Mars’ plasma system. Scientific potential of coordinated multipoint missions: “The next generation”

Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz, Lester, Mark, Andrews, David J., Opgenoorth, Hermann, Lillis, Robert, Leblanc, François, Fowler, Christopher M., Fang, Xiaohua, Vaisberg, Oleg, Mayyasi, Majd, Holmberg, Mika, Guo, Jingnan, Hamrin, Maria, Mazelle, Christian, Peter, Kerstin, Pätzold, Martin, Stergiopoulou, Katerina, Goetz, Charlotte, Ermakov, Vladimir Nikolaevich, Shuvalov, Sergei, Wild, James A., Blelly, Pierre-Louis, Mendillo, Michael, Bertucci, Cesar, Cartacci, Marco, Orosei, Roberto, Chu, Feng, Kopf, Andrew J., Girazian, Zachary and Roman, Michael T. (2022) Mars’ plasma system. Scientific potential of coordinated multipoint missions: “The next generation”. Experimental Astronomy, 54 (2). pp. 641-676. ISSN 0922-6435

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The objective of this White Paper, submitted to ESA’s Voyage 2050 call, is to get a more holistic knowledge of the dynamics of the Martian plasma system, from its surface up to the undisturbed solar wind outside of the induced magnetosphere. This can only be achieved with coordinated multi-point observations with high temporal resolution as they have the scientific potential to track the whole dynamics of the system (from small to large scales), and they constitute the next generation of the exploration of Mars analogous to what happened at Earth a few decades ago. This White Paper discusses the key science questions that are still open at Mars and how they could be addressed with coordinated multipoint missions. The main science questions are: (i) How does solar wind driving impact the dynamics of the magnetosphere and ionosphere? (ii) What is the structure and nature of the tail of Mars’ magnetosphere at all scales? (iii) How does the lower atmosphere couple to the upper atmosphere? (iv) Why should we have a permanent in-situ Space Weather monitor at Mars? Each science question is devoted to a specific plasma region, and includes several specific scientific objectives to study in the coming decades. In addition, two mission concepts are also proposed based on coordinated multi-point science from a constellation of orbiting and ground-based platforms, which focus on understanding and solving the current science gaps.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: - M.M. is supported, in part, by NASA Grants #NNH16ZDA001N-MDAP and #80NSSC18K0266. B.S.-C., and M.L. acknowledge support through UK-STFC grant ST/S000429/1. M.C. and R.O. are funded by the Italian Space Agency through contract ASI-INAF 2019-21-HH.0. X. F. acknowledge support from NASA grant 80NSSC19K0562. C.M.F. was supported by NASA funding for the MAVEN project through the Mars Exploration Program under grant number NNH10CC04C. K.P. acknowledges support through DFG grant TE664/4 − 1 and PA525/24 − 1. M.P. acknowledges support through the German Space Agency (DLR) under Grant 50QM1802. F.C. acknowledges support through NASA Contract 1560641 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. - K.P.: DFG grant TE664/4 − 1 and PA525/24 − 1. ).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coordinated multipoint missions, ESA-Voyage2050, Future missions, Mars, Plasma, Science gaps
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 11:13
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2023 12:30

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