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  • NASA and South Korea used research aircraft for an intensive study in and around the Seoul metropolitan area in 2016 to address the country’s poor air quality and lay the groundwork for next-generation pollution-monitoring satellites. Credits: NASA

    Early Airborne Results Address South Korean Air Quality

    For six weeks in the summer of 2016 scientists from the United States and the Republic of Korea intensively studied air pollution over the Korean peninsula. Their mission: to diagnose the complex causes of the country’s poor air quality and in so doing lay the groundwork for next-generation pollution monitoring from space that both nations plan to launch in the next few years.

  • 65,000 feet above Earth, the NASA ER-2 high-altitude pilot calmly waits to adjust course and intercept lightning producing storms. Credit: NASA

    Hunting for Lightning: A Day at the GOES-16 Post-Launch Field Campaign

    A team of instrument scientists, meteorologists, and specialized pilots have used a high-altitude plane, ground-based sensors, and satellites to collect and compare measurements from across the United States to calibrate and validate the earth viewing instruments on NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite.

  • Students participating in the 2017 NASA Student Airborne Research Program meet the pilots of the NASA Sherpa

    Students to Study Earth from Three NASA Flying Laboratories

    This summer 32 undergraduate students are participating in an eight-week NASA airborne science field campaign designed to immerse them in the agency's Earth science research.

  • NASA's Kurt Blankenship, Matt Kowaleski, Laura Judd and Taylor Thorson are conducting science flights on NASA Langley's UC-12 aircraft as part of the Lake Michigan Ozone Study. Credits: NASA

    NASA Aids Study of Lake Michigan High-Ozone Events

    NASA researchers are conducting science flights along the Wisconsin-Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline to help better understand the formation and transport of ozone, a potent air pollutant in the region.

  • Brown carbon particles produced by wildfires such as the ones that have scorched parts of Georgia and Florida this year are more likely than previously thought to travel to the upper levels of the atmosphere and impact climate. Credits: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC

    Smoke from Wildfires Can Have Lasting Climate Impact

    New research using data collected during NASA airborne science campaigns shows how smoke from wildfires worldwide could impact the atmosphere and climate much more than previously thought.

  • NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory. Credits: NASA/AFRC

    NASA's CPEX Tackles a Weather Fundamental

    A NASA-funded field campaign underway in Florida has a real shot at improving meteorologists' ability to answer some of the most fundamental questions about weather: Where will it rain? When? How much?

  • Nine planes, based mostly in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Yellowknife, Canada, will fly instruments for ABoVE’s 2017 season. Here, ABoVE scientists and crew of the G-III aircraft stand by the plane, which flies a radar instrument to study soils. Credits: NASA/Peter Griffith

    NASA’s Arctic Ecosystem Science Flights Begin

    A NASA-led effort to advance our ability to monitor changing Arctic and boreal ecosystems has started its second season, with the first aircraft taking flight over Alaska and northwest Canada this month.

  • NASA Polar Ice Survey Flights Conclude

    NASA’s annual survey of changes in Arctic ice cover greatly expanded its reach this year in a series of flights that wrapped up on May 12. It was the most ambitious spring campaign in the region for NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to monitor ice changes at Earth’s poles, which also included a rapid-response flight over a new crack in Petermann Glacier, one of the largest and fastest-changing glaciers in Greenland.

  • Winter sun setting over the tundra polygons in northern Alaska in November 2015. As winter sets in and snow settles, the soils take time to freeze completely and continue to emit carbon dioxide long into the new year. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Charles Miller

    Alaska Tundra Source of Early-Winter Carbon Emissions

    Three years of observations from NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) airborne mission were used in a new study that shows warmer temperatures and thawing soils may be driving an increase in carbon dioxide emissions from Alaskan tundra to the atmosphere.

  • The Wallops Flight Facility Aircraft Office operates the NASA C-23 Sherpa research aircraft available to support airborne science research. The C-23 is a two-engine turboprop aircraft designed to operate under the most arduous conditions, in a wide range of mission configurations. Credits: NASA

    NASA to Measure Greenhouse Gases Over the Mid-Atlantic Region

    In May, a team of Goddard scientists will begin measuring greenhouse gases over the Mid-Atlantic region — an area chosen in part because it encompasses a range of vegetation, climate, and soil types that would influence the exchange of carbon dioxide and methane between the Earth and the atmosphere.

  • View from the NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft cockpit: Sonoran Desert coastline during ABI validation flight on March 23. Credits: NASA

    NASA's High-Altitude Plane Takes to the Sky for GOES-16 Field Campaign

    A NASA ER-2 high-altitude plane has taken to the air to complete phase one of the 11-week GOES-16 Field Campaign to ensure NOAA's GOES-16 satellite provides precise satellite measurements, which will improve forecasting.

  • The NASA P-3 Orion aircraft departs the Wallops Facility as the sun rises in the early morning. Credits: NASA/ Patrick Black

    NASA’s P-3 Begins 2017 with IceBridge Support

    The spring NASA Operation IceBridge campaign will take the P-3 to Greenland, Norway, and Alaska over the next 10 weeks. The P-3 last flew with IceBridge on their 2013 Arctic campaign, during which the aircraft made flights out of both Kangerlussuaq and Thule, Greenland.

  • View of the island of Hawaii from the window of NASA’s ER-2 aircraft. Credits: NASA

    NASA-Led Campaign Studies Hawaii’s Iconic Volcanoes

    This month, a NASA-led science team is exploring Kilauea and the adjacent volcano Mauna Loa from the air, ground and space. Their goal: to better understand volcanic processes and hazards.

  • The Ikhana aircraft is flying a TAMDAR Edge probe that could significantly improve weather models and forecasts. Credits: NASA Photo / Lori Losey

    Probe May Improve Weather Forecasts

    A weather probe that eventually will relay atmospheric conditions as they are unfolding and provide data to improve weather forecasts and models, has begun to fly on NASA’s Ikhana remotely piloted aircraft.

  • In February 2017, scientists begin collecting data on coral reef health and volcanic emissions and eruptions in Hawaii using NASA airborne instruments, watercraft, and ground-based sensors. Credits: NASA/Benjamin Phillips (left), NOAA (right)

    NASA Invites Media Behind the Scenes of Volcano, Coral Reef Research

    NASA is hosting a media day on Feb. 8 in O’ahu, Hawaii, to spotlight two field campaigns that seek to unlock some of the mysteries behind two of Hawaii’s treasured natural resources: coral reefs and volcanoes.

  • Wallops Aircraft Supporting NASA Science Projects from Pole to Pole

    The fleet of aircraft at the Wallops Flight Facility that support NASA’s airborne sciences program are preparing for a busy year as the agency continues several projects investigating critical scientific questions about how our planet is changing and what impacts humans are having on it.

  • As the DC-8 flies, these inlets collect air into the more than 20 scientific instruments aboard, which measure various atmospheric gases and pollutants. Credits: NASA/Roisin Commane

    NASA Airborne Mission Chases Air Pollution Through the Seasons

    A NASA airborne mission will take a world-wide survey of these seasonal transformations by flying from the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, down into the sunny summer in the Southern Hemisphere and back again

  • Three new NASA field research campaigns get underway around the world this year and nine continue fieldwork to give scientists a deeper understanding of how our home planet works. Credits: NASA

    NASA Plans Another Busy Year for Earth Science Fieldwork

    NASA scientists are crisscrossing the globe in 2017 – from a Hawaiian volcano to Colorado mountain tops and west Pacific islands – to investigate critical scientific questions about how our planet is changing and what impacts humans are having on it.

  • Students from Osan Middle School and Walter Klein (far right) after a tour of the DC-8 at Osan Air Base in South Korea (April 2016). Credits: Emily Schaller / NASA

    Navigating the Next Generation

    Walter Klein travels all over the world as a navigator for NASA’s DC-8 airborne laboratoryOn top of all of his responsibilities as DC-8 navigator, Klein has a deep commitment to sharing the excitement of NASA Airborne Science Program missions with students, teachers and the public. 

  • NASA’s ER-2 takes off from its base of operations at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703 in Palmdale, California to test instruments that will support upcoming science flights for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R-series.

    NASA ER-2 Prepares to Support NOAA GOES-R Satellite

    Over the next six months, NASA will be working with NOAA to calibrate sensors and validate data transmitted down from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) using NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude aircraft.

  • Large rift near the Pine Island Glacier tongue, West Antarctica, as seen during an IceBridge flight on Nov. 4, 2016. Credits: NASA/Nathan Kurtz

    NASA Nears Finish Line of Annual Study of Changing Antarctic Ice

    Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of changes in polar ice, is closing in on the end of its eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment, and will likely tie its 2012 campaign record for the most research flights carried out during a single Antarctic season.

  • Getz Ice Shelf as photographed on Nov. 5 from a NASA research airplane by Jeremy Harbeck, a sea ice scientist at NASA Goddard

    Getting to Know the Getz Ice Shelf

    IceBridge, now in its eighth year, continues to build a record of how ice is responding to changes in the polar environment. The Getz Ice Shelf in West Antarctica is one area that scientists try to examine each year.

  • A view from Operation IceBridge's aircraft of Crosson Ice Shelf, foreground. Mt. Murphy is in the background. Credits: NASA/OIB/Michael Studinger

    Studies Offer New Glimpse of Melting Under Antarctic Glaciers

    Two new studies by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), detect the fastest ongoing rates of glacier retreat ever observed in West Antarctica and offer an unprecedented direct view of intense ice melting from the floating undersides of glaciers. The results highlight how the interaction between ocean conditions and the bedrock beneath a glacier can influence the glacier's evolution, with implications for understanding future ice loss from Antarctica and global sea level rise.

  • The mountains of northern Alexander Island in the Antarctic Peninsula, passing under the left wing of the DC-8 aircraft carrying Operation IceBridge¹s scientists and instruments on Oct. 14, 2016. Credits: NASA/John Sonntag

    NASA Launches Eighth Year of Antarctic Ice Change Airborne Survey

    IceBridge completed the first research flight of its 2016 Antarctic campaign on October 14. The campaign will continue through November 19. This year, the mission is based in Punta Arenas, a city at the southern tip of Chile. From there, IceBridge is carrying 12-hour flights back and forth to Antarctica, covering most of the western section of the frozen continent – the region that is experiencing the fastest changes and is Antarctica’s biggest contributor to sea level rise.

  • NASA's Global Hawk being prepared for deployment to Florida to study Hurricane Matthew. Credits: NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes

    NASA/NOAA Team Deploy Global Hawk to Track Hurricane Matthew

    NASA’s Global Hawk aircraft was deployed to Florida from Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, CA. on Oct. 6 to monitor and take scientific measurements of Hurricane Matthew.  The unmanned Global Hawk will gather scientific data in support of NOAA’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) mission.

  • C-23 Sherpa

    NASA Using Aircraft to Measure Mid-Atlantic Greenhouse Gases

    NASA is conducting low-level aircraft flights measuring greenhouse gases over the mid-Atlantic region through September. The flights are for the CARbon Airborne Flux Experiment or CARAFE, which will measure the exchange of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane between the Earth and the atmosphere in the region. In addition, water vapor, temperature, and vertical wind measurements will be taken.

  • The Gulfstream III carrying NASA's PRISM instrument being readied for science flights from Cairns, Australia. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/BIOS

    NASA Begins Study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    A NASA airborne mission designed to transform our understanding of Earth's valuable and ecologically sensitive coral reefs has set up shop in Australia for a two-month investigation of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef ecosystem.

  • Helheim Glacier, with its characteristic wishbone-shaped channels, as seen from about 20,000 feet in the sky. Credits: NASA/Operation IceBridge

    Science Flights Study Effect of Summer Melt on Greenland Ice Sheet

    Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of polar ice, is flying in Greenland for the second time this year, to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet. The IceBridge flights, which began on Aug. 27 and will continue until Sept. 16, are mostly repeats of lines that the team flew in early May, so that scientists can observe changes in ice elevation between the spring and late summer.

  • Global Hawk arrives at KWAL

    NASA Global Hawk alerts NOAA of Gaston’s intensification

    NOAA’s National Weather Service National Hurricane Center used real-time weather data from the NASA Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to upgrade a tropical storm to a hurricane in the early morning hours Thursday.
     

  • The Namibian coast of southwest Africa (far left) is a unique natural laboratory with both persistent low-level clouds and a steady supply of tiny aerosol particles in the form of smoke from inland fires that mix with the clouds. Credits: NASA

    NASA Flies to Africa to Study Climate Effects of Smoke on Clouds

    NASA scientists and two research aircraft are on their way to a unique natural laboratory off the Atlantic coast of southwest Africa to study a major unknown in future climate prediction.

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