MP3 - A meteorology and physical properties package to explore air-sea interaction on Titan

Lorenz, R. D.; Stofan, E.; Lunine, J. I.; Zarnecki, J. C.; Harri, A.-M.; Karkoschka, E.; Newman, C. E.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Clark, B. C.; Yelland, M.; Leese, M. R.; Boldt, J.; Darlington, E.; Neish, C. D.; Sotzen, K.; Arvelo, J.; Rasbach, C.; Kretsch, W.; Strohbehn, K.; Grey, M.; Mann, J.; Zimmermann, H. and Reed, C. (2012). MP3 - A meteorology and physical properties package to explore air-sea interaction on Titan. In: 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2012), 19-23 Mar 2012, Houston, Texas, USA.

URL: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/2768...

Abstract

The exchange of mass, heat and momentum at the air:sea interface are profound influences on the terrestrial environment, affecting the intensity of hurricanes, the size of waves and lake-effect precipitation. Titan presents us with an opportunity to study these processes in a novel physical context, with a different sea, atmosphere and gravity. The MP3 instrument, under development for the proposed Discovery mission TiME (Titan Mare Explorer [1,2]) is an integrated suite of small, simple sensors that combines the function of traditional meteorology packages with liquid physical properties and depth-sounding : these latter functions follow the concept of - and indeed use spare elements from - the Huygens Surface Science Package (SSP,[3]). However, unlike Huygens’ brief and dynamic 3 hours of measurement, in TiME’s 6-Titan-day (96 Earth day) nominal mission enabled by radioisotope power, MP3 will have an unprecedented long-term measurement opportunity in one of the most evocative environments in the solar system, Titan’s sea Ligeia Mare.

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