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Poster Communications Year : 2013

Study of Venus' cloud layers by polarimetry using SPICAV/VEx


The study of Venus's cloud layers is important in order to understand the structure, radiative balance and dynamics of the Venusian atmosphere. The main cloud layers between 50 and 70 km are thought to consist in ∼ 1 µm radius droplets of a H 2 SO 4 -H 2 O solution. Nevertheless, the composition and the size distribution of the droplets are difficult to constrain more precisely. The polarization measurements have given great results in the determination of the constituents of the haze. In the early 1980s, Kawabata et al.(1980) used the polarization data from the OCPP instrument on the spacecraft Pioneer Venus to constrain the properties of the haze. They obtained a refractive index of 1.45 ± 0.04 at λ = 550 nm and an effective radius of 0.23 ± 0.04 µm, with a normalized size distribution variance of 0.18 ± 0.1. Our work aims to reproduce the method used by Kawabata et al. by writing a Lorentz-Mie scattering model and apply it to the so far unexploited polarization data of the SPICAV-IR instrument on-board ESA's Venus Express in order to better constrain haze and cloud particles at the top of Venus's clouds, as well as their spatial and temporal variability. We introduce here the model we developed, based on the BH-MIE scattering model. Taking into account the same size distribution of droplets as Kawabata et al., we obtained the polarization degree after a single Mie scattering by a haze at all phase angles given the effective radius and variance of the distribution and the refractive index of the droplets. Our model seems consistent as it reproduces the polarization degree modeled by Kawabata et al. We also present the first application of our model to the SPICAV-IR data under the single scattering assumption. Hence we can confirm the mean constraints on the size and refractive index of the haze and cloud droplets.
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hal-01076661 , version 1 (22-10-2014)


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  • HAL Id : hal-01076661 , version 1


Loïc Rossi, Emmanuel Marcq, Franck Montmessin, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Oleg Korablev, et al.. Study of Venus' cloud layers by polarimetry using SPICAV/VEx. EGU General Assembly 2013, Apr 2013, Vienna, Austria. 15, pp.2013 - 3110, 2013. ⟨hal-01076661⟩
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