Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's HS3 mission analyzes Saharan dust layer over Eastern Atlantic

Date:
August 24, 2013
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
One of two of NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft flew over the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin and investigated the Saharan Air Layer in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 20 and 21. The instruments aboard the Global Hawk sampled the environment of ex-Erin and revealed an elevated dust layer overrunning the storm.

This infrared image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Aug. 20 shows the Global Hawk crossing the low-level remnants of Erin. Erin's low-level clouds appear as a faint circulation. The green path is the direction the Global Hawk came from. The red line represents the path the aircraft would follow.
Credit: NASA/NOAA

One of two of NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft flew over the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin and investigated the Saharan Air Layer in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 20 and 21. The instruments aboard the Global Hawk sampled the environment of ex-Erin and revealed an elevated dust layer overrunning the storm.

Related Articles


"Our goal with this flight was to look at how the Saharan air would move around or into the former storm, but the circulation was so shallow and weak that, according to our instruments, the Saharan air simply moved westward right over what was left of Erin,"

said Scott A. Braun, HS3 principal investigator and a research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Two Global Hawks are flying as part of HS3, short for NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission, this year out of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va. Global Hawk aircraft are well-suited for hurricane investigations because they can fly for as long as 28 hours and over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet (18.3 km).

One of the purposes of the HS3 mission is to address the controversial role of the Saharan Air Layer in tropical storm formation and intensification. On its first flight out of Wallops, a Global Hawk obtained data about the SAL using several instruments aboard.

The Cloud Physics Lidar, or CPL, instrument analyzed the SAL and showed an elevated dust layer between about 1.5 and 2.8 miles (2.5 and 4.5 km) overrunning the remnants of Erin. The low-level clouds associated with what was left of Erin were located below 1.2 miles (2 km).

The CPL is an airborne lidar system designed specifically for studying clouds and aerosols. CPL will study cloud- and dust-layer boundaries and will provide optical depth or thickness of aerosols and clouds.

Another instrument aboard the Global Hawk measured temperature and dewpoint. "The scanning High-resolution Interferometer Sounder showed very dry air over the remnants of Erin," Braun said.

The Global Hawk is expected to make another trip to analyze the Saharan Air Layer on Aug. 24-25.

HS3 is a mission that brings together several NASA centers with federal and university partners to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin. Among those factors, HS3 will address the controversial role of the hot, dry and dusty Saharan Air Layer in tropical storm formation and intensification and the extent to which deep convection in the inner-core region of storms is a key driver of intensity change.

The HS3 mission will operate between Aug. 20 and Sept. 23. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and usually peaks in early to mid-September.

Wallops is one of several NASA centers involved with the HS3 mission. The Earth Science Projects Office at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the project. Other participants include Goddard, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The HS3 mission is funded by NASA Headquarters in Washington and managed by NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and is one of five large field campaigns operating under the Earth Venture program. The HS3 mission also involves collaborations with various partners including the National Centers for Environmental Prediction; Naval Postgraduate School; Naval Research Laboratory; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division and Earth System Research Laboratory; Northrop Grumman Space Technology; National Center for Atmospheric Research; State University of New York at Albany; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Wisconsin; and University of Utah.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA's HS3 mission analyzes Saharan dust layer over Eastern Atlantic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131602.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2013, August 24). NASA's HS3 mission analyzes Saharan dust layer over Eastern Atlantic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131602.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA's HS3 mission analyzes Saharan dust layer over Eastern Atlantic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131602.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

AFP (Apr. 18, 2015) — In the Himalayan town of Lukla, excitement mingles with fear as mountaineers make their way up to Everest a year after an avalanche killed 16 guides and triggered an unprecedented shut-down of the world&apos;s highest peak. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) — "Water cops" in Los Angeles remind the public about water conservation methods amid California&apos;s prolonged drought. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

AFP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Scientists gathered at a European Space Agency (ESA) facility outside Rome this week for the Planetary Defence Conference 2015 to discuss how to tackle the potential threat from asteroids hitting Earth. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, splotches of oil still dot the seafloor and wads of tarry petroleum-smelling material hide in pockets in the marshes of Barataria Bay. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins