Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Satellite Instrument to Provide New Details on Ozone

22.06.2004


Just after 3 a.m. on July 10, University of Colorado at Boulder researcher John Gille expects to watch a new NASA satellite blast into orbit from the dark California coastline on a mission to study Earth’s protective ozone layer, climate and air quality changes with unprecedented detail.



Gille, principal investigator on the satellite’s High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) instrument, said he and his sleep-deprived colleagues will probably only get to watch the rocket for a few moments before it disappears into a thick deck of clouds that typically settles over the area this time of year.

The irony isn’t lost on Gille, who’s been at work on the instrument since 1988. "Writing about clouds in a meteorological journal, a scientist once said, ’There’s no way to deal with these troublesome objects,’ " he laughed.


Surface ozone pollution and air quality deterioration -- byproducts of agricultural burning, deforestation, urban activity and industry -- are increasing worldwide. Questions remain about the recovery of the protective ozone layer and the role of chemistry in climate change. HIRDLS and three other instruments on NASA’s AURA satellite are designed to address these questions in detail.

HIRDLS is an international collaboration between scientists and engineers in the U.S. and Britain. Gille is HIRDLS U.S. principal investigator, and along with his Oxford University counterpart he is responsible for the overall success of the instrument, including design, testing, collection and use of data for scientific purposes
.
At CU-Boulder, Gille is an adjoint professor in the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and senior research associate at the Center for Limb Atmospheric Sounding. "Limb" is the astronomical term for the edge of a planet and its atmosphere.

"Unlike the satellite images you see during TV weather forecasts, which are looking straight down at the Earth, our instrument is looking off toward the horizon," Gille said. "We look at the horizon from orbit, scanning up and down for a profile view."

The profile gives scientists insight into radiation, temperature and distribution of gases at different levels in the atmosphere. The data is then used to study the ozone layer, climate change and interaction between layers of the atmosphere.

HIRDLS will scan the mid- to upper-troposphere and the tropopause, the boundary region between the troposphere and the stratosphere. The troposphere extends upward from the Earth’s surface to about 10 miles high at the equator and five miles high at the North and South poles. The stratosphere, which contains trace gases as well as the radiation-absorbing ozone layer, lies on top of the troposphere.

HIRDLS is expected to present a much clearer picture of whether the ozone layer is recovering, as well as the distribution of greenhouse gases that influence climate.

"HIRDLS has much finer horizontal resolution than we’ve ever had before," Gille said. "We can send commands to the satellite to zoom in and get readings with resolutions as fine as 30 to 60 miles, and a vertical resolution of 1,500 feet. Also, the HIRDLS detectors are up to 10 times more sensitive than similar instruments that have flown in the past."

The instrument is designed to last much longer in orbit than its predecessors, too. Thanks to an onboard mechanical refrigerator built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. of Boulder, scientists expect it will last longer than five years. It’s hoped that longer-term trends can be predicted with the volume of data that will be collected.

The HIRDLS project began in 1988. Since that time, Gille and his research team at the university have led a collaborative effort to design and build the instrument with scientists and engineers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, the University of Washington and Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif.

Gille expects many of those who have worked on HIRDLS during the past 16 years to make the trip to Vandenburg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif., for the July 10 AURA launch at 3:01 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.eos.ucar.edu/hirdls

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>