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

Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz and Lester, Mark and Andrews, David and Opgenoorth, Hermann and Lillis, Robert and Leblanc, Francois and Fowler, C.M. and Fang, Xiaohua and Vaisberg, Oleg and Mayyasi, Majd and Holmberg, Mika and Guo, Jingnan and Hamrin, Maria and Mazelle, Christian and Peter, Kerstin and Pätzold, Martin and Stergiopoulou, Katerina and Goetz, Charlotte and Ermakov, Vladimir Nikolaevich and Shuvalov, Sergei and Wild, Jim and Blelly, P.-L. and Mendillo, Michael and Bertucci, Cesar and Cartacci, Marco and Orosei, Roberto and Chu, Feng and Kopf, Andrew and Girazian, Zachary and Roman, Michael (2021) Mars’ plasma system. Scientific potential of coordinated multipoint missions: “The next generation”. Experimental Astronomy. ISSN 0922-6435

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Abstract

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:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Experimental Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912
Subjects:
ID Code:
162277
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 Nov 2021 13:56
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
05 Dec 2021 08:35