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Earth Science Division Highlights for December 13, 2012

SG staff brief John Grunsfeld during his visit to Ames

NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld, visited Ames on December 11. During a working lunch briefing from staff in the Science Directorate at Ames, Dr. Grunsfeld heard summaries on Earth science projects and activities from Steve Hipskind, Matt Fladeland, Lenny Pfister, Laura Iraci and Forrest Melton. The reports covered Operation Ice Bridge and airborne science at Ames, development and use of UAS platforms for NASA science, an update on the ATTREX Venture Class mission and some initial reports on science findings, the Ames partnership with H211 for use of the Alpha Jet platform to acquire GHG and other observations, and, for Earth science applications, an update on the water resources project supplying growers in the Central Valley with field specific information on water requirements.

SG staff participate in the AGU Fall Conference

The fall AGU conference in San Francisco, December 3-7, drew the, now, usual thousands of participants. Staff from the Earth Science Division at Ames attended the various meetings and poster sessions and actively participated by co-chairing 11 sessions, presenting or co-authoring 13 papers, and preparing and presenting 62 poster sessions. These activities were augmented by numerous formal and in-formal meetings held during and around the regular AGU program.

Preparation for ATTREX mission continues at DFRC

Instrument integration on the NASA Global Hawk continues for the Airborne Tropical TRopopause Experiment (ATTREX) mission. The Ames Solar Spectral Flux Radiometer (SSFR) was integrated on the platform last week under the direction of Warren Gore. To date, four of 12 instruments have been inspected and installed on the Global Hawk. The first flight for this phase of the ATTREX, a NASA Venture Class mission is scheduled for January 16 out of Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC). The ATTREX mission is managed by the Earth Science Project Office (ESPO) at Ames. David Jordan or ESPO is the project manager.

Volcanic emissions plumes and UAVs

NASA Ames is collaborating with a principal investigator from JPL to investigate the use of UAVs to sample emissions plumes from volcanoes and use the data to improve models of the development and spread of such plumes. As part of that collaboration, Dr. John Labreque, program manager for Solid Earth Science in the Earth Science Division at NASA HQ and Dr. David Pieri, JPL and PI on the NASA funded proposal, "In Situ Validation and Calibration of Remotely Sensed Volcanic Emission Data and Models: Toward more Accurate Science, Hazard Assessments, and Mitigation," visited Ames on Tuesday, December 4. Matt Fladeland, program manager for airborne science at Ames showed Labreque and Pieri the SIERRA and Dragon Eyes UAVs, both of which will be employed in support of Pieri's research on volcanoes in Costa Rica. Labreque and Pieri were very favorably impressed with the tour of Ames and platforms.


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Last Updated: December 13, 2012

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