2021 News & Events

Test flights underway for the ACCLIP airborne mission investigating climate and chemistry impacts of the Asian Summer Monsoon

10 August 2021

NASA WB-57 on the tarmac at Ellington Field
The air crew with the NASA WB-57 on the tarmac at Ellington Field. Photo: Mallory Yates, NASA

NOAA and CIRES researchers from CSL are at Johnson Space Center in Houston this week to install atmospheric instrumentation on the NASA WB-57 high-altitude research aircraft and conduct a series of test flights in preparation for next summer's ACCLIP field campaign. CSL instruments will collect measurements of ozone, black carbon, and aerosol composition from the atmosphere at altitudes up to 60,000 ft.

The Asian Summer Monsoon Chemical & CLimate Impact Project (ACCLIP) is a joint NASA and NCAR airborne campaign that aims to investigate atmospheric composition, chemistry, and dynamics associated with the Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM). The ASM is the largest meteorological pattern in the Northern Hemisphere summer season and is associated with deep convection over South, Southeast, and East Asia that lofts pollution and biomass burning emissions into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. This coupling of the most polluted boundary layer on Earth to the largest dynamical system in the summer season has the potential to create significant chemical and climate impacts. An accurate representation of these processes in chemistry-climate models is needed for predicting the ASM's future impact in a changing climate.

ACCLIP will operate the NASA WB-57 and NCAR G-V aircrafts out of South Korea for a two-month period in summer of 2022. CSL scientists will deploy instruments on both aircraft during the campaign. CSL's Troy Thornberry is a co-investigator and mission scientist for the project.

The NASA WB-57 high altitude research aircraft takes off from Ellington Field (NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX) on 6 August 2021 for an ACCLIP test flight. This is the first science flight of NASA926 in over two years. Video: Angelina Leonardi, NOAA CSL / CIRES
NASA WB-57 in the hangar at Ellington Field
The NASA WB-57 in the hangar at Ellington Field. Photo: Joe Katich, NOAA / CIRES
Gregg Schill integrates PALMS
Gregg Schill during integration of the Particle Analysis by Laser Mass Spectrometry (PALMS) instrument. Photo: Gregg Schill, NOAA / CIRES
Joe Katich working on SP2
Joe Katich working on the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) instrument. Photo: Joe Katich, NOAA / CIRES