Comparing ground-based and airborne aerosol measurements during the Houston and Colorado DISCOVER-AQ field deployments
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Understanding the relationship between airborne and ground-based measurements is one of the key questions that the DISCOVER-AQ series of field deployments hope to be able to answer. To address this question, the NASA P-3B systematically conducted vertical profiles over at least six ground sites sampling down to about 1000 feet over ground level. This data is combined with missed approaches at local airports which provide vertically resolved information between the lowest spiral altitude and the ground-based measurements. During the last two DISCOVER-AQ field deployments (Houston September 2013 and Colorado (July-August 2014), NASA Langley had aerosol measurements both onboard the NASA P-3B and in a mobile laboratory. Coincident measurements included aerosol number concentration, size distributions, along with optical properties such as aerosol scattering, extinction, and hygroscopicity. We present a comparison between the airborne and ground-based measurements made in two very different environments. The Houston area had much higher aerosol concentrations we sampled a variety of airmasses, from clean marine-air to emissions from the local refineries. In Colorado, most of the sampling was done in low aerosol concentration environments, away from local sources. Combined, the two field experiments provide at least 60 comparisons between airborne and ground-based aerosol measurements.