Challenges and opportunities for remote sensing of air quality: Insights from DISCOVER-AQ
Friday, 19 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Improving the remote sensing of air quality has been the primary focus of a series of four field studies conducted by a project called DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface conditions from COlumn and VERtically resolved observations relevant to Air Quality). Operating as an integrated observing system, DISCOVER-AQ has employed multiple aircraft and ground instrumentation to conduct multi-perspective observations of the distribution of gaseous and particulate pollution in the lower atmosphere over contrasting regions of the U.S. that are currently in violation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The four study areas include Maryland (Baltimore-Washington corridor), California (southern San Joaquin Valley), Texas (Greater Houston area), and Colorado (Denver/Northern Front Range). The DISCOVER-AQ observations are actively being used to promote improvements in remote sensing in the following ways: Characterizing vertical structure in the atmosphere and its diurnal patterns to develop improved a priori information for satellite retrievals; Examining horizontal variability to assess the spatial scales needed to resolve emissions and photochemistry; Determining correlative relationships between remotely sensed and in situ observations; Assessing the value of ground-based remote sensing to provide information on impact of boundary layer dynamics and mixing on air pollution. Examples of the ongoing analysis of these datasets and their relevance to future geostationary satellite observations as well as augmentation of air quality monitoring networks with ground-based remote sensing will be discussed.