2006 Annual Science Report

Virtual Planetary Laboratory (JPL/CalTech) Reporting  |  JUL 2005 – JUN 2006

Model Synthesis and Architecture

Project Summary

The VPL integrated model to develop self-consistent planetary environments has acquired several separate components into its model suite over the past year, including weathering, land model, and tectonic/solid earth components. These are now housed in a version controlled online database of all VPL software components, including the coupled online model as well as other model components under development.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The VPL integrated model to develop self-consistent planetary environments has acquired several separate components into its model suite over the past year, including weathering, land model, and tectonic/solid earth components. These are now housed in a version controlled online database of all VPL software components, including the coupled online model as well as other model components under development. This year we have made publicly available an online interface that allows users to create a simplified climate-chemistry coupled model, and submit this to a computer cluster for computation. Once the climate-chemistry run is complete, command files to generate absorption coefficients and spectra are automatically created and submitted to the cluster. The climate and spectra results can be analyzed and downloaded from a central online interface, and a new interface to the HITRAN database facilitates interpretation of the spectra.

In detail, the current VPL model and user interface (Figures 1 and 2) includes:

  • A software and data scheme, using SQL databases and a custom API, that allows any model component to access the results from other components.
  • A coupled 1-D climate-chemistry model for Earth-like planets (Figure 3), as well as architecture for including models parameters for other planets, or, eventually, a generic model.
  • A facility for computing spectra from the resulting models using an online interface to a distributed computing cluster.
  • Analysis and plotting tools for viewing HITRAN molecular line lists and model results (Figure 4)

We are in the process of extending this tool to include additional components of the integrated model and to allow community access to the VPL Task 1 3-D spectral Mars and Earth models later this year. We are also working on a data interface for the Task 1 models that will upload temperature profiles from 3-D datasets (GCMs, satellites, etc) to allow planetwide spectral calculations for seasonal variability or different planets. The publicly available VPL model interface can be found at: http://vpl.ipac.caltech.edu/.

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  • PROJECT INVESTIGATORS:
    John Armstrong John Armstrong
    Project Investigator
    Victoria Meadows Victoria Meadows
    Project Investigator
  • RELATED OBJECTIVES:
    Objective 1.1
    Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets

    Objective 1.2
    Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets

    Objective 4.1
    Earth's early biosphere

    Objective 4.3
    Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere

    Objective 7.2
    Biosignatures to be sought in nearby planetary systems