Satellite-derived cloud motion winds in the north polar region of Mars
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) currently orbiting Mars is returning higher resolution global images of Mars on each orbit, providing good overlap poleward of 50° latitude from orbit to orbit (approximately every two hours), enabling the use of a digital tracking method for cloud tracking. The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on the MRO provides 1 km resolution image data (at nadir) in 7 color bands. This resolution is much improved over the two-filter, 7.5 km data from the MOC on MGS.
The spatial and temporal resolution of the MARCI images are similar to the Earth-based polar weather satellite data, therefore we will use our proven automated digital winds derivation technique for tracking cloud features. A description of the data, cloud tracking method, and early results will be presented.