University of Colorado Boulder professor Brian Toon will act as project leader for a major NASA airborne science program to chart weather patterns and air pollution across North America, according to a release.
During summer 2013, researchers will look at the atmosphere from the top down at a time when weather patterns are strong enough to pump chemicals from regional air pollution high into the atmosphere. Three aircraft will be used during the study, including a NASA DC-8 airplane, NASA ER-2 and a Spec, Inc. Lear Jet. All are equipped with air quality sensors.
The project will involve more than 250 scientists, engineers and flight personnel from five NASA centers. The National Center for Atmospheric Research and NOAA will also contribute, as well as 15 universities nationwide. Research flights are scheduled to begin in August.