Thermal Structure and Aerosols in Mars’ Atmosphere From TIRVIM/ACS Onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter: Validation of the Retrieval Algorithm

S. Guerlet*, N. Ignatiev, F. Forget, T. Fouchet, P. Vlasov, G. Bergeron, R. M.B. Young, E. Millour, S. Fan, H. Tran, A. Shakun, A. Grigoriev, A. Trokhimovskiy, F. Montmessin, O. Korablev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter monitors the Martian atmosphere through different spectral intervals in the infrared light. We present a retrieval algorithm tailored to the analysis of spectra acquired in nadir geometry by Thermal InfraRed channel in honor of professor Vassilii Ivanovich Moroz (TIRVIM), the thermal infrared channel of ACS. Our algorithm simultaneously retrieves vertical profile of atmospheric temperature up to 50 km, surface temperature, and integrated optical depth of dust and water ice clouds. The specificity of the TIRVIM data set lies in its capacity to resolve the diurnal cycle over a 54 sol period. However, it is uncertain to what extent can the desired atmospheric quantities be accurately estimated at different times of day. Here we first present an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE). We produce synthetic observations at various latitudes, seasons and local times and run our retrieval algorithm on these synthetic data, to evaluate its robustness. Different sources of biases are documented, in particular regarding aerosol retrievals. Atmospheric temperature retrievals are found robust even when dust and/or water ice cloud opacities are not well estimated in our OSSE. We then apply our algorithm to TIRVIM observations in April–May 2018 and perform a cross-validation of retrieved atmospheric temperature and dust integrated opacity by comparisons with thousands of colocated Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) retrievals. Most differences between TIRVIM and MCS atmospheric temperatures can be attributed to differences in vertical sensitivity. Daytime dust opacities agree well with each other, while biases are found in nighttime dust opacity retrieved from TIRVIM at this season.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JE007062
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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