MSL Sol 370, 1160, 1161, 1300 and 1301 Pressure Anomalies

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If NASA stands for Never A Straight Answer, at least Ashima Research (who works for NASA/JPL) finally got out of the business of continuing to publish new, clearly erroneous data. Updated on 6/25/2017.

       MSL Sol 370 happens to be one of the data points that I captured by Print-Screen from both the REMS Team at the C.A.B. in Madrid, Spain, and from Ashima Research (see Figure 1). Both work for NASA/JPL. Both have been done an absolutely horrible job of putting out Martian weather data for public consumption. Sol 370 is one of those Martian days where the REMS Team problems become most obvious, and what they publish and revise after I have pointed out difficulties that are symptomatic of why I think the entire data set is suspect.

        On Figure 2 we see what the REMS Team originally published for MSL sols 369, 370, and 371. The (average) pressure for sols 369 and 371 was 865 Pa (pascals/8.65 mbar). But on sol 370 it spiked to 1149 Pa. The Vaisala pressure sensor on MSL Curiosity could only measure up to 1150 Pa (11.5 mbar/11.5 hPa). Since the data was constrained to 11.5 mbar it is obvious that, if the figure is real, the average could only have been achieved if the pressure exceeded 11.5 mbar for a good part of the day.

     When I saw this pressure, as was true when the REMS Team originally published pressures in excess of 740 mbar between September 1 and September 5, 2012, I immediately contacted JPL Public Relation man, Guy Webster. In 2012 I told him that if those figures were correct, he should have President Obama make the announcement because they were akin to pressures that people could experience walking around the ski resort in Vail, Colorado. No pressure suit would be required. This would be an enormous discovery, making Mars very similar to the Earth and not at all like the moon. Alas, on September 6, 2012 what was 747 hPa (mbar) they day before suddenly became 747 Pa. That’s like swapping cents for the same number of dollars.      

Figure 1 above shows the original CAB REMS Team and Ashima Research data pubished for MSL Sol 370. Ashima generally takes its figures from the REMS Team in Madrid, Spain. Figure 2 below shows original REMS Team issued data for sols 369, 370 and 371,

       When I called Guy again about the 1149 Pa figure the reaction was not so fast. I checked the pressure often since it was first published around August 25, 2013 for August 21, 2013. It stayed at 1149 Pa until sometime soon before sol 577 (March 21, 2014) when they quietly reduced the 1149 figure to precisely what they had published for the sols before and after sol 370 – exactly 865 Pa. Three exact same averages for three sols in a row? This is almost certainly fudging the results – altering them so that we are given what they want us to think about Mars, rather than giving us reason to think about and question results.

Figure 3 shows how the REMS Team went back (in March, 2014) to reduced pressure given for sol 370 from 1149 Pa to 865 Pa, the exact same pressure that they gave for sols 369 and 371.

Figure 4 shows that after the REMS Team seriously altered their data for Sol 370, as of August 31, 2015 Ashima Research did not follow suit. It still shows Sol 370 as having been 11.49 mbar (1149 Pa).

       We're not sure if Ashima Research stopped repeating REMS Team baloney because they got bored, had personnel problems, were disgusted with REMS or tired of reading on-line about our stinging criticism of them (like when we criticized their Ashima/MIT Mars General Circulation Model online at  http://marscorrect.com/photo4_4.html. Certainly they could not have enjoyed publishing the concession that they did about their Mars data - see http://marscorrect.com/rich_text_1.html.  As of November 14, 2015 it looks like Ashima stopped publishing Mars weather data back on September 1, 2014. But for whatever reason, we were pleased to see and document by print screen that in August, 2015 Ashima still listed the pressure for sol 370 as 11.49 mbar/hPa – which is 1,149 Pa. This pressure, if real, makes it obvious that the Vaisala pressure sensor sent to Mars was inadequate to measure pressures there. As for the REMS Team, they last updated their data on MSL Sol 737 (September 1, 2014).

       On November 13, 2015 we saw that the REMS Team (898 Pa) pressure given for Sol 1,160 was the same as that given for the previous day (Sol 1,159). But on the night of November 14, 2015 we noticed that they changed that pressure to 1,177 Pa (a new record, clearly above the 1,150 Pa limit for the pressure sensor on MSL). Then, for Sol 1,161 they posted a still higher pressure of 1,200 Pa (12 mbar). This is shown on on Figure 5. On January 20, 2016 we caught a Spanish IP address at 161.111.124.7 from the Consejo Superior de Investigacions reviewing the bulk of our Mars weather spreadsheets. On checking we found that they oversee the Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB) in Madrid. The CAB is home of the REMS Team that issues all weather reports for MSL. As is shown on Figure 6 on the day after this review was caught, the REMS Team dropped the pressure for Sol 1160 from 1177 Pa to 899 Pa and for Sol 1161 from 1200 Pa to 898 Pa (See Annex P of this report and http://marscorrect.com/photo2_28.html).

       Here we go again. For Sol 1299 they published a pressure of 753 PA which is right on the expect curve, headed toward what we expect them to publish for an MSL Year 2 minimum pressure - likely 726 to 730 Pa around Ls 150 on May 10, 2016. But on Sol 1300 the pressure shot up to 945 Pa, which is 20 Pa higher than any pressure allowed to stand so far for MSL. The next sol (1301 - on April 3, 2016) the mean pressure went higher still to 1154 Pa (11.54 mbar), again higher than the 1,150 Pa max pressure that the transducer was designed to measure. See the bottom half of Figure 6. We then expected two actions to be taken. First, pressures reported would rapidly return to the expected curve. This happened. Pressures published for sols 1302, 1303 and 1304 were 751, 751 and 750 Pa. The next thing we expect to see is an alteration of the pressures or Sols 1300 and 1301 back to about 752 Pa (+/- 3 Pa). We expect to see this after evidence that something from Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, Finland, the REMS Tea in Madrid, or JPL in Pasadena visited our sites and saw that we are calling attention to the problematic pressures. While we don't have direct evidence yet, on April 10, 2016 we noted that an IP address 184.164.114.86 in Buckley, Washington was listed as visiting our announcements about newest findings. The findings included the sudden high pressures. I always check for the reverse IP address. In this case that would be 86.114.164.184 - which is listed as Finland, and which the map shows as Helsinki. This is likely FMI using a proxy. They know that I play these tracking games. OK FMI - the ball's back in your court? What's it going to be - another altered set of pressures, or a public statement making your concerns clear?

Figure 5 - On the night of 11/14/2015 the REMS Team and JPL revised it pressure for Sol 1160 (up from 989 Pa to 1,177 Pa) and published a record new high pressure of 1200 Pa (12 mbar) for Sol 1,161. The pressure sensor on MSL is NOT rated to record pressures above 1,150 Pa (11.5 mbar).

       Sol 370 was not the only Martian day where JPL/REMS revised pressure data after I called JPL Public Relations man Guy Webster. There were also huge revisions of temperature dataTable 1 shows some of how JPL/REMS altered pressures off the expected curve for August and September 2012 and August 2013 and on through at least June 25, 2017 after we either brought the deviations up to JPL Public Relations Director Guy Webster, or published on our data on davidaroffman.com and marscorrect.com websites. Those pressures that were oriiginally above 925 Pa are shown with a yellow shading. The significance of Table1 is that it lets us know that there is an agenda to keep pressure reported for MSL either at or below the 925 Pa indicated by the scale height calculation.

TABLE 1 – Pressures revised by JPL/REMS after we highlighted them or published them in earlier version of our Report

Date

MSL Sol

Ls

Initial Pressure Reported

Pressure for the previous sol

Final Pressure Reported after JPL Revisions

Aug 25, 2012

19

160.4

785 Pa

 

719 Pa– then changed to N/A

Aug 27, 2012

21

161.4

790 Pa

N/A

741 Pa

Sept 1 to Sept

5, 1012

26

164

 742 to 747 hPa

74200 to 74700 (Pa)

743 Pa

 

Sep 12, 2012 (This date later changed to 9/11/2012)

36

169.5

799 Pa

749 Pa

750 Pa

Sep 16, 2012

(date later altered)

39

172.3

804 Pa

750 Pa

753 Pa - then changed to 751 Pa 

 

Oct 3, 2012

Series alteration starts here and goes to 10/12/2012

57

181

779 Pa

770 Pa

769 – Pa. Note the steady progression without reversals that were seen between 10/3/2012 and 10/12/2012 in initial results. This series looks very fudged.

Oct 4, 2012

58

182

779 Pa

 

769 Pa

Oct 5, 2012

59

183

781 Pa

 

771 Pa

Oct 6, 2012

60

183

785 Pa

 

772 Pa

Oct 7, 2012

61

184

779 Pa

 

772 Pa

Oct 8, 2012

62

184

782 Pa

 

774 Pa

Oct 9, 2012

63

185

786 Pa

 

775 Pa

Oct 10, 2012

64

186

785 Pa

 

776 Pa

Oct 11, 2012

65

186

785 Pa

 

777 Pa

Oct 12, 2012

66

187

781 Pa

 

778 Pa

Nov 11, 2012

95

204

815.53 Pa

822.43 Pa

822 Pa

Dec 8, 2012

121

221

865.4 Pa

867.5 Pa

869

Feb 19, 2013

192

267

940 Pa – a high until now. Pressures had been declining since a high of 925 Pa in late January 2013.

921

N/A

Feb 22, 2013

195

269

886 Pa – quite a large drop

Last 2 reports were 940 Pa on Feb 19 and 921

Pa on Feb 18, 2012

N/A

Feb 27, 2013

200

272

937 Pa

917 Pa

N/A

May 2, 2013

262

311

900 Pa

868.05 Pa

N/A

Aug 21, 2013

370

9

1,149 Pa

865 Pa

865 Pa

Aug 27, 2014

731

185

754 Pa

771 Pa

771 Pa

Oct 11, 2014

775

211

823 Pa

838 Pa

838 Pa

April 16, 2015

957

326

823 Pa

N/A  - next sol 848 Pa

N/A

Nov 10, 2015

1160

66

1177 Pa

898 Pa

899 Pa

Nov 12, 2015

1161

66

1200 Pa

899 Pa (revised)

898 Pa

April 2, 2016

1300

131

945 Pa

753 Pa

752 Pa

April 3, 2016

1301

131

1154 Pa

753 Pa (2 sols earlier, 751 Pa on Sol 1302

752 Pa

Oct 17, 2016

1492

242

921 Pa

906 Pa

910 Pa

Oct 23, 2016

1498

242

897 Pa

909 Pa

907 Pa

Oct 27, 2016

1502

249

928 Pa

903 Pa

907 Pa

Jan 10, 2017

1575

296

860 Pa

868  Pa

871 Pa

Feb 10, 2017

1605

314

815 Pa

850 Pa

846 Pa

       

Figure 6 - Pressure changes for MSL sols 1160 and 1161 plus record from Sols 1299 to 1302