Tech

June 19, 2013

College students study Earth from NASA’s DC-8 flying lab

Bristling with numerous experiment probes projecting from its fuselage and wingtips, NASA’s DC-8 flying science laboratory descends for landing in this 2008 photo. The modified jetliner will be carrying more than 30 college students and their experiments during low-level flights over various areas in California June 17 20, 2013, as part of NASA’s Student Airborne Research Program.

PALMDALE, Calif. Thirty-two undergraduate students are participating in an eight-week NASA Airborne Science Program field experience designed to immerse them in the agency’s Earth Science research.

Now in its fifth year, NASA’s Student Airborne Research Program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students majoring in the sciences, mathematics and engineering to participate in all aspects of a NASA Airborne Science research campaign. Flying aboard NASAís DC-8 airborne laboratory, students will measure pollution and air quality in the Los Angeles basin and in Californiaís Central Valley and use remote sensing instruments to study forest ecology in the Sierra Nevada and ocean biology along the California coast.

In addition to airborne data collection, students will take validation or complementary measurements at field sites.

SARP participant Braven Leung, a senior aerospace engineering major at the University of Illinois at UrbanañChampaign, assists in testing the University of Houston air quality instruments onboard the DC-8.

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

SARP began June 10 at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., with lectures by university faculty members, NASA scientists and NASA program managers. The students will fly onboard the DC-8 on during the week of June 17. They will acquire multi-spectral images of kelp beds in the Santa Barbara Channel and of forests in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In addition, the students will overfly dairies and oil fields in the San Joaquin Valley and parts of the Los Angeles basin at altitudes as low as 1,000 feet in order 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 onboard the aircraft. At the conclusion of the program, each student will deliver a final presentation on his/her results and conclusions.

Students participating in the 2013 SARP represent 32 different colleges and universities from across the United States. They were competitively selected based on outstanding academic performance, future career plans and interest in the Earth System Science.

The Student Airborne Research Program is one of NASA’s tools for exposing future scientists to the 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 and training of the next generation of scientists and engineers, many of whom will be getting their first hands-on research experience during this program.

SARP is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center through the National Suborbital Education and Research Center at the University of North Dakota with funding and support from NASAís Earth Science Division.




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


 
 

 

NASA signs agreement with German, Canadian partners to test alternative fuels

NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to...
 
 
afrc-x56c

X-56A testbed arrives at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich The diminutive X-56A Multi-Use Technology Testbed, mounted on a small trailer, is pulled away from its home for the past year, Hangar 4305 at Edwards’ North Base. The latest in a long series...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tony Landis

Recalling a record: X-43A Scramjet set new hypersonic record a decade ago

NASA photograph by Jim Ross The second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft and its modified Pegasus booster rocket accelerate into the stratosphere after launch from NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft over the Pacific Ocean on M...
 

 

NASA begins search for potential SOFIA partners

NASA issued a Request for Information March 31 soliciting potential partners interested in using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft for scientific investigations or for other potential uses. NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress calls for SOFIA to be placed in storage next year unless the agency’s contribution to the project can...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

LVAC: Advancing technology readiness of SLS adaptive controls

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas NASA Armstrong’s highly modified F/A-18A Full Scale Advanced Systems Testbed aircraft No. 853 validated the effectiveness of the Adaptive Augmenting Controller developed by NASA Marshall en...
 
 

DARPAs role to change whats possible, director says

As part of the Defense Department’s science and technology community, the role of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is to change what’s possible, the DARPA director said March 26. DARPA makes pivotal early investments that allow the department to “take big steps forward in our national security capabilities, Arati Prabhakar told members of the...
 




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>