NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth’s Ecosystems

NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth’s Ecosystems
Dec. 5, 2013

NASA's ER-2 No. 809

NASA’s ER-2 No. 809 banks over California’s Sierra Nevada capped by a mantle of snow near the Owens Valley following a winter storm in February 2008.
Image Credit: Carla Thomas

NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft wrapped up the fall 2013 series of flights during the first week in December for the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager, or HyspIRI, airborne campaign.

The Airborne Visible / Infrared Imaging Spectrometer, or AVIRIS, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the MODIS / ASTER Airborne Simulator, or MASTER, developed jointly by JPL, NASA Ames Research Center and the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, are mounted in the ER-2 to collect early datasets for the future HyspIRI satellite mission. When launched into low Earth orbit, the satellite mission will study the world’s ecosystems and provide critical information on natural disasters.

AVIRIS and MASTER are collecting data under cloud-free daylight conditions during the spring, summer and fall of 2013 and 2014 over six diverse areas of California from San Francisco to near the Mexican border.

JPL scientist Robert Green is leading the effort to use imaging spectroscopy to capture a unique set of reflected wavelengths to learn about Earth’s ecosystems, how they function and vary from season to season.

The aircraft flew the missions from NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Beth Hagenauer, Public Affairs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center


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