The atmospheric boundary layer on Mars is where the influence between the surface and atmosphere (and vice versa) takes place on Mars. To better validate and improve mesoscale atmospheric models we suggest that direct observations of the interactions between the surface and atmosphere are needed. Such direct measurements of the forcings (and response) between surface and atmosphere allow much tighter constraints to be placed on the processes that control the behavior of the atmosphere in and well above the atmospheric boundary layer. To achieve these direct measurements, we propose using a sonic anemometer for Mars.
This instrument, based on the gold standard wind measurement techniques used terrestrially has been in development under PIDDP (now PICASSO) funding for much of the last decade, and is now ready for use on upcoming Mars missions. Dr. Banfield will discuss the advantages such an instrument offers over other wind measurement techniques for Mars, as well as some details of the instrument itself.