Studying our Atmosphere at 500 kph: The AJAX Project at NASA Ames


Tuesday, February 25 2014 - 12:00 pm, PST
Laura Iraci
NASA Ames Research Center

ajax from nasaThe Alpha Jet Atmospheric Experiment (AJAX) project at NASA Ames Research Center measures in-situ carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3) concentrations in our atmosphere several times each month.  Our project goals are to study local photochemical smog production, provide data for long-term studies of trans-Pacific transport of pollution, and support the observation of greenhouse gases from satellites.

The project uses a jet aircraft stationed at Moffett Field and outfitted with scientific instruments to measure trace gas concentrations and 3-D wind speeds. Vertical profiles from near the surface up to ~ 27,000 ft are routinely collected over locations such as: Merced, Edwards Air Force Base, Railroad Valley, NV, and over the Pacific Ocean. In addition, boundary layer measurements scout for surface sources such as fires, oil & gas infrastructure, livestock, and urban pollution.

This talk will present recent observations, preliminary analyses, and a brief discussion of the techniques used by the airborne sensors. Plus some cool photos!

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