89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:30 AM
Simulating Zonal and Meridional Winds on Mars' using Mars-GRAM and Accelerometer Data from the MRO Mission
Room 126B (Phoenix Convention Center)
Kimberly A. Zoldak, California Univ., California, PA
The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are all polar orbiters which were put into nearly polar orbits around Mars to take measurements of its atmosphere. Mars' atmospheric density can be calculated from accelerometer data which is found from the accelerometer onboard. Along with the density at each altitude, winds can be calculated from the slight change in angle of the spacecrafts heading, disturbances caused by zonal and meridional winds in the pitch and yaw angles.

The Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM) is an atmospheric model based on two General Circulation Models for the lower atmosphere and the thermosphere, stitched together (MGCM and MTGCM). Versions of the model have been adjusted to represent actual data from past missions. Using raw MRO data for each orbit at each latitude, longitude, and altitude while altering distinct atmospheric parameters (e.g., winds, density, temperature, etc.) led to an enhanced understanding of the global atmospheric circulation on Mars. This paper will highlight the most significant advancements of our understanding of the Martian atmosphere from these new data sets from the MRO mission.

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