Venus Clouds Observation


LCPS ( cloud particle size spectrometer ), 1978

LCPS was a primary experiment aboard the sounder probe during the Pioneer Venus (PV) mission. This single particle device individually sized particles traversing its illuminated field during descent from 66 km to the planet's surface. Covering a size range

of 0.5-500 um, it detailed the cloud microstructure from medium-sized aerosol nuclei to small precipitation elements. The relatively higher number density of small aerosol particles observed proved sufficient in population to realize the LCPS's maximum vertical resolution of 100 m in the denser cloud regions (Knollenberg et al., 1980).

VIRTIS, a instrument aboard in Venus Express mission, is aimed to provide a 4-dimensional study of Venus atmosphere (2D imaging + spectral dimension + temporal variations), both on night and day side.

The spectral variations permitting a sounding at different levels of the atmosphere, from the ground up to the thermosphere. The infrared capability of VIRTIS is especially well fitted to the thermal sounding of the night side atmosphere (Taylor et al, 1997), which give a tomography of the atmosphere down to the surface.

a brief introduction of two Venus missions: LCPS & VIRTIS