Trace Gas Assimilation in Preparation for Future Satellite Missions

Holmes, J. A.; Lewis, S. R.; Patel, M. R. and Clancy, R. T. (2014). Trace Gas Assimilation in Preparation for Future Satellite Missions. In: Eighth International Conference on Mars, LPI Contribution, article no. 1298.



This work aims to set up a framework for assimilation of trace gas species into a Martian Global Circulation Model (MGCM). The launch of the ISRO Mars Orbiter and NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission will add to our knowledge of trace gases and atmospheric chemistry. In addition, the Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) launches in 2016 and will obtain observations of trace gas species using the Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) instrument amongst others. These missions will lead to a wealth of trace gas observations to compare to an MGCM.

To make optimal use of information, observations and an MGCM are combined by the process of data assimilation. The outcome of this process is a dynamical global reconstruction of the observations (See Figure 1). Using this methodology, observations of short-lived (and long-lived) species can be supplemented by knowledge of the transport and atmospheric chemistry from an MGCM. The satellites currently orbiting Mars (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MRO, and Mars Express), combined with the future planned satellite missions, create a great opportunity for the development of a data assimilation technique for trace gases on Mars.

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