"What we learn from these flights will help us to better interpret satellite remote sensing of air quality from geostationary orbit in the future," said NASA scientist Jim Crawford, a principal investigator on DISCOVER-AQ. "It also will help us to define the best combination of instruments on the ground to connect air quality monitoring networks with satellite information."
The DISCOVER-AQ flights and ground observations will focus on the northern Front Range, while FRAPP will gather measurements from the surrounding region.
In all, approximately 200 scientists, technicians, pilots, and students from around the country will converge on the Front Range for the combined projects.
The researchers will quantify emissions from industrial facilities, power plants, motor vehicles, agricultural operations, oil and gas drilling, fires, and other sources. They also will measure naturally occurring emissions from trees and other plants that then combine with emissions generated by human activity to form ozone and other pollutants.
Colorado, like other states, relies on a limited number of ground-based stations to monitor air quality and help guide statewide policies and permitting. But a full, three-dimensional picture of the processes that affect air quality, including conditions far upwind and high up in the atmosphere, requires a three-pronged approach with measurements from aircraft, satellites, and the ground.
"By bringing together aircraft, satellites, and ground-based instruments, we can analyze the amounts and types of pollutants that are emitted in the Front Range as well as transported from other places, how they evolve, a
|Contact: David Hosansky