3B.4 Day–Night Monitoring of Volcanic SO2 and Ash for Aviation Avoidance at Northern Polar Latitudes: Enhancing Direct Readout Capabilities from EOS, SNPP, and NOAA-20

Monday, 13 January 2020: 2:45 PM
209 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
N. A. Krotkov, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD; and C. Li, C. Seftor, K. Brentzel, V. Realmuto, M. Stuefer, D. J. Schneider, J. Tamminen, S. Hassinen, T. Ryyppö, E. Petrescu, and J. J. Murray

Volcanic eruptions can inject significant amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and volcanic ash (VA) into the atmosphere at commercial aircraft cruising altitudes. The ash clouds, in particular, pose a substantial risk to aviation safety due to the potential ingestion of silicate ash into jet engines. Eruptions can occur sporadically, and with very little warning, highlighting the need to monitor the adjacent airspace for evidence of VA. Present regulations dictate a zero ash tolerance policy for jet aircraft, which in case of uncertain VA location, could lead to prolonged flight cancellations that have a ripple effect on the airline industry’s economy and personal travel as happened in the aftermath of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) eruption. We describe ongoing NASA’s Applied Sciences Disasters Program collaborative project between NASA’s Direct Readout Laboratory (DRL) and ozone processing team, JPL/Caltech, Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA), and Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) to expedite the processing and delivery of polar-orbiting meteorological satellite (SNPP, JPSS) direct readout (DR) volcanic SO2 and VA data to USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory, NOAA’s National Weather Service Alaska Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (A-VAAC), European Support to Aviation Control Service, EUMETCast, as well as their operational users. Addressing critical need for night-time northern polar coverage, we are developing DR volcanic SO2 products based on the thermal infrared (TIR) data acquired by the MODIS instruments aboard the NASA’s EOS Terra and Aqua platforms, and VIIRS instruments aboard the NASA/NOAA Suomi-NPP (SNPP) and NOAA20 (JPSS-1) polar orbiting operational weather satellites. Our SO2 and ash software packages (OMPSnadir and VIIRS-SO2) are designed for NASA’s DRL International Planetary Observation Processing Package (IPOPP) environment, and had been installed and run operationally at both GINA and FMI ground stations. FMI combines DR OMPS data from GINA on its website http://sampo.fmi.fi/so2_comp.html and provides data to EUMETCast users. Together, these two ground stations provide nearly complete coverage of the Arctic, while DRL delivers all IPOPP applications to a broad DR user community worldwide.
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