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Atmospheric Composition, Water & Energy Cycles

A key societal objective for Earth science research, as delineated in the NRC Decadal Survey, "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond," is to provide credible forecasts over the next years and decades defining trends in UV radiation dosage to populated areas globally. This objective of forecasting requires a rigorous understanding not only of the mechanisms that control ozone loss in the stratosphere, but also the processes that control aerosol formation, cirrus cloud formation, stratosphere/troposphere exchange and the photochemical mechanisms controlling ozone formation and loss in the troposphere. Ultimately, elucidating the critical link between UV dosage and climate change requires an understanding of the coupling of dynamics, chemistry, and radiation especially within the tropical tropopause layer, and the midlatitude upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. In support of the investigation of mechanisms that control water vapor, relative humidity, and cloud formation in the upper troposphere and tropopause region, we propose to combine the Harvard photofragment fluorescence water vapor and total water hygrometers for integration into ether a spearpod or superpod of the NASA WB-57 or ER-2 aircraft. Through a combination of laboratory investigation and airborne intercomparison, these instruments have proved their reliability and accuracy during the CRYSTAL-FACE, Pre-AVE, MidCiX, CRAVE, and TC4 missions, and are uniquely suited to provide benchmark-quality measurements for satellite validation. The Harvard total water instrument did not participate in CRAVE or TC4 primarily because pallet space is significantly oversubscribed. Accordingly, we propose to combine total water and water vapor in the spearpod, while maintaining the instrument weight. The development of a new, high accuracy, IR laser absorption instrument developed under the NASA IIP program will provide a completely independent measure of the absolute water vapor concentration with a minimal addition of mass and power to the integrated water/total water package.

Project PI: James Anderson/Harvard University

Harvard University 12 Oxford Street, Link Bldg. Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: (617) 495-5922

Fax: (617) 495-4902

Email: anderson@huarp.harvard.edu

http://www.arp.harvard.edu/

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 16, 2011

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