AQAST projects

The NASA AQAST supports two types of projects:

All projects have a focus on short-term deliverables designed to best assist the needs of our air quality Scroll down this page for the list of all our ongoing projects. You can also search quickly for specific projects, investigators, themes, or air quality agency partners by using the AQAST customized search engine at left (powered by Google)

AQAST Investigator Projects 2013–2014

A Public Research Testbed for Assimilating Remote Sensing Products in Operational Air Quality Forecasting. PI: Greg Carmichael (U. Iowa). Co-I's: Scott Spak, (U. Iowa). AQ Mgmt Partners: Joe Hoch (Wisc DNR); Mike Koerber (LADCO); Matthew Johnson (Iowa DNR). Outcomes: (1) Operational state-of-the-science regional fine particle forecast for a region with urban 24- hour NAAQS exceedances throughout the year and no current forecast system; (2) AQ managers from 10-15 states accustomed to using model guidance in forecasting and action-days decisions for PM2.5; (3) Assessment of the impacts of satellite land cover, meteorology, and atmospheric composition products on model performance for regulatory standards; (4) Establishment of a public testbed and benchmark performance archive; (5) Evaluation of region-specific emission scenarios reduce winter PM2.5 in the Midwest; (6) Guidelines, needs assessment and implemented examples of a rapidly deployable urban- scale exposure nowcasting system for air pollution events.

Inverse modeling of NOx emissions over Texas using OMI NO2 data; PI: Daniel Cohan (Rice U.); Co-I's: Wei Tang and Ben Lash (Rice U.); AQ Mgmt Partners: Mark Estes (TCEQ), Jim MacKay (TCEQ), Lok Lamsal (NASA), Jesse Bash (US EPA); Outcomes: Better understanding of the strengths and limitations of using OMI-based inverse modeling of NO2 to adjust emissions inventories used in regulatory attainment modeling.

Analysis and Modeling with OMI, MODIS, and DISCOVER-AQ data; PI: Russell Dickerson (U. Maryland); Co-I's: T. Canty, D. Anderson, R. Salawitch, & K. Vinnikov (UMD); N. Krotkov & Ken Pickering (NASA/GSFC); AQ Mgmt Partners: Tad Aburn (MDE); John Sherwell (MDNR); Outcomes: (1) Improvements in CAMx, CB05 and CMAQ for the State Implementation Plan (SIP) and Weight of Evidence (WoE) for Maryland and surrounding States; (2) Estimates of interstate transport of ozone and precursors; (3) Improved estimates of emissions from American (east coast) cities.

Develop an Air Quality User's Guide: Satellite Data for Air Quality Monitoring: Examples of Applications, Answers to FAQs, and Common Mistakes to Avoid; PI: Bryan Duncan (NASA/GSFC); Co-I's: Yasuko Yoshida (SSAI and NASA/GSFC), numerous AQAST members; AQ mgmt partners: Jennifer Hains and other employees of the Maryland Dept. of the Environment; Outcomes: Facilitate the use of satellite data by the AQ community by demystifying the data and showing the utility of the data for AQ applications.

Addressing Western U.S. AQ Issues through Modeling, Satellites and Field Experiments; PI: David Edwards (NCAR); Co-I: Gabriele Pfister (NCAR); AQ Mgmt Partners: Gordon Pierce (CDPHE), Patrick Reddy (CDPHE), Gail Tonnessen (EPA Region 8); Outcomes: (1) Improved understanding and characterization of Front Range Summertime Ozone; (2) Collaboration and exchange of tools and information with local and regional AQ managers.

Processes influencing the daily-to-decadal variability of U.S. background ozone levels; PI: Arlene Fiore (Columbia/LDEO); Co-I's: Meiyun Lin (Princeton), Mae Gustin and Rebekka Fine (both University of Nevada, Reno); AQ Mgmt Partners: Joe Pinto (EPA/NCEA), Pat Dolwick, (EPA/OAR) Terry Keating (EPA/OAR/OPAR), Gail Tonnesen (EPA Region 8), Adele Malone and Rob Bamford (both Nevada Division of Environmental Protection); Outcomes: (1) Better estimates of the balance between domestic versus international emission controls needed to attain ever-tightening standards on daily to decadal time scales; (2) Enhanced knowledge needed to develop criteria to define exceptional events; (3) Determine potential for space-based products to indicate background enhancements to surface O3 over the Western United States with a few days lead time.

Oversampling OMI SO2 to identify locations and long-term trends in large point sources in the Midwest; PI's: Jack Fishman and Benjamin De Foy (Saint Louis University); AQ Mgmt Partners: Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO); Outcomes: Publication on SO2 sources and lifetime.

Ozone Garden Project and Coordination of Outreach Activities for AQAST; PI's: Jack Fishman and Benjamin De Foy (Saint Louis University); Education/Outreach Partners: Dr. Cindy Encarnacion, (Saint Louis Science Center), Sheila Voss, (Missouri Botanical Garden); Outcomes: A comprehensive plan that can be used as foundation to coordinate education/outreach activities among the members of AQAST; Outcomes: (1) Maintain garden and collect data quantifying follar injury to plants; (2) Analyze follar injury and ozone data.

Integration of climate impacts into design of ozone and aerosol control strategies; PI: Daven Henze (CU Boulder); Co-I's: Jana Milford (CU Boulder), Drew Shindell (GISS), Kevin Bowman (JPL), Rob Pinder (EPA); AQ Mgmt Partners: Erika Sasser (EPA/OAQPS), Susan Anenberg (EPA/OAQPS); Outcomes: (1) Quantify the per-country radiative forcing from black carbon to inform EPA involvement in North American strategy for black carbon reduction; (2) Allow OAQPS to assess the radiative forcing impacts of emissions scenarios designed for achieving PM NAAQS as part of their Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA).

Atmospheric processes affecting emission sector contributions to O3 and PM2.5 episodes; PI: Tracey Holloway (U. Wisconsin-Madison); Co-I's: Erica Scotty, Alexandra Karambelas, and Steve Ackerman (all U. of WisconsinMadison); AQ Mgmt Partners: Bart Sponseller and Joseph Hoch, (Wisc. DNR); Terry Keating (U.S. EPA); Rob Kaleel (LADCO); Outcomes: (1) Improved SIP planning for LADCO states on ozone and particulate matter; (2) Development of methods and data sources to support satellite analysis with CMAQ

Aerosol data products for assimilation into air quality models; PI: Edward Hyer (NRL); Co-I's: Jianglong Zhang (UND); AQ Mgmt Partners: NOAA; NOAA/NWS/NCEP, currently seeking other connections; Outcomes: (1) Improved assimilation-grade AOD data available for regional modeling applications; (2) Assimilation grade AOD refinements designed to assist NOAA air quality modeling efforts.

Improved use of satellite fire observations for reanalysis of air quality events; PI: Edward Hyer (NRL); Co-I's: Jun Wang (U. Nebraska); AQ Mgmt Partners: Jeff McQueen (NOAA/NWS/NCEP), Ho-Chung Huang (NOAA/NWS/NCEP); Outcomes: (1) Improved daily time series of fire activity for air quality studies; (2) Improved description of diurnal variation in fires for numerical modeling of smoke.

Background ozone in the contiguous US and use of formaldehyde observations from space to better understand the factors controlling biogenic VOC emissions; PI: Daniel Jacob (Harvard); Other Personnel: Katie Travis and Lei Zhu (Harvard); AQ Mgmt Partners: EPA/NCEA; EPA/ORD; Outcomes: (1) Improved background ozone estimates to support future revision of the ozone NAAQS; (2) Better understanding of the variability of biogenic VOC emissions on interannual and longer time scales, and of the ability of satellite HCHO observations to constrain this variability.

Evaluation of satellite-based wild and prescribed fires products in southeastern US; PI: Yang Liu (Emory U.); AQ Mgmt Partners: Di Tian (GAEPD); Outcomes: (1) Improved biomass burning emission inventory in this region; (2) Improved accuracy of CMAQ simulations in the Southeast.

Estimating the climate penalty for U.S. ozone air quality: Rapid calculation across models and scenarios; PI: Loretta J. Mickley (Harvard); AQ Mgmt Partners: Susan C. Anenberg and Carey Jang (EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards); Outcomes: The tool that we propose to develop will allow AQ managers to readily calculate the climate change penalty for regional ozone air quality.

Improving the modeling of the physical atmosphere for SIPs and air quality forecasting; PI: Richard McNider (U. Alabama in Huntsville); Co-I's: Arastoo Biazar, (U. Alabama in Huntsville); AQ Mgmt Partners: Bright Dornblauser (TCEQ), Jon Pleim (EPA/NERL); Outcomes: (1) Improved physical modeling in future ozone SIP plans; (2) Improved confidence in selected control strategies.

Predicting air quality under fire impacts using an operational air quality forecasting system; PI: Ted Russell (Georgia Tech); Co-I's: Yongtao Hu (Georgia Tech), M. Talat Odman (Georgia Tech); AQ Mgmt Partners: Jim Boylan (GAEPD) Susan Zimmer-Dauphinee (GAEPD), Alan Dozier (GFC); Outcomes: Operational ozone and PM2.5 forecasting products with enhancements that can provide guidance on local agencies' efforts to provide accurate public warnings ahead of ozone and PM episodes.

Derivation of point-source emission estimates from satellite retrievals; PI: David Streets (ANL); Other Personnel: Zifeng Lu (ANL), Ben de Foy, (Saint Louis U); Nick Krotkov (NASA/GSFC); AQ Mgmt Partners: Marc Houyoux, Carey Jang, Jeremy Schreifels (all U.S. EPA); Outcomes: The results will have benefits for AQ managers to cross-check power plant emissions (or their operation) from spaceborne observations. If additional emission regulations were to be implemented in the future, AQ managers would also be able to monitor the actual operation of emission control devices. Both domestic and international EPA activities will benefit.

Statistical Air Quality Forecast Support during DISCOVER-AQ; PI: Anne Thompson (Penn State); Co-I's: Gregory Garner, Penn State; AQ Mgmt Partners: Laura Landry (MDE); Outcomes: We will bring newly developed statistical models derived specifically for predicting air quality at sites within the DISCOVER-AQ region of interest These forecasts will be provided on a daily basis to the AQ contact listed above as a supplemental tool in forecasting ozone alert days and help with decisions regarding flying the research aircraft during DISCOVER-AQ.

AQAST Tiger Team Projects 2014-2015

Web-Enabled Tools for Air Quality Management Decision Support; PIs: Jim Szykman and Scott Spak; Other AQAST Members: Greg Carmichael, Daven Henze, Dick McNider, Brad Pierce; AQ mgmt contacts: Terry Keating, Susan Anenberg (USEPA OAR OAQPS), Rohit Mathur (USEPA ORD), Chris Misenis, Sharon Phillips (USEPA AQMD), David Lighthall (San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District), Matthew Johnson (IA DNR); Outcomes: (1) Improved access and utility of NASA satellite retrievals in operational use in U.S. AQ management in trends analysis, model evaluation and emissions inventory development and evaluation. This project will minimize technical barriers and time and effort required in intermediate data processing, and will consolidate access within one user environment; (2) A new user-friendly paradigm for response surface visualization and impacts assessment will support policy analysis and communication to policymakers and the public, with initial demonstration applications to TF HTAP and CCAC; (3) A common infrastructure for "productizing" future AQ management requests for satellite and model datasets and tools from AQAST.

Quantifying Source Contributions to O3 and PM2.5 Pollution Episodes Across the Eastern U.S.; PIs: Tracey Holloway (Univ. of Wisconsin) and Arlene Fiore (Columbia/LDEO); Oher AQAST participants: Greg Carmichael (Univ. of IA), Daniel Cohan (Rice Univ.), Bryan Duncan (NASA), Daven Henze (CU-Boulder), Edward Hyer (NRL), Daniel Jacob (Harvard), Russ Dickerson (Univ. of MD), Gabriele Pfister (NCAR); Other participants: Luke Valin (LDEO); AQ mgmt contacts: Bart Sponseller [Wisconsin DNR]; Angela Dickens [Wisconsin DNR/LADCO]; Tad Aburn [Maryland Dept. Env.]; Mark Estes [Texas/TCEQ]; other states representatives to serve on Advisory Council; Terry Keating, Kirk Baker [US EPA]; Outcomes: (1) Formal stakeholder AC informs activities and builds broader engagement between AQAST and state-level air quality managers; (2) New information and analysis approaches to support State Implementation Plan development; (3) Determine potential for space-based products to provide constraints on model representation of inter-state transport.

DYNAMO: DYnamic Inputs of Natural Conditions for Air Quality MOdels; PI: Daniel Cohan (Rice, lead); AQAST participants: Loretta Mickley (Harvard), Richard McNider and Arastoo Pour-Biazar (U. Alabama-Huntsville), and Bryan Duncan (NASA); AQ mgmt contacts: Jesse Bash, Pat Dolwick, and Chris Misenis, US EPA; Mark Estes, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Jeremy Avise, California Air Resources Board; Outcomes: The DYNAMO project is poised to help air quality and agricultural modelers take advantage of an array of satellite products providing information on dynamic natural conditions. The project will enable improved estimates of key processes including photolysis, biogenic VOC and soil NOx emissions, and photosynthesis. The uncertainty in modeled soil NO emissions is particularly great, and our project will address that. Through the EPA RSIG system and the DYNAMO website, the project will provide easy access and guidance on the use of these satellite-derived products.

Relationships and trends among satellite NO2 columns, NOx emissions, and air quality in North America; PI: David Streets, Argonne National Laboratory; Other AQAST participants: Greg Carmichael, University of Iowa; Dan Cohan, Rice University; Ben de Foy, Saint Louis University; Bryan Duncan, NASA/GSFC; Arlene Fiore, Columbia University; Tracey Holloway, University of Wisconsin; informal collaboration with Brad Pierce, NOAA/NESDIS. Other participants: Nickolay Krotkov, NASA/GSFC; Lok Lamsal, NASA/GSFC; Zifeng Lu, Argonne National Laboratory; Randall Martin, Dalhousie University; Ana Prados, NASA/GSFC; Luke Valin, Columbia University; AQ mgmt contacts: Jesse Bash, Marc Houyoux, Carey Jang, Rob Pinder, Jeremy Schreifels, Heather Simon, all EPA/HQ; Tad Aburn, Mike Woodman, Jennifer Haines, Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE); Angela Dickens, LADCO; Outcomes: (1) An improved understanding of the relationship between retrievals and emissions under different sets of circumstances with a view to enhancing emission inventories; (2) A better understanding of uncertainties surrounding satellite emission products and relationships between satellite retrievals and Eulerian model output; (3) Development of tools and supporting data that can be used directly by AQ managers to apply OMI retrievals to their own needs.

Satellite Signatures of Trace Gas Emissions Associated with US Oil & Natural Gas Extraction; PI: Anne M. Thompson (GSFC); Other AQAST participants: D. Kollonige (UMD/ESSIC), R. Dickerson (UMD), B. Pierce (NOAA), T. Holloway (UW), D. Jacob (Harvard), G. Pfister/D. Edwards (NCAR), J. Milford/D. Henze (CU-B); AQ mgmt contacts: Julie McDill (MARAMA); Tad Aburn (MDE); Theresa Pella (CenSARA); Margaret Robertson (OK DEQ); Gail Tonnesen (US EPA Region 8); Patrick Reddy / Gordon Pierce (CDPHE); John Lyon (BLM); Outcomes: (1) Satellite images and data for AQM, validated for 3 target regions with in-situ measurements, supported by States; (2) Improved constraints on ONG emissions used by States and EPA. The list of regions proposed, appropriate for a Tiger Team effort, is not all-inclusive. Products will be extended to other regions in standard AQAST or other follow-on research.

Air Quality Reanalysis (Translating Research to Services); PI: Greg Carmichael (University of Iowa); Other AQAST participants: Pius Lee (ARL/NOAA), Brad Pierce (NESDIS/NOAA), Scott Spak (University of Iowa), Dick McNider (University of Alabama), Ted Russell (Georgia Tech), Yang Liu (Emory University), and David Edwards (NCAR); AQ mgmt contacts: Ajith Kaduwela (CARB), James Boylan (GA DNR), Jennifer Haines; (MD DEQ), Daniel Salkovitz (VA DEQ), and Sharon Phillips (US EPA); Outcomes: Demonstration of a global to regional reanalysis and illustrative applications. The users of the reanalysis fields will include the NAQFC, California Air Resources Board, Maryland Department of Environment, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In one application the 12 km reanalysis products will be used to drive SIP analysis in California. Additional applications are envisioned to include application by health effects researchers to reduce uncertainties in health outcomes
assessments, by the USEPA (e.g., in their regulatory decision making process) and state and local air quality managers for exceptional event determination, and in monitor siting and analysis.