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Doctoral Award for the Study of Mars' Atmosphere with Observations (M/F)

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR8190-FRAMON-004
Workplace : GUYANCOURT
Date of publication : Thursday, May 14, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Franck Montmessin
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 December 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The orbit around Mars has never been more populated by observation satellites, making Mars the most observed planetary body in the Solar System outside the Earth. ESA and NASA are the main actors in this exploration, and LATMOS, the Joint Research Unit of the Versailles region, is involved in a majority of them.

The subject proposed here is participation in the analysis of data collected by current (ESA Mars Express & Trace Gas Orbiter, NASA MAVEN) and future (NASA Mars2020) missions for research on the composition and behaviour of the Martian atmosphere in order to better understand its climate and history. The student will be part of the teams deployed on these LATMOS missions for which a need for scientific analysis is required. Typically, the laboratory is engaged in the production of atmospheric composition readings from the Martian orbit and soon from its surface, including the search for as yet undetected gases resulting from potential geophysical activity (emissions from the ground) or whose detection is the subject of particular attention (methane, water and its isotopes, carbon dioxide...). This analytical work will be part of the numerical modelling activities on the Martian climate conducted in parallel and concerning more particularly the Martian water cycle.
Several instruments are concerned by the measurements to be analyzed: SPICAM on Mars Express, ACS on ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, IUVS on MAVEN and from January 2021 SuperCAM on Mars2020.

The student will have to demonstrate spectroscopic capabilities (ultraviolet and/or infrared) and have a background in radiative transfer applied to planetary atmospheres. Although a number of tools have already been developed and can be used directly by the student, improvements or new developments will have to be implemented, notably for the analysis of data collected on the surface of Mars with Mars2020.

Work Context

The Atmospheres Laboratory, Backgrounds, Space Observations (LATMOS) is a joint specialized research in the study of fundamental physical and chemical processes governing the Earth's planetary atmospheres and their interfaces with the surface, the ocean, and the interplanetary medium.

For this, the Laboratory has developed a strong instrumental skills, builds innovative instruments deployed from the ground and sometimes put into orbit or out to meet other solar system bodies. Numerical atmosphere models are developed and used to interpret the various observations.

Constraints and risks

N/A

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