News

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 ...

Read More
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. ...

Read More
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.

Read More
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center ER-2 #809 high-altitude aircraft taking off for Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere (DCOTSS) science flights in Palmdale, CA on June 17, 2021. Credits: NASA Photo / Carla Thomas

NASA Mission Explores Intense Summertime Thunderstorms

NASA and university scientists will be studying the intense summer thunderstorms over the central United States to understand their effects on Earth...

Read More:
A view of the MOOSE study region from the Langley C-20B Gulfstream III. On the far side is the city of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Detroit is in the foreground, with downtown Detroit on the lower left. The Detroit River runs between the two cities. Credits: NASA/Kenny Christian

NASA Maps Air Quality in Ozone Hot Spot

Scientists are flying an airborne campaign out of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia this month to contribute to a joint U.S.-Canadia...

Read More:
A photo of the DLR ATRA aircraft leaving contrails while using alternative fuels. It was taken from a DLR Falcon during the 2015 ECLIF-I research flights. Credits: DLR

NASA-DLR Study Finds Sustainable Aviation Fuel Can Reduce...

Cleaner-burning jet fuels made from sustainable sources can produce 50%-70% fewer ice crystal contrails at cruising altitude, reducing aviation’s ...

Read More:

NASA’s S-MODE Takes to the Air and Sea to Study Ocean Eddies

After being delayed over a year due to the pandemic, a NASA field campaign to study the role of small-scale whirlpools and ocean currents in climate c...

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.