Sept 2015 - Aug 2019 & Feb 2020 - Jan 2024
The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208 to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe. The project was launched on 1st September 2015 and will run until 31 August 2019. The project is led by the Open University, UK, and has 34 beneficiary institutions from 19 European countries.
The broad spectral coverage provided by JWST will permit the characterization of the formation and evolution of global dust storms and cloud systems over volcanoes, while NIRSpecs spectral resolution will permit the search for trace photochemical species and isotopic compounds. JWST will permit instantaneous measurements of the whole observable disk at very high-spatial resolutions, allowing for the investigation of transient events near the day/night terminator, diurnal (East-West) and seasonal (North-South) phenomena, and the rapid vaporization of polar ices and of other volatile reservoirs.
MAJIS - Moons and Jupiter Imaging Spectrometer - is a hyper-spectral imaging spectrometer for observing tropospheric cloud features and minor species on Jupiter and for the characterisation of ices and minerals on the surfaces of icy moons. MAJIS will cover the visible and infrared wavelengths from 0.4 to 5.7 microns, with spectral resolution of 3-7 nm. The spatial resolution will be up to 25 m on Ganymede and about 100 km on Jupiter.
Launched in 2003 - still active
SPICAM is a space instrument onboard of ESA's mission Mars-Express, which has been orbiting around Mars since 2003. SPICAM has been observing since then and is still operating now. The instrument was partly built here at IASB-BIRA, in collaboration with the LATMOS (France) and IKI (Russia). It is a double spectrometer composed of an ultraviolet (UV) and a near-infrared (NIR) channel.
In the Microbe project, we will develop a sophisticated 1-D model with the aim of better understanding the evolution of the two water isotopes from the regolith to the exobase. This will require to include all processes relevant to the evolution of water and its isotopic composition on Mars.
A first step will consist of implementing the dominant mechanisms affecting the diurnal cycle and transport of water and HDO in the lower atmosphere. Expanding into the upper atmosphere, the photochemistry involving neutral and ionic species will be developed referring to the existing literature. Finally, an exospheric model will be used to study the escape processes, which strongly affect the fractionation of hydrogen and deuterium.
More on microbe.aeronomie.be.
The goal of the RoadMap project (ROle and impAct of Dust and clouds in the Martian AtmosPhere) is to better understand the role and impact of dust and clouds on the Martian atmosphere. Although dust is present throughout the Martian atmosphere, its abundance and physical properties are still poorly defined.
Similarly, the impact of dust on the composition, structure and dynamics of the atmosphere is only beginning to be addressed. Specifically, accurate knowledge of the characteristics of dust and ice clouds is crucial for the interpretation of the remote sensing observations, both in the infrared and the ultraviolet spectral regions.
RT-MOLEXO stands for "Radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres of celestial bodies, including (exo)planets and moons". The project is a joint investigation between BIRA-IASB and UCLouvain in the frame of the FEDtWIN program. Based on the expertise of both partners, laboratory measurements are carried out to be useful and used for planetary applications.