The ASCENDS mission will make global atmospheric column carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements without a seasonal, latitudinal, or diurnal bias. The mission will also measure ambient air pressure and temperature. The measurements made by ASCENDS will allow the mission to: 1) quantify global spatial distributions of atmospheric CO2 on scales of weather models in the 2010-2020 era; 2) quantify the current global spatial distribution of terrestrial and oceanic sources and sinks of CO2 on 1x1 degree grids at weekly resolution; and 3) provide a scientific basis for future projections of CO2 sources and sinks through data-driven enhancements of Earth system process modeling.
The objectives of the ACE mission are to study aerosol and cloud types and properties and measure ocean productivity in the surface ocean layers. Data from ACE will improve climate models and air-quality forecasts and will be used in the prediction of climate change.
Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment
A multi-year airborne science campaign to study the humidity and chemical composition of air entering the tropical tropopause layer of the atmosphere.
The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes related to global climate change. Now, NASA is extensively studying the role of air pollution in this climate-sensitive region as part of the ARCTAS field campaign, the largest airborne experiment ever to do so.
Aura (Latin for breeze) was launched July 15, 2004. Aura is part of the Earth Science Projects Division, a program dedicated to monitoring the complex interactions that affect the globe using NASA satellites and data systems. Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. The satellite's measurements will enable scientists to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes, and their linkage to climate change. Aura's measurements will provide accurate data for predictive models and provide useful information for local and national agency decision support systems.
The Costa Rica Aura Validation Experiment (CR-AVE) is a mission designed to explore the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) and to provide information for comparison to satellite observations. The tropical region between 30 N and 30 S comprises half of the Earth's surface, yet is relatively unsampled in comparison to the mid-latitude of the Northern Hemisphere. In addition, observations above typical aircraft altitudes (40,000 feet or 12 km) are even less frequent, making the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere one of the most sparsely sampled regions of our atmosphere.
The objectives of the GEO-CAPE mission are to 1) identify human versus natural sources of aerosols and ozone precursors; 2) study the dynamics of coastal ecosystems, river plumes, and tidal fronts; 3) observe air pollution transport in North, Central, and South America; 4) predict the tracks of oil spills, fires, and releases from natural disasters; 5) detect and track waterbourne hazardous materials; 6) measure coastal health; and 7) facilitate forecasts of air quality.
The Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) is part of the NASA Modeling Analysis and Prediction (MAP) program. GMI investigations support the development and integration of a state-of-the-art modular 3-D chemistry and transport model (CTM) that includes full chemistry for both the troposphere and stratosphere.
The Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is a five-year mission specifically targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.
The purpose of the EPA Gulf of Mexico Modeling and Monitoring project is to provide the scientific basis to guide a reduction in the frequency, duration, size, and degree of oxygen depletion in the northern Gulf of Mexico as outlined in the recently released Hypoxia Action Plan.
IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.
The JPSS is the Nation's next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system, procured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). JPSS will provide continuity of critical observations for accurate weather forecasting, reliable severe storm outlooks, global measurements of atmospheric and oceanic conditions such as sea surface temperatures, ozone, and more. JPSS will also monitor rescue beacons to help save lives through the international SARSAT program. JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances in environmental monitoring and will help advance environmental, weather, climate, and oceanographic science.
The mini-LHR is a suitcase-sized instrument that measures greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Targeted gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as oxygen (O2) for a measure of atmospheric pressure. These low-cost instruments will ultimately form a global network of ground sensors that can provide column concentrations as well as altitude profiles.
During the summer of 2006 the Earth-Sun Exploration Division (now the Earth Sciences Division) of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Science and Mission Systems Office at Marshall Space Flight Center brought together resources from NASA and from corporate partners to study tropical cyclones. The "MAP '06 Project," so named for its affiliation with NASA's MAP program, applied NASA's advanced satellite remote sensing technologies and earth system modeling capabilities to improve our understanding of tropical cyclones that develop in and move across the Atlantic basin.
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) was a joint program of the Air Force, NOAA, and NASA. Its polar-orbiting satellites were to provide long-term systematic measurements of key environmental variables for weather forecasting as well as climate studies. In February 2010, NPOESS was split into two programs. The Air Force-managed component will build satellites for the morning orbit, serving military needs. The NASA-managed civilian component, called the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), will build satellites to fly in afternoon orbits, and will be operated by NOAA. The first JPSS satellite will launch no sooner than 2015.
The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) was the EOS component of the Russian Meteor-3M mission. SAGE III provided accurate, long-term measurements of ozone, aerosols, water vapor, and other key parameters of Earth's atmosphere. Due to a power supply system failure, communication with the satellite was lost on March 6, 2006 and the SAGE III and Meteor-3M missions were terminated.
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, formerly known as the NPOESS Preparatory Project, will serve as a bridge between the EOS satellites and the forthcoming series of Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites. Suomi NPP represents a critical first step in building this next-generation satellite system. The JPSS satellites, previously called the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), will be developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer, launched onboard an Earth Probe Satellite (TOMS-EP), continued NASA's long-term daily mapping of the global distribution of the Earth's atmospheric ozone. TOMS-EP made high-resolution measurements of the total column amount of ozone from space. These measurements began when the instrument was aboard NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite (1978) and the Russian Meteor-3 satellite (1994).
After a 14-year deployment on a mission to collect data on Earth's atmosphere and its interactions with the Sun, NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) ceased operations on December 12, 2005. Launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery on September 15, 1991, the seven-ton spacecraft orbited the Earth more than 78,000 times, using 10 onboard scientific instruments to collect data on a variety of chemicals, including carbon dioxide, ozone, chlorine, methane, nitrogen oxides and chlorofluorocarbons. The decommissioned UARS satellite fell back to Earth at 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT), as Friday, Sept. 23, turned to Saturday, Sept. 24 on the United States East Coast.