In this application, to reduce weight and complexity, it was proposed to eliminate the rate limiter so that the mast would deploy without restraint. Preliminary tests showed that this type of deployment was possible especially if the deployed length was relatively short, as in this application. Compounding the problem, however, was the requirement to deploy the mast at an angle of up to 30 degrees from vertical. The deployment process was difficult to completely analyze due to the effects of gravitational and inertial loads on the mast and camera during rapid extension. Testing in a realistic manner was imperative to verify the system performance. A deployment test was therefore performed to determine the maximum tilt angle at which the mast could reliably extend and support the camera on Mars. The testing of the deployable mast requires partial gravity compensation to simulate the smaller force of Martian gravity. During the test, mass properties were maintained while weight properties were reduced. This paper describes the testing of a deployable mast in a simulated Martian environment as well as the results of the tests.

  1. Water ice nucleation characteristics of JSC Mars-1 regolith simulant under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phebus, Bruce D.; Johnson, Alexandria V.; Mar, Brendan; Stone, Bradley M.; Colaprete, Anthony; Iraci, Laura T.

    2011-04-01

    Water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere are governed by parameters such as number density and particle size distribution that in turn affect how they influence the climate. With some of the underlying properties of cloud formation well known only for Earth, extrapolations to Mars are potentially misleading. We report here continued laboratory experiments to identify critical onset conditions for water ice formation under Martian cloud forming temperatures and water partial pressures (155-182 K, 7.6 × 10-5 to 7.7 × 10-3 Pa H2O). By observing the 3 μm infrared band to monitor nucleation and growth, we observe significant temperature dependence in the nucleation of ice on JSC Mars-1 regolith simulant, with critical saturation ratios, Scrit, as high as 3.8 at 155 K. At temperatures below ˜180 K, ice nucleation on JSC Mars-1 requires significant supersaturation, potentially impacting the Martian hydrological cycle.

  2. Dust devil height and spacing with relation to the martian planetary boundary layer thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Lorenz, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    In most remote and unmonitored places, little is known about the characteristics of daytime turbulent activity. Few processes render the optically transparent atmospheres of Earth and Mars visible; put more plainly, without clever instruments it is difficult to "see the unseen". To address this, we present a pilot study of images of martian dust devils (DDs) testing the hypothesis that DD height and spacing correlates with the thickness of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), h. The survey includes Context Camera (CTX) images from a 580 × 590 km2 area (196-208°E, 30-40°N) in northern Amazonis Planitia, spanning ∼3.6 Mars Years (MY) from Ls = 134.55°, MY 28 (13 November 2006) to Ls = 358.5°, MY 31 (28 July 2013). DD activity follows a repeatable seasonal pattern similar to that found in previous surveys, with a distinct "on" season during local summer, beginning shortly before the northern spring equinox (Ls = 0°) and lasting until just after the northern fall equinox (Ls = 180°). DD heights measured from shadow lengths varied considerably, with median values peaking at local midsummer. Modeled PBL heights, constrained by those measured from radio occultation data, follow a similar seasonal trend, and correlation of the two suggests that the martian PBL thickness is approximately 5 times the median DD height. These results compare favorably to the limited terrestrial data available. DD spacing was measured using nearest neighbor statistics, following the assumption that because convection cell widths have been measured to be ∼1.2 ± 0.2h (Willis, G.E., Deardorff, J.W. [1979]. J. Geophys. Res. 84(C1), 295-302), a preference for DD formation at vertices of convection cells intersections could be used to estimate the PBL height. During local spring and summer, the DD average nearest neighbor (ANN) ranged from ∼1 to 2h, indicating that DD spacing does indeed correlate with PBL height. However, this result is complicated by two factors: (1) convection cell

  3. Spectral properties of simulated impact glasses produced from martian soil analogue JSC Mars-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moroz, L. V.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Hiroi, T.; Rout, S. S.; Baither, D.; van der Bogert, C. H.; Yakovlev, O. I.; Fisenko, A. V.; Semjonova, L. F.; Rusakov, V. S.; Khramov, D. A.; Zinovieva, N. G.; Arnold, G.; Pieters, C. M.

    2009-07-01

    To simulate the formation of impact glasses on Mars, an analogue of martian bright soil (altered volcanic soil JSC Mars-1) was melted at relevant oxygen fugacities using a pulsed laser and a resistance furnace. Reduction of Fe3+ to Fe2+ and in some cases formation of nanophase Fe0 in the glasses were documented by Mössbauer spectroscopy and TEM studies. Reflectance spectra for several size fractions of the JSC Mars-1 sample and the glasses were acquired between 0.3 and 25 μm. The glasses produced from the JSC Mars-1 soil show significant spectral variability depending on the method of production and the cooling rate. In general, they are dark and less red in the visible compared to the original JSC Mars-1 soil. Their spectra do not have absorption bands due to bound water and structural OH, have positive spectral slopes in the near-infrared range, and show two broad bands centered near 1.05 and 1.9 μm, typical of glasses rich in ferrous iron. The latter bands and low albedo partly mimic the spectral properties of martian dark regions, and may easily be confused with mafic materials containing olivine and low-Ca pyroxene. Due to their disordered structures and vesicular textures, the glasses show relatively weak absorption features from the visible to the thermal infrared. These weak absorption bands may be masked by the stronger bands of mafic minerals. Positive near-infrared spectral slopes typical of fresh iron-bearing impact or volcanic glasses may be masked either by oxide/dust coatings or by aerosols in the Mars' atmosphere. As a result, impact glasses may be present on the surface of Mars in significant quantities that have been either misidentified as other phases or masked by phases with stronger infrared features. Spectrometers with sufficient spatial resolution and wavelength coverage may detect impact glasses at certain locations, e.g., in the vicinity of fresh impact craters. Such dark materials are usually interpreted as accumulations of mafic

  4. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  5. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  6. Collision simulation of sintered dust aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirono, Sin-iti; Ueno, Haruta

    Collisional evolution of dust aggregates is the initial process of the planet formation. Sticking velocity, below which collisional sticking of an aggregate happens, is a crucial quantity in the collisional evolution. In the standard model of protoplanetary nebula, the maximum collisional velocity is around 50m/s. Therefore, if a planetesimal is formed through direct collisional sticking, the sticking velocity should be higher than 50m/s. Even if a planetesimal is formed by other mechanism such as anticyclonic vortices, substantial growth of an aggregate is required because the motion of an aggregate should be decoupled from that of gas. Collisional simulation of icy dust aggregates (Wada et al. 2009, ApJ 702, 1490) showed that the sticking velocity was larger than 50m/s and planetesimal formation by collisional sticking was possible. However, sintering of ice proceeds in a wide area of a protoplanetary nebula (Sirono 2011, ApJ 765, 50). Sintering enlarges a neck, connection between adjacent dust grains, and changes the mechanical properties of a dust aggregate. Here we performed collisional simulations between sintered dust aggregates taking account of sintering. We found that the sticking velocity was decreased substantially down to 20m/s. This result suggests that a planetesimal is not formed by direct collisional sticking and that the planetesimal formation proceeded in particular regions in a protoplanetary nebula.

  7. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This volume contains papers that were presented on February 12-14, 1996 at the Evolution for Martian Volatiles Workshop. Topics in this volume include: returned Martian samples; acidic volatiles and the Mars soil; solar EUV Radiation; the ancient Mars Thermosphere; primitive methane atmospheres on Earth and Mars; the evolution of Martian water; the role of SO2 for the climate history of Mars; impact crater morphology; the formation of the Martian drainage system; atmospheric dust-water ice Interactions; volatiles and volcanos; accretion of interplanetary dust particles; Mars' ionosphere; simulations with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model; modeling the Martian water cycle; the evolution of Martian atmosphere; isotopic composition; solar occultation; magnetic fields; photochemical weathering; NASA's Mars Surveyor Program; iron formations; measurements of Martian atmospheric water vapor; and the thermal evolution Models of Mars.

  8. Neurotoxic Potential of Lunar and Martian Dust: Influence on Em, Proton Gradient, Active Transport, and Binding of Glutamate in Rat Brain Nerve Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Krisanova, Natalia; Kasatkina, Ludmila; Sivko, Roman; Borysov, Arseniy; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Slenzka, Klaus; Borisova, Tatiana

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The harmful effects of lunar dust (LD) on directly exposed tissues are documented in the literature, whereas researchers are only recently beginning to consider its effects on indirectly exposed tissues. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and transported to the central nervous system. The neurotoxic potential of LD and martian dust (MD) has not yet been assessed. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter involved in most aspects of normal brain function, whereas disturbances in glutamate homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of major neurological disorders. The research was focused on the analysis of the effects of LD/MD simulants (JSC-1a/JSC, derived from volcanic ash) on the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission. The average size of LD and MD particles (even minor fractions) before and after sonication was determined by dynamic light scattering. With the use of radiolabeled l-[14C]glutamate, it was shown that there is an increase in l-[14C]glutamate binding to isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) in low [Na+] media and at low temperature in the presence of LD. MD caused significantly lesser changes under the same conditions, whereas nanoparticles of magnetite had no effect at all. Fluorimetric experiments with potential-sensitive dye rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive dye acridine orange showed that the potential of the plasma membrane of the nerve terminals and acidification of synaptic vesicles were not altered by LD/MD (and nanoparticles of magnetite). Thus, the unique effect of LD to increase glutamate binding to the nerve terminals was shown. This can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system and cause alterations in the ambient level of glutamate, which is extremely important for proper synaptic transmission. During a long-term mission, a combination of constant irritation

  9. JSC Mars-1 Martian Soil Simulant: Melting Experiments and Electron Microprobe Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, P.; Sebille, L.; Boles, W.; Chadwell, M.; Schwarz, L.

    2003-01-01

    JSC Mars-1 has been developed as a Martian regolith simulant, and is the <1 mm size fraction of a palagonitic tephra (a glassy volcanic ash altered at low temperatures) from Pu'u Nene cinder cone on the Island of Hawaii. The Mars-1 simulant forms the basis for numerous terrestrial studies which aim to evaluate the suitability of Martian soil for materials processing. Martian soil may be sintered to form building materials for construction, and also melted or reacted to extract metals for various uses, as well as oxygen for life support.

  10. Electrostatic Characterization of Lunar Dust Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Ritz, M. L.

    2008-01-01

    Lunar dust can jeopardize exploration activities due to its ability to cling to most surfaces. In this paper, we report on our measurements of the electrostatic properties of the lunar soil simulants. Methods have been developed to measure the volume resistivity, dielectric constant, chargeability, and charge decay of lunar soil. While the first two parameters have been measured in the past [Olhoeft 1974], the last two have never been measured directly on the lunar regolith or on any of the Apollo samples. Measurements of the electrical properties of the lunar samples are being performed in an attempt to answer important problems that must be solved for the development of an effective dust mitigation technology, namely, how much charge can accumulate on the dust and how long does the charge remain on surfaces. The measurements will help develop coatings that are compatible with the intrinsic electrostatic properties of the lunar regolith.

  11. Dust devil characteristics and associated dust entrainment based on large-eddy simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klose, Martina; Kwidzinski, Nick; Shao, Yaping

    2015-04-01

    The characteristics of dust devils, such as occurrence frequency, lifetime, size, and intensity, are usually inferred from in situ field measurements and remote sensing. Numerical models, e.g. large-eddy simulation (LES) models, have also been established as a tool to investigate dust devils and their structures. However, most LES models do not contain a dust module. Here, we present results from simulations using the WRF-LES model coupled to the convective turbulent dust emission (CTDE) scheme of Klose et al. (2014). The scheme describes the stochastic process of aerodynamic dust entrainment in the absence of saltation. It therefore allows for dust emission even below the threshold friction velocity for saltation. Numerical experiments have been conducted for different atmospheric stability and background wind conditions at 10 m horizontal resolution. A dust devil tracking algorithm is used to identify dust devils in the simulation results. The detected dust devils are statistically analyzed with regard to e.g. radius, pressure drop, lifetime, and turbulent wind speeds. An additional simulation with higher horizontal resolution (2 m) is conducted for conditions, which are especially favorable for dust devil development, i.e. unstable atmospheric stratification and weak mean winds. The higher resolution enables the identification of smaller dust devils and a more detailed structure analysis. Dust emission fluxes, dust concentrations, and dust mass budgets are calculated from the simulations. The results are compared to field observations reported in literature.

  12. Investigating the Effects of Simulated Martian Ultraviolet Radiation on Halococcus dombrowskii and Other Extremely Halophilic Archaebacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fendrihan, Sergiu; Bérces, Attila; Lammer, Helmut; Musso, Maurizio; Rontó, György; Polacsek, Tatjana K.; Holzinger, Anita; Kolb, Christoph; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2009-02-01

    The isolation of viable extremely halophilic archaea from 250-million-year-old rock salt suggests the possibility of their long-term survival under desiccation. Since halite has been found on Mars and in meteorites, haloarchaeal survival of martian surface conditions is being explored. Halococcus dombrowskii H4 DSM 14522T was exposed to UV doses over a wavelength range of 200-400 nm to simulate martian UV flux. Cells embedded in a thin layer of laboratory-grown halite were found to accumulate preferentially within fluid inclusions. Survival was assessed by staining with the LIVE/DEAD kit dyes, determining colony-forming units, and using growth tests. Halite-embedded cells showed no loss of viability after exposure to about 21 kJ/m2, and they resumed growth in liquid medium with lag phases of 12 days or more after exposure up to 148 kJ/m2. The estimated D37 (dose of 37% survival) for Hcc. dombrowskii was ≥ 400 kJ/m2. However, exposure of cells to UV flux while in liquid culture reduced D37 by 2 orders of magnitude (to about 1 kJ/m2); similar results were obtained with Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 and Haloarcula japonica. The absorption of incoming light of shorter wavelength by color centers resulting from defects in the halite crystal structure likely contributed to these results. Under natural conditions, haloarchaeal cells become embedded in salt upon evaporation; therefore, dispersal of potential microscopic life within small crystals, perhaps in dust, on the surface of Mars could resist damage by UV radiation.

  13. Investigating the Effects of Simulated Martian Ultraviolet Radiation on Halococcus dombrowskii and Other Extremely Halophilic Archaebacteria

    PubMed Central

    Fendrihan, Sergiu; Bérces, Attila; Lammer, Helmut; Musso, Maurizio; Rontó, György; Polacsek, Tatjana K.; Holzinger, Anita; Kolb, Christoph; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2011-01-01

    The isolation of viable extremely halophilic archaea from 250-million-year-old rock salt suggests the possibility of their long-term survival under desiccation. Since halite has been found on Mars and in meteorites, haloarchaeal survival of martian surface conditions is being explored. Halococcus dombrowskii H4 DSM 14522T was exposed to UV doses over a wavelength range of 200–400 nm to simulate martian UV flux. Cells embedded in a thin layer of laboratory-grown halite were found to accumulate preferentially within fluid inclusions. Survival was assessed by staining with the LIVE/DEAD kit dyes, determining colony-forming units, and using growth tests. Halite-embedded cells showed no loss of viability after exposure to about 21 kJ/m2, and they resumed growth in liquid medium with lag phases of 12 days or more after exposure up to 148 kJ/m2. The estimated D37 (dose of 37 % survival) for Hcc. dombrowskii was ≥ 400 kJ/m2. However, exposure of cells to UV flux while in liquid culture reduced D37 by 2 orders of magnitude (to about 1 kJ/m2); similar results were obtained with Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 and Haloarcula japonica. The absorption of incoming light of shorter wavelength by color centers resulting from defects in the halite crystal structure likely contributed to these results. Under natural conditions, haloarchaeal cells become embedded in salt upon evaporation; therefore, dispersal of potential microscopic life within small crystals, perhaps in dust, on the surface of Mars could resist damage by UV radiation. PMID:19215203

  14. Influence of planetary-scale topography on the diurnal thermal tide during the 1971 Martian dust storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conrath, B. J.

    1976-01-01

    Data obtained with the Mariner 9 infrared spectroscopy experiment during the Martian Dust Storm of 1971 to 1972 are examined for evidence of topographic influence on the atmospheric thermal structure. Temperature perturbations which are well correlated with the planetary scale topography are found superposed on the large amplitude diurnal thermal tide. Applications of tidal theory to the data indicate that the observed perturbations result from the kinematic interaction of the westward traveling diurnal wave with the large scale components of topography. The dominant mode is excited by the wave-number two topography component and is a vertically evanescent eastward traveling wave with an equivalent depth comparable to the atmospheric scale height. The principle dynamic effect of this mode is the enhancement of the amplitude of the near-surface diurnal wind to over 40m/sec in limited areas near 30 deg south latitude. It appears likely that dust was injected into the atmosphere in these regions during the storm.

  15. Ice nucleation by surrogates of Martian mineral dust: What can we learn about Mars without leaving Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cziczo, Daniel J.; Garimella, Sarvesh; Raddatz, Michael; Hoehler, Kristina; Schnaiter, Martin; Saathoff, Harald; Moehler, Ottmar; Abbatt, Jonathan P. D.; Ladino, Luis A.

    2013-09-01

    and carbon dioxide ice clouds have been observed in the Martian atmosphere where they are dynamic parts of that planet's water and carbon cycles. Many Martian atmospheric models struggle to correctly predict clouds and, with insufficient data, some use untested simplifications that cloud formation occurs exactly at the saturation point of the condensed phase or at the same conditions as terrestrial cirrus clouds. To address the lack of data, we have utilized an 84 m3 cloud chamber built for studies of high altitude cirrus and polar stratospheric ice clouds in the Earth's atmosphere and adapted to Martian conditions. Using this chamber, we have been able to produce water ice clouds from aerosol in an inert and low pressure atmosphere mimicking that of Mars. At temperatures between 189 and 215 K, we investigated cloud formation by mineral dust particulates of a similar composition and size to those found on Mars. We show that these surrogate materials nucleate effectively at the higher temperatures, with minor temperature dependence at saturations ratios with respect to the ice phase of ~1.1, similar to what has been found for terrestrial cirrus. At the lower end of the temperature range, this saturation rises to ~1.9, a result consistent with previous studies.

  16. Martian and Asteroid Dusts as Toxicological Risks for Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2012-01-01

    As the lunar dust toxicity project winds down, our attention is drawn to the potential toxicity of dust present at the surface of more distant celestial objects. Lunar dust has proven to be surprisingly toxic to the respiratory systems of test animals, so one might expect dust from other celestial bodies to hold toxicological surprises for us. At this point all one can do is consider what should be known about these dusts to characterize their toxicity, and then ask to what extent that information is known. In an ideal world it might be possible to suggest an exposure standard based on the known properties of a celestial dust without direct testing of the dust in laboratory animals. Factors known to affect the toxicity of mineral dusts under some conditions include the following: particle size distribution, particle shape/porosity, mineralogical properties (crystalline vs. amorphous), chemical properties and composition, and surface reactivity. Data from a recent Japanese mission to the S-type asteroid Itokawa revealed some surprises about the dust found there, given that there is only a very week gravitational field to hold the dust on the surface. On Mars the reddish-brown dust is widely distributed by global dust storms and by local clusters of dust devils. Past surface probes have revealed some of the properties of dust found there. Contemporary data from Curiosity and other surface probes will be weighed against the data needed to set a defensible safe exposure limit. Gaps will emerge.

  17. Simulation of Martian surface-atmosphere interaction in a space-simulator: Technical considerations and feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Simulator of the German Aerospace Research Establishment at Cologne, formerly used for testing satellites, is now, since 1987, the central unit within the research sub-program 'Comet-Simulation' (KOSI). The KOSI team has investigated physical processes relevant to comets and their surfaces. As a byproduct we gained experience in sample-handling under simulated space conditions. In broadening the scope of the research activities of the DLR Institute of Space Simulation an extension to 'Laboratory-Planetology' is planned. Following the KOSI-experiments a Mars Surface-Simulation with realistic minerals and surface soil in a suited environment (temperature, pressure, and CO2-atmosphere) is foreseen as the next step. Here, our main interest is centered on thermophysical properties of the Martian surface and energy transport (and related gas transport) through the surface. These laboratory simulation activities can be related to space missions as typical pre-mission and during-the-mission support of the experiments design and operations (simulation in parallel). Post mission experiments for confirmation and interpretation of results are of great value. The physical dimensions of the Space Simulator (cylinder of about 2.5 m diameter and 5 m length) allows for testing and qualification of experimental hardware under realistic Martian conditions.

  18. Activity and stability of a complex bacterial soil community under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Merrison, Jonathan; Nørnberg, Per; Aagaard Lomstein, Bente; Finster, Kai

    2005-04-01

    A simulation experiment with a complex bacterial soil community in a Mars simulation chamber was performed to determine the effect of Martian conditions on community activity, stability and survival. At three different depths in the soil core short-term effects of Martian conditions with and without ultraviolet (UV) exposure corresponding to 8 Martian Sol were compared. Community metabolic activities and functional diversity, measured as glucose respiration and versatility in substrate utilization, respectively, decreased after UV exposure, whereas they remained unaffected by Martian conditions without UV exposure. In contrast, the numbers of culturable bacteria and the genetic diversity were unaffected by the simulated Martian conditions both with and without UV exposure. The genetic diversity of the soil community and of the colonies grown on agar plates were evaluated by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on DNA extracts. Desiccation of the soil prior to experimentation affected the functional diversity by decreasing the versatility in substrate utilization. The natural dominance of endospores and Gram-positive bacteria in the investigated Mars-analogue soil may explain the limited effect of the Mars incubations on the survival and community structure. Our results suggest that UV radiation and desiccation are major selecting factors on bacterial functional diversity in terrestrial bacterial communities incubated under simulated Martian conditions. Furthermore, these results suggest that forward contamination of Mars is a matter of great concern in future space missions.

  19. Extreme detached dust layers near Martian volcanoes: Evidence for dust transport by mesoscale circulations forced by high topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.; Cantor, B. A.; Hayne, P. O.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinböhl, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Piqueux, S.; Schofield, J. T.; Shirley, J. H.

    2015-05-01

    Modeling suggests that thermal circulations over Mars's highest volcanoes transport water vapor and dust from the surface into the middle atmosphere, forming detached layers in these constituents. Intense vertical mixing also takes place in regional and global dust storms, which can generate detached layers that are extreme in both altitude and magnitude. Here we employ observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, taking advantage of improved vertical coverage in MCS's aerosol retrievals, to discover a new class of extreme detached dust layers (EDDLs). Observed during minimal dust storm activity and furthermore distinguished by their potentially large and measurable horizontal extent (>1000 km), these EDDLs cluster near Olympus Mons and the Tharsis Montes, from which they likely originate. The existence of these EDDLs suggests that vertical mixing by topographic circulations can be much stronger than previously modeled and more frequent than previously observed.

  20. Lunar Simulation in the Lunar Dust Adhesion Bell Jar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.; Sechkar, Edward A.

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Dust Adhesion Bell Jar has been assembled at the NASA Glenn Research Center to provide a high fidelity lunar simulation facility to test the interactions of lunar dust and lunar dust simulant with candidate aerospace materials and coatings. It has a sophisticated design which enables it to treat dust in a way that will remove adsorbed gases and create a chemically reactive surface. It can simulate the vacuum, thermal, and radiation environments of the Moon, including proximate areas of illuminated heat and extremely cold shadow. It is expected to be a valuable tool in the development of dust repellant and cleaning technologies for lunar surface systems.

  1. Ultraviolet complex refractive index of Martian dust Laboratory measurements of terrestrial analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egan, W. G.; Hilgeman, T.; Pang, K.

    1975-01-01

    The optical complex index of refraction of four candidate Martian surface materials has been determined between 0.185 and 0.4 microns using a modified Kubelka-Munk scattering theory. The cadidate materials were limonite, andesite, montmorillonite, and basalt. The effect of scattering has been removed from the results. Also presented are diffuse reflection and transmission data on these samples.

  2. Simulation of source intensity variations from atmospheric dust for solar occultation Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, K. S.; Toon, G. C.; Strong, K.

    2016-05-01

    A Fourier transform spectrometer observing in solar occultation mode from orbit is ideally suited to detecting and characterizing vertical profiles of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere. This technique benefits from a long optical path length and high signal strength, and can have high spectral resolution. The Martian atmosphere is often subject to large quantities of suspended dust, which attenuates solar radiation along the line-of-sight. An instrument making solar occultation measurements scans the limb of the atmosphere continuously, and the optical path moves through layers of increasing or decreasing dust levels during a single interferogram acquisition, resulting in time-varying signal intensity. If uncorrected, source intensity variations (SIVs) can affect the relative depth of absorption lines, negatively impacting trace gas retrievals. We have simulated SIVs using synthetic spectra for the Martian atmosphere, and investigated different techniques to mitigate the effects of SIVs. We examined high-pass filters in the wavenumber domain, and smoothing methods in the optical path difference (OPD) domain, and conclude that using a convolution operator in the OPD domain can isolate the SIVs and be used to correct for it. We observe spectral residuals of less than 0.25% in both high- and low-dust conditions, and retrieved volume mixing ratio vertical profile differences on the order of 0.5-3% for several trace gases known to be present in the Martian atmosphere. These differences are smaller than those caused by adding realistic noise to the spectra. This work thus demonstrates that it should be possible to retrieve vertical profiles of trace gases in a dusty Martian atmosphere using solar occultation if the interferograms are corrected for the effects of dust.

  3. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  4. Operations Strategies for the Mars Exploration Rovers During the 2007 Martian Global Dust Storm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seibert, Michael; Herman, Jennifer; ElDeeb, Dina

    2009-01-01

    In June and July 2007 Mars experienced a dust storm that grew to envelop all but the polar latitudes of the planet. This dust storm was the first global dust storm to occur while the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) began surface operations. It is estimated that the dust in the atmosphere prevented over 99.6% of direct sunlight from reaching the surface at the peak of the storm. Data collected indicated that solar array energy output was reduced to approximately 15% of maximum. The reduction in insolation and energy output posed the greatest risk of ending the mission for both rovers at that time.

  5. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  6. Extensive computation of albedo contrast between martian dust devil tracks and their neighboring regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, Thiago; Pina, Pedro; Silva, Erivaldo Antônio da

    2015-04-01

    We have developed a method to compute the albedo contrast between dust devil tracks and their surrounding regions on Mars. It is mainly based on Mathematical Morphology operators and uses all the points of the edges of the tracks to compute the values of the albedo contrast. It permits the extraction of more accurate and complete information, when compared to traditional point sampling, not only providing better statistics but also permitting the analysis of local variations along the entirety of the tracks. This measure of contrast, based on relative quantities, is much more adequate to establish comparisons at regional scales and in multi-temporal basis using imagery acquired in rather different environmental and operational conditions. Also, the substantial increase in the details extracted may permit quantifying differential depositions of dust by computing local temporal fading of the tracks with consequences on a better estimation of the thickness of the top most layer of dust and the minimum value needed to create dust devils tracks. The developed tool is tested on 110 HiRISE images depicting regions in the Aeolis, Argyre, Eridania, Noachis and Hellas quadrangles. As a complementary evaluation, we also performed a temporal analysis of the albedo in a region of Russell crater, where high seasonal dust devil activity was already observed before, comprising the years 2007-2012. The mean albedo of the Russell crater is in this case indicative of dust devil tracks presence and, therefore, can be used to quantify dust devil activity.

  7. Numerical simulation of the October 2002 dust event in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Yaping; Leys, John F.; McTainsh, Grant H.; Tews, Kenn

    2007-04-01

    In comparison to the major dust sources in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia is a relatively minor contributor to the global dust budget. However, severe dust storms do occur in Australia, especially in drought years. In this study, we simulate the 22-23 October 2002 dust storm using an integrated dust model, which is probably the most severe dust storm in Australia in at least the past 40 years. The model results are compared with synoptic visibility data and satellite images and for several stations, with high-volume sampler measurements. The model simulations are then used to estimate dust load, emission, and deposition, both for over the continent and for over the ocean. The main dust sources and sinks are identified. Dust sources include the desert areas in northern South Australia, the grazing lands in western New South Wales (NSW), and the farm lands in NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia, as well as areas in Queensland and Northern Territory. The desert areas appear to be the strongest source. The maximum dust emission is around 2000 μg m-2 s-1, and the maximum net dust emission is around 500 μg m-2 s-1. The total amount of dust eroded from the Australian continent during this dust event is around 95.8 Mt, of which 93.67 Mt is deposited on the continent and 2.13 Mt in the ocean. The maximum total dust load over the simulation domain is around 5 Mt. The magnitude of this Australian dust storm corresponds to a northeast Asian dust storm of moderate size.

  8. Process to Create High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, Robert

    2010-01-01

    A method was developed to create high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than the existing simulants. The new dust simulant is designed to more closely approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust (including the presence of nanophase iron). A two-step process is required to create this dust simulant. The first step is to prepare a feedstock material that contains a high percentage of agglutinate-like particles with iron globules (including nanophase iron). The raw material selected must have the proper mineralogical composition. In the second processing step, the feedstock material from the first step is jet-milled to reduce the particle size to a range consistent with lunar dust.

  9. The Martian polar CAP - Radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1990-02-01

    The solar and thermal flux striking the polar cap of Mars is computed for various ozone, dust, and cloud abundances and for three solar zenith angles. Ozone does not significantly affect the total energy budget of the polar cap. Hence the observed hemispherical asymmetry in ozone abundance causes only an insignificant hemispherical asymmetry in the polar caps. Vertical optical depths of dust and cloud ranging from zero to 1 cause little change in the total flux absorbed by the polar cap near its edge but increase the absorbed flux significantly as one travels poleward. Hemispherical asymmetries in dust abundance, cloud cover, and surface pressure combine to cause a significant hemispherical asymmetry in the total flux absorbed by the residual polar caps, which helps to explain the dichotomy in the residual polar caps on Mars. Other processes which affect the energy budget of the polar cap are proposed and reviewed, particularly with respect to their interaction with the radiative effects of clouds and dust.

  10. The chemical composition of the dust-free Martian atmosphere - Preliminary results of a two-dimensional model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moreau, D.; Esposito, L. W.; Brasseur, G.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes a two-dimensional model of the Martian atmosphere, in which chemical, radiative and dynamical processes are treated interactively. The model is developed for a carbon dioxide-hydrogen-oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and provides estimates of concentrations for 19 chemical species. The dynamical equations are expressed in the transformed Eulerian coordinates. The wave driving and eddy mixing coefficients resulting from gravity and Rossby wave absorption are computed consistently with the evolving distribution of the mean zonal wind. The net diabatic heating/cooling rate is derived from a detailed radiative scheme including the contributions of CO2, O3, H2O and O2, and is computed consistently with the calculated distribution of temperature and trace species quantities. The computed temperature field as well as the meridional and seasonal variations of ozone column abundance are in good agreement with the distributions observed by Mariner 9 and Viking spacecrafts and the results obtained by previous studies. The present version of the model does not include the effects of dust, clouds and polar hood and only the chemistry in a dust-free atmosphere is considered.

  11. Lunar Dust Simulant in Mechanical Component Testing - Paradigm and Practicality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jett, T.; Street, K.; Abel, P.; Richmond, R.

    2008-01-01

    Due to the uniquely harsh lunar surface environment, terrestrial test activities may not adequately represent abrasive wear by lunar dust likely to be experienced in mechanical systems used in lunar exploration. Testing to identify potential moving mechanism problems has recently begun within the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Mechanical Systems Lunar Dust Assessment activity in coordination with the Exploration Technology and Development Program Dust Management Project, and these complimentary efforts will be described. Specific concerns about differences between simulant and lunar dust, and procedures for mechanical component testing with lunar simulant will be considered. In preparing for long term operations within a dusty lunar environment, the three fundamental approaches to keeping mechanical equipment functioning are dust avoidance, dust removal, and dust tolerance, with some combination of the three likely to be found in most engineering designs. Methods to exclude dust from contact with mechanical components would constitute mitigation by dust avoidance, so testing seals for dust exclusion efficacy as a function of particle size provides useful information for mechanism design. Dust of particle size less than a micron is not well documented for impact on lunar mechanical components. Therefore, creating a standardized lunar dust simulant in the particulate size range of ca. 0.1 to 1.0 micrometer is useful for testing effects on mechanical components such as bearings, gears, seals, bushings, and other moving mechanical assemblies. Approaching actual wear testing of mechanical components, it is beneficial to first establish relative wear rates caused by dust on commonly used mechanical component materials. The wear mode due to dust within mechanical components, such as abrasion caused by dust in grease(s), needs to be considered, as well as the effects of vacuum, lunar thermal cycle, and electrostatics on wear rate.

  12. Effect of shadowing on survival of bacteria under conditions simulating the Martian atmosphere and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-02-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-microm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-microm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (approximately 5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  13. Effects of Long-Term Simulated Martian Conditions on a Freeze-Dried and Homogenized Bacterial Permafrost Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Aviaja A.; Jenson, Lars L.; Kristoffersen, Tommy; Mikkelsen, Karina; Merrison, Jonathan; Finster, Kai W.; Lomstein, Bente Aa.

    2009-03-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core, while the number of viable cells was reduced in the upper 15 mm. The number of cultured aerobic bacteria was reduced in the upper 6 mm of the soil core, whereas the community structure of cultured anaerobic bacteria was relatively unaffected by the exposure conditions. As explanations for the observed changes, we propose three causes that might have been working on the biological material either individually or synergistically: (i) UV radiation, (ii) UV-generated reactive oxygen species, and (iii) freeze-thaw cycles. Currently, the production and action of reactive gases is only hypothetical and will be a central subject in future investigations. Overall, we conclude that in a stable environment (no wind-/pressure-induced mixing) biological material is efficiently shielded by a 2 cm thick layer of dust, while it is relatively rapidly destroyed in the surface layer, and that biomolecules like proteins and polynucleotides are more resistant to destruction than living biota.

  14. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  15. Interannual similarity in the Martian atmosphere during the dust storm season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, D. M.; Kleinböhl, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Smith, M. D.

    2016-06-01

    We find that during the dusty season on Mars (southern spring and summer) of years without a global dust storm there are three large regional-scale dust storms. The storms are labeled A, B, and C in seasonal order. This classification is based on examining the zonal mean 50 Pa (˜25 km) daytime temperature retrievals from TES/MGS and MCS/MRO over 6 Mars Years. Regional-scale storms are defined as events where the temperature exceeds 200 K. Examining the MCS dust field at 50 Pa indicates that warming in the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by direct heating, while northern high latitude warming is a dynamical response. A storms are springtime planet encircling Southern Hemisphere events. B storms are southern polar events that begin near perihelion and last through the solstice. C storms are southern summertime events starting well after the end of the B storm. C storms show the most interannual variability.

  16. Physical Properties of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Analysis of Contradictions and Possible Ways of Their Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Korablev, O. I.; Morozhenko, A. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in forming the Martian climate. However, the basic physical properties of the Martian aerosols are still poorly known; there are many contradictions in their estimates. We present an analytical overview of the published results and potentialities of various methods. We consider mineral dust. Zonally averaged data obtained from mapping IR instruments (TES and IRTM) give the optical thickness of mineral aerosols τ9 = 0.05-0.1 in the 9-μm band for quite atmospheric conditions. There is a problem of comparing these estimates with those obtained in the visible spectral range. We suggest that the commonly used ratio τvis/τ9 >2 depends on the interpretation and it may actually be smaller. The ratio τvis/τ9 ~ 1 is in better agreement with the IRIS data (materials like montmorillonite). If we assume that τvis/τ9 = 1 and take into account the nonspherical particle shape, then the interpretation of ground-based integrated polarimetric observations (τ < 0.04) can be reconciled with IR measurements from the orbit. However, for thin layers, the sensitivity of both methods to the optical thickness is poorly understood: on the one hand, polarimetry depends on the cloud cover and, on the other hand, the interpretation of IR measurements requires that the atmospheric temperature profile and the surface temperature and emissivity be precisely known. For quite atmospheric conditions, the local optical-thickness estimates obtained by the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method and from the sky brightness measured from Viking 1 and 2 and Mars Pathfinder landers are much larger: τ = 0.3-0.6. Estimates of the contrasts in images from the Viking orbiters yield the same values. Thus, there is still a factor of 3 to 10 difference between different groups of optical-thickness estimates for the quiet atmosphere. This difference is probably explained by the contribution of condensation clouds and/or by local/time variations.

  17. Injection of dust into the Martian atmosphere - Evidence from the Viking Gas Exchange experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huguenin, R. L.; Harris, S. L.; Carter, R.

    1986-01-01

    The hypothesis that predawn midlatitude storms are triggered by a soil humidification process is examined. A freeze/thaw model of the process is evaluated in the Viking Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars. The humidification-driven desorption and desiccation state of Martian soil samples are analyzed. The periodic humidification of equatorial regolith soil is studied in terms of pore space pressure during desorption events and soil diffusivity; the thermal properties of the regolith surface layer are modeled using the program of Clifford (1984). Consideration is given to the diurnal and seasonal cycles of the humidification process, the permanent, low-albedo features in the midlatitudes, and the production of H2SO4 and HCl aerosols.

  18. Neurotoxic potential of lunar and martian dust: influence on em, proton gradient, active transport, and binding of glutamate in rat brain nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Krisanova, Natalia; Kasatkina, Ludmila; Sivko, Roman; Borysov, Arseniy; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Slenzka, Klaus; Borisova, Tatiana

    2013-08-01

    The harmful effects of lunar dust (LD) on directly exposed tissues are documented in the literature, whereas researchers are only recently beginning to consider its effects on indirectly exposed tissues. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and transported to the central nervous system. The neurotoxic potential of LD and martian dust (MD) has not yet been assessed. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter involved in most aspects of normal brain function, whereas disturbances in glutamate homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of major neurological disorders. The research was focused on the analysis of the effects of LD/MD simulants (JSC-1a/JSC, derived from volcanic ash) on the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission. The average size of LD and MD particles (even minor fractions) before and after sonication was determined by dynamic light scattering. With the use of radiolabeled l-[(14)C]glutamate, it was shown that there is an increase in l-[(14)C]glutamate binding to isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) in low [Na(+)] media and at low temperature in the presence of LD. MD caused significantly lesser changes under the same conditions, whereas nanoparticles of magnetite had no effect at all. Fluorimetric experiments with potential-sensitive dye rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive dye acridine orange showed that the potential of the plasma membrane of the nerve terminals and acidification of synaptic vesicles were not altered by LD/MD (and nanoparticles of magnetite). Thus, the unique effect of LD to increase glutamate binding to the nerve terminals was shown. This can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system and cause alterations in the ambient level of glutamate, which is extremely important for proper synaptic transmission. During a long-term mission, a combination of constant irritation due

  19. Hybrid Simulations of Plasma-Neutral-Dust Interactions at Enceladus

    SciTech Connect

    Omidi, N.; Russell, C. T.; Jia, Y. D.; Tokar, R. L.; Farrell, W. M.

    2010-12-30

    Through ejection from its southern hemisphere, Enceladus is a dominant source of neutral gas and dust in Saturn's inner magnetosphere. The interaction of the corotating plasma with the gas and dust modifies the plasma environment around Enceladus. We use 3-D hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations to examine the effects of gas and dust on the nature of the interaction region and use Cassini observations to constrain their properties.

  20. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  1. Simulating Dust Cycling during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.; Mahowald, N. M.; Soreghan, G. S.; Soreghan, M. J.; Shields, C. A.; Albani, S.

    2012-12-01

    Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian strata preserve evidence for significant deposition of mineral dust, an aerosol with strong potential influence on the climate. Some equatorial marine carbonate records from this interval appear to record massive influxes of fine dust (diameter < 10 μm) after rapid sea level fall, suggesting that the pacing of dust deposition was connected to the expansion and contraction of ice sheets during the important icehouse climate interval of Carboniferous and Permian time. Nearby continental strata record high accumulations of coarse dust (loess) during periods of increasing aridity (apparent glacial intervals) and of fine dust (paleosols) during periods of increasing humidity (apparent interglacial intervals), though the pacing of this deposition may be more strongly associated with orbital forcing than ice sheet dynamics. Significant dust deposition continued in many of these areas during the emergence of the Earth's climate from icehouse conditions during Middle Permian time. Understanding the dynamics of dust cycling during the depths of the icehouse is the first step to investigating dust records from the most recent icehouse termination of Earth's history. Here, we attempt to reconstruct the cycling and some of the potential climate impacts of mineral dust during this interval, using version 3 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM3) and the best available records of dust deposition. Modeled sensitivity simulations suggest that climatic controls on dust cycling that act on relatively short timescales (primarily meteorological and vegetation-related) cannot explain the large variability in dust deposition rates inferred from marine carbonate records. Processes acting on longer timescales, particularly those that control the availability of wind-erodible sediment, likely are more important. We also consider whether exposure of sedimentary basins during sea level fall and glaciogenic dust production could modulate dust

  2. Vertical profiles of dust and ozone in the Martian atmosphere deduced from solar occultation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamont, J. E.; Chassefiere, E.; Goutail, J. P.; Mege, B.; Nunes-Pinharanda, M.; Souchon, G.; Krasnopolsky, V. A.; Krysko, A. A.; Moroz, V. I.

    1991-02-01

    The vertical distribution of the ozone content and of the aerosols in the Martian atmosphere at the equinox and near the equator was studied with the aid of a biaxial pointing device, a microprocessor-controlled flat mirror of elliptical shape. An upper limit of 5 x 10 to the 7th mol/cu cm for ozone was obtained above an altitude of 30 km. For the aerosols, a semiquantitative distribution has been obtained between 10 and 50 km of altitude. The scale height is nearly equal to the atmospheric scale height in the 10-20 km region where mixing seems to predominate, and falls rapidly to a thickness of about 2 km at 30 km. In 10 percent of the occultations, a stratified haze has been detected between 40 and 50 km. The particle radius of cloud constituents is estimated and optical thickness per kilometer of these hazes at peak extinction are approximated. An eddy diffusion coefficient and a mixing ratio are estimated for clouds assumed to be at equilibrium.

  3. Simulating Martian water ice clouds in terrestrial laboratories: What can we learn about Mars without leaving Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cziczo, D. J.; Garimella, S.; Cahoy, K.; Hu, R.; Zuber, M. T.; Stetzer, O.; Raddatz, M.; Hoehler, K.; Schnaiter, M.; Saathoff, H.; Moehler, O.

    2012-12-01

    Both water and carbon dioxide ice clouds have been observed in the Martian atmosphere where they are dynamic parts of that planet's water and carbon cycles. Many Martian atmospheric models struggle to correctly predict clouds and, with insufficient data, some use a non-physical simplification that cloud formation occurs exactly at the saturation point of the condensed phase. To help alleviate the lack of fundamental data we have leveraged chambers built for studies of high altitude cirrus and polar stratospheric ice clouds in the Earth's atmosphere and adapted them to Martian conditions. Using these chambers we have been able to produce water ice clouds in a low pressure and oxygen-free atmosphere mimicking Mars'. Temperatures between -40° and -80° C were used and mineral dust particulates of a similar composition and size to those found on Mars were used. We show that surrogates of Martian mineral dust nucleate effectively, at saturations ratios with respect to the ice phase of ~1.2 (i.e., 120% relative humidity). Concepts for extending the capabilities of the terrestrial chambers to a more full range of Martian conditions will also be discussed.

  4. Influence of Moisture Content on Albedo Changes of JSC-Mars1 Martian Simulant: A Lesson for HiRISE?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maturilli, A.; Helbert, J.; Roush, T. L.; D'Amore, M.

    2012-03-01

    Albedo depends upon the moisture level of the surface, but this relation is not fully understood. In the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory we measured VIS reflectance spectra of a JSC Mars-1 martian soil simulant under several different moisture contents.

  5. Simulation of Viking biology experiments suggests smectites not palagonites, as martian soil analogues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, A.; Margulies, L.

    1983-01-01

    An experimental comparison of palagonites and a smectite (montmorillonite) was performed in a simulation of the Viking Biology Labelled Release (LR) experiment in order to judge which mineral is a better Mars soil analog material (MarSAM). Samples of palagonite were obtained from cold weathering environments and volcanic soil, and the smectite was extracted from Wyoming Bentonite and converted to H or Fe types. Decomposition reaction kinetics were examined in the LR simulation, which on the Lander involved interaction of the martian soil with organic compounds. Reflectance spectroscopy indicated that smectites bearing Fe(III) in well-crystallized sites are not good MarSAMS. The palagonites did not cause the formate decomposition and C-14 emission detected in the LR, indicating that palagonites are also not good MarSAMS. Smectites, however, may be responsible for ion exchange, molecular adsorption, and catalysis in martian soil.

  6. Martian surface

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-03-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust.

  7. Laser spectroscopic real time measurements of methanogenic activity under simulated Martian subsurface analog conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirmack, Janosch; Böhm, Michael; Brauer, Chris; Löhmannsröben, Hans-Gerd; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Möhlmann, Diedrich; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-08-01

    On Earth, chemolithoautothrophic and anaerobic microorganisms such as methanogenic archaea are regarded as model organisms for possible subsurface life on Mars. For this reason, the methanogenic strain Methanosarcina soligelidi (formerly called Methanosarcina spec. SMA-21), isolated from permafrost-affected soil in northeast Siberia, has been tested under Martian thermo-physical conditions. In previous studies under simulated Martian conditions, high survival rates of these microorganisms were observed. In our study we present a method to measure methane production as a first attempt to study metabolic activity of methanogenic archaea during simulated conditions approaching conditions of Mars-like environments. To determine methanogenic activity, a measurement technique which is capable to measure the produced methane concentration with high precision and with high temporal resolution is needed. Although there are several methods to detect methane, only a few fulfill all the needed requirements to work within simulated extraterrestrial environments. We have chosen laser spectroscopy, which is a non-destructive technique that measures the methane concentration without sample taking and also can be run continuously. In our simulation, we detected methane production at temperatures down to -5 °C, which would be found on Mars either temporarily in the shallow subsurface or continually in the deep subsurface. The pressure of 50 kPa which we used in our experiments, corresponds to the expected pressure in the Martian near subsurface. Our new device proved to be fully functional and the results indicate that the possible existence of methanogenic archaea in Martian subsurface habitats cannot be ruled out.

  8. Martian atmospheric gravity waves simulated by a high-resolution general circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Yiǧit, Erdal; Medvedev, Alexander S.; Hartogh, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Gravity waves (GWs) significantly affect temperature and wind fields in the Martian middle and upper atmosphere. They are also one of the observational targets of the MAVEN mission. We report on the first simulations with a high-resolution general circulation model (GCM) and present a global distributions of small-scale GWs in the Martian atmosphere. The simulated GW-induced temperature variances are in a good agreement with available radio occultation data in the lower atmosphere between 10 and 30 km. For the northern winter solstice, the model reveals a latitudinal asymmetry with stronger wave generation in the winter hemisphere and two distinctive sources of GWs: mountainous regions and the meandering winter polar jet. Orographic GWs are filtered upon propagating upward, and the mesosphere is primarily dominated by harmonics with faster horizontal phase velocities. Wave fluxes are directed mainly against the local wind. GW dissipation in the upper mesosphere generates a body force per unit mass of tens of m s^{-1} per Martian solar day (sol^{-1}), which tends to close the simulated jets. The results represent a realistic surrogate for missing observations, which can be used for constraining GW parameterizations and validating GCMs.

  9. Path selection system simulation and evaluation for a Martian roving vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boheim, S. L.; Prudon, W. C.

    1972-01-01

    The simulation and evaluation of proposed path selection systems for an autonomous Martian roving vehicle was developed. The package incorporates a number of realistic features, such as the simulation of random effects due to vehicle bounce and sensor-reading uncertainty, to increase the reliability of the results. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria were established. The performance of three different path selection systems was evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the simulation package, and to form some preliminary conclusions regarding the tradeoffs involved in a path selection system design.

  10. Abrasion of windblown particles on Mars - Erosion of quartz and basaltic sand under simulated Martian conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krinsley, D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1979-01-01

    The results of a series of laboratory experiments initiated to simulate Martian eolian erosion are presented. Experiments were conducted under Martian atmospheric pressure and compared to natural eolian sand produced on earth. It is reported that the less dense atmosphere on Mars resulted in more energetic eolian erosion manifested by an slightly higher rate of grain rounding and surface textures that included semicircular depressions termed 'popouts'. It is suggested that physical and chemical weathering may proceed more rapidly on Mars than on earth, given a sufficient supply of water vapor. In addition, clay mineral formations should be facilitated by the presence of large amounts of disrupted material. Finally, it is noted that the disrupted material could increase the ability of the soil to act as a reservoir for water thereby provisionally explaining the large amount of bound water on the surface soil material over much of Mars.