NASA Discover AQ Campaign Comes to Colorado

Presenter: Dr. Jim Crawford
Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013

NASA scientist Jim Crawford talks about DISCOVER-AQ, a NASA Earth Venture program funded mission, that stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality.

In recent years, progress in reaching air quality goals has begun to plateau for many locations. Furthermore, near-surface pollution is one of the most challenging problems for Earth observations  from space. However, with an improved ability to monitor pollution from satellites from DISCOVER-AQ, scientists could make better air quality forecasts, more accurately determine the sources of pollutants in the air and more closely determine the fluctuations in emissions levels. In short, the more accurate data scientists have at hand, the better society is able to deal effectively with lingering pollution problems.

The campaign will employ NASA aircraft to make a series of flights, with scientific instruments on board to measure gaseous and particulate pollution,that began in 2011. The series of flights -- made by NASA Langley's King Air and NASA's P-3B – commenced over Baltimore-Washington, D.C. in 2011. Other flights included Houston (2013); Sacramento (2013); and now, Colorado in 2014. The measurements in each campaign are taken in concert with ground observations in order to shed light on how satellites could be used to make similar, consistent measurements over time, with the ultimate goal of putting better data in the hands of policymakers and elected officials.

DISCOVER-AQ is a collaboration among scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; NASA’s Ames Research Center, outside San Francisco; and multiple universities

Topics:Earth System, Human Impacts, Air Quality and Pollution
Audience:General public, Informal education, Middle school, High school, Higher education, Undergraduate (lower division), Undergraduate (upper division), Graduate/professional

NASA Langley Research Center, www.discover-aq.larc.nasa.gov