Cloud & Aerosol Processes: Projects

PACES logo

IGAC Activities. International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Activities provide the international organization that is necessary to conduct atmospheric chemistry research towards a sustainable world. Members of the group are involved in IGAC Activities, and serve as chair for the air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies (PACES).

NASA DC-8 research aircraft

ATom, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) will study the impact of human-produced air pollution on certain greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere. Airborne instruments will look at how atmospheric chemistry is transformed by various air pollutants and at the impact on methane and ozone which affect climate. Flights aboard NASA's DC-8 will originate from the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, fly north to the western Arctic, south to the South Pacific, east to the Atlantic, north to Greenland, and return to California across central North America. More info...

evening smoke and flames
Fourmile Canyon wildfire west of Boulder, CO Fall 2010

FIREX 2015-2019, Western US. Wildfires have implications for air quality and carbon release, and climate change will sharpen the problems involving widfires in the western U.S. The Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environments Experiment (FIREX) is a comprehensive research effort to understand and predict the impact of North American fires on the atmosphere and ultimately support better land management. Field and laboratory studies are planned for 2015-2019. More info...

oil and gas drilling site
Oil extraction equipment in Uintah Basin, Utah

SONGNEX 2015, Western US. The goal of the Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) 2015 program is to quantify the emissions of trace gases and fine particles from several different tight oil and shale gas basins in the western U.S., and to study the chemical transformation of these emissions. The study will be focused on basins which represent a mixture of oil and gas production regions at various stages of development. This airborne study involves the NOAA WP-3D aircraft mobile platform. More info...

Manta UAS launch at Kings Bay AS
Manta UAS launch, Kings Bay AS

SAOP UAS, Svalbard, Norway. Ny-Ålesund is a center for international Arctic scientific research and environmental monitoring. A study of aerosol optical properties (SAOP) with a Manta Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operated from the Kings Bay AS research facility in April 2015. CSD deployed two instruments on the Manta UAS, the recently developed miniaturized Printed Optical Particle Spectrometer (POPS) and the Sun Photometer (miniSASP; an upward-looking radiometer (ULR)). The payload measured the vertical profile from 50m up to 3000m over different sea and glacier terrains near Ny-Ålesund. More info...

NOAA Manta UAS launch
NOAA Manta Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) launch

NOAA SEED project. The NOAA Special Early-Stage Experimental or Developmental (SEED) project conducted the very first test flights for new instruments designed to measure properties and climate effects of airborne fine particles (aerosols) using the Manta Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). CSD developed two new instruments for the Manta, the Printed Optical Particle Spectrometer (POPS) and an upward-looking radiometer (ULR), filling key measurement gaps in the payload. They contribute to a potentially powerful new tool for NOAA to address climate and air quality issues related to aerosols in remote and hard-to-access regions. More info...

SEAC4RS logo

SEAC4RS, Houston, Texas. Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) is based out of Ellington Field in August - September 2013. Focused on pollution emissions and the evolution of gases and aerosols in deep convective outflow, and the influences and feedbacks of aerosol particles from anthropogenic pollution and biomass burning on meteorology and climate, the project requires two aircraft to accomplish the goals. The NASA DC-8 will provide observations from near the surface to 12 km, and the NASA ER-2 will provide high altitude observations reaching into the lower stratosphere as well as important remote sensing observations connecting satellites with observations from lower flying aircraft and surface sites. More info...

Southeast mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

SENEX 2013, Southeast US. The goal of SENEX 2013 is to study the interactions between natural and anthropogenic emissions in the southeast at the nexus of the air quality and climate change. Scientists will quantify the emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosol, and investigate the roles played by anthropogenic and natural emissions in the formation of ozone and aerosol in the atmosphere. This airborne study involves the NOAA WP-3D aircraft, forecast modeling and surface monitoring networks. More info...

clouds photo

DC3, Salina, Kansas. The Deep Convective Clouds & Chemistry (DC3) experiment investigates the impact of deep, midlatitude continental convective clouds, including their dynamical, physical, and lightning processes, on upper tropospheric composition and chemistry. Airborne measurements taken from the NASA DC-8 in July 2012 provide in situ observations to characterize the convective storm inflow and provide remote sensing to aid in flight planning and column characterization. More info...

Ragged Point, Barbados
Ground site at Ragged Point, Barbados.

Saharan Dust, Barbados. Measurements of the optical properties of Saharan dust occur in June 2011. A ground site on the eastern most point of Barbados is an optimal location for sampling the trade winds across the Atlantic from Africa.


MACPEX, Houston, Texas. The Mid-latitude Airborne Cirrus Properties Experiment (MACPEX) is an airborne field campaign to investigate cirrus cloud properties and the processes that affect their impact on radiation. The campaign involves the NASA WB-57 based at Ellington Field, TX in the March / April 2011 timeframe. Science flights will focus on central North America vicinity with an emphasis over the DoE ARM SGP site in Oklahoma. More info...

Erie Tower payload
Boulder Atmospheric Observatory Tower, Erie, CO.

NACHTT, Erie, Colorado. The primary goal of Nitrogen, Aerosol Composition, and Halogens on a Tall Tower (NACHTT) is to understand vertical extent of halogen activation; interaction between mixing processes and wintertime oxidant formation. Studies commence February - March 2011 and will also evaluate the roles of HCl as tropospheric Cl- reservoir and that of aerosol thermodynamics in heterogeneous chemistry. More info...

Haze over LA Basin
Haze over East Los Angeles.

CalNex 2010, Southern California. The goal of the California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) 2010 program is to study the important issues at the nexus of the air quality and climate change problems, and to provide scientific information regarding the trade-offs faced by decision makers when addressing these two inter-related issues. The NOAA WP-3D aircraft, the R/V Atlantis ship, and several ground sites were involved in this project. Comprehensive data analysis followed the completion of this project in July 2010. More info...

WP-3D over Brooks Range
NOAA WP-3D aircraft over the Brooks Range, AK

ARCPAC, Fairbanks, Alaska. As part of the International Polar Year of 2008, NOAA engaged in an airborne field measurement campaign targeted at improving understanding climate-relevant processes. The Aerosol, Radiation, and Cloud Processes affecting Arctic Climate (ARCPAC) effort was focused on direct measurements of properties and processes that can be used to reduce uncertainty in radiation and climate models. The measurements were made in the Alaskan Arctic to closely coordinate with remote-sensing and in situ observations from aircraft and ground sites in the vicinity of Barrow, Alaska. More info...

Prior field missions in which CAP instruments have participated: