News

NASA Planes Fly into Snowstorms to Study Snowfall

Scientists repeatedly check the weather forecasts as they prepare aircraft for flight and perform last-minute checks on science instruments. There’s...

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Exploring Earth: Student Airborne Researchers fly on NASA’s DC-8

After a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 53 students flew on NASA’s DC-8 as part of NASA’s Student Airborne Research Project (SARP). Now ...

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NASA Invites Media to Learn About S-MODE Mission

NASA held a media teleconference on Friday, Oct. 29 to share information about the Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE), a campaign to stu...

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Instruments in the Sea and Sky: NASA’s S-MODE Mission Kicks off...

Using instruments at sea and in the sky, the Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE) team aims to understand the role these ocean processes p...

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/esnt/2021/instruments-in-the-sea-and-sky-nasa-s-s-mode-mission-kicks-off-1st-deployment
TRACER-AQ research flights are being conducted aboard a Gulfstream V research aircraft flying out of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston

NASA Study Examines Houston-area Air Quality Issues

NASA scientists are in Houston this month for an intensive air quality study exploring the effects of emissions and weather on air pollution, as well ...

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Student Airborne Research Program interns Kristen Gregg of Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, Brionna Findley of Spelman College in Atlanta, and Jason Beal of Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Backyard Science: NASA Airborne Science Interns Collect Data...

For more than a decade, dozens of students from across the United States traveled to California to collect air samples aboard NASA research aircraft. ...

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NASA's DC-8 taking off to St. Croix in support of the Convective Processes Experiment - Aerosols and Winds campaign (CPEX-AW) on Aug 17, 2021. Credits: NASA / Joshua Fisher

NASA’s DC-8 Deploys to the U.S. Virgin Islands

NASA’s DC-8 aircraft deploys to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Aug. 17 after more than six months of preparation and instrument upload.

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About the Airborne Science Program

 

The Airborne Science Program within the Earth Science Division is responsible for providing aircraft systems that further science and advance the use of satellite data. The primary objectives of this program are to:

  • Satellite Calibration and Validation
    Provide platforms to enable essential calibration measurements for the Earth observing satellites, and the validation of data retrieval algorithms.
  • Support New Sensor Development
    Provide sub-orbital flight opportunities to test and refine new instrument technologies/algorithms, and reduce risk prior to committing sensors for launch into space.
  • Process Studies
    Obtain high-resolution temporal and spatial measurements of complex local processes, which can be coupled to global satellite observations for a better understanding of the complete Earth system.
  • Develop the Next-Generation of Scientists and Engineers
    Foster the development of our future workforce with the hands-on involvement of graduate students, and young scientists/engineers in all aspects of ongoing Earth science investigations.

To meet these observing objectives ASP maintains and operates a suite of sustained, ongoing platforms and sensors on which investigators can rely from year to year. From these known capabilities the Science Mission Directorate can develop observing strategies. However, an ongoing capability will be resource-constrained and eventually technology-constrained, so that not all observing requirements will be met with the limited core capability. Therefore the program facilitates access to other platforms or sensors on a funds-available, as-needed basis, to accommodate unique and/or occasional requirements. The Program also looks for new or evolving technologies to demonstrate their applicability for Earth science. Depending on the success of the demonstrations and the observing needs, the core capability is expected to evolve and change over time. The speed and extent of change will be balanced against the need for established, known capabilities for long-term planning.