Review of the first year (half-Martian year) of measurements of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on the Mars Science Lab
The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission has sensors recording air and ground temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed in the horizontal and vertical directions, as well as ultraviolet radiation in different bands. REMS collects data from all sensors simultaneously daily during the course of the mission.
REMS will add significantly to the environmental record collected by prior missions through the range of simultaneous observations including relative humidity; the ability to take measurements routinely through the night; the intended minimum of one Martian year of observations; and the first measurement of surface UV irradiation. The capability of multiple, consistent, and simultaneous data is essential for meaningful interpretation of near-surface processes including the characterization of soil thermal properties. The Martian atmosphere is generally transparent to solar radiation, but atmospheric dust absorbs solar radiation and heats the atmosphere, while UV radiation ionizes atmospheric gases and is harmful to any potential Martian organisms (past or present). For this reason, knowledge of the UV radiation flux at the surface of Mars is important for the understanding habitability conditions, one of the main goals of the MSL mission. Moreover UV radiation is a significant driver in the photochemistry of the atmosphere and surface.
All the REMS measurements are being analyzed carefully since the beginning of operations on Mars. Here, we describe the REMS instrument performance, and science findings during the first half-martian year of operations, as well as the potential of REMS for Mars environmental and habitability studies. Besides the fact that REMS data are very useful for many science applications, they are also supporting investigations by other MSL instruments and MSL operations.
UK Centre for Astrobiology Seminar Series
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments.
Find out more
For further information or proposals for speakers contact:
Casey Bryce (casey.bryce [at] ed.ac.uk) or Derek Martin (d.martin [at] ed.ac.uk)
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..