The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument onboard Mars 2020, a general description and performance analysis

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Pérez Izquierdo, J., Sebastian, E., Martínez, G. M., Bravo, A., Ramos, M., Manfredi, J. A. R. 2018. The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument onboard Mars 2020, a general description and performance analysis. mEASUREMENT 122, 432-442 DOI: 10.1016/j.measurement.2017.12.004

The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is a suite of environmental sensors onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. The Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS), developed at Centro de Astrobiologia of Spain, is one of the six sensors comprising MEDA, and it will measure the net thermal infrared radiation and reflected solar radiation at the surface, as well as the atmospheric and surface skin temperatures using five different channels. In combination with MEDA’s other sensors, TIRS will allow the quantification of the surface energy budget and the determination of key geophysical properties of the terrain such as the albedo and thermal inertia. Here we present a general description of the TIRS, its channels scientific requirements, and the mechanical and thermal design. Then, a detailed sensor mathematical model and a sensitivity analysis to model uncertainties are described. Some characterization test results to model parameters identification are included. Finally, accuracy and resolution calculus for each channel versus operational temperature is presented. The calculus is performed based on sensitivity equations, the practical tests results and the estimated values for different uncertainty sources.

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