Stephen Jones of Aerodyne received the One NASA Peer Award in recognition for his role in developing the Hyperspectral Polarimeter for Aerosol Retrievals (HySPAR) for the team effort of developing the NASA Active-Passive Airborne Instrument Suite for Aerosol Measurement.
This award is given in recognition by one’s peers for focusing on producing the best product and best science rather than on individual of Center concerns, thereby, working together in advancing scientific understanding through collaboration of unique talents resident at several NASA Centers in developing an active-passive airborne instrument suite for aerosol measurements. HySPAR is one of the three instruments in this suite to be used for characterizing aerosol distributions and optical properties. The other two instruments, designed by NASA Langley Research Center, are the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) and the Langley Airborne A-band Spectrometer (LAABS).
Accurate aerosol measurements are required for understanding shortwave radiative transfer. Aerosols affect the Earth’s climate through two fundamentally different interactions: by scattering and absorbing solar radiation (the direct effect), and by altering the lifetime and development of clouds, which in turn affect the scattering and absorption of radiation (the indirect effect). Because of their short lifetime in the troposphere, aerosols have large spatial and temporal variabilities so that it is very difficult to accurately assess their direct and indirect effects. These variabilities, along with uncertainties in their physical and optical characteristics, make the effect of aerosols one of the largest single uncertainties in computing the net radiative forcing due to anthropogenic changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.
Preliminary flight testing of the sensor suite will commence in mid-summer 2005 with subsequent flights planned for validation of the CALIPSO spacecraft after its launch in September 2005. The initial platform for the measurements will be a Lear 25C specially equipped with two nadir window ports.