Category Archives: Space

NASA

NASA Awards Contract for Atmospheric Trace-Gas Monitoring Mission

NASA has awarded a contract to the University of Oklahoma in Norman for a first-of-its-kind Earth science mission that will extend our nation’s lead in measuring key carbon-based greenhouse gases and vegetation health from space to advance our understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between the land, atmosphere and ocean.

The White Cliffs of ‘Rover’

This image was acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 18, 2017, at 14:04 local Mars time. It reminded the HiRISE team of the rugged and open terrain of a stark shore-line, perhaps of the British Isles.

The Global Methane Budget 2000-2012

Abstract: The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major…

Cloud Motion in the GOCI COMS Ocean Colour Data

Abstract: The Geostationary Ocean Colour Imager (GOCI) instrument, on Koreas Communications, Oceans, and Meteorological Satellite (COMS), can produce a spectral artefact arising from the motion of clouds the cloud is spatially shifted and the amount of shift varies by spectral band. The length of time it takes to acquire all eight GOCI bands for a given slot (portion of a scene) is sucient to require that cloud motion be taken into account to fully mask or correct the eects of clouds in all bands. Inte…

Landsat 8 Remote Sensing Reflectance (Rrs) Products: Evaluations, Intercomparisons, and Enhancements

Abstract: The Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard Landsat-8 is generating high-quality aquatic science products, the most critical of which is the remote sensing reflectance (Rrs), defined as the ratio of water-leaving radiance to the total downwelling irradiance just above water. The quality of the Rrs products has not, however, been extensively assessed. This manuscript provides a comprehensive evaluation of Level-1B, i.e., top of atmosphere reflectance, and Rrs products available from OLI imagery …

Interdecadal Trichodesmium Variability in Cold North Atlantic Waters

Abstract: Studies of the nitrogen cycle in the ocean generally assume that the distribution of the marine diazotroph, Trichodesmium, is restricted to warm, tropical, and subtropical oligotrophic waters. Here we show evidence that Trichodesmium are widely distributed in the North Atlantic. We report an approximately vefold increase during the 1980s and 1990s in Trichodesmium presence near the British Isles with respect to the average over the last 50 years. A potential explanation is an increase in the …

A Ground-Based Study on Extruder Standoff Distance for the 3D Printing in Zero Gravity Technology Demonstration Mission

Abstract: Analysis of phase I specimens produced as part of the 3D printing in zero G technology demonstration mission exhibited some differences in structure and performance for specimens printed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and specimens produced on the ground with the same printer prior to its launch. This study uses the engineering test unit for the printer, identical to the unit on ISS, to conduct a ground-based investigation of the impact of the distance between the extruder tip …

Validation of Ocean Color Remote Sensing Reflectance Using Autonomous Floats

Abstract: The use of autonomous proling oats for observational estimates of radiometric quantities in the ocean is explored, and the use of this platform for validation of satellite-based estimates of remote sensing reectance in the ocean is examined. This effort includes comparing quantities estimated from oat and satellite data at nominal wavelengths of 412, 443, 488, and 555 nm, and examining sources and magnitudes of uncertainty in the oat estimates. This study had 65 occurrences of coincident high…

Role of Forcing Uncertainty and Background Model Error Characterization in Snow Data Assimilation

Abstract: Accurate specification of the model error covariances in data assimilation systems is a challenging issue. Ensemble land data assimilation methods rely on stochastic perturbations of input forcing and model prognostic fields for developing representations of input model error covariances. This article examines the limitations of using a single forcing dataset for specifying forcing uncertainty inputs for assimilating snow depth retrievals. Using an idealized data assimilation experiment, the …

Aboveground Biomass Variability Across Intact and Degraded Forests in the Brazilian Amazon

Abstract: Deforestation rates have declined in the Brazilian Amazon since 2005, yet degradation from logging, re, and fragmentation has continued in frontier forests. In this study we quantified the aboveground carbon density (ACD) in intact and degraded forests using the largest data set of integrated forest inventory plots (n 359) and airborne lidar data (18,000 ha) assembled to date for the Brazilian Amazon. We developed statistical models relating inventory ACD estimates to lidar metrics that expla…

Band-to-Band Misregistration of the Images of MODIS Onboard Calibrators and Its Impact on Calibration

Abstract: The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments aboard Terra and Aqua satellites are radiometrically calibrated on-orbit with a set of onboard calibrators (OBCs), including a solar diffuser, a blackbody, and a space view port through which the detectors can view the dark space. As a whisk-broom scanning spectroradiometer, thirty-six MODIS spectral bands are assembled in the along-scan direction on four focal plane assemblies (FPAs). These bands capture images of the same…

Benchmarking the Collocation Stand-Alone Library and Toolkit (CSALT)

Abstract: This paper describes the processes and results of Verification and Validation (VV) efforts for the Collocation Stand Alone Library and Toolkit (CSALT). We describe the test program and environments, the tools used for independent test data, and comparison results. The VV effort employs classical problems with known analytic solutions, solutions from other available software tools, and comparisons to benchmarking data available in the public literature. Presenting all test results are beyond t…

Meteor Entry and Breakup Based on Evolution of NASAs Entry Capsule Design Tools

Abstract: Physics of atmospheric entry of meteoroids was an active area of research at NASA ARC up to the early 1970s (e.g., the oft-cited work of Baldwin and Sheaffer). However, research in the area seems to have ended with the Apollo program, and any ties with an active international meteor physics community seem to have significantly diminished thereafter. In the decades following the 1970s, the focus of entry physics at NASA ARC has been on improvement of the math models of shock-layer physics (esp…

Automated Sensitivity Analysis of Interplanetary Trajectories

Abstract: This work describes a suite of Python tools known as the Python EMTG Automated Trade Study Application (PEATSA). PEATSA was written to automate the operation of trajectory optimization software, simplify the process of performing sensitivity analysis, and was ultimately found to out-perform a human trajectory designer in unexpected ways. These benefits will be discussed and demonstrated on sample mission designs.

All-Sky Microwave Imager Data Assimilation at NASA GMAO

Abstract: Efforts in all-sky satellite data assimilation at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have been focused on the development of GSI configurations to assimilate all-sky data from microwave imagers such as the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and Global Change Observation Mission-Water (GCOM-W) Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR-2). Electromagnetic characteristics associated with their wavelengths allow microwave imager data to be relative…

Shed Vortex Structure and Phase-Averaged Velocity Statistics in Symmetric/Asymmetric Turbulent Flat Plate Wakes

Abstract: The near wake of a flat plate is investigated via direct numerical simulations (DNS). Many earlier experimental investigations have used thin plates with sharp trailing edges and turbulent boundary layers to create the wake. This results in large theta divided by D (sub TE) values (theta is the boundary layer momentum thickness towards the end of the plate and D (sub TE) is the trailing edge thickness). In the present study the emphasis is on relatively thick plates with circular trailing edg…