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Western Region Space Grant Conference-Reno September 19, 2009. Program Objectives. Satellite Calibration and Validation Provide platforms to enable essential calibration measurements for the Earth observing satellites, and the validation of data retrieval algorithms. New Sensor Development

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program objectives
Program Objectives

Satellite Calibration and Validation

Provide platforms to enable essential calibration measurements

for the Earth observing satellites, and the validation of

data retrieval algorithms.

New Sensor Development

Provide sub-orbital flight opportunities to test and refine new

instrument technologies/algorithms, and reduce risk prior to

committing sensors for launch into space.

Process Studies

Obtain high-resolution temporal and spatial measurements

of complex local processes, which can be coupled to global

satellite observations for a better understanding of the

complete Earth system.

Development of Next-Generation Scientists and Engineers

Foster the development of our future workforce with the hands-on

involvement of graduate students, and young scientists/engineers in

all aspects of ongoing Earth science investigations.

nasa nserc student airborne research program sarp

NASA-NSERC StudentAirborne Research Program(SARP)

July-August 2009

George Seielstad

Rick Shetter

Alexandra Novak

sarp s objectives
SARP’s Objectives
  • Inspire students to pursue STEM disciplines.
  • Develop next generation of Earth System Scientists—with fresh research ideas.
  • Demonstrate integration of science, engineering, and operations in major missions.
  • Expose students to NASA programs.
students institutions
Students’ Institutions
  • U Puerto Rico
  • Montclair State U
  • Rutgers U
  • U Michigan
  • Howard U
  • Coastal Carolina U
  • U Florida
  • Loyola Marymount
  • Slippery Rock U
  • Carleton College
  • U of Alaska Anchorage
  • Randolph College
  • U Iowa
  • Montana State U
  • UC Irvine
  • Wellesley College
  • Georgia Tech
  • Michigan Tech U
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • U North Dakota
  • Brown U
  • Texas A&M U
  • Arizona State U
  • U Maryland
  • UC Santa Cruz
students concentrations
Students’ Concentrations
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geoscience
  • Environmental Science
  • Engineering: Mechanical, Chemical, Aerospace, Agriculture, Civil
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Marine Biology
  • Meteorology
  • Telecommunications
sarp s strength students
SARP’s Strength: Students

29 Students, diverse in many respects


UC Irvine: Don Blake, Sherwood Rowland (chemistry)

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute: John Ryan (oceanography)

UC Davis: Susan Ustin (agriculture)

Florida State U: Henry Fuelberg (meteorology)

U Iowa: Greg Carmichael (modeling)

NASA: Jeff Myers, Andy Roberts, Jack Kaye, Brenda Mulac, Marilyn Vasques, Ken Jucks, Jim Crawford, Barbara Schoeberl

faculty commitment
Faculty Commitment

Learning from each other

(Nobel Prize notwithstanding)

Melissa Yang

Nick Clinton




Crucial Strengths of SARP

Fully committed to students

Extremely knowledgeable

Constantly accessible

Guidance, not spoon-feeding


end to end mission
End-to-End Mission
  • Classroom—lectures for context


  • Hangar—flight planning
  • Aircraft—data acquisition
  • Field—surface validation
  • Laboratory—data analysis & interpretation
  • Classroom—Student presentations
  • Evapotranspiration in Almond Orchard and Cotton Field, CA Central Valley
  • Air Quality, CA Central Valley
  • Algal Bloom, Monterey Bay, CA
  • Continuing drought and additional competing uses make water California’s most precious resource.
  • Allocation for irrigation—in US’s most productive ag region—sharply reduced.
  • Irrigation demand driven by water crops transpire.
almond orchard



Almond Orchard

System Integration



Drip irrigation

Fanjet irrigation


ET from


& Model

ET from ground data

1.110 mm/hr

1.078 mm/hr

1.064 mm/hr

1.074 mm/hr

1.081 mm/hr

1.056 mm/hr

1.053 mm/hr

presentation of results
Presentation of Results

Students’ Conclusions, ET

  • Fanjet irrigation more effective than drip irrigation, leading to higher ET.
  • METRIC model underestimates ET compared to the CIMIS PM equation.
monterey bay features
Monterey Bay Features

MASTER Enhanced image (Square root: linear 2%)

conclusions monterey bay
Conclusions, Monterey Bay

Hypothesis rejected: inconsistency in scaling between model and observed features.

Unlikely cause: inconsistency in orientation of observed features.

No significant difference in between features.

No definitive cause of features. Apparently wind-driven, possibly linked to supercritical atmospheric waves.

Features not exclusively an atmospheric phenomenon.

central valley ca dairies
Central Valley, CA Dairies
  • First in U.S. milk production (2006)
  • 2.5 million cows in San Joaquin Valley
  • A main source of VOCs and fine particulates.

(SJV Air Pollution Control District, Aug. 2005)

Air (WAS)



Data Acquisition

chromatograph results
Chromatograph Results




conclusions air quality
Conclusions: Air Quality

Silage piles contributing oxygenates to Central Valley Air Basin

Methanol and ethanol concentrations from dairy perimeter consistent with concentrations in boundary layer.

Grid study shows existence of even higher emissions than our case study’s.

future 6 week program
Future 6-Week Program
  • 1 week for lectures, limits per topic
  • 1 week at DAOF for instrument integration, flight planning.
  • 1 week of data acquisition from DAOF.
    • 2 flights if DC-8; 3 flights if fewer seats on aircraft.
    • 3 days per project for surface measurements
  • 2.5 weeks for data analysis
  • 0.5 weeks for presentations
nasa dryden flight research center education flight projects
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Education Flight Projects

Airborne Research Experiences for Educators (AREE) - An airborne research and curriculum development experience for 10 (ten) middle and high school educators using the NASA DC-8 aircraft

  • Outcome: To develop curriculum-based activities relating to NASA airborne research and Earth system science
  • Educational goals mapped to NASA Education Strategic Coordination Framework, 2006 to inspire, engage, educate, and employ the future aerospace workforce
  • Target Group: Ten (10) secondary educators (grades 6-12)

who specialize in Science, Technology, Engineering, or

Math (STEM) disciplines

  • Committed partnerships between Dryden FRC, Cal State

Fullerton, NSERC, Johnson Space Center, UC Irvine and


AREE educator home locations by state

aree project outcomes
AREE Project Outcomes
  • Educators participated in an airborne and ground research campaign to learn how NASA uses airborne research to study Earth system science.
  • 10 new curriculum units that engage students in the question “How does data gathered through NASA airborne research campaigns help us understand interactions between Earth systems?”
  • 10 highly inspired AREE Master Teachers prepared and motivated to engage and educate high school students to pursue STEM

and NASA-related careers through AREE curriculum


  • 1500 middle and high school students motivated

to achieve in math and science through inquiry-

based investigations of NASA airborne research


Students and educators participated in airborne research aboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft

aree future projects
AREE Future Projects

Using NASA Airborne Science Program (ASP) Flight platforms to provide K-12 educators with the skills and knowledge to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines.

  • Other AREE education flight projects will look to engage participants in airborne research aboard other ASP flight platforms including the DC-8, P-3B, and Global Hawk
  • Developed AREE-extension programs will include pre- and in-service educators in summer workshops relating to NASA AREE-related outcomes
    • To include a global climate change research and professional development experience
    • A web-based Virtual Control Room Network highlighting ASP research campaigns
  • Development of a professional online learning community and web-based platform to disseminate AREE-related curriculum
  • Subsequent programs for K-12 students and higher education
Airborne Research Experiences for Educators (AREE)

An airborne research and curriculum development experience for 10 (ten)

middle and high school educators using the NASA DC-8 aircraft

Thermal Infrared image

NASA AREE-related curriculum will engage ~1500 middle and high school students across the country in Earth system sciences in its inaugural year

Images collected from the MASTER instrument during the DC-8 SARP-AREE flight Wednesday July 22, 2009

DC -8 Flight Path

Flight Path

The MASTER instrument was used to collect remote sensing data of algal blooms at Monterey Bay , CA from ~37,000 ft. AGL


Visible Near Infrared image

Investigationsinvites students to engage in inquiry-based activities.

Find Out More invites students to review related NASA resources.

Images will engage K-12 students in the differences between visible and infrared spectral bands in the electromagnetic spectrum.

NASA DC-8 aircraft flying above Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in California

Airborne Research Experiences for Educators (AREE) Educators participated in an airborne and ground research campaign to learn how NASA uses airborne research to study Earth system science. Educators incorporated these concepts into their middle and high school curriculum

Atmospheric science team

Educators collected in situ dairy farm gas emissions over the Central Valley via the Whole Air Sampler from ~1000 ft. AGL

Air samples were analyzed in the laboratory and the results were incorporated into middle and high school curriculum modules

Algal Bloom team

Rachael Fein (far left) will simulate airborne and ground data collection to her 9th and 10th grade mathematics and robotics students using LEGO robots

Crop Classification team

Educators participated in collecting in situ data from a boat in Monterey Bay, CA for algal bloom research.

Crop Classification team

The MASTER instrument was used to measure evapotranspiration of crops (i.e. cotton fields and almond orchards) from ~13,000 ft AGL

Based on his airborne and ground research experience, educator Terry Nickerson incorporated the concepts of remote sensing and color to study vegetation into his Earth Science and Biology high school curriculum

Wetland Education


Maps, Aerial Photography, and Satellite Imagery

Catherine M. Lockwood Lawrence R. Handley Nathan Handley

Chadron State College USGS National Wetlands IT Consultant

Chadron, Nebraska Research Center Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Primary Goal

To teach basic map skills and imagery interpretation using Wetlands as the focal point.

Secondary Goal

To introduce multiple maps and

images to educators.

Program Facts 1996-2008

Sites in 16 states, the District of Columbia, Costa Rica and Panama

Total Training Sessions: 157

Total Participants: 3,828

Average per session: 24.50

Workshops and Participants1996-2008

  • Education is a substantial part of ASP
  • There are positive results
  • There is senior management support
  • This will continue