Surface Lander Missions to Mars : Support via Analysis of the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model
- Haberle, Robert M.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Bridger, Alison F.C. and Murphy, James R.
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- We have characterized the near-surface martian wind environment as calculated with a set of numerical simulations carried out with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (Mars GCM). These wind environments are intended to offer future spacecraft missions to the martian surface a data base from which to choose those locations which meet the mission's criteria for minimal near surface winds to enable a successful landing. We also became involved in the development and testing of the wind sensor which is currently onboard the Mars-bound Pathfinder lander. We began this effort with a comparison of Mars GCM produced winds with those measured by the Viking landers during their descent through the martian atmosphere and their surface wind measurements during the 3+ martian year lifetime of the mission. Unexpected technical difficulties in implementing the sophisticated Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) scheme of Haberle et al. (1993) within the Mars GCM precluded our carrying out this investigation with the desired improvement to the model's treatment of the PBL. Thus, our results from this effort are not as conclusive as we had anticipated. As it turns out, similar difficulties have been experienced by other Mars modelling groups in attempting to implement very similar PBL routines into their GCMs (Mars General Circulation Model Intercomparison Workshop, held at Oxford University, United Kingdom, July 22-24, 1996; organized by J. Murphy, J. Hollingsworth, M. Joshi). These problems, which arise due to the nature of the time stepping in each of the models, are near to being resolved at the present. The model discussions which follow herein are based upon results using the existing, less sophisticated PBL routine. We fully anticipate implementing the tools we have developed in the present effort to investigate GCM results with the new PBL scheme implemented, and thereafter producing the technical document detailing results from the analysis tools developed during this effort. Producing such a document now would be premature.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19980004068.
- No Copyright.
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