Earth System Science Center and Department of Atmospheric Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Next Seminar

Coming up next:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Andrew Molthan (NASA/MSFC): “Applications of Remote Sensing To Disaster Response and Assessment”

Members of the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center have been involved in a variety of applications related to the detection of damage from severe weather, ranging from the La Plata, Maryland tornado and midwestern severe weather events to the more recent April 27, 2011 outbreak across the southeastern United States, the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and other major disasters.  Recently, SPoRT has established a Disaster Response Team to aid the NASA Applied Sciences Program and other end users in the use of Earth remote sensing during disaster response.  Activities include the use of NASA, NOAA, and commercial imagery for a variety of damage detection techniques, dissemination of data through web mapping services to handheld and web-based interfaces, and the use of night lights imagery and corroboration with other demographic data to aid in monitoring impacts to populations, infrastructure, and recovery.  This presentation will present an overview of the SPoRT Disasters Team and their work over the past two years, along with identifying opportunities for collaboration and paths for future work.

Last week:

DISCOVER-AQ Campaigns–Baltimore/12, Houston/13, Denver/14: Current State of Air Quality Science

Mike Newchurch


MNewchurch08272014In recent years, progress in reaching air-quality goals has begun to plateau for many locations in the United States.  Furthermore, near-surface pollution is one of the most challenging problems for Earth observations from space.  One of the principal scientific objectives of the DISCOVER-AQ campaigns is to explore and define the relationships between air-quality characteristics and processes aloft (PBL and free troposphere) and air-quality constituents on the ground.  The understanding of these processes connecting the surface with air aloft will improve our ability to interpret space-borne measurements of ozone and precursor gases. The DISCOVER-AQ campaigns in Washington/Baltimore, Houston, and the Colorado front range comprised several aircraft, balloon-borne, and surface instruments including 3 mobile tropospheric ozone lidars.  These are the most comprehensive atmospheric chemistry deployments to date.  With an improved ability to monitor pollution from satellites derived from DISCOVER-AQ analyses, scientists will be able to make better air quality forecasts, more accurately determine the sources of pollutants in the air, and more closely determine the fluctuations in emissions levels.  DISCOVER-AQ is a collaboration between scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; NASA’s Ames Research Center, outside San Francisco; NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, CO; and multiple universities.

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