92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 8:30 AM
An Overview of DISCOVER-AQ Observations Over the Baltimore-DC Area During July 2011 (invited)
Room 342 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Kenneth E. Pickering, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and J. H. Crawford

DISCOVER-AQ is one of five NASA Earth Venture-1 airborne science projects scheduled to occur in the 2011-2015 timeframe. These five-year, targeted science investigations are part of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program. The goal of DISCOVER-AQ is to improve the interpretation of satellite observations to diagnose near-surface conditions relating to air quality. Distinguishing between pollution at the surface and aloft is a particularly difficult problem for satellites. The strategy for studying this problem is articulated in the acronym which stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from COlumn and VERtically resolved observations relevant to Air Quality. This strategy dictates an observational approach that enables systematic and concurrent observation of column-integrated, surface, and vertically-resolved distributions of aerosols and trace gases relevant to air quality as they evolve throughout the day. This was accomplished over the Baltimore-Washington area during July 2011 as the project completed the first of four planned deployments. Two NASA aircraft were flown over six instrumented ground sites on fourteen days. The NASA UC-12 flew a circuit at high altitude (26 kft) passing over individual ground sites five to six times on each flight day, providing lidar observations of aerosols and passive remote sensing of trace gases. Concurrently, the NASA P-3B conducted in situ sampling of trace gases and aerosols along a circuit that allowed for three profiles of the lower atmosphere over each ground site (typically from 10,500 to 1000 feet) as well as low altitude transects along the I-95 corridor at 1000 feet during each flight. A total of over 250 profiles were collected by the P-3B during the deployment. The six ground sites were chosen from the long-term monitoring network maintained and operated by the Maryland Department of the Environment. These sites also hosted additional instrumentation that included remote sensors (sunphotometers and trace gas spectrometers), instrumented trailers, ozonesondes, and tethered balloons. Partners also contributed additional airborne observations, ground lidars, ship-based measurements over the Chesapeake Bay, and satellite observations (e.g., Aura (OMI, TES), GOME-2, MODIS, and GOES). This presentation will provide details on the scope and breadth of measurements and the extensive contributions from DISCOVER-AQ investigators and partners. Selected data and preliminary findings will be presented as well as an introduction to the data archive which is open to anyone interested in using the data for their own research.

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