The case for a modern multiwavelength, polarization-sensitive LIDAR in orbit...

Brown, A. J., T. I. Michaels, S. Byrne, W. Sun, T. N. Titus, A. Colaprete, M. J. Wolff, G. Videen, and C. J. Grund (2014), The case for a modern multiwavelength, polarization-sensitive LIDAR in orbit around Mars, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2014.10.021.

We present the scientific case to build a multiple-wavelength, active, near-infrared (NIR) instrument to measure the reflected intensity and polarization characteristics of backscattered radiation from planetary surfaces and atmospheres. We focus on the ability of such an instrument to enhance, potentially revolutionize, our understanding of climate, volatiles and astrobiological potential of modern-day Mars.

Such an instrument will address the following three major science themes, which we address in this paper:

Science Theme 1. Surface. This would include global, night and day mapping of H2O and CO2 surface ice properties.

Science Theme 2. Ice Clouds. This would including unambiguous discrimination and seasonal mapping of CO2 and H2O ice clouds.

Science Theme 3. Dust Aerosols. This theme would include multiwavelength polarization measurements to infer dust grain shapes and size distributions.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)