The availability of a compact, easily-deployable PASL system will facilitate validation of results of measurements of atmospheric parameters with new satellite devices that NASA is developing for its current and future missions, such as Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE), Hyperspectral InfraRed Imager (HyspIRI), and Aerosol, Cloud, and Ecosystems (ACE, including Pre-ACE/PACE). The PASL may be delivered to any place on Earth and used almost autonomously for long periods of time to collect data about the atmospheric parameters at a range over 10 km over prescribed directions in the entire hemisphere, including both vertical and horizontal paths. During the course of the project, POC will work together with NASA personnel at the Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, and other centers to identify the immediate and follow-on applications for PASL, and identify any auxiliary sensors and equipment needed to operate in conjunction with the PASL system.
The PASL will be used by government weather forecasting agencies (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) and weather services at all military branches for improving weather forecasts by collecting atmospheric data more frequently than with currently used weather balloons that are typically launched twice a day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can use this relatively inexpensive and compact device for weather monitoring around airports and for detection of air vortices created by large aircraft to avoid dangerous conditions on runways. Universities and non-government research institutions will use the PASL for environmental research, including investigations of atmospheric processes and their influence on climate change. PASL can also be used for monitoring the propagation of natural and industrial aerosols and environmental pollutions around the globe and their interaction with clouds.