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CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
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Earth Science Division Highlights for October 30, 2012

TCON Update

A Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) setup by Code SGG personnel in Indianapolis is currently operating and taking daily CO2 measurements during the 2012 INdianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX). Laura Iraci, Jim Podolske, and Pat Hillyard are managing the deployment of this instrument and monitoring its status remotely. The operation is also supported by JPL. The INFLUX experiment will conclude by mid December 2012. At that time the TCCON instrument will be returned to JPL prior to a more permanent installation in northern California. Dr. Iraci is responsible for management of the instrument.

Alpha Jet Update

The Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) conducted a Critical Design Review (CDR) October 31 for the integration of the Ames Meteorological Measurement System (MMS) on the Alpha Jet. MMS provides high-resolution and accurate meteorological parameters (pressure, temperature, turbulence index, and 3-dimensional wind vector) to complement the current AJAX payload of Ozone Instrument and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Sensor. The review was successful and plans are proceeding to include MMS on flights in support of the DiscoverAQ project in California early in calendar year 2013..

Conferences and Scientific Meetings

Dr. Hanwant Singh is participating in the integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Process Study (iLEAPS) Sterling Committee meeting in Helsinki, Finland (Oct. 28-Nov. 2, 2012). iLEAPS is the land-atmosphere core project of the International Geosphere-BiosphereProgramme (IGBP). The scientific goal of iLEAPS is to provide understanding how interacting physical, chemical and biological processes transport and transform energy and matter throughland-atmosphere interface. iLEAPS encourages international and interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly involving scientists from the developing countries.

Drs. Eric Jensen and Leonhard Pfister were invitees to the U.S. - Japan Bilateral Workshop on the Tropical Tropopause Layer: State of the current science and future observational needs, held in Honolulu, HI Oct 15-19, 2012. Pfister gave a talk on "Cirrus Clouds and Convection in the TTL" and Jensen gave one on "Simulations (Idealized to Global)" and "Future Project Foci: ATTREX". ATTREX is an Earth Venture airborne mission led by Dr. Jensen to acquire information on the TTL using NASA's Global Hawk UAV.

NASA Ames' AMS instrument transfered to USFS

NASA Ames and the US Forest Service are in agreement on plans to transfer the Autonomous Modular Sensor (AMS) instrument to USFS management. AMS is an airborne instrument used by the Forest Service to acquire imagery in the VNIR and thermal regions during wildfire events. At the request of NASA HQ, transfer of the instrument was delayed approximately 2 months so that AMS could be integrated on a NASA ER-2 and included as part of the PODEX (Polarimeter Definition Experiment) mission late in CY 2012.

OIB Update

Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) in the Southern Ocean continues under management from the Earth Science Project Office. The image attached was acquired by the Ames DMS camera from the NASA DC-8. The image, "…shows a mixture of sea ice types commonly seen in the Southern Ocean. The different thicknesses of sea ice form a spectrum of colors and shapes ranging from dark black open water, a thin grease-like covering called grease ice, and thicker grey ice. Older sea ice has a bright white covering of snow and many chaotic deformation features visible as ridges and rubble fields caused by the continuous motion of the ice pack." (M. Studinger).

 

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