This July 2 image shows smoke over the Chesapeake Bay drifting north from wildfires in North Carolina and Georgia as viewed by High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) aboard NASA Langley's UC-12 research aircraft.
The smoke is represented in orange/red, and in this image extends from the Norfolk, Va., region to just southeast of Washington, D.C. The yellow areas denote urban pollution.
These data were acquired during a DISCOVER-AQ flight back to NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., where the UC-12 is based. The data does not show the mission's study region, the Baltimore-Washington area, as being affected by the smoke.
The HSRL has been deployed on the NASA Langley UC-12 aircraft for a DISCOVER-AQ field mission taking place this month. The mission is measuring gaseous and particulate pollution over the Baltimore-Washington area in order to better understand how satellites can be used to improve air-quality forecasts.
Another research aircraft, a low-flying P-3B from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore, has been flying a similar route, taking air-quality measurements as low as 1,000 feet.
The red crosses denote the locations of some of the DISCOVER-AQ ground sites where surface instruments are also acquiring trace gas and particulate data.
DISCOVER-AQ stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality.
More information about these fires and air quality can be found at http://alg.umbc.edu/usaq/archives/004229.html
Photo Credit: NASA/HSRL Team