Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition

We propose several upgrades to the abilities currently provided by the 14-channel Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometer (AATS-14). The upgrades will provide calibrated measurements of (1) direct-beam Sun irradiance and (2) sky radiance vs. angular distance from the sun, all in many more wavelength channels, and with finer resolution, than now provided by AATS-14. Together these upgrades will provide improved measurements of H2O, O3, and aerosols in the stratosphere and troposphere, while enabling measurements of additional gases such as NO2. The improved aerosol measurements will enable retrievals of size distribution modes extending to larger sizes than possible with AATS direct-beam transmission measurements, and will provide information on aerosol type via retrievals of complex refractive index and shape, all provided by the first AERONET-like measurements from aircraft. They will thus extend robustly into the future the productivity enabled by AATS-14 and its predecessor AATS-6. AATS measurements of H2O, O3, and aerosols in numerous field campaigns have yielded >80 publications describing their use to validate data products from satellites, lidars, and chemical-transport models, to test consistency between in situ and radiometric measurements, and to study radiative effects of atmospheric composition. Our proposed approach to providing these upgraded capabilities is to link rack-mounted spectrometers to auto-steered entrance ports via fiber optics in a relatively compact, modular design that permits easier integration on a wider range of aircraft, as well as straightforward substitution of more specialized spectrometers in future versions. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we have developed and extensively tested a ground-prototype Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR-Ground). We propose to demonstrate the upgraded capabilities in an airborne prototype (4STAR-Air) during an airborne mission. The proposing team is a collaboration that brings together key members of the teams that have developed and extensively applied AATS-6 and -14, 4STAR-Ground, and AERONET.

Project PI: Philip Russell/NASA Ames Research Center

MS 245-5, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000

Phone: (650) 604-5404 



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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 10, 2010


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