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Missions to Mars: Mars Express SPICAM-Light

The SPICAM-Light experiment (France, Belgium, Russia and the US) on Mars Express studies the chemical composition and the dynamic evolution of the atmosphere of mars using its ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers.
The spectrometers determine mainly

  • the atmospheric ozone concentration
  • the quantity of atmospheric dust particles
  • the temperature distribution
  • the aerosols
  • the composition of the ionosphere
  • the quantity of water and ice


Spicam-Light (Credits Service d'Aeronomie)
Spicam-Light (Credits Service d'Aeronomie)

Combining the results from experimental measurements and theoretical models allows us to converge on a better understanding of the chemical composition and the meteorology of the Martian atmosphere. An example of this is the interaction between the surface and the atmosphere.

Oppervlak van Mars (Credits ESA)
Surface of Mars (Credits ESA)

Model computations, based on experimental data, allow us to determine the oxidisation capacity of the atmosphere and the UV flux at the surface.

These are very important for the study of the oxidation capacity of minerals and carbon bonds.


More info

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