Space Industry and Business News  





. ASU Researchers Use NASA Satellites To Improve Pollution Modeling

This new satellite-assisted model could allow researchers to see an ozone plume forming and work with communities to head off health effects in advance.
by Staff Writers
Tempe AZ (SPX) Dec 18, 2007
Detecting pollution, like catching criminals, requires evidence and witnesses; but on the scale of countries, continents and oceans, having enough detectors is easier said than done. A team of air quality modelers, climatologists and air policy specialists at Arizona State University may soon change that.

Under a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, they have developed a new way to close the gaps in the global pollution dragnet by using NASA satellite data to detect precursors to ozone pollution, also known as smog.

The technique, devised with the aid of health specialists from University of California at Berkeley, uses satellite data to improve ASU's existing computer models of ozone events - filling in the blanks while expanding coverage to much larger areas.

"The satellite data provides information about remote locations," said Rick Van Schoik, director of ASU's North American Center for Transborder Studies. "It gives us data from oceans and about events from other countries with less advanced monitoring capabilities, such as Mexico."

Such information can have vital implications for health, especially in southern Arizona. According to Joe Fernando, a professor in ASU's department of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the environmental fluid dynamics program, who worked on the project, ozone is a key ingredient in urban smog, which affects even healthy adults and presents a special health risk to small children, the elderly and those with lung ailments.

It can cause shortness of breath, chest pains, increased risk of infection, aggravation of asthma and significant decreases in lung function. Some studies have linked ozone exposure with death by stroke, premature death among people with severe asthma, cardiac birth defects and reduced lung-function growth in children.

This new satellite-assisted model could allow researchers to see an ozone plume forming and work with communities to head off health effects in advance.

"Before, if there were precursors of an ozone event, we couldn't see them - we just got hit by the pollution," Van Schoik said. "Now, we can watch the event build."

Improved oceanic coverage could also help with monitoring one of the largest sources of pollution along the coasts: oceanic ships, which are covered only by international treaties and are not regulated by the EPA.

Ozone forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons - byproducts of fossil fuel pollution - react with one another in the presence of sunlight and warm temperatures, resulting in a chain reaction. This chain reaction can mean that large amounts of ozone can bloom from even moderate amounts of nitrogen oxides.

Scientists can detect ozone by detecting the absorption of specific wavelengths of light, but they have had to rely on ground data and radiosondes - atmospheric instrumentation bundles sent up on weather balloons - to surmount the large uncertainties associated with the technique.

"This is the reason comparisons were made between low-level ozone direct measurements with those obtained from satellites," said Fernando. "The importance is that the satellite data were used to improve model performance - that this work will lead to better model predictions and hence superior forecasting of ozone and improved health warnings."

The satellites currently provide data every 16 days. Each square, or pixel, of the grid they cover is five by eight kilometers, but Van Schoik said that the resolution would continue to improve.

"NASA has developed tools that are starting to fulfill much of the promise that we hoped for when NASA began engaging in global environmental monitoring," he said. "With each member of our team adding their own expertise, we are seeing just how powerful that can be."

Related Links
Arizona State University
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Study Shows Urban Sprawl Continues To Gobble Up Land
Columbus OH (SPX) Dec 18, 2007
Despite reports to the contrary, urban sprawl has continued to grow significantly for the past several decades, new research suggests. A study of changing land use patterns in the state of Maryland found substantial and significant increases in sprawl between 1973 and 2000. The results are in contrast to a well-publicized study last year that concluded that the extent of sprawl remained roughly unchanged in the United States between 1976 and 1992.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Industry Leaders Announce Open Platform For Mobile Devices
  • EU nations endorse standard system for mobile TV
  • Beyond Books: Virginia Tech Libraries In The Digital Age
  • Bee Strategy Helps Servers Run More Sweetly

  • Lightning Protection For The Next Generation Spacecraft
  • HISPASAT Chooses Arianespace To Launch The Amazonas 2 Satellite
  • Russia Tests Engine For Angara Carrier Rocket
  • United Launch Alliance Launches 2nd COSMO Satellite

  • Airbus close to sale of four factories: report
  • California urges regulation on aircraft emissions
  • Announcement Of Opportunity For Sounding Rocket And Balloon Flights
  • China to order up to 150 Airbus jets during Sarkozy visit: report

  • Northrop Grumman And L-3 To Work Together In Bid For US Navy's EPX Aircraft
  • Raytheon Technology Receives High Marks At Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration
  • Northrop Grumman Develops World's Fastest Transistor To Support Military's Need For Higher Frequency And Bandwidth
  • Russia launches military satellite: agencies

  • Russia And France Developing New Satellite Platform
  • Light Is Shed On New Fibre's Potential To Change Technology
  • Major Physics Breakthrough In Understanding Supersolidity
  • MIT Creates New Oil-Repelling Material

  • Iridium Satellite Appoints Leader For NEXT Development
  • Boeing Names Darryl Davis To Lead Advanced Systems For Integrated Defense Systems
  • Northrop Grumman Names John Landon VP Of Missiles, Technology And Space Programs
  • Dr Mary Cleave Appointed To Board Of Directors Of Sigma Space

  • Study Shows Urban Sprawl Continues To Gobble Up Land
  • ASU Researchers Use NASA Satellites To Improve Pollution Modeling
  • Outside View: Russia's new sats -- Part 2
  • Use Space Technology And IT For Rural Development

  • Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellite Poised For Liftoff From Cape Canaveral Launch Pad
  • Navteq Powers Innovative Lowrance Hybrid Portable Device
  • Columbus Announces Development Of Revolutionary System For Off-Road Navigation
  • Trimble Introduces Mobile Software Solution For Field Service Technicians

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement