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Earth Science Division Highlights for March 15, 2013

• ARC staff complete science mission with Dragon Eyes aircraft

Four researchers from Ames (Randy Berthold, Don Herlth and Richard Kolyer (SGE and SGG) and Bruce Storms (AOX) completed 10 flights of the Dragon Eye UAS into and near the Turrialba Volcano in Cost Rica as part of the “In situ calibration/validation of volcanic emissions data and models mission project” funded by the solid earth program element in the Earth Science Division at NASA HQ.  The ten flights gathered all the data requested for the baseline science mission.  This was the first science deployment of the Dragon Eyes recently acquired by Ames.  The small UAS platforms performed without incident and beyond specification including flights to 12500 feet, 4500 feet above the nominal performance ceiling.  Data gathering is ahead of schedule. The team is likely to return to Ames by the end of the week. Dr. David Pieri (JPL) is the principal investigator.

• ARC Earth Science staff participate in Aerospace Week

NASA participated in "California Aerospace Day" at the state capitol on Tuesday.  The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsored the event.  The Applied Sciences Program was well represented at a panel in the Governor's Conference Room on the afternoon of the March 12.   Pete Worden,  Center Director at Ames, chaired the panel and led off with an overview of NASA earth science platforms and instruments and science and applications research areas.  The four panel presenters and topics were, in order of presentations, Vince Ambrosia (ARC_CREST), on wildfire applications, especially the use of the AMS instrument and CDE software on the Ikhana UAS and the transfer of the instrument and software to the USFS;  Ed Sheffner (SG), on the use of NASA earth observations, data processing and systems engineering to improve water use efficiency in California agriculture; Duane Waliser (chief scientist in the earth science division at JPL), on applications related to water supply, especially snow water equivalents, and use of InSAR data for subsidence; and Andrea Donnellan (JPL), on the earthquake monitoring and prediction in California with radar data, especially InSAR.   About 50 people, mostly legislative staffers and a few legislators, listened to the panel presentations.

• Site selection for MIZOPEX under consideration

The site survey in the Prudhoe Bay region of Alaska for the Marginal Ice Zone Observations and Processes Experiment (MIZOPEX) settled on Oliktok Point as the only facility capable of supporting the deployment of the SIERRA UAS for the mission this summer.  Negotiations are underway with the operator of the airfield (USAF and DOE) to secure the necessary room reservations for the SIERRA support team.

New post-doc begins in Earth Science Division

Dr. Tasha Reddy, Stanford University (Earth System Science Department) started a post-doc with the Earth Science Division on March 8.  Dr. Reddy will work under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Dungan (SGE) on modeling issues in the NASA Earth Exchange. 

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Last Updated: March 15, 2013
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