The Institut d'aéronomie spatiale de Belgique has international recognition in various topics on planetary atmospheres. This covers the neutral atmosphere from the surface of the planet to the upper layers where escape processes to space have to be taken into account. The expertise encompasses observations, such as remote sensing or in-situ measurements of the characteristics of the atmospheres, as well as modeling. The IASB- BIRA team has been involved in several Earth (GOMOS, ACE-FTS, IASI/METOP, Cluster) and space missions (SPICAM/MEX, SPICAV-SOIR/VEX, Phoenix, Rosetta, and MAGIE and NOMAD on ExoMars 2016). In particular IASB-BIRA is Principal Investigator (PI) for the SOIR/VEx and NOMAD/ExoMars instruments. Spectroscopic remote sensing of the composition of planetary atmospheres relies on laboratory measurements of reference UV, visible and IR spectroscopic data and on the development and implementation of up-to- date radiative transfer codes (incl. aerosols). Interpretation of the observed data is also based on atmospheric models (Mars GCM, cloud microphysics, ionospheric model, etc.). IASB-BIRA has also acquired extensive expertise in validating Earth remote observations with ground-based measurements.
Dr. Ir. Ann Carine Vandaele is the head of the Planetary Aeronomy unit at IASB-BIRA and supervises research projects of the team. She will be science manager and executive manager of the team at Belgium Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA). She is responsible for the scientific validation of EuroVenus deliverables, for the temporal execution of the tasks, and for the elaboration of progress and final reports.
Dr. Valérie Wilquet is responsible for the definition of the observation strategies of SOIR/VEx and coordinates tasks of WP7. She works on detailed analysis of the spectra recorded with the SOIR instrument, particularly trace gases and aerosols inversion. Her main research topic is the vertical distribution and microphysical and optical properties of aerosols above the cloud layer in the Venus atmosphere.