The case for a modern multiwavelength, polarization-sensitive LIDAR in orbit around Mars

Adrian J. Brown, Timothy I. Michaels, Shane Byrne, Wenbo Sun, Timothy N. Titus, Anthony Colaprete, Michael J. Wolff, Gorden Videen, Christian J. Grund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


We present the scientific case to build a multiple-wavelength, active, near-infrared (NIR) instrument to measure the reflected intensity and polarization characteristics of backscattered radiation from planetary surfaces and atmospheres. We focus on the ability of such an instrument to enhance, potentially revolutionize, our understanding of climate, volatiles and astrobiological potential of modern-day Mars.Such an instrument will address the following three major science themes, which we address in this paper:. Science Theme 1. Surface. This would include global, night and day mapping of H2O and CO2 surface ice properties.Science Theme 2. Ice Clouds. This would including unambiguous discrimination and seasonal mapping of CO2 and H2O ice clouds.Science Theme 3. Dust Aerosols. This theme would include multiwavelength polarization measurements to infer dust grain shapes and size distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Light scattering
  • Mars
  • Müller matrix
  • Polarization
  • Symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy


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