The MARES Camera

The MARES camera is a zenith sky-imaging system that monitors wave activity in the Martian atmosphere from the ground. Gravity waves are buoyancy waves caused by the gravitational restoring force on a parcel of air displaced from its equilibrium position. They are mainly generated in the lower atmosphere either by winds blowing over surface features or as a result of convective activities. Gravity waves act as a coupling mechanism, transporting energy and momentum from the lower to the upper atmosphere, and are significant in atmospheric dynamics.
MARES will acquire monochromatic images of selected airglow features in the horizontal wavelength range of 5 to 150 km, with wave amplitudes of 5% (or better) of the mean emission intensity. Each airglow feature will require a background subtraction. The imaging processing and extraction of wave parameters from the acquired imagers will use well established techniques for imaging enhancement and wave-parameter extraction. A typical sky image, detecting air glow at 557.7 nm in the Earth’s atmosphere, is shown in Fig 1.

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