The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) at UAE University (UAEU) in Al Ain, UAE seeks a candidate to join its Planetary Science Group as a postdoctoral fellow. Their focus will be on Mars dust storm research in preparation for and in support of the exploitation of scientific data from the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM). The anticipated start date is likely to be during late Fall 2020.
The EMM science phase is scheduled to start in early-to-mid 2021. EMM is expected to provide an unprecedented dataset of satellite images covering the Martian surface and atmosphere. The work will start with imagery and dust-climatological-data from past and existing Mars satellite missions. The initial goal is a study to gauge the feasibility of extracting information about Mars dust storms from such observations. It is common practice to identify dust storms manually by the visual inspection of Mars Daily Global Maps. This may be based on different criteria, such as dust clouds, dust storm texture/convective structures, and atmospheric fronts. Manual identification will be backed up by comparisons against the performance of automatic dust storm detection and/or machine learning methods.
Once EMM begins its science phase, the researcher will focus on EMM observations (and/or EMM data synthesized with models using data assimilation methods) as the main source of information about Martian dust storms. This will include quantitative constraints on key parameters related to the formation of dust storms, such as dust optical depth, atmospheric and surface temperatures, surface winds, etc. The objective of this part of the work is to generate a comprehensive database of Mars dust storms.
The postdoctoral fellow will also be expected to pursue independent research in the field of Mars dust storm physics/dynamics/meteorology. Should they have the required expertise and aptitude, this may include using Mars Global Climate Models on UAEU’s supercomputing cluster.