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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

GeoCAPE Airborne Simulator (GCAS)

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

GeoCAPE Airborne Simulator

The GCAS project consists of the fabrication, calibration and 1st deployment of an aircraft instrument with specifications that are aligned with the current science requirements of the Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission as recommended by the National Research Council's decadal survey of Earth Science and Applications from Space[1]. We will advance the technology readiness as well as refine the discipline science measurement requirements for the GEO-CAPE effort. The task builds on achievements from our FY'10 IRAD effort and parallel ongoing efforts in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch with the Geostationary Spectrograph (GeoSpec) and Airborne Compact Atmospheric Mapper (ACAM) instruments.  The effort will consist of system level packaging, calibration,  and ground-based and airborne demononstrations of a two-channel UV/VIS/NIR spectrograph. 

Tropospheric ozone (O3) is an important greenhouse gas.  Background concentrations of tropospheric O3 have increased 100-200% over the past century producing a climatic impact comparable to that of CH4 (exceeded only by CO2 among other greenhouse gases). Aerosol increases generally have the opposite direct climate impact, diminishing greenhouse warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space.  Aerosol also affects cloud processes, an indirect climate effect that is unquantifiable today. Changes in the large-scale atmospheric composition contribute to worsening local air quality in many regions. Declining air quality in the US costs the public billions in health care and lost productivity, produces several thousand premature fatalities annually [1], damages our environment, and decreases our standard of living.t    

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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