A new research grant will make it possible to create maps of ozone and dust found on Mars as part of the ExoMars mission.
The mission involved the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which launched on 14 March 2016 to explore if methane gas exists in the atmosphere and below the surface. Now, almost five years later, a team led by Dr Manish Patel, Senior Lecturer in the OU’s Faculty of Science. Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has had several of the instrument findings published from the OU co-led Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) instrument on the TGO.
As a result, Dr Patel has received a further £378,000 funding from the UK Space Agency for the Retrievals of Martian aerosols and ozone from ExoMars NOMAD data project to continue to create maps of the ozone and dust found so far by NOMAD on the TGO which began transmitting data on the atmosphere in April 2018.
Over the next three years, former OU PhD student, Dr Paul Streeter, will merge these maps with a global climate model of Mars to further understand how these atmospheric species evolve over time.
Dr Patel said: “The UK contribution to the ExoMars TGO mission continues to generate excellent science, giving us new measurements of atmospheric species on a daily basis. We are excited to be able to continue our Mars atmospheric research using data from our instrument for another three years, and it is nice recognition for the fantastic work being done by the postdocs and technical staff in our team.”