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NSSDCA ID: 1975-083C-07

Mission Name: Viking 2 Lander
Principal Investigators:Dr. Seymour L. Hess
Principal Investigators:Prof. James E. Tillman


This experiment analyzed the meteorological environment near the planetary surface and obtained information about motion systems of various scales. The atmospheric parameters determined were pressure, temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. Diurnal and seasonal variations were of particular importance. The sampling rates and durations for any one Martian day (sol) were selectable by ground command. The sensors were mounted on an erected boom. Three hot-film anemometers, through which an electric current was passed to heat two glass needles coated with platinum and overcoated with aluminum oxide, were used to measure wind speed. The electric power needed to maintain these sensors at a fixed temperature above the surrounding air was the measure of wind speed. Atmospheric temperature was measured by three fine-wire thermocouples in parallel. A thin metal diaphragm, mounted in a vacuum-sealed case, was used to measure atmospheric pressure.

Alternate Names

  • Viking2Lander/Meteorology
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:met.vl2

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Seymour L. HessTeam LeaderFlorida State University
Prof. James E. TillmanTeam LeaderUniversity of
Prof. Conway B. LeovyTeam MemberUniversity of
Mr. Robert M. HenryTeam MemberUniversity of Washington
Dr. Jack A. RyanTeam MemberCalifornia State University, Fullerton

Selected References

  • Chamberlain, T. E., et al., Atmospheric measurements on Mars - the Viking meteorology experiment, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 57, No. 9, 176, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1976)057<1094:AMOMTV>2.0.CO;2, Sept. 1976.
  • Hess, S. L., et al., Meteorological results from the surface of Mars: Viking 1 and 2, J. Geophys. Res., 82, No. 28, 4559-4574, doi:10.1029/JS082i028p04559, Sept. 1977.
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