Case for Higher than Advertised Martian Air Pressure

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NOTE: The report posted on this site in January, 2010, has been replaced by a new report (dated January 20, 2017) entitled MARS CORRECT: CRITIQUE OF ALL MARS WATHER DATA. The abstract for the new report is as follows:

 

ABSTRACT: We present evidence that NASA is seriously understating Martian air pressure. Our 7 year study critiques 1,583 Sols (2 over 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 again 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 frequently 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.

Readers who wish to find specific data in the new report can link to the appropriate Part below:

NOVEMBER 12, 2016 Report: MARS CORRECT: CRITIQUE FOR ALL NASA MARS WEATHER DATA

                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS                              
Table of Contents………………………………………………………….. iii
List of Illustrations……………………………………………………………………….. iv
ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………… 1
1. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………….. 1
   1.1 Comparison of Martian and terrestrial dust devils……………..……………………… 2
     1.1.1 Geographic Occurrences and the Greenhouse and Thermophoresis Effect……… 2
     1.1.2 Seasonal Occurrences and Electrical Properties………………….………………  3
     1.1.3. Size and Shape ………………………………………………………………………….. 3
     1.1.4. Diurnal Formation Rate and Lifetime……………………………………………….. 4
     1.1.5 Wind Speeds…………………………………………………………………………….. 4
     1.1.6 Core Temperature Excursions………………………………………………………….  4
     1.1.7 Dust Particle Size – The Problem of Martian Dust <2 Microns and Wind Speeds. 4
     1.1.8. Core Pressure Excursions………………………………………………………………  4
   1.2. NASA Ames Test of Martian Pressures and Dust Devils …………………………… 7
2. OVERVIEW OF PRESSURE INSTRUMENTATION PROBLEMS………………. 8
   2.1 Viking 2 and Gay-Lussac’s Law…………………………………………………………. 10
   2.2 Pathfinder and Phoenix Pressure Issues    …………………………………………. 15
   2.3. Which Transducers Were Used?………………………………………………… 18
   2.4. Issues Raised by the FMI 19
2.5. DID ANY TAVIS OR VAISALA TRANSDUCERS PEG OUT AT THEIR MAXIMUM PRESSURES?……………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
    2.5.1 How extraordinary was the (temporary) 1,149 Pa pressure spike of MSL Sol 370? 25
     2.5.2. The importance of gleaning data from identification of our web site readers. 26
    2.5.3 Why is it so wrong to alter data to fit an expected curve?
32
   2.6 The Dust filter on Viking………………………………………………………….. 36
      2.6.1. The issue of Viking pressure reports and digitization………………………………… 36
     2.6.2. The issue of daily pressure spikes at consistent time-bins. 36
2.7. MSL Weather Reporting Fiasco 42
3. CAVES ON AND SPIRAL CLOUDS ABOVE ARSIA MONS ON MARS……….. 45
4. THE ISSUES OF SNOW, WATER ICE, AND CARBON DIOXIDE ON MARS. 48
   4.1. Annual Pressure Fluctuations Recorded by Viking 1, Viking 2, and Phoenix –   Maximum Pressure in the Northern Winter?…………………………………………………………… 48
4.1.1. Ls of minimum pressure……………………………………………………… 48
4.1.2. Ls of maximum pressure ……………………………………………………………….. 48
5. RADIO OCCULTATION……………………………………………………………. 60
5.1 Shifting Standards – The Relationship of the MOLA Topography of Mars to the Mean Atmospheric Pressure.   65
6.  SPECTROSCOPY PRESSURE READINGS BY MARS EXPRESS ORBITER.. 65
7.  MARTIAN WIND PROBLEMS……………………………………………………………………… 66
   7.1 Anemometer/Telltale Wind Speed Issues………………………………………………… 67
   7.2 Martian Bedforms – Too Much Movement of Sand Dunes and Ripples for 6.1 mbar 68
   7.2.1 Issues Raised by the paper on Planet-wide sand motion on Mars by Bridges et al. (2012) 69
8. DO DOWNRANGE LANDINGS MEAN THINNER OR THICKER AIR?……….. 74
9. DUST OPACITY AND PRESSURE………………………………………………………………. 77
10. EXCESSIVE DECELERATION DURING AEROBRAKING OPERATIONS 78
   10.1 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)…………………………………………………………… 79
   10.2 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)……………………………………………  79
11. MARS PATHFINDER PRESSURES 80
12.  THE POTENTIAL PRESSURE ON MARS……………………………………… 81
   12.1 Did NASA ever publicly back 20 mbar on Mars? 82
   12.2 Biology, Methane, and a Possible Hint of the Real Martian Air Pressure………………….. 83
  12.3 Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL), Perchlorates and Running Water on Mars………….. 86
     12.3.1 Length of daylight where RSL are found……………………………………………….. 87
     12.3.2 Latitudes, times and temperatures for evidence of running water…………………. 87
     12.3.3 The role of perchlorates in RSL………………………………………………………… 87
   12.4 The High End of Pressure Estimates for Mars………………………………………………… 92
13. RELATIVE HUMIDITY……………………………………………..……………….. 95
14. TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT CONCERNS…………………………… 98
    14.1. Ground Temperature Problems………………………………………………… 100
    14.2. Winter Ground Temperatures above freezing in MSL Year 2 106
    14.3. Why the early winter ground temperatures are so important and possible life seen on Sol 1185. 106
15. ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND CLOUD COVER AT MSL. 110
15.1 Solar Longitude for sols at MSL with very high and low ultraviolet radiation. 111
16. CONCLUSIONS………………………………………………………………………. 115
17. RECOMMENDATIONS………………………………………………………………………………….. 120
18. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…………………………………………………………………………… 120
AFTERWORD: What difference could this all possibly make? ……………… 122
20. REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 128