Synonyms: 
ER-2
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Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer

AVIRIS is the second in a series of imaging spectrometer instruments developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for earth remote sensing. It is a unique optical sensor that delivers calibrated images of the upwelling spectral radiance in 224 contiguous spectral channels (bands) with wavelengths from 380 to 2510 nanometers. It uses scanning optics and four spectrometers to image a 677 pixel swath simultaneously in all 224 bands. AVIRIS has flown in North America, Europe, and portions of South America.

The AVIRIS sensor collects data that can be used for characterization of the Earth's surface and atmosphere from geometrically coherent spectroradiometric measurements. This data can be applied to studies in the fields of oceanography, environmental science, snow hydrology, geology, volcanology, soil and land management, atmospheric and aerosol studies, agriculture, and limnology. Applications under development include the assessment and monitoring of environmental hazards such as toxic waste, oil spills, and land/air/water pollution. With proper calibration and correction for atmospheric effects, the measurements can be converted to ground reflectance data which can then be used for quantitative characterization of surface features.

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Airborne Ocean Color Imager

The AOCI is a high altitude multispectral scanner built by Daedalus Enterprises, designed for oceanographic remote sensing. It provides 10-bit digitization of eight bands in the visible/near-infrared region of the spectrum, plus two 8-bit bands in the near and thermal infrared.

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Autonomous Modular Sensor

The Autonomous Modular Sensor (AMS) is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high spatial resolution imagery of the Earth's features from its vantage point on-board low and medium altitude research aircraft. Data acquired by AMS is helping to define, develop, and test algorithms for use in a variety of scientific programs that emphasize the use of remotely sensed data to monitor variation in environmental conditions, assess global change, and respond to natural disasters.

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Airborne Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder

The Airborne Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder (A-SMLS) makes wide-swath vertical profile observations of the composition
of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (the atmospheric region from ~10–20km altitude). A-SMLS measurements are
well suited to studies of convective outflow, long-range pollution transport, and exchange of air between the
troposphere and stratosphere. These atmospheric processes have strong impacts on climate and air quality but are
currently incompletely understood. Improved understanding of these issues is one of the main goals of NASA’s atmospheric
composition Earth science focus area. A-SMLS airborne observations reflect the priority spaceborne “Ozone and Trace Gas”
observables identified in the recent Decadal Survey.

A-SMLS was initially developed and flown on the WB-57 under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), following
which, it was adapted to the ER-2 platform. Subsequent work, funded under an additional IIP, has upgraded the receivers
to ones that require cooling to only 70K rather than the previously needed 4K, and to use newer technology digital
spectrometers. Test flights for A-SMLS in this new configuration are planned, but further work, proposed here, is needed
to make the instrument fully “campaign ready”.

A-SMLS observes a ~300km-wide swath ~300km ahead of the aircraft in a 2D raster scan (azimuth and elevation), with
~10x10km horizontal sampling (across and along-track). As typically configured, A-SMLS measures water vapor, ozone, and
carbon monoxide. Retuning of the instrument (including in flight) can provide measurements of other species (including
N2O, HCN, CH3CN, H2CO, and others).

The instrument would be a particularly valuable addition to multi-aircraft campaigns. The broad swath A-SMLS
observations from the ER-2 could be used in near-real-time to help guide lower altitude aircraft carrying in situ
sensors to regions of interest.

As part of NASA's Airborne Instrument Technology Transition (AITT) program, the instrument is currently being updated to
help cement its suitability for campaign-mode operations, specifically, this involves:

- Addition of a liquid cooling loop to transfer waste heat from the existing ~70K cryocooler to the outer skin of the
ER-2 wing pod.

- Development of an “intelligent scan” system that accounts for aircraft orientation etc. when performing the 2D
raster limb scan on the atmosphere.

- Completion of a thorough ground-based instrument calibration.

- Development of an on-board radiance compression scheme that will enable key data to be transferred to the ground for
use in real-time flight planning as described above.

- Updates to the analysis algorithms software used for Aura MLS, enabling their application to A-SMLS observations.

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WB-57 - JSC (no longer fits), ER-2 - AFRC
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Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer

The single mass analyzer CIMS (S-CIMS) was developed for use on NASA’s ER-2 aircraft. Its first measurements were made in 2000 (SOLVE). Subsequently, it has flown on the NASA DC-8 aircraft for INTEX-NA, DICE, TC4, and ARCTAS, as well as on the NCAR C-130 during MILAGRO/INTEX-B. HNO3 is measured by selective ion chemical ionization via the fluoride transfer reaction: CF3O- + HNO3 → HF • NO3- + CF2O In addition to its fast reaction rate with HNO3, CF3O- can be used to measure additional acids and nitrates as well as SO2 [Amelynck et al., 2000; Crounse et al., 2006; Huey et al., 1996]. We have further identified CF3O- chemistry as useful for the measurement of less acidic species via clustering reactions [Crounse et al., 2006; Paulot et al., 2009a; Paulot et al., 2009b; St. Clair et al., 2010]: CF3O- + HX → CF3O- • HX where, e.g., HX = HCN, H2O2, CH3OOH, CH3C(O)OOH (PAA) The mass analyzer of the S-CIMS instrument has recently been upgraded from a quadrupole to a time-of-flight (ToF) analyzer. The ToF admits the sample ion beam to the ion extractor, where a pulse of high voltage orthogonally deflects and accelerates the ions into the reflectron, which in turn redirects the ions toward the multichannel plate detector. Ions in the ToF follow a V-shaped, 43 cm path from extractor to detector, separating by mass as the smaller ions are accelerated to greater velocities by the high voltage pulse. The detector collects the ions as a function of time following each extractor pulse. The rapid-scan collection of the ToF guarantees a high temporal resolution (1 Hz or faster) and simultaneous data products from the S-CIMS instrument for all mass channels [Drewnick et al., 2005]. We have flown a tandem CIMS (TCIMS) instrument in addition to the SCIMS since INTEX-B (2006). The T-CIMS provides parent-daughter mass analysis, enabling measurement of compounds precluded from quantification by the S-CIMS due to mass interferences (e.g. MHP) or the presence of isobaric compounds (e.g. isoprene oxidation products) [Paulot et al., 2009b; St. Clair et al., 2010]. Calibrations of both CIMS instruments for HNO3 and organic acids are performed in flight using isotopically-labeled reagents evolved from a thermally-stabilized permeation tube oven [Washenfelder et al., 2003]. By using an isotopically labeled standard, the product ion signals are distinct from the natural analyte and calibration can be performed at any time without adversely affecting the ambient measurement. We also fly calibration standards for H2O2 (evolved from urea-hydrogen peroxide) and MHP (from a diffusion vial).

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Airborne Multi-angle SpectroPolarimeter Imager

The Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager, or AirMSPI, was a candidate for the multi-directional, multi-wavelength, high-accuracy polarization imager identified by the National Research Council's Earth Sciences Decadal Survey as one component of the notional Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem, or ACE, mission. The ACE spacecraft was planned to characterize the role of aerosols in climate forcing, especially their impact on precipitation and cloud formation. Forcing is the process by which natural mechanisms or human activities alter the global energy balance and “force” the climate to change. The unresolved effects of aerosols on clouds are among the greatest uncertainties in predicting global climate change. AirMSPI is conceptually similar to JPL’s Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, or MISR, carried on NASA’s EOS Terra spacecraft, but with some important additions. The new camera design extends the spectral range to the ultraviolet and shortwave infrared (from 446–866 nm to 355–2130 nm), increases the image swath (from 360 km to 680 km) to achieve more rapid global coverage (from 9 days to 4 days), and adds high-accuracy polarimetry in selected spectral bands. Like MISR, a suite of AirMSPI cameras would view Earth at a variety of angles, with an intrinsic pixel size of a few hundred meters, which for certain channels would be averaged up to about 1 kilometer.
An advanced version of this instrument is currently in devleopment, called AirMSPI-2. 

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Aircraft Laser Infrared Absorption Spectrometer

ALIAS (Aircraft Laser Infrared Absorption Spectrometer) measures total water, total water isotopes, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide isotope ratios. No other instrument provides real-time measurements of carbon dioxide isotope ratios which are clear identifiers of atmospheric transport (18O/17O/16O for stratospheric intrusion, 13C/12C for anthropogenic signals). ALIAS easily adapts to changing mission priorities and can be configured to measure HCl, CH4, SO2, and N2O by simply replacing a semiconductor laser. These measurements contribute to Atmospheric Composition Focus Area research by providing key data on how convective processes affect stratospheric composition, the development of cirrus particles and their affect on Earth's radiative balance, and health of the ozone layer through measurement of chlorine partitioning.

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Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer

The AMPR is a total power passive microwave radiometer producing calibrated brightness temperatures (TB) at 10.7, 19.35, 37.1, and 85.5 GHz. These frequencies are sensitive to the emission and scattering of precipitation-size ice, liquid water, and water vapor. The AMPR performs a 90º cross-track data scan perpendicular to the direction of aircraft motion. It processes a linear polarization feed with full vertical polarization at -45º and full horizontal polarization at +45º, with the polarization across the scan mixed as a function of sin2, giving an equal V-H mixture at 0º (aircraft nadir). A full calibration is made every fifth scan using hot and cold blackbodies. From a typical ER-2 flight altitude of ~20 km, surface footprint sizes range from 640 m (85.5 GHz) to 2.8 km (10.7 GHz). All four channels share a common measurement grid with collocated footprint centers, resulting in over-sampling of the low frequency channels with respect to 85.5 GHz.

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Wing Tip Air Particulate Sampler

The APS is a passive sensor designed to gather high altitude dust particles for laboratory research. An APS paddle is deployed from a wingtip pod into stratosphere once the ER-2 has reached cruising altitude, and is retracted before descent. Both wire impactor and oil-film paddles are used. After approximately 40 hours of exposure, the sealed units are returned to the investigator for examination by an electron microscope. The returned particles can be the by-products of meteor decomposition in the upper atmosphere, or the products of massive volcanic eruptions.

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Airborne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

The Airborne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (AirMISR) is an airborne instrument for obtaining multi-angle imagery similar to that of the satellite-borne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument, which is designed to contribute to studies of the Earth's ecology and climate. AirMISR flies on the NASA ER-2 aircraft. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California built the instrument for NASA.

Unlike the spaceborne MISR instrument, which has nine cameras oriented at various angles, AirMISR utilizes a single camera in a pivoting gimbal mount. A data run by the ER-2 aircraft is divided into nine segments, each with the camera positioned to a MISR look angle. The gimbal rotates between successive segments, such that each segment acquires data over the same area on the ground as the previous segment. This process is repeated until all nine angles of the target area are collected. The swath width, which varies from 11 km in the nadir to 32 km at the most oblique angle, is governed by the camera's instantaneous field-of-view of 7 meters cross-track x 6 meters along-track in the nadir view and 21 meters x 55 meters at the most oblique angle. The along-track image length at each angle is dictated by the timing required to obtain overlap imagery at all angles, and varies from about 9 km in the nadir to 26 km at the most oblique angle. Thus, the nadir image dictates the area of overlap that is obtained from all nine angles. A complete flight run takes approximately 13 minutes.

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