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 When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>