Spectral parameters of methane for remote sounding of the Jovian atmosphere
Spectroscopic measurements in the infrared have proven to be a valuable source of information about the Jovian atmosphere. However, numerous questions remain, many of which will be addressed by the Galileo μission, due to arrive at Jupiter in December, 1995. One of the instruments on Galileo is the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), which will measure temperature structure, cheμical composition, and cloud properties. The objective of the work described in this thesis was to investigate the transmittance properties of the Jovian atmosphere and, in particular, to obtain transmittance functions of CH4 for future use in the planning and interpretation of NIMS measurements. This thesis begins with a review of our current understanding of the Jovian atmosphere (Chapter 1), and a description of the Galileo μission and the design and objectives of NIMS (Chapter 2). It is then shown (Chapter 3) that absorption bands of CH4 doμinate the nearinfrared spectrum of Jupiter, but that line data for CH4 are currently inadequate over much of the NIMS spectral range (0.7-5.2 /μi). For the purposes of NIMS, which has a low resolution of 0.25 /μi, the spectrum of CH4 can be characterised using band models of transmittance as a function of temperature, pressure, and abundance. The theory of band modelling is presented, and previous band-modelling studies of CH4 are reviewed and are also shown to be inadequate for NIMS (Chapter 4). An experimental investigation was therefore undertaken to record CH4 spectra under Jovian conditions of low temperature, large abundance, and H2-broadening. The experimental resources used to obtain these spectra are described (Chapter 5), the generation of the transmittance spectra is discussed, and their quality is assessed (Chapter 6). The range of frequencies and laboratory conditions covered by these spectra (listed in Appendix A) makes them one of the most comprehensive data sets of this kind yet published. These spectra were subsequently used to derive transmittance functions for CH4 (Chapter 7). A variety of models were fitted to the self-broadened CH4 spectra, and the Goody and Malkmus random band models, using the Voigt lineshape, are shown to provide the best fits. These two models were then fitted to the combined set of self- and H2-broadened CH4 spectra. The parameters fitted with the Goody-Voigt model are included in this thesis (Appendices B and C). Finally, the application of these new band model fits to the problem of Jovian remote sounding is addressed (Chapter 8). This includes an assessment of the reliability of extrapolation to Jovian conditions, a calculation of the level in the Jovian atmosphere that will be sounded by observations of CH4 absorption, and a calculation of how the uncertainties in the fitted band model will affect the retrieval of atmospheric parameters from NIMS spectra. This thesis concludes with a detailed summary, and with suggestions for future investigations which will help to maximise the return of information from NIMS.