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ABSTRACT: We employ a newly developed Navier-Stokes model, the Titan Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (T-GITM) to address the one dimensional (1-D) coupled composition, dynamics, and energetics of Titan's upper atmosphere. Our main goals are to delineate the details of this new theoretical tool and to present benchmark calibration simulations compared against the Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) neutral density measurements. First, we outline the key physical routines contained in T-GITM and their computational formulation. Then, we compare a series of model simulations against recent 1-D work by Cui et al. (2008), Strobel (2008, 2009), and Yelle et al. (2008) in order to provide a fiducial for calibrating this new model. In paper 2 and a future paper, we explore the uncertainties in our knowledge of Titan's atmosphere between ∼500 km and 1000 km in order to determine how the present measurements constrain our theoretical understanding of atmospheric structures and processes.
Journal of Geophysical Research. 01/2010; 115(E12):E12002.