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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for September & October 2008

NOVICE Campaign
Th e Newly-Operating and Validated Instruments Comparison Experiment (NOVICE), conducted in early September, provided flight opportunities to airborne instruments that 1) required initial flight performance assessment after construction; 2) required additional flight performance assessment after modification; or 3) had flown in one or more previous science campaigns and could provide “validated” measurements of chemical species with which the instruments in the first two categories can compare. The comparison component of NOVICE was intended to elucidate anomalous instrument behaviors, such as offsets, drifts, and transient phenomena, rather than to serve as a rigorous double blind intercomparison of stable, well characterized, fully calibrated instruments.

The flight platform was the NASA WB-57F, flying out of Ellington Field, Texas. The project scientist was Jim Podolske ( SGG ) with support from Mike Craig and Marilyn Vasques (ESPO) and Shelley Baccus (JSC), and funding from ASP. Fourteen instruments from NASA Ames, Dryden, Goddard, JPL, Langley, as well as NOAA ESRL and Harvard University participated. (POC: Jim Podolske, 4-4853, )


SGG scientists attend IGAC
Several researchers from the Atmospheric Science Branch ( SGG ) attended the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry's (IGAC) 10th International Conference, “Bridging the scales in Atmospheric Chemistry: Local to Global,” held in Annecy, France, September 7-12. Presenting posters were:

•  Hanwant Singh: “An overview of the NASA spring/summer 2008 Arctic campaign (ARCTAS)”
•  Annalise Van Wyngarden: “Kinetic Control of the Cloud Processing of Methygloyoxl in Aerosols: “Implications for the Climate Forcing Properties of Organic Aerosols”
•  Bob Bergstrom: “Remote Sensing of Gases and Aerosols from Aircraft Data”
•  Bob Chatfield: “Quantitative Remote Sensing of the Smog Process: How Best We've Used UV; How Mid-Wave IR can sense the PBL”

IGAC is a core project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The conference was held under the auspices of the IGAC Project, Atmospheric Composition Change and the European Network of Excellence (ACCENT). (POC: Warren Gore, , 4-5533)


HQ ESD Program Managers visit Ames
NASA Earth Science Directorate Program Managers Diane Wickland (Carbon Cycles & Ecosystem), Woody Turner (Agricultural Efficiency, Ecological Forecasting, Biodiversity), and Jeff Masek (Deputy PM, Ocean Surface Topography Science Team) visited Ames, Sept. 10-11. They met with SGE researchers Chris Potter, Rama Nemani, Liane Guild, Dave Bubenheim, and Vern Vanderbilt to discuss their work in modeling terrestrial carbon, ecological forecasting, coastal zone and coral reef health, collaborative activities related to terrestrial processes, and new approaches in remote sensing. SGG researchers Laura Iraci, Bob Chatfield, and Phil Russell discussed carbon observations from aircraft; Warren Gore, Tony Strawa, and Russell updated them on the recent ARCTAS campaign. Jeff Myers (Manager, ASTL) and Matt Fladeland (Manager, Airborne Projects Office) led a tour of the SIERRA and Alpha Jet before the managers met with Space Science Directorate staff prior to their departure. (POC: Ed Sheffner, , 4-5899)


Conferences and workshops:
* Don Sullivan (SGE) traveled to Boulder, Colorado, to attend two workshops:
•  The Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Information Systems and Services meeting (WGISS), that met September 22-24. WGISS is one of three subgroups supporting the CEOS. CEOS addresses coordination of the Earth Observation (EO) satellite programs of international government agencies, along with agencies that receive and process data acquired remotely from space. The WGISS promotes collaboration in the development of systems and services that manage and supply EO data to users worldwide.

•  The GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot ( AIP ) Phase 2 Kickoff Workshop, September 24-26, held at the NCAR Mesa Laboratory. Sullivan was a co-leader in the Technology session, “Sensors and Models Access.”

(POC: Don Sullivan, , 4-0526)

* Jens Redemann (BAER Institute) delivered an invited presentation, “Synergy of airborne and space-borne passive remote sensing of dust,” at the Third International Workshop on Mineral Dust, held Sept. 15-17, in Leipzig, Germany. This was the third workshop dedicated to understanding uncertainties in climate-relevant properties of soil-derived mineral dust particles, and their impact on the climate system. (POC: Jens Redemann, , 4-6259)  

* Dave Bubenheim (SGE) was invited by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative workshop, held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at the Biosphere 2 Conference Site in Oracle, AZ. The workshop was held to define requirements for cyberinfrastructure and initiate for formation of iPlant Collaborative Teams. The Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative (PSCIC) program is intended by NSF to create a new type of organization, a cyberinfrastructure collaborative for the plant sciences that would enable new conceptual advances through integrative, computational thinking. To achieve this, they have developed the “iPlant Collaborative” (iPC). The iPC will be fluid and dynamic, utilizing new computer, computational science, and cyberinfrastructure solutions to address an evolving array of grand challenges in the plant sciences. (POC: Dave Bubenheim, David.L.Bubenheim, 4-3209)


SGE-developed imager successfully tested
The in-flight performance of ASPIRE, a 128-channel hyperspectral imager developed by Steve Dunagan (SGE), that was characterized with respect to radiometric, spectral, and geometric properties. Radiometric retrieval was within 1% (absolute) of ground-based surface reflectance for a range 450-800 nm, and spectral retrieval was within 2 nm of ground data. Geometric fidelity was qualitatively evaluated as very good. The data were originally collected in June during a joint airborne campaign with Northrop Grumman Space Technology. (POC: Lee Johnson, Lee.F.Johnson, 4-3331; Brad Lobitz,, 4-3223)


SGG Scientists attend AURA Science Meeting
The Atmospheric Research Branch ( SGG ) was well represented at the recent AURA Science Meeting that was held October 27-30, in Columbia, Maryland.

Posters :

  • “A strategy: Roles and limitations of remote sensing for PBL ozone and controls on ozone production.” Robert Chatfield, P. K. Bhartia, B. Duncan, M. Schoeberl, R. Wargan, A. Thompson, W. Brune, A. Fried, X. Ren, R. Shetter.
  • “Developing methodologies for identifying smoke injection into the UT/LS from biomass burning.” Hong Guan, R. Esswein, L. Iraci, J. Lopez, M. Follette, M. Fromm.”
  • “Cloud formation and freeze drying of in the TTL: Does microphysics matter?” Eric Jensen, L. Pfister.
  • “Comparison of airborne sunphotometer and OMI retrievals of aerosol optical depth during MILAGRO/INTEX-B and ARCTAS.” John Livingston, J. Redemann, Y. Shinozuka, P. Russell, O. Torres, B. Veihelmann, R. Braak, R. Johnson, S. Ramachandran, L. Remer, R. Levy, Clarke, C. McNaughton, A. Smirnov, B. Holben.
  • “Variability of the ozone field in the TTL observed by the DIAL and CAFS instruments during the TC 4 mission.” Irina Petropavlovskikh, K. Rosenlof, E. Ray, L. Pfister, R. Shetter, S. Hall, K. Ullmann, E. Browell, J. Hair, M. Fenn, M. Avery, M. Kroon.
  • “How Well Does OMI 's UV-Based Retrieval Sample the Lowermost Troposphere?” Robert Chatfield, P. K. Bhartia, R. Esswein, X. Liu, S. Oltmans, M. Schoeberl, D. Tarasick, A. Thompson.

(POC: Warren Gore, 4-5533, )


V. Ambrosia Invited Presenter at international firefighting conference
Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB) was an invited presenter at the Aerial Firefighting Conference in Athens, Greece, the week of October 20th. The conference was organized in association with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Response (UNISDR), the Global Fire Monitoring Centre (Freiburg, GR), and the International Association of Wildland Fire. Ambrosia was one of twenty speakers worldwide to be invited, with two other U.S. representatives presenting, as well. Ambrosia presented the results of the 2007 and 2008 Western States UAS (Ikhana) Fire Mission project activities. (POC: Vince Ambrosia, , 4-6565)


EPA Visitors to Earth Science Division
EPA Region 9 managers traveled to NASA Ames, October 30, to discuss topics of mutual interest, including ecological forecasting, green buildings and biofuels, cross boundary transport of pollutants, and systems engineering for real-time data acquisition. Loretta Barsamian (Deputy Director, Management & Technology Services Division), Steven Barhite (Deputy Director, Waste Management), and Tom Huetteman (Associate Director, Waste Management) met with Division management and staff (Tony Strawa and Chris Potter, et al.) who briefed them on SG activities. The meeting was in association with the one-year detail of Jan Baxter (EPA) to the Earth Science Division at Ames. In the afternoon, the EPA visitors were joined by Ann Bartuska, USDA/Forest Service Deputy Chief for Research, for a tour of Ames ' facilities that included the Alpha Jet, Airship Ventures and the Hyperwall capability in the advanced computing facility. At the Hyperwall, the visitors were briefed on the wildfire monitoring (Vince Ambrosia) activities led by Ames, followed by a presentation on ecosystem monitoring and forecasting (Forrest Melton, et al.). The meeting stimulated much interest and enthusiasm for developing collaborative activities. (POC: Ed Sheffner, , 4-5899)


DOE ARM Aerial Vehicle Program meeting
Phil Russell and Roy Johnson ( SGG ) attended a 3-day workshop on aircraft instrumentation sponsored by the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement ( ARM ) Aerial Vehicles Program ( AVP ), hosted at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, Oct. 14-16. Russell co-chaired the Active and Passive Remote Sensing session and, with co-chair Dave Turner, led a discussion group to discuss and summarize the session. Johnson presented the poster, “Past, present and future of airborne sun photometry using the NASA Ames airborne tracking sun photometers.” (POC: Warren Gore, , 4-5533)


Recent Publications :
Livingston, J.   M., B. Schmid, P.   B. Russell, J. Redemann, J.   R. Podolske, and G.  S. Diskin. 2008. Comparison of Water Vapor Measurements by Airborne Sun Photometer and Diode Lase r Hygrometer on the NASA DC-8. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol ., 25: 1733-1743, doi: 10.1175/2008JTECHA1047.1.


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