SPICAV: Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus
Publication date: 02 November 2007
Authors: Bertaux, J-L., et al.
Journal: ESA Special Publication
Volume: SP 1295
SPICAV (SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) is a suite of three UV-IR spectrometers dedicated to the study of the atmosphere of Venus, from ground level to the outermost hydrogen corona at more than 40 000 km altitude. It is derived from the SPICAM instrument already flying on Mars Express with great success, with the addition of the new Solar Occultation IR (SOIR) high-resolution spectrometer working in the solar occultation mode. In nadir orientation, SPICAV UV (110-310 nm) will analyse the albedo spectrum to retrieve SO2 and the distribution of the UV-blue absorber (of unknown origin) on the dayside with implications for cloud structure, and atmospheric dynamics. On the nightside, the g and d bands of NO will be studied, as well as emissions produced by electron precipitations. In the stellar occultation mode, the UV sensor will measure the vertical profiles of CO2, temperature, SO2, SO, clouds and aerosols. The density/temperature profiles obtained with SPICAV will constrain and aid in the development of dynamical atmospheric models, from cloud top (~60 km) to 160 km in the atmosphere. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow studies of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO+ and O2 +, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. It will study the H corona, with its two different scale heights, and it will allow a better understanding of escape mechanisms and estimates of their magnitude, crucial for insight into the long-term evolution of the atmosphere.Link to publication