The Mars Modelling Information Tool for Engineering (MarMITE): A study on the Impact of Local Dust Storms

El-Said, Adam; Lewis, Stephen; Holmes, James; Patel, Manish; Terret, David; Morris, Huw; Read, Peter; Young, Roland and Parnaby, Gavin (2017). The Mars Modelling Information Tool for Engineering (MarMITE): A study on the Impact of Local Dust Storms. In: 1st British Planetary Science Congress, 3-5 Dec 2017, Glasgow.



Mars exploration is a means of understanding the wider planetary consonance of our solar system. Mars is therefore observed for scientific and engineering endeavours to further current understanding of planetary processes such as; circulation dynamics, aerosol and trace species composition and behaviours and geological composition and chronology. A Martian Global Circulation Model (MGCM) is a successful tool aiding in both scientific (processes) and engineering (entry, descent and landing systems) endeavours. However, MGCM’s require considerable expertise and time to run and therefore cannot be easily utilised by non-specialist users. The purpose of MarMITE is to enable wider-community access to MGCM data, alleviating requirements of expertise and time otherwise needed to operate a GCM. MarMITE consists of a newly developed software interface, making use of the Mars Climate Database (MCD), [1], and newly developed models. MCD data is composed of the statistical and mathematical summary of several MGCM simulations of typical Mars Years, [2].

The MarMITE project constitutes two principal elements; investigative modelling and software development. The investigative modelling element, which quantifies areas of uncertainty in MCD data, is composed of: boundary layer, detached dust layer and local dust storm impact studies, and data assimilation validation exercises.

Here we present modelling results on the impact of local dust storms, which show a succession of mechanistic effects. Our simulated storms show an impact on perturbations in the short and long wave radiative flux fields, resulting in an increased diurnal thermal tide amplitude that galvanises, sometimes quite severely, wind velocity changes throughout the atmosphere.

The author gratefully acknowledges the funding granted under the ESA MarMITE project - contract no: 40001141381115/NL/PA.

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