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Wide-band Heterodyne Submillimetre Wave Spectrometer for Planetary Atmospheres

Authors:
E. Schlecht
Abstract:
We present calculations and measurements on a passive submillimetre wave spectroscopic sounder to gather data on the thermal structure, dynamics and composition of the upper atmosphere of a planet, e.g. the stratosphere of Jupiter, or the entire thickness of the atmosphere of Mars. The instrument will be capable of measuring wind speeds, temperature, pressure, and key constituent concentrations in the stratosphere of the target planet. This instrument consists of a Schottky diode based front end and a digital back-end spectrometer. It differs from previous space-based spectrometers in its combination of wide tunability (520-590 GHz), and rapid frequency switching between widely spaced lines within that range. This will enable near simultaneous observation of multiple lines, which is critical to the reconstruction of atmospheric pressure and density versus altitude profiles. At the same time frequency accuracy must be high to enable wind speeds to be determined directly by measurement of the line's Doppler shift.
Categories:
Systems, Observations
Year:
2010
Session:
10
Full-text:
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Page Number(s):
234-242