Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover observations of the 2018/Mars year 34 global/planet‐encircling dust storm represent the first in situ measurements of a global dust storm with dedicated meteorological sensors since the Viking Landers. The Mars Science Laboratory team planned and executed a science campaign lasting approximately 100 Martian sols to study the storm involving an enhanced cadence of environmental monitoring using the rover's meteorological sensors, cameras, and spectrometers. Mast Camera 880‐nm optical depth reached 8.5, and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station measurements indicated a 97% reduction in incident total ultraviolet solar radiation at the surface, 30K reduction in diurnal range of air temperature, and an increase in the semidiurnal pressure tide amplitude to 40 Pa. No active dust‐lifting sites were detected within Gale Crater, and global and local atmospheric dynamics were drastically altered during the storm. This work presents an overview of the mission's storm observations and initial results.
- Mars Science Laboratory
- dust storm