The National Space Science and Technology Center 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 support of the exploitation of scientific data from the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM). The position is to be filled as soon as possible.
The EMM science phase is scheduled to begin shortly. EMM is expected to provide an unprecedented dataset of satellite images covering the Martian surface and atmosphere. Once the Mars dust storm season is ongoing, the researcher will focus on EMM observations (and/or EMM data synthesized with models using 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.
Initially, the work may also involve imagery and dust-climatological-data from other satellite missions. The 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.
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.