HIGH-FLYING AIRCRAFT AT NASA LANGLEY TO SUPPORT GLOBAL
Scientists at NASA Langley Research Center are relying on a
futuristic-looking aircraft to help measure movements of pollution
from a unique vantage point – about 10 miles high.
|The high-altitude Proteus research aircraft from Scaled
Composites, LLC, of Mojave, Calif., taxis toward takeoff in support
of NASA Langley's involvement in the Intercontinental Chemical
Transport Experiment - North America (INTEX-NA). The Proteus
carries a Langley instrument payload to support the study. INTEX-NA
is measuring pollution movement around the globe.
(300 dpi, 8.2" x 5.5")
As part of a multi-agency effort to track air quality, NASA
researchers are participating in the Intercontinental Chemical
Transport Experiment-North America (INTEX-NA) that will measure the
movements of pollution around the globe as part of a joint regional
air-quality and climate study running through August 19. The
high-altitude Proteus research aircraft from Scaled Composites,
LLC, of Mojave, Calif., which holds several sustained altitude
records, will carry a NASA Langley instrument payload to support
Interested media will be able to meet NASA Langley
atmospheric scientists conducting research for INTEX-NA; see the
aircraft; and interview the Proteus pilot, Mike Melvill, who
recently made aviation history as the first civilian to fly a
spaceship out of the atmosphere into low Earth sub orbit. Melvill
flew SpaceShipOne to a record-breaking altitude of approximately 62
miles making him the first private pilot to earn astronaut wings.
Media wishing to participate in the 9:30 a.m. event on Friday, July
23, should call Margarette Lynch at 757/864-6124 to arrange for
credentials and entry onto the Center.
The instrument suite on Proteus includes the National Polar
Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Atmospheric
Sounder Test-bed Interferometer (NAST-I). The NAST-I instrument
scans the atmosphere from beneath aircraft, providing detailed
characteristics of the atmosphere and land surface, and atmospheric
temperature and water vapor profiles. NAST activities prepare for
operations of future Earth observing satellite instruments.
In addition, a new instrument system from NASA Langley and a
Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) team - MicroMAPS
(Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites) is also on Proteus
supporting INTEX-NA. MicroMAPS, which measures carbon monoxide in
the atmosphere, was recently flight-tested for the first time on
Proteus and is a VSGC coordinated effort involving students and
faculty from Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University and the
University of Virginia.
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is dedicated to understanding
the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science
to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards
using the unique vantage point of space.
For information about the INTEX-NA campaign on the Internet,
For information about Atmospheric Science research at NASA