NASA AV-6 Global Hawk high altitude research aircraft takes off from NASA Dryden

Photo: ESPO, NASAResearch Highlight Climate Change: Instrumentation aboard the Global Hawk UAS (unmanned aerial system) flies high above the Earth's surface sampling the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Atmospheric Composition & Chemical Processes

Dr. Ru-Shan Gao, Program Lead
Madeline Sturgill, Secretary (303) 497-7990

NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division
325 Broadway R/CSD6
Boulder, CO 80305 USA


The research direction of our program area is airborne field measurements of trace gases and aerosols.


We design, develop, and deploy instruments aboard research aircraft for measurements of trace gases and particles. We interpret these observations to improve our understanding of atmospheric processes related to air quality, ozone depletion, and climate change.


Our research group works in close coordination with other CSD and ESRL groups, and colleagues in NASA's atmospheric research groups involved in airborne field measurements to explore atmospheric composition and the processes in the atmosphere that influence air quality and climate.

Field Studies

Field Studies

Black carbon contributes to
atmospheric warming.


Field Instruments

Instruments deployed to measure atmospheric trace species.

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

Published findings from field measurements.