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A critical gap: In situ measurements of surface-atmosphere interactions from outside earth

April 30, 2021

This white paper demonstrates five points: (1) The lack of robust measurements of the vertical gradients of natural boundary layers and transport fluxes on other planetary bodies precludes adequate estimation of aeolian and other meteorological processes throughout our Solar System (§1). (2) Thus, there exist critical knowledge gaps within high-priority planetary science questions that motivate the need for in situ aeolian and other meteorological measurements on an extraterrestrial surface (§2). (3) Such measurements would be timely, because they will greatly enhance the utility of existing climate data/models, while also contributing to improved design, safety, and effectiveness of near-future missions (§3). (4) Acquisition of these next-generation measurements from Mars is technologically feasible within the coming decade (including via small spacecraft) (§4, 6) and (5) such measurements would also significantly contribute towards addressing key Mars science questions (§5). Our implicit recommendation is that this type of in situ science be considered in definition of high-priority planetary science questions and prioritization of mission concepts.

Publication Year 2021
Title A critical gap: In situ measurements of surface-atmosphere interactions from outside earth
DOI 10.3847/25c2cfeb.e56bd93d
Authors Serina Diniega, Devon M. Burr, Colin M. Dundas, Brian Jackson, Michael Mischna, Scot Rafkin, Isaac B. Smith, Robert Sullivan, Timothy N. Titus, Nathalie Vriend, Ian J. Walker, Kaj E. Williams
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Bulletin of the AAS
Index ID 70211233
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center