Local

June 28, 2012

College students study Earth from NASA’s P-3B flying lab

More than 30 undergraduate and graduate students from a like number of colleges and universities gathered in front of NASA’s P-3B Orion Earth science aircraft at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., prior to a research mission June 25. The students are participating in the fourth annual NASA Student Airborne Research Program, a summertime immersion in NASA’s Earth science research.

Thirty-two undergraduate and graduate students are participating in a NASA Airborne Science Program field experience at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., this week designed to immerse them in the agency’s Earth science research.

The students represent 30 different colleges and universities from across the United States. They were selected based on outstanding academic performance, future career plans and interest in the Earth System sciences.

SARP participant Peter Kelly, a senior at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, bends tubing in preparation for the installation of the Whole Air Sampler instrument onboard the P-3B.

NASA’s Student Airborne Research Program, now in its fourth year, provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the sciences, mathematics and engineering to participate in all aspects of a NASA Airborne Science research campaign. Flying on NASA’s P-3B Orion airborne laboratory, students are measuring airborne pollution in the Los Angeles basin and in California’s Central Valley, water use in agricultural crops in the San Joaquin Valley, and ocean biology along the California coast. In addition to airborne data collection, students are taking measurements at field sites.

SARP participants are given a rare behind-the-scenes look at instrument installation, flight planning and payload testing that is the basis of every successful NASA Earth science airborne campaign. These campaigns play a pivotal role in the calibration and validation of NASA’s space-borne Earth observations, remote sensing measurements and high-resolution imagery for Earth system science.

The eight-week 2012 SARP began June 18 at NASA Dryden’s Palmdale facility with lectures by university faculty members, NASA scientists and program managers. To facilitate the California-based SARP flights, the NASA P-3B Orion flew from its home base at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., to the Palmdale facility adjacent to U.S. Air Force Plant 42. The students are collecting data during six flights of the P-3B over southern and central California during the week of June 25. They are acquiring imagery of kelp beds in the Santa Barbara Channel and vineyards near Delano, Calif. In addition, the several missions will overfly dairies in the San Joaquin Valley and parts of the Los Angeles basin at altitudes as low as 1,000 feet to collect air samples and monitor air quality.

The final six weeks of the program will take place at the University of California, Irvine, where students will analyze and interpret the data they collected aboard the aircraft and deliver a final presentation on their results and conclusions.

SARP participant Alexandra Limon, a senior chemistry major from Columbia University in New York, assists in the installation of air quality instruments from the University of Houston on board NASA’s P-3B.

The Student Airborne Research Program is one of NASA’s tools for training future scientists for Earth Science missions that support environmental studies and the testing and development of new instruments and future satellite mission concepts. The program’s goal is to stimulate interest in NASA’s Earth Science research and aid in the recruitment of the next generation of scientists and engineers.

NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility is the Dryden Flight Research Center’s base of operations for its airborne science aircraft. SARP is managed through the National Suborbital Education and Research Center at the University of North Dakota, with funding and support from NASA’s Airborne Science Program.

James Jacobson of NASA Ames Research Center and the University of California at Santa Cruz describes the MASTER remote sensing instrument to SARP student participants as it is installed in NASA’s P-3B.

Students watch intently as Dennis Gearhart from NASA Ames and UC-Santa Cruz details data from the MASTER remote sensing instrument on NASA’s P-3B Earth sciences aircraft is displayed on a monitor in front of them during aresearch flight. Emma Accorsi, a senior from Emory University (front center), James Allen from the University of Tennessee and Samantha Trumbo from Cornell University are participants in NASA’s 2012 Student Airborne Research Program.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 21, 2014

News: Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him - Almost 10 years after the friendly fire death of former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a fellow ranger admits that he may have been the one who fired the fatal shot.   Business: Ship study should favor existing designs -...
 
 

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut. With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance...
 
 

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m., EDT, April 18. The mission is the company’s third...
 

 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 
 

Boeing to give California workers $47 million in back pay

PALMDALE, Calif. – Boeing will pay $47 million to hundreds of current and former Southern California employees who are owed back pay and benefits, a union announced April 18. An arbitrator ruled against the aerospace giant in January and laid down guidelines for the payments and interest, but it took months to cull through records...
 
 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>