AURA TES Team Evaluates New Data Collection Method After Age-Related Issue

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NASA's Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument, one of 4 instruments on NASA's Aura spacecraft. Credit: Northrop Grumman

NASA’s Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument, one of 4 instruments on NASA’s Aura spacecraft. Credit: Northrop Grumman

Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer Mission Status Report

Mission managers during NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are evaluating an swap approach to collect and routine scholarship information from a Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on NASA’s Aura booster following a age-related disaster of a vicious instrument component. TES is an infrared sensor designed to investigate Earth’s troposphere, a lowermost covering of Earth’s atmosphere, that is where we live. Launched in Jul 2004 and designed to fly for dual years, a TES goal is now in an extended operations phase. The residue of a TES instrument, and a Aura booster itself, are handling as expected, and TES continues to collect scholarship data. TES is one of 4 instruments on Aura, 3 of that are still operating.

In August, following a light decrease in energy output, a anxiety laser within TES was incompetent to furnish sufficient energy to beget detectable interferograms. The TES interferograms record patterns of electromagnetic call division in Earth’s atmosphere, identical to ripples on a pond. The anxiety laser functions like a yard stick, measuring a lengths between a troughs in a interferogram. With this knowledge, scientists can establish how most infrared deviation is entering a instrument. Because any gas in Earth’s atmosphere has a possess singular thermal infrared signature, or “fingerprint,” these measurements can be used to detect and quantify a combination of gases in a atmosphere.

The TES scholarship group has identified an swap approach to collect and routine these laser measurements that uses an inner time within TES to furnish interferograms formed on measurements of time, rather than of space. The group is now building and contrast algorithms to weigh a ability of these clock-generated interferograms to surrogate for a laser-generated ones.

Development and contrast of a algorithms is approaching to take during slightest several months. In a meantime, TES continues to collect and broadcast tender dimensions information to a TES belligerent information system, though smoothness of scholarship information products to users will be delayed.

TES measures a placement of gases in Earth’s reduce atmosphere. These information allege bargain of a chemistry of a reduce atmosphere, interactions between a reduce atmosphere and biosphere, and a sell of gases between Earth’s troposphere and stratosphere.

While TES can detect and magnitude many chemicals in Earth’s troposphere, a primary goal is to magnitude ozone. Low levels of ozone are a healthy member of a troposphere, though aloft levels, customarily compared with soiled environments, are dangerous to plants and animals, including humans. The instrument is providing critical information on where ozone in a troposphere comes from and how it interacts with other chemicals in a atmosphere. TES information have been used to investigate a impact of ozone on Earth’s climate, as good as changes in credentials levels of ozone over a Western United States due to non-local sources of pollution.

Other TES goal investigate highlights to date include:

– Studies that countenance how pollutants are ecstatic globally from continent to continent
– Differentiation of “heavy” H2O fog from normal vapor, that can be used to lane evaporation and flood cycles in a atmosphere
– The initial quantification of a hothouse gas outcome of ozone
– Demonstration of ozone measurements nearby Earth’s surface, in and with Aura’s ultraviolet Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)
– Measuring ammonia, a poignant source of aerosols, in a reduce atmosphere.

Source: JPL