Space Sci Rev (2018) 214: 29.


Miguel A. López-Valverde, Jean-Claude Gerard, Francisco González-Galindo, Ann-Carine Vandaele, Ian Thomas, Oleg Korablev, Nikolai Ignatiev, Anna Fedorova, Franck Montmessin, Anni Määttänen, Sabrina Guilbon, Franck Lefevre, Manish R. Patel, Sergio Jiménez-Monferrer, Maya García-Comas, Alejandro Cardesin, Colin F. Wilson, R. T. Clancy, Armin Kleinböhl, Daniel J. McCleese, David M. Kass, Nick M. Schneider, Michael S. Chaffin, José Juan López-Moreno, Julio Rodríguez


The Martian mesosphere and thermosphere, the region above about 60 km, is not the primary target of the ExoMars 2016 mission but its Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) can explore it and address many interesting issues, either in-situ during the aerobraking period or remotely during the regular mission. In the aerobraking phase TGO peeks into thermospheric densities and temperatures, in a broad range of latitudes and during a long continuous period. TGO carries two instruments designed for the detection of trace species, NOMAD and ACS, which will use the solar occultation technique. Their regular sounding at the terminator up to very high altitudes in many different molecular bands will represent the first time that an extensive and precise dataset of densities and hopefully temperatures are obtained at those altitudes and local times on Mars. But there are additional capabilities in TGO for studying the upper atmosphere of Mars, and we review them briefly. Our simulations suggest that airglow emissions from the UV to the IR might be observed outside the terminator. If eventually confirmed from orbit, they would supply new information about atmospheric dynamics and variability. However, their optimal exploitation requires a special spacecraft pointing, currently not considered in the regular operations but feasible in our opinion. We discuss the synergy between the TGO instruments, specially the wide spectral range achieved by combining them. We also encourage coordinated operations with other Mars-observing missions capable of supplying simultaneous measurements of its upper atmosphere.

 Icarus, Vol. 300, 458-476, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.028. (2018)


Neary, L.; Daerden, F. 


GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1g)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support of the NOMAD mission.

Space Telescopes and Instrumentation: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9904, 99045B (2016), doi:10.1117/12.2233353


Zafra, J.M.J.; Mesa, R.S.; López, J.M.G.; Gómez, J.F.R.; Del Moral, B.A.; Muñoz, R.M.; Candini, G.P.; Morales, M.C.P.; Muñoz, N.R.; López-Moreno, J.J.; Vandaele, A.C.; Neefs, E.; Drummond, R.; Delanoye, S.; Berkenbosch, S.; Clairquin, R.; Ristic, B.; Maes, J.; Bonnewijn, S.; Patel, M.R.; Leese, M.


NOMAD is a spectrometer suite: UV-visible-IR spectral ranges. NOMAD is part of the payload of ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Mission. SINBAD boards are in charge of the communication and management of the power and control between the spacecraft and the instrument channels. SINBAD development took four years, while the entire development and test required five years, a very short time to develop an instrument devoted to a space mission. The hardware of SINBAD is shown in the attached poster: developed boards, prototype boards and final models. The models were delivered to the ESA in order to testing and integration with the spacecraft.

Applied Optics, Vol. 56, Issue 10, 2771-2782 (2017), DOI: 10.1364/AO.56.002771.

Patel, M.R.; Antoine, P.; Mason, J.; Leese, M.; Hathi, B.; Stevens, A.H.; Dawson, D.; Gow, J.; Ringrose, T.; Holmes, J.; Lewis, S.R.; Beghuin, D.; Van Donink, P.; Ligot, R.; Dewandel, J.-L.; Hu, D.; Bates, D.; Cole, R.; Drummond, R.; Thomas, I.R.; Depiesse, C.; Neefs, E.; Equeter, E.; Ristic, B.; Berkenbosch, S.; Bolsée, D.; Willame, Y.; Vandaele, A.C.; Lesschaeve, S.; De Vos, L.; Van Vooren, N.; Thibert, T.; Mazy, E.; Rodriguez-Gomez, J.; Morales, R.; Candini, G.P.; Pastor-Morales, M.C.; Sanz, R.; Aparicio del Moral, B.; Jeronimo-Zafra, J.-M.; Gómez-López, J.M.; Alonso-Rodrigo, G.; Pérez-Grande, I.; Cubas, J.; Gomez-Sanjuan, A.M.; Navarro-Medina, F.; Benmoussa, A.; Giordanengo, B.; Gissot, S.; Bellucci, G.; Lopez-Moreno, J.J.

NOMAD is a spectrometer suite on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which launched in March 2016. NOMAD consists of two infrared channels and one ultraviolet and visible channel, allowing the instrument to perform observations quasi-constantly, by taking nadir measurements at the day-and night-side, and during solar occultations. Here, in part 2 of a linked study, we describe the design, manufacturing, and testing of the ultraviolet and visible spectrometer channel called UVIS. We focus upon the optical design and working principle where two telescopes are coupled to a single grating spectrometer using a selector mechanism.

Proceedings of SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, (2016) DOI: 10.1117/12.2230760.


Pastor-Morales, M.C.; Rodríguez-Gómez, J.F.; Morales-Muñoz, R.; Gómez-López, J.M.; Aparicio-del-Moral, B.; Candini, G.P.; Jerónimo-Zafra, J.M.; López-Moreno, J.J.; Robles-Muñoz, N.F.; Sanz-Mesa, R.; Neefs, E.; Vandaele, A.C.; Drummond, R.; Thomas, I.R.; Berkenbosch, S.; Clairquin, R.; Delanoye,S.; Ristic, B.; Maes, J.; Bonnewijn, S.; Patel, M.R.; Leese, M.; Mason, J.P.


The Spacecraft INterface and control Board for NomAD (SINBAD) is an electronic interface designed by the Instituto de Astrof´ısica de Andaluc´ıa (IAA-CSIC). It is part of the Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery instrument (NOMAD) on board in the ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission. This mission was launched in March 2016. The SINBAD Flight Software (SFS) is the software embedded in SINBAD. It is in charge of managing the interfaces, devices, data, observing sequences, patching and contingencies of NOMAD. It is presented in this paper the most remarkable aspects of the SFS design, likewise the main problems and lessons learned during the software development process.