CARB Scientists To Fly Over Coast From San Diego To Eureka
NASA and scientists from the California Air Resources Board are
conducting a series of research flights this month that are
examining the atmosphere over the state to better understand the
chemical dynamics of smog and greenhouse gases.
NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory is flying from the NASA Dryden
Aircraft Operations Center, Palmdale, over an area from San Diego
as far north as Trinidad Head along the coast north of Eureka.
The DC-8 is configured for atmospheric composition measurements
as part of a large environmental science campaign to study the
impact of air pollution on the Arctic's atmospheric chemistry and
changing climate. It will use the same suite of instruments for the
California Air Resources missions. NASA is also sending a specially
outfitted P-3 aircraft from the NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain
View, CA and an ER-2 (shown at center) from NASA Dryden to fly over
the state for additional sampling during the same time period.
The flights will gather samples aimed at helping the Air
Resources Board obtain a better picture of greenhouse gas emission
sources throughout the state. Other goals of the flights are to
understand what type of pollution is being blown into the state
from off-shore vessel traffic and to distinguish the differences in
air mass chemistry between urban and rural areas.
"We will provide highly advanced capability to develop
critically needed information on pollutant emissions and
atmospheric concentrations both offshore and onshore over
California, allowing us to better model air quality and future
climate change," said Hanwant Singh, an Ames project scientist.
"This collaboration will give us information on how pollution is
created, transported and even destroyed," said Bart Croes, chief of
the Air Resources Board's Research Division. "The use of highly
sophisticated technology, data gathered at levels far beyond our
normal reach and collaboration with NASA's very knowledgeable
technicians and scientists, combine to create a rare
NASA Dryden's DC-8 mission manager Frank Cutler said the
airborne laboratory will fly four flights of varying altitudes
between June 18 and 25, including low-level passes over
California's Central Valley and coastal areas. One mission will
take the aircraft over the ocean off Santa Barbara to investigate
areas of natural methane seepage.
Flights will be coordinated with a series of NASA Earth
observing satellites as they pass over the state. Researchers can
use these simultaneous measurements to validate satellite data and
improve modeled predictions of the impact of atmospheric pollution
The Air Resources Board, a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency, has been a leader in developing
and implementing aggressive pollution control measures to combat
smog and particulate matter for 40 years. The agency is also
working to reduce 25 percent of the state's greenhouse gas
emissions by 2020, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act
that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in 2006.