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Earth Science Division Highlights for November 30, 2012

• ATTREX mission instrument integration begins

Integration of 13 instruments on a NASA Global Hawk UAV begins next week at Dryden as part of the ATTREX mission.  ATTREX (the Airborne Tropical Troposphere Experiment,) a NASA Earth Venture mission led by Dr, Eric Jensen of Ames, focuses on the impact of a warming planet on water vapor in the stratosphere and how such changes will affect climate change.  The instrument integration beginning this month is in preparation for a scheduled six science flights in January and February 2013 over the eastern pacific.  The Attrex mission is managed by the Earth Science Project Office at Ames.


• NASA SIERRA UAV completes unique deployment in South Florida

The SIERRA UAV managed by Ames Research Center acquired hyperspectral data to map see grass beds and coral reefs in the Florida Keys.  The SIERRA flights were the key element in the proposal, “High Resolution Assessment of Carbon Dynamics in Seagrass and Coral Reef Biomes” funded under the NASA ROSES 2011 solicitation element A.40 “Airborne Science: UAS Enabled Earth Science”.  The project was led by Dr. Stan Herwitz of the UAV Collaborative located in the Ames Research Park.  For this mission, SIERRA flew a total of 12 hours on 5 separate days and collected over 320 gigabytes of data.  Analysis of the data will be conducted by a collaborative research team from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute,  University of South Florida, the USGS, and the Institute of Marine Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago.  The project is part of a larger research program managed by the Galileo Group, Inc.  SIERRA returned to Ames from this deployment in late October. 

 



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