Toledo, D., Arruego, I., Apestigue, V., Jiménez, J. J., Gómez, L., Yela, M., Rannou, P., Pommereau, J. P. 2017. Measurement of dust optical depth using the solar irradiance sensor (SIS) onboard the ExoMars 2016 EDM. Planetary and Space Science 138, 33-43, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2017.01.015
The solar irradiance sensor (SIS) was included in the DREAMS package onboard the ExoMars 2016 Entry Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module, and has been selected in the METED meteorological station onboard the ExoMars 2020 Lander. This instrument is designed to measure at different time intervals the scattered flux or the sum of direct flux and scattered flux in UVA (315-400 nm) and NIR (700-1100 nm) bands. For SIS’16, these measurements are performed by a total of 3 sensors per band placed at the faces of a truncated tetrahedron with face inclination angles of 60. The principal goal of SIS’16 design is to perform measurements of the dust opacity in UVA and NIR wavelengths ranges, crucial parameters in the understanding of the Martian dust cycle. The retrieval procedure is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations to reproduce SIS observations acquired during daytime as a function of dust opacity. Based on different sensitivity analysis, the retrieval procedure also requires to include as free parameters (1) the, dust effective radius; (2) the dust effective variance; and (3) the imaginary part of the refractive index of dust particles in UVA band. We found that the imaginary part of the refractive index of dust particles does not have a big impact on NIR signal, and hence we can kept constant this parameter in the retrieval of dust opacity at this channel.
In addition to dust opacity measurements, this instrument is also capable to detect and characterize clouds by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between the observations in NIR and UVA channels, during daytime or twilight. By simulating CI signals with a radiative transfer model, the cloud opacity and cloud altitude (only during twilight) can be retrieved. Here the different retrieval procedures that are used to analyze SIS measurements, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis, are presented and discussed.