Seismic wave detectability on Venus using ground deformation sensors, infrasound sensors on balloons and airglow imagers


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The relatively unconstrained internal structure of Venus is a missing piece in our understanding of the Solar System formation and evolution. To determine the seismic structure of Venus’ interior, the detection of seismic waves generated by venusquakes is crucial, as recently shown by the new seismic and geodetic constraints on Mars’ interior obtained by the InSight mission. In the next decades multiple missions will fly to Venus to explore its tectonic and volcanic activity, but they will not be able to conclusively report on seismicity or detect actual seismic waves.Looking towards the next fleet of Venus missions in the future, various concepts to measure seismic waves have already been explored in the past decades. These detection methods include typical geophysical ground sensors already deployed on Earth, the Moon, and Mars; pressure sensors on balloons; and airglow imagers on orbiters to detect ground motion, the infrasound signals generated by seismic waves, and the corresponding airglow variations in the upper atmosphere.Here, we provide a first comparison between the detection capabilities of these different measurement techniques and recent estimates of Venus’ seismic activity.In addition, we discuss the performance requirements and measurement durations required to detect seismic waves with the various detection methods. As such, our study clearly presents the advantages and limitations of the different seismic wave detection techniques and can be used to drive the design of future mission concepts aiming to study the seismicity of Venus.
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