Title: Millimeter-Wavelength Remote Sensing of the Atmospheric Structure and Composition of Venus
Dr. Steffes, Advisor
Dr. Cohen, Chair
The objective of the proposed research is to develop a model for sulfuric acid vapor absorption that is valid at microwave and millimeter-wavelengths and to develop and utilize a microwave radiative transfer model of Venus to interpret millimeter-wavelength observations made by radio interferometers such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). The model for sulfuric acid vapor absorption will be derived from laboratory measurements under simulated Venus conditions using semi-confocal microwave open resonators. The resulting absorption model will be incorporated into the Venus microwave radiative transfer model, which can be inverted to retrieve vertical profiles of temperature and the abundances of microwave absorbers at Venus from 2-4 millimeter observations. The results of these retrievals will provide insight into the chemical processes and dynamics of the lower atmosphere of Venus.