News

A sixth grade class at Central Elementary School in Tioga, North Dakota participated in NASA's 2014 Operation Ice Bridge Mission using the Mission Tool Suite for Education (MTSE) website.

NASA Brings the Spirit of Adventure into the Classroom

Across the United States and around the world, students now can participate in deployed NASA Airborne Science Missions.

Read More:
NASA's ER-2 research aircraft.

NASA Aircraft, Spacecraft Aid Atmospheric River Study

NASA is part of a major field campaign studying intense atmospheric river storms from the ocean, land, air and space.

Read More:
Educators visited NASA Wallops Flight Facility on to learn about the HS3 mission, tour the Global Hawk, the Global Hawk Operations Center and meet with HS3 mission personnel.

NASA Hurricane Mission Connects to K-12 Classrooms

The HS3 team shared the excitement of their scientific mission with K-12 students and teachers across the United States through summer teacher worksho...

Read More:
Peering into the thousands of frozen layers inside Greenland’s ice sheet is like looking back in time. Each layer provides a record of what Earth’s climate was like at the dawn of civilization, or during the last ice age, or during an ancient period of warmth similar to the one we experience today. Image Credit:  NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA Data Peers into Greenland’s Ice Sheet

Scientists using ice-penetrating radar data collected by NASA’s Operation IceBridge and earlier airborne campaigns have built the first-ever compreh...

Read More:
The ER-2, which is one of NASA's environmental research aircraft, lands following a mission. Image Credit:  NASA / Tom Tschida

NASA Airborne Science Aircraft Monitoring the Environment

Climate scientists are using NASA's flying assets to gather information about how the global Earth system is changing and how it is predicted it may c...

Read More:
Glaciers seen during NASA's Operation IceBridge research flight to West Antarctica on Oct. 29, 2014. Image Credit:  NASA/Michael Studinger

West Antarctic Melt Rate Has Tripled: NASA-UC Irvine

Airborne measurements along with data from satellite observations and other sources shows that the melt rate of portions of West Antarctica has triple...

Read More:
Collage of Global Hawk photos taken during the 2014 mission. Image Credit:  NASA/ Brian Kelly and Erin Czech

HS3 Hurricane Mission Investigated Four Tropical Cyclones in...

NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission investigated four tropical cyclones in the 2014 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season: Cristobal...

Read More:

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.