89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Sunday, 11 January 2009
A data visualization of the ASCENDS mission by NASA DEVELOP students
Phoenix Convention Center
Thomas Nelson Hillyer, NASA LaRC, Hampton, VA; and A. Kramolisch, B. Hughes, J. Atkins, J. Wilkins, and J. Crouch
The Active Sensing of Carbon dioxide Emissions over Nights, Days and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission is a NASA decadal survey mission that aims to enhance understanding of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the global carbon cycle through three scientific objectives: quantifying global spatial distributions of atmospheric CO2, quantifying current distributions of terrestrial and oceanic sources and sinks of CO2 on 1 by 1 grids at weekly resolution, and providing a scientific basis for future CO2 projections of sources and sinks through data-driven enhancements of Earth system process modeling. The purpose of this project was to create high resolution visualizations of the ASCENDS mission data to help in the analysis and utilization of the CO2 readings. The ASCENDS mission steering committee at NASA Langley Research Center requested a software product that could dynamically generate KML files for visualization using the data gathered by a series of flights over areas of interest with specially outfitted aircraft that simulated the data that would be retrieved by an ASCENDS satellite. The ASCENDS Data Visualization Team created the requested visualization tool that can be used to display ASCENDS data from future flights. In the future, this tool can be used to assist in the funding of the ASCENDS mission to improve climate and air quality research.

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