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Smoke Gets in Your Skies
July 27, 2011
A data profile image from the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) aboard NASA Langley's UC-12 research aircraft showing wildfire smoke that has drifted over the Chesapeake Bay.

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

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Page Last Updated: August 14th, 2013
Page Editor: Katie Bethea