Two NASA research airplanes will fly over the Baltimore-Washington region and northeast Maryland this summer as part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality from space.
The campaign is called DISCOVER-AQ, which stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. It is one of the five Earth Venture class of investigations selected last year as part of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program. These targeted science investigations complement NASA's larger research missions.
A fundamental challenge for spaceborne instruments monitoring air quality is to distinguish between pollution high in the atmosphere and pollution near the surface where people live. The new NASA field campaign will make measurements from aircraft in combination with ground-based observation sites to help scientists better understand how to observe ground-level pollution from space in the future.(read more)