Global Estimates of the Photosynthetically Active Radiation at the Mars Surface 2005-01-2813
This paper reports on the approach and progress to refine the estimates of the Mars surface photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) on a global scale that is averaged over a longer time period. While the PAR on Mars has been evaluated previously, the results have been limited in scope either temporally or spatially, such as only at a particular landing site or only over the time span of a few months. Understanding the availability of PAR is important in evaluating the practicality of using greenhouses and/or solar irradiance collectors for growing crops during manned missions to the Martian surface. Until surface investigations can be performed, computational modeling of the surface PAR can help to refine site selection and evaluation of engineering approaches and indicate the most favorable location at which to operate a greenhouse. The proposed approach is to combine multispectral irradiance models with global atmospheric opacity models developed from multiyear observations.