BAER Staff, working with NASA’s Earth Science Project Office, have laid the groundwork for a series of pioneering flights over the Korean Peninsula as part of the Korea-U.S. Air Quality Experiment (KORUS-AQ). This study hopes to compare air quality models with data gathered from satellites, aircraft, and ground stations in order to improve the understanding of how atmospheric composition is changing and how that change, along with climate change, is affecting regional air quality. As part of this effort, NASA is currently using three aircraft, including its DC-8, and an array of sampling instruments to collect data regarding a number of pollutants, including ozone and particulate matter.
BAER employees, including Dan Chirica, Quincy Allison, Sommer Beddingfield, Erin Czech, Liz Juvera, and Steven Todorov have provided critical mission support, including management of the deployment site and specialized support related to instrument integration and operation, data systems, and communications between mission teams. The BAERI team also developed and provided IT support for the mission website: https://espo.nasa.gov/home/korus-aq.
Mission participants hope that the experiment will provide critical information that will ultimately lead to the monitoring of air pollution from a series of geostationary satellites. Mission flights will continue through mid-June.