Rebuttal to the REMS Weather Report for Mars Year 33, Month 10

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The REMS Team's conclusions are unwarranted due to data that is easy to refute. Published 4/4/2017.

Note: While my son's undergraduate research was vital to our findings, Dr. David A. Roffman did not participate in the writing of this article. All opinions expressed herein are those of Barry S. Roffman. Comments should be sent to Barrysroffman@gmail.com or MarsCorrect@gmail.com.

    This article will examine, in detail, remarks and conclusions published at http://cab.inta-csic.es/rems/en on Wednesday March 15th, 2017 by Jorge Pla-García, Antonio Molina, Javier Gómez-Elvira and the REMS team. Their original text is presented in dark blue fonts while our comments will be in black fonts. We will repeat their figures and add our own where appropriate. We are aware of several recent visits by the NASA, the REMS Team and by its associated organizations in Spain, namely on 3/29/30 the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA, English: National Institute of Aerospace Technology which is Spain's space agency), and on 3/30/2017 the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones. We often document changes to the daily weather reports made by the REMS Team and JPL after we have published print-screens of their daily weather reports for the MSL Curiosity lander. We believe that it's vital to have correct Martian meteorological data available so that SpaceX will have an accurate portrait of what to expect when they arrive at Mars. While we hope that America sends people to Mars first, we are also concerned about the very real possibility that flawed air pressure and weather data were at least in part to blame for the crash of the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli lander that we discuss in detail on this site in our article about Dr. Desai's Challenge on Martian Atmosphere Models.

      REMS air pressure, air temperature and ground temperature data is summarized on their Figures 1, 2 and 2B (renumbered from their Figure 5) which are as follows:

Figure 1 above. Average air pressure evolution measured by REMS instrument inside Gale crater. Figures 2A and 2B below: Average air and ground temperature evolution measured by REMS instrument inside Gale crater (Source: CAB)

The REMS Team states: The tenth month of the thirty-third Mars year goes from sol 1534 to 1581 since the Curiosity landing. The rover drove uphill along 200 meters and climbed 15 meters in elevation on Aeolis Mons (the central mound inside Gale crater, also known informally as Mount Sharp) –an average slope of 7.5%– during these 47 sols. The area is located on the Bagnold dunes that overlie the Murray formation, composed of a fluvial-lacustrine mixture of materials, mostly fractured mudstones, with dark sand banks covering them in patches. According to the Sun position, this month goes from 270 to 300 solar longitude (Ls), being the first summer month –of three– in the southern hemisphere.

Atmospheric pressure

       As can be noted in Fig. 1, the annual maximum of atmospheric pressure was measured during the previous month (month 9), matching with the highest CO2 sublimation (ice turning into gas) in the martian south pole. The main component of the martian atmosphere is CO2, so the atmospheric pressure is mostly influenced by the total mass of this gas above the surface. The CO2 is seasonally stored in the poles as an ice cap overlying another ice cap made of water (and dust).

       The atmospheric pressure begins to drop during this month (month 10). As the autumn equinox approaches, the CO2 in the atmosphere starts to freeze over the southern polar cap, decreasing the air pressure. As expected, the atmospheric pressure is lower this month compared to the same month of previous years, since the rover is climbing Aeolis Mons –the higher the elevation, the lower the air pressure.

ROFFMAN RESPONSE: The remark about pressure dropping with altitude makes sense, but up through December 2016 it had only climbed 169 meters (see Figure 7 below). In Mars Year 33 Month 10 it only climbed 15 meters.  The center of the landing ellipse was at an elevation of 4,400 meters below areoid, but Figure 7, if correct, seems to indicate that it remained at a lower elevation than that for a long time, only reaching an elevation of 4,300 meters at about Sol 1648 on March 26, 2017. Table 1 shows our scale height calculation for pressures at elevations of -4,500 meters (the landing elevation on Figure 7), -4,400 meters (center of the landing ellipse), and -4,300 meters (position at Ls 1648) based on 6.1 millibars/610 Pascals (Pa) at areoid. Note that the highest average pressure would have been about 9.253 mbar which is 925.3 Pa. In fact, after numerous alterations of data by the REMS Team/JPL in which they removed pressures of 12, 11.77, 11.49, 9.54, 9.4 and 9.37 mbar, the highest pressure surviving was 9.25 mbar/925 Pa at Ls 252 to Ls 254 (Sols 170 to 172 in MSL Year 1) and again at Ls 257 (Sol 846) in MSL Year 2. We think this smells like an effort to remove real data, however flawed the pressure transducer was, and replace it with a credible (but totally manufactured) value straight from a scale height calculation like that shown on Table 1. We will return to this question with Figure 7 below where we will discuss the average drop in pressure (about 9.71 Pa) for Month 10 from Mars Year 32 (MSL Year 2) to Mars Year 33 (MSL Year 3).*

* Note: While we refer to the first year of MSL operations as MSL Year 1, some NASA sources call it Year 0. By that standard in April, 2017 MSL is in its year 2 rather than 3.

 

TABLE 1 - SCALE HEIGHT CALCULATIONS TO INDICATE AVERAGE PRESSURES IN GALE CRATER, MARS FOR ELEVATIONS FROM 4,500 TO 4,300 METERS BELOW AREOID

KILOMETERS WITH RESPECT TO AREOID

10.8 km Scale Height (MARS)

 

RATIO A/B

 

 

=-EXP(C value)

 

 

1/D value

 

 

PRESSURE MARS BARS

 

PRESSURE IN MBAR

 

PRESSURE IN PASCALS

 

0

10.8

0

-1

-1

1

6.1

610

-4.3

10.8

-0.398148148

-0.67156253

-1.489064616

1.489064616

9.083294156

908.3294156

-4.4

10.8

-0.407407407

-0.665373057

-1.50291628

1.50291628

9.167789309

916.7789309

-4.5

10.8

-0.416666667

-0.65924063

-1.516896796

1.516896796

9.253070458

925.3070458

 

       As for pressures linked to what is going on at the South Pole of Mars, the primary theme of our report, MARS CORRECT - CRITIQUE OF ALL NASA WEATHER DATA is that the near-vacuum air pressures published by NASA are nonsense. Our report is updated about once each (terrestrial) month. Even worse than NASA just being wrong is that the pressures that they publish are often revised after they have visited our two websites (this one and Marscorrect.com) where they have viewed our predictions that they would revise them. While their pressure revisions are still about two orders of magnitude too low, here is a list of specific pressure revisions that they have made after we published our critiques of them:

TABLE 2 – Pressures revised by JPL/REMS after we highlighted them or published them in earlier versions of our Report

Date

MSL Sol

Ls

Initial Pressure Reported

Pressure for the previous sol

Final Pressure Reported after JPL Revisions

Aug 25, 2012

19

160.4

785 Pa

 

719 Pa– then changed to N/A

Aug 27, 2012

21

161.4

790 Pa

N/A

741 Pa

Sept 1 to Sept 5, 1012

26

164

 742 to 747 hPa       74200 to 74700 (Pa)

743 Pa

 

Sep 12, 2012 (This date later changed to 9/11/2012)

36

169.5

799 Pa

749 Pa

750 Pa

Sep 16, 2012 (date later altered)

39

172.3

804 Pa

750 Pa

753 Pa - then changed to 751 Pa  

Date

MSL Sol

Ls

Initial Pressure Reported

Pressure for the previous sol

Final Pressure Reported after JPL Revisions

Sep 16, 2012 (date later altered)

39

172.3

804 Pa

750 Pa

753 Pa - then changed to 751 Pa 

 

Oct 3, 2012

Series alteration starts here and goes to 10/12/2012

57

181

779 Pa

770 Pa

769 – Pa. Note the steady progression without reversals that were seen between 10/3/2012 and 10/12/2012 in initial results. This series looks very fudged.

Oct 4, 2012

58

182

779 Pa

 

769 Pa

Oct 5, 2012

59

183

781 Pa

 

771 Pa

Oct 6, 2012

60

183

785 Pa

 

772 Pa

Oct 7, 2012

61

184

779 Pa

 

772 Pa

Oct 8, 2012

62

184

782 Pa

 

774 Pa

Oct 9, 2012

63

185

786 Pa

 

775 Pa

Oct 10, 2012

64

186

785 Pa

 

776 Pa

Date

MSL Sol

Ls

Initial Pressure Reported

Pressure for the previous sol

Final Pressure Reported after JPL Revisions

Oct 11, 2012

65

186

785 Pa

 

777 Pa

Oct 12, 2012

66

187

781 Pa

 

778 Pa

Nov 11, 2012

95

204

815.53 Pa

822.43 Pa

822 Pa

Dec 8, 2012

121

221

865.4 Pa

867.5 Pa

869

Feb 19, 2013

192

267

940 Pa – a high until now. Pressures had been declining since a high of 925 Pa in late January 2013.

921

N/A

Feb 22, 2013

195

269

886 Pa – quite a large drop

Last 2 reports were 940 Pa on Feb 19 and 921 Pa on Feb 18, 2012

N/A

Feb 27, 2013

200

272

937 Pa

917 Pa

N/A

May 2, 2013

262

311

900 Pa

868.05 Pa

N/A

Aug 21, 2013

370

9

1,149 Pa

865 Pa

865 Pa

Aug 27, 2014

731

185

754 Pa

771 Pa

771 Pa

Oct 11, 2014

775

211

823 Pa

838 Pa

838 Pa

April 16, 2015

957

326

823 Pa

N/A – next sol 848 Pa

N/A

Nov 10, 2015

1160

66

1177 Pa

898 Pa

899 Pa

Nov 12, 2015

1161

66

1200 Pa

899 Pa (revised)

898 Pa

April 2, 2016

1300

131

945 Pa

753 Pa

752 Pa

April 3, 2016

1301

131

1154 Pa

753 Pa (2 sols earlier, 751 Pa on Sol 1302

752 Pa

Oct 17, 2016

1492

242

921 Pa

906 Pa

910 Pa

Oct 23, 2016

1498

242

897 Pa

909 Pa

907 Pa

Oct 27, 2016

1502

249

928 Pa

903 Pa

907 Pa

Jan 10, 2017

1575

296

860 Pa

868 Pa

871 Pa

Feb 10, 2017

1606

314

815 Pa

850 Pa

846 Pa

Feb 15, 2017

1610

317

864 Pa

847 Pa

N/A

Table 2 above shows some (not all) of how JPL/REMS altered off the curve pressure data for August 2012 and on through at least April 2, 2017 after we either brought the deviations up to JPL Public Relations Director Guy Webster, or published them on our davidaroffman.com and marscorrect.com websites.

 Again, our working Abstract as of April 2, 2017 states:

ABSTRACT: We present evidence that NASA is seriously understating Martian air pressure. Our 7.5-year study critiques 1,651 Sols (well over two full Martian years) of highly problematic MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REM) weather data, and offers an in depth audit of over 8,311 hourly Viking 1 and 2 weather reports. We discuss analysis of technical papers, NASA documents, and personal interviews of transducer designers. We troubleshoot pressures based on radio occultation/spectroscopy, and the small pressure ranges that could be measured by Viking (18 mbar), Pathfinder and Phoenix (12 mbar), and MSL (11.5 mbar). For MSL there was a mean pressure of 11.49 mbar measured on its Sol 370. When we made an issue of it with JPL, it was revised to 8.65 mbar. The REMS Team then published pressures of 11.77 mbar (for Sol 1,160) and 12 mbar (for Sol 1,161). Again we made an issue of it, and they revised the figures to 8.98 and 8.97 mbar respectively. When they asserted a pressure 1154Pa for Sol 1301, we challenged it and they revised it to 752 Pa. In fact we demonstrate that JPL/REMS weather data was regularly revised after they studied critiques in working versions of this report and on our websites at http://marscorrect.com and http://davidaroffman.com.

Vikings and MSL showed consistent timing of daily pressure spikes. We link this to how gas pressure in a sealed container would vary with Absolute temperature, to heating by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), and to dust clots at air access tubes and dust filters. Pathfinder, Phoenix and MSL wind measurement failures are disclosed. Phoenix and MSL pressure transducer design problems are highlighted with respect to confusion about dust filter location, and lack of information about nearby heat sources due to International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). NASA could not replicate dust devils at 10 mbar. Rapidly filled MER Spirit tracks required wind speeds of 80 mph at the assumed low pressures. These winds were never recorded on Mars. Nor could NASA explain drifting Barchan sand dunes. Based on the above and dust devils on Arsia Mons to altitudes of 17 km above areoid (Martian equivalent of sea level), spiral storms with 10 km eye-walls above Arsia Mons, dust storm opacity, snow at Phoenix, excessive aero braking, liquid water running on the surface in numerous locations at Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) and stratus clouds 13 km above areoid, we argue for an average pressure at areoid of ~511 mbar rather than the accepted 6.1 mbar. This pressure grows to 1,050 mbar in the Hellas Basin.

ROFFMAN RECORD OF MSL WEATHER REPORTS FOR YEAR 33 MONTH 10. We record daily REMS weather reports. We look for anomalies and make predictions of likely changes by the REMS Team. We back these predictions with print screen records of their reports before and after such corrections are made. Month 10 records here are extracted from our records of MSL Year 3 Summer, that is, the third summer experienced by MSL on Mars. This corresponds to Year 33 Month 10 (In an arbitrary convention, April 11th 1955 was adopted as the beginning of Mars year 1, because it was the year before the global dust storm of 1956, the first one to be investigated in detail.).

On Table 3 column subjects and color codings are as follows:

Column A (Sol). The Martian day is about 39 minutes longer than the terrestrial day.

Column B is solar longitude (Ls). MSL is in the Southern Hemisphere on Mars. The landing was at Ls 150 in winter. Ls 180 begins the spring there.  Ls 270 starts summer, Ls 0 starts the fall. Ls 90 starts the winter.

Column C shows the pressure reported by the REMS Team.

Column D shows the date on Earth.

Column E shows the maximum air temperature. With respect to the freezing point, from 0° C at 1 atm pressure it will increase up to 0.01° C at 0.006 atm (which is about the average pressure on Mars as given by NASA). This is the triple point of water. At pressures below this, water will never be liquid. It will change directly between solid and gas phase (sublimation). The temperature for this phase change, the sublimation point, will decrease as the pressure is further decreased

Column F shows minimum air temperature.

Column G shows the air temperature range for each sol. On Earth temperatures can vary by 40 °C in deserts. In column G where the range is 59 °C or less yellow background coloring points that out. The National Park Service claims the world record in a diurnal temperature variation is 102 °F (57 °C) (from 46 °F (8 °C) to −56 °F (−49 °C)) in Browning, Montana (elevation 4,377 feet/1,334 meters) on January 23 to 24, 1916. There were 2 days in Montana where the temperature changed by 57 °C.

Column H shows temperature range divided by 40. This allows us to compare terrestrial deserts with Gale Crater, Mars. How much cooling occurs at night is related to the density of the atmosphere. Here we see the ratio of cooling on a Mars sol to the typical 40 °C cooling figure for Earth's deserts shown with a green background when that ratio is under 1.5. For MSL Year 1 when we altered the devisor from 40 °C  to 57 °C then 88 of the ratios were altered to 1 or less than 1, meaning that Martian air pressure is indeed likely much higher than NASA claims.

Column I shows maximum ground temperature. As with terrestrial deserts, the ground on Mars heats more during the day than the air does, and it cools more at night than the air does. In Column K when the maximum ground temperature is given by REMS is above 0°C it is shown with a red background.

Column J shows the minimum ground temperature. When it is -90 °C or colder the background is in purple. The ground temperatures are not very precise. The requirement was to measure ground brightness temperature over the range from 150 to 300 K with a resolution of 2 K and an accuracy of 10 K

Column K. Drop in ground temperature from day to night.

Column L shows the increase in temperature from the mast 1.5 meters above the ground down to the ground during the daylight hours. In column N anytime there is an increase in temperature of 11 °C or more this in indicated with a dark blue background.

 

Column M shows the decrease in temperature from the ground to the air at nights. If the data were valid we would expect similar heating or cooling to occur over the set distance from ground to boom. A quick survey of the data immediately shows that this was not found. In column L we see a variation in heating between 0 °C and at least 15 °C with a 54 °C anomaly on Sol 1,070. For nighttime cooling any variation from 11°C to 19°C is shown with a medium blue background. More than that is shown with a dark blue background.

Column N shows the pressure for the same Ls in MSL Year 1.

Column O shows the absolute value of the change in pressure in Pascals from the same Ls in the previous year (Column [M] - [C]).

Column P shows the original pressure for the same Ls in MSL Year 1 before JPL revised their data.

Column Q shows the Ls during Year 1.

Column R shows the UV for the sol in Year 2.

Column S shows the UV for the sol in Year 1. All sols in MSL Year 1 and Year 2 have opacity listed as “sunny” which seems dubious.

Column T shows comments, if any.

 

 

 

TABLE 3 - REMS TEAM WEATHER REPORTS AND DATA REVISIONS FOR MARS YEAR 33 MONTH 10 (LS 270 to 300)

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

 K

L M N O P Q R S T
 

SOL

~LS

PRESSURE

Pa   

EARTH

DATE

MAX

AIR

TEMP

°C   

MIN

AIR

TEMP

°C

AIR

TEMP

RANGE

°C

AIR

TEMP

RANGE

°C/40

MAX

GROUND

TEMP °C

MIN

GROUND

TEMP °C

∆ GROUND

TEMP

DAY

TO

NIGHT

DAYTIME

CHANGE

IN TEMP 

°C AIR

TO GROUND

NIGHTTIME

CHANGE

IN TEMP

°C AIR TO

GROUND

PRESSURE

AT SAME

LS IN MSL

YEAR 2

∆ PRESSURE

YEAR 3 TO

YEAR 2 SAME

LS 

~LS

year 2

PRESSURE    

YEAR 1 

BEFORE

REVISION 

UV

YR

3 

UV

YR

2

MSL YEAR 2 SOL FOR THIS LS/

COMMENTS

             

YELLOW IF

<60 °C

GREEN IF

<1.5

RED IF

> 0 °C

PURPLE =

 >-90°C

OR COLDER

Yellow numbers

= -80 to -89 °C,

red background =

-90°C or colder 

drop

BLUE =

>10°C

PURPLE

= >10°C

  YELLOW = 
> 7 Pa)
         
 

1534

270 898 11/29/2016 -2 -73 71 1.775 13 -76 -89 15 -3 911 -13 270  N/A  H M, Year 1 was H 

(866)

MSL first day of summer

 

1535

270 900  11/30/2016 -1 -73 72 1.8 12 -77 -89 13 -4 910 -10 271 N/A H M, Year 1 was H

(867)

 

1536

271 901 12/1/2016 -4 -71 67 1.675 12 -78 -90 16 -7 908 -7 272 N/A H M, Year 1 was H  (868)
 

1537

272 900 12/2/2016  -7 -74 67  1.675  12 -78 -90  19 -4   906 -6  272 N/A  H M, Year 1 was N/A (869)
 

1538

272  898 12/3/2016  -3 -73 70 1.75  13 -77 -90  16 -4   909  -11 273 N/A  H  M, Year 1 was N/A  (870) 
 

1539

273 896 12/4/2016  -1 -74 73 1.825 13 -78 -91 14  -4 903  -7 273 N/A H  M, Year 1 was N/A (871)
 

1540

274 896 12/5/2016 -3 -74 71 1.775 13 -76 -89 16 -2 902 -6 274 N/A H M, Year 1 was N/A  (872)
 

1541

274 895 12/6/2016 -8 -76 68 1.7 13 -78 -91 21 -2 N/A   N/A 275 N/A  H 

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

(873) 
  1542 275 895  12/7/2016  -9 -73 64 1.6 12  -79 -91  21  -6 N/A  N/A  275 N/A  H 

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

(874) 
   1543 276 896  12/8/2016  -7 -74  67 1.675  12  -78  -90 19 -4 N/A  N/A   276 N/A  H

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

(875) 
  1544 276  894 12/9/2016  1 -71  72 1.8  12   -76 -88 11 -5 N/A  N/A  277 N/A  H 

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

(876) 
  1545 276 891 12/10/2016   3 -73  76 1.9  13  -76 -89  10 -3 N/A  N/A  277 N/A  H 

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

(877) 
  1546 277 889 12/11/2016   -7  -73  66 1.65 13  -76  -89    20 -3  N/A  N/A  278 N/A  H

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

 
(878) 
  1547 278 887 12/12/2016   -8 -75 67  1.675 14 -77 -91  22 -2 N/A  N/A   279 N/A    H 

N/A. Year 1 also N/A

 
(879) 
  1548 279 887  12/13/2016  -8  -76 68  1.7    13   -77  -90  21 -1 872
 +15  279  858 later revised to N/A
M

N/A (was M). Year 1 also N/A

(880)
  1549 279 887  12/14/2016  -2 -76  74 1.85 14   -76 -90  16  0 895  -8  280 899  H  

M. Year 1 was N/A

(881)
  1550 280 888
12/15/2016 -1 -71 70 1.75  13 -77 -90  14 -6 901 -13 280  N/A   H 

M. Year 1 was N/A

(882)
  1551 281 886  12/16/2016    0   -71  71  1.775    14   -78 -92 14 -7 897 -11 281 N/A  H

M. Year 1 was N/A

(883)
  1552 281 886 12/17/2016   -6 -74 68   1.7     14    -77 -91 20 -3 897 -11 282 N/A  H

M. Year 1 was N/A

(884)
  1553 282 884 12/17/2016  -9 -77 68  1.7   13 -80 -93 22 -3 895 -11  282  N/A VH

M. Year 1 was N/A

(885)
  1554 283 894 12/19/2016  -19 -70 51 1.275 11 -75 -86 30 -5 894 0  283 N/A VH

M. Year 1 was N/A

(886) The Sol 1554 data is apparently odd in numerous ways. Watch for JPL to revise 10 Pa pressure rise and 30K change in max air temp to max ground temp. In the past errors like these also were noted for sols with VH UV values. See Figure 5.
 

1554

REVISED

283 882 12/19/2016 -7 -70 63  1.575 12 -75 -87 19 -5  894 -12 283  N/A  VH  

M. Year 1 was N/A

(886) THE PREDICTION ABOVE THAT JPL WOULD REVISE DATA FOR FOR 1554 WAS CORRECT. SEE FIGURE 5.
 

1555

283  883 12/20/2016 -6 -71 65 1.625   13  -76 -89 19  -5  897 -14 284 N/A   VH 

M. Year 1 was N/A

(887) 
 

1556

284 883  12/21/2016 -5  -72 67 1.675  13  -74 -87  18 -2 896 -13 284 N/A   VH 

H. Year 1 was N/A

(888) 
 

1557

284 883  12/22/2016  -6  -74 68 1.7  13   -74 -87  19    0  895 -12 285 N/A   VH 

H. Year 1 was N/A

(889) 
 

1558

285 880 12/23/2016  -6   -72   66 1.65 13   -75 -88 19   -3 892 -12 286  N/A  H  changed to VH

H. Year 1 was N/A

(890)
 

1559

286 879 12/24/2016   -7  -76 69 1.725 14 -76 -90  21 0  892   -13 286   N/A  VH 

H. Year 1 was N/A

(891) 
 

1560

286 877 12/25/2016   -10  -76  66  1.65  13  -76  -89  23 0  892  -15 287  N/A  VH 

H. Year 1 was VH

 
(892) 
 

1561

287  877  12/27/2016  -8 -77 69  1.725  13  -77 -90  21 0  890 -13 287 N/A VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (893) 
 

1562

288  877  12/28/2016   -5 -73 68  1.7  14  -74 -88  19  -1  891 -14 288  N/A  VH  M. Year 1 was VH  (894) 
 

1563

288  879 12/29/2016 -6 -75 69   1.725  14  -77  -91 20  -2 889 -12  289  N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (895) 
 

1564

289  872 12/30/2016  -7 -70 63 1.575 12 -74  -86 19  -4 888 -16 289  N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (896)
 

1565

290  874 12/31/2016  -6  -72 66 1.65  13  -77  -90  19  -5 884 -10  290  N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (897) 
 

1566

290  876  1/1/2017 -6  -76 70  1.75  13  -76  -89  19    0  883   -7   291   N/A  VH  VH. Year 1 was VH   (898)  
 

1567

291   870 1/2/2017  -5 -70 65 1.625  13  -75 -88 18 -5 881 -11 291   N/A  VH  VH. Year 1 was VH   (899)  
 

1568

291 876 1/3/2017 -5  -71 66 1.65  14 -75  -89  19  4 883    -7  292  N/A   VH   H. Year 1 was VH  (900)   
 

1569

292 873 1/4/2017  -5  -70 65 1.625   12 -75  -87 17 -5  885 -12  292  N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (901) 
 

1570

293 873  1/5/2017  -6 -71  65 1.625    13 -74 -87  19  -3 883  -10 293 N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (902) 
 

1571

293 873 1/6/2017  -3 -70   67 1.675   18 -75  -93 21  -5  882 -9 294 N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH  (903) 
 

1572

294 869 1/7/2017  -6 

-81 

 

 75 1.875   13  -80  -94 19  1 878 -9 294  N/A H  H. Year 1 was VH  (904) Possible frontal passage may be indicated by colder night temps after an unusually high ground temp on the previous sol.
 

1573

295 872 1/8/2017  -2 -74   72 1.8   13  -75   -88  15  -1  880 -8 295 N/A  H  H. Year 1 was VH  (905)  
 

1574

295 868 1/9/2017 4  -72 76 1.9 15 -76 -91 11 -4 878 -10 296  N/A  VH  H. Year 1 was VH   (906) 
 

1575

296 860 1/10/2017 0  -58 58 1.45 17 -62 79 17 -4  879 -19 297 N/A  H  H. Year 1 was VH   (907) Unusually warm low air and ground temperatures. 19 Pa pressure difference from MSL Year 2 is off the curve. Watch for JPL to alter their report (shown below as Figure 6) for Sol 1575.
 

1575

Revised

 

296 871

1/10/2017

Revised

as predicted

-73 73 1.825 17 -76 -93 17 -3 879 -8 297 N/A H H. Year 1 was VH (907) Bingo! Predicted changes in pressure and temperature above were carried out by NASA one day after the prediction. During this day this chart was first accessed by someone in Scottsdale, AZ believed to be associated with NASA.  See Figure 6 again.
 

1576

296 869 1/11/2017 -1 -72 71 1.775  16 -77 -93 17 -5 878  -9  297  N/A  VH   H. Year 1 was VH   (909) 
 

1577

297 866 1/12/2017 -3 -72  69 1.725   17 -80 -97 20 -8 878  -12 298 N/A  H  H. Year 1 was VH  (910)  
 

1578

298 868 1/13/2017 -5 -74 69  1.725  17 -80  -97  22 -6 874 -6 299 N/A  VH   H. Year 1 was VH  (911)  
 

1579

298 862 1/14/2017 -3  -73  70 1.75  16  -79 -95 19 -6 875  -13  299 N/A  H  H. Year 1 was VH  (912)  
 

1580

299 867 1/15/2017 -2 -72  70  1.75  16  -77  -93 18 -5  871 -4 300 N/A  H  H. Year 1 was VH  (913)  
 

1581

299 862 1/16/2017 -1 -72 71
1.775 16  -78 -94 17 -6 874  -12 300  N/A   H. Year 1 was VH  (914)  
 

1582

300 862 1/17/2017 -1  -74 73 1.825  20 -75 -95 21 -1  878 -16 301  N/A   H  H. Year 1 was VH   (915) 

ROFFMAN Figure 3 below: Monthly MSL Air and Ground High Temperatures as tracked by the Roffman Team.

The REMS Team Continues: The highest daily air pressure is registered during the sunrise and the lowest during the sunset. Mars thermal tides are the weather phenomenon responsible for these significant, daily variations. The REMS Team states that a thermal tides occurs when sunlight heats the surface and atmosphere on the day side of the planet, causing air to expand upwards. At higher levels in the atmosphere, this bulge of air then expands outward, to the sides, in order to equalize the pressure around it. Air flows out of the bulge, lowering the pressure of air felt at the surface below the bulge. The result is a deeper atmosphere, but one that is less dense and has a lower pressure at the surface, than that away from the subsolar point. As Mars rotates beneath the sun, this bulge moves across the planet each day, from east to west. A fixed observer, such as REMS, measures a decrease in pressure during the day, followed by an increase in pressure at night.

ROFFMAN COMMENT: We dispute both the pressures and the cause of the timing of these cycles assuming that they are true. As was made clear in our report Abstract, the weather seen simple does not match what is to be expected in a near vacuum. As for the timing, like Viking 1 and Viking 2, MSL used a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). We link pressure variation times to how gas pressure in a sealed container would vary with absolute temperature. Assuming that erroneous pressures offered by NASA are due to human error in pressure transducer design, when Viking 1, Viking 2 and MSL landed, dust kicked up by the retrorockets was sucked into the air intake tubes immediately and clogged the tiny dust filters. The pressure sensors on the inner side of these filters never got the chance needed to sense ambient air pressures.  When the sun was about to rise, heat was needed to warm up the cold lander equipment. When the RTGs supplied the heat to the transducers it drove the pressure up at sunrise. Later in the day, before sunset, the heaters were not yet so necessary. So the pressure went down. After sunset RTGs again supplied heat to keep equipment from getting too cold. This drove pressure up again. See Sections 2 to 2.1 of our Report for further details.

The REMS Team Continues: Air temperature

Temperatures were below zero during all the month, something common on Mars. The average temperature was around -40 °C, with an average daily maximum of almost -12 °C, while the minimum was around -70 °C (Fig. 2). It is important to note, however, that the temperatures oscillate every day about 60 °C, that is, more in a single sol than the annual average.

ROFFMAN COMMENTS: Until July 3, 2013 we knew that over the first 11 months of operation the REMS Team and Ashima Research had put out clearly erroneous winds, sunrise and sunset times, pressure units, dates on their reports months and claims about relative humidity that were not reflected on their daily reports. We (wrongly) assumed however that at least the temperature reports were reliable. That assumption was demolished on July 3, 2013 when they revised all temperatures back to the landing, wiping out scores of days where they had claimed air temperature highs above freezing. Some of these revisions are visible on Table 4. Note that all above freezing temperatures were wiped out in the edit/revision. Ground temperature problems  (which are greater) will be discussed later, however in looking over ground temperature highs for Mars Year 33 Month 10 it should be noted that the REMS Team indicated that they were all well above freezing, with the minimum high 11° C (51.8° F), 18° C (64.4° F) at Ls 293, and 20° C (68° F) seen on the cusp of the next month at Ls 300. Three of the air temperature high that month were also above freezing. The bottom line here is that we were told to believe one set of air temperatures from August 6, 2012 until July 2, 2013 - and then told to forget about them and to believe radically different temperatures. It may be that they thought nobody would notice - but we did and recorded them all - before and after the revisions.

TABLE 4 – MSL Air Temperatures Altered by JPL in July, 2013

A

B

C

D

SOL

ORIGINAL MAX AIR TEMP °C

NEW MAX AIR TEMP °C

CHANGE °C (EQUALS CHANGE K)

23

0

-16

16

26

2

-14

16

27

-1

-15

14

31

-3

-23

20

38

-3

-13

10

40

2

-12

14

41

2

-12

14

42

5

-7

12

43

3

-12

15

44

4

-10

14

45

3

-9

12

46

4

-12

16

47

6

-9

15

49

4

-10

14

50

0

-10

10

51

3

-7

10

52

7

-7

14

53

5

-5

10

54

5

-9

14

102

8

-3

11

112

5

-8

13

116

5

-6

11

118

4.53

-6

10.53

123

2.1

-10

12.1

124

5.4

-5

10.4

179

5

-7

12

ROFFMAN Figure 3 below: Monthly MSL Air and Ground Low Temperatures as tracked by the Roffman Team.

 

Roffman Figure 5 (blue background) - Sol 1553 to 1554 temperature and pressure anomalies and JPL fix after we highlighted the problem with Sol 1554 pressure and max temperatures. Roffman Figure 6 (black background) - Predicted JPL temperature alteration for sol 1575 occurs.

       What was the length of daylight hours at MSL when a record ground temperature low of -110° C was recorded at Ls 340? The REMS report indicated a sunrise at 06:46 and a sunset at 18:52. That’s 12 hours 6 minutes. REMS did not post correct times until after we had proven their partner (Ashima Research) posted times that are totally bogus (in fact, impossible). We posted all the correct times at http://davidaroffman.com/photo4_26.html. REMS then matched them, and Ashima Research went on to take down their site. The David Roffman calculation for Ls 340 is given below. It shows a day length of 12 hours 6.98 minutes, less than a minute off of the REMS post (which rounds off sunrise and sunset times to the nearest minute). Table 4 shows the spreadsheet calculation we used for Ls 340. 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

Λsun (270 to 359 is summer in southern hemisphere)

This is Ls.

Latitude (phi)

δdegrees =  arcsin((sin(25.19)*sin(λsun))

H = arccos((SIN(-.17) - SIN(lw)*SIN(δ))/(COS(lw)*COS(δ))

Day Length =2*1.027491*H/360

Daylight in Hours David’s Calculation (E Value*24)

Half Sol in Hours

Difference Half day – Daylight (G-F)

Minutes above or below 12 hours for daylight

Hours of daylight

Plus minutes

340

-4.59

-8.370350533

90.84922794

0.518593134

12.44623521

12.329895

0.11634

6.98041177

12 hr

6.98041177

HOW FAR HAS CURIOSITY TRAVELLED? Figure 7 below shows that as of early December 2016 it had travelled 9.3 miles (15 miles). As of Sol 1648 on it had gone a total of 9.89 miles (15.92 km).

Figure 7 below: MSL Curiosity elevations.

ARE NASA AND REMS SCIENTISTS TRYING TO DO SOME WHISTLEBLOWING? Even after REMS-related Spanish scientists’ visits to our sites, REMS continues to publish insane ground temperature data. Are they deliberately trying to sabotage REMS credibility in an effort to alter the destructive effects on non-American-Government Mars landers? As we show on Figure 4, from the landing in August 2012 up until the REMS report in March 2017, no ground temperature low was colder than -101° C. But for Sol 1650 on March 2017 REMS reported a low of 110° C - and this was not in an MSL winter, it was at Ls 340 in the tail end of summer at MSL. What was even odder was that this extremely cold temperature was not at all matched by an extremely cold air temperature. And odder still was that the ground temperature was 35° C colder than the air temperature 1.5 meters above it. That's a drop of 63° F, and it too is unprecedented.

Figure 7 - Even after REMS-related Spanish scientists visit to our sites, REMS continues to publish insane ground temperature data. Are they deliberately trying to sabatoge REMS credibility, and with it the destructive effects on non- American Government Mars landers?

THE REMS Team States:

Ground Temperature

The average ground temperature measured this month was very stable around -33 °C (Fig. 5 - renumbered and shown as Figure 2B above), which is a bit higher than during the same month of previous years. These small daily variations could be caused by a low and constant thermal inertia of the materials that the rover found along her track. The multiple dune fields close to the rover is consistent with this behavior, since the small particle size of the sand reduces its capability to store heat, and follow fast the thermal variations on the air. Those temperatures change dramatically during the day, with a 80 to 100 degree difference between day and night – much higher that the seasonal variations.

ROFFMAN RESPONSE: For most of the first year the MSL REMS Team reports did not include ground temperatures. Then they began to include them – right back to MSL Sol 10 at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/instruments/environsensors/rems/. However when I tried to make some sense out of the relationship between air and ground temperatures, I found the caveat that,

“Ground temperature will be recorded with a thermopile on Boom 1 that views the Martian surface to the side of the rover through a filter with a passband of 8 to 14 microns. The requirement is to measure ground brightness temperature over the range from 150 to 300 K with a resolution of 2 K and an accuracy of 10 K.28 

       An accuracy of 10K is almost worthless when looking at so many temperatures hovering around 273K (0° C). In fact, looking at the data from MSL Sols 10 through 652, the REMS Team offered maximum and minimum ground temperature for 584 sols. Fully 413 of the highs (over 70%) were between 283K (10° C) and 263 K (-10° C). See Figure 49 of our Basic Report. In spring of MSL Year 3 a maximum ground temperature of +24° C was recorded on Sol 1428 at Ls 202.

       If there was an accuracy in the range 1 K or better we could probably deduce something intelligent about air density by looking at the rate of heat loss from the surface up to the boom, but with an accuracy of only 10K on the ground and 5 K in the air, it really isn’t worth the effort to do the math. The decision to go with such inaccurate sensors may be due to incompetence, or to design. All that can be said is that for $2.5 billion, we got inaccurate temperature sensors, nonfunctioning wind sensors, a relative humidity sensor that did not merit inclusion of its data on any daily weather reports, and, of course, the same pressure sensor as that on Phoenix that caused its designer so much distress. We also got a lot of data that was often suspiciously revised or deleted by JPL.