Spectrometers for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) Upgrade to Full Sun-Sky-Cloud-Trace Gas Spectrometry Capability for Airborne Science
Abstract:The Spectrometers for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) instrument has been developed at NASA Ames in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and NASA Goddard, supported substantially since 2009 by NASA’s Radiation Science Program and Earth Science Technology Office. It combines grating spectrometers with fiber optic links to a tracking, scanning head to enable sun tracking, sky scanning, and zenith viewing. 4STAR builds on the long and productive heritage of the NASA Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometers (AATS-6 and -14), which have yielded more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and extensive archived data sets in many NASA Airborne Science campaigns from 1986 to the present. The baseline 4STAR instrument has provided extensive data supporting the TCAP (Two Column Aerosol Project, July 2012 & Feb. 2013), SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys, 2013), and ARISE (Arctic Radiation - IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment, 2014), field campaigns.
This poster presents plans and progress for an upgrade to the 4STAR instrument to achieve full science capability, including (1) direct-beam sun tracking measurements to derive aerosol optical depth spectra, (2) sky radiance measurements to retrieve aerosol absorption and type (via complex refractive index and mode-resolved size distribution), (3) cloud properties via zenith radiance, and (4) trace gas spectrometry. Technical progress in context with the governing physics is reported on several upgrades directed at improved light collection and usage, particularly as related to spectrally and radiometrically stable propagation through the collection light path. In addition, improvements to field calibration and verification, and flight operability and reliability are addressed.