Jim Tillman, LFEM-STEP, and the Finnish Meteorology Institute, FMI, are developing the Martian Meteorology Network program, MetNet, to place permanent meteorology - climate stations on Mars. It will investigate Atmospheric: Surface to Atmosphere interactions & the Planetary Boundary Layer, Atmospheric dynamics and circulation, Cycles of CO2, H2O and dust, and Dust raising mechanisms. It especially includes studying the evolution of Martian climate. FMI and LFEM-STEP will collaborate and provide mutual support in the development of the MetNet Mission. This program is described in Tillman's "Climate Landers" component of the International Mars Exploration Working Group's (IMEWG) Mars Exploration Strategy as adopted by the IMEWG delegates, Helsinki, Finland, November 10, 2000. A new entry technique has been developed for the landers by Russia, and the current funding includes a Suborbital test launch in 2004/2005 using Russian SS-19. The initial phase will conclude with the launch of one to four MetNet landers by Russia and their continued operation as long as the landers function. The Mission Phase is to deploy an observation network (tens of landers) around Mars (2009 -2016), and will consist of several launches. This collaboration will include a major Education/Public Outreach component capitalizing on Tillman's more than 25 years pioneering such activities. Its students and collaborators will play a primary role in the Mission, including their operation. As the program progresses, it will be expanded to include more stations, especially to assure permanent operations at the Viking Sites.
Tillman was an invited Co-Investigator in the Atmospheric Sciences Investigation Team's NetLander proposal for the European Mars program to land a network of 4 stations on Mars in 2007, before it was cancelled due to NASA withdrawal. He played a significant role in developing the proposal's scientific and environmental operational components, initially representing both himself and the Danish National Laboratory's interests. He is a Visiting Professor at the Geophysics Division of the Finnish Meteorology Institute and spends several months a year helping develop the NetLander Atmospheric Science Investigation and a public outreach program there in conjunction with his US programs. In 2000, Tillman became a member of the Finnish IMEWG deligation to the International Mars Exploration Working Group, IMEWG, which co-ordinates all Martian exploration efforts. IMEWG includes "all Martian research organizations" such as the Canadian, European, Finnish, French, ..., and US (NASA), Space Agencies. Some of his proposals have been incorporated in the "Mars Exploration Strategy" adopted in Helsinki, Nov. 10, 2000.
In conjunction with and addition to his Mars NetLander activities and atmospheric boundary layer research, Tillman is continuing his development of K-12 and public outreach initiatives as he has done for the past 25 years. These include collaboratively installing sophisticated weather stations in schools for student and teacher use, developing educational materials, and having students and techers directly participate with him in his Mars programs. These collaborations involve direct support by individuals, institutions and public service organizations.
To acquire multiple years Martian meteorological data, he, his Viking Computer Facility staff, and a JPL programmer, converted the Viking Mission Operations Software to run on his UW computer facility, taking over Viking Lander Spacecraft engineering data processing from Jet Propulsion Laboratory for more than 1,000 Mars days, (sols), at the end of the mission. This was the only source for spacecraft engineering data, and the VCF staff played a key role in doubling the lifetime of the Viking mission. The system was then interfaced to the NASA Real Time Communications System, NASCOM, and based on this real time operation, Tillman initiated the "Viking View of Mars" permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This exhibit, 1983 to present, was the first computer driven exhibit at the Museum, was implemented by acquiring an image processing system and super mini computer by donations for the Museum and by developing state of the art hardware, software and institutional interfaces. His second exhibit, displaying Live from Mars Pathfinder data, was the first "web" developed exhibit at the museum.
Tillman was a member of the Pathfinder Atmospheric Structures/Meteorology
Science Advisory Team, and was a collaborator in the Russian, European
Mars 96 mission, and the Principal Science Advisor for "Mission to Mars",
a NSF funded national Traveling Exhibition for Science Education. In addition
to numerous scientific or technical papers, he has given hundreds of talks
to K-12 students, as well as institutional, and public audiences worldwide.
He initiated and led the development of the Pathfinder "Live
from Mars" component of Live from Earth and Mars, and he and
Neal Johnson developed its web resources.
Publications, Archived Data Sets and Technical Reports
J Tillman, July 13, 2006