August 1, 2011.
A STUDY OF OZONE AT RAILROAD VALLEY, NV and TRINIDAD HEAD, CA
Ozone (Oᴣ) is a form of oxygen that protects the planet Earth from deadly ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun; without this triatomic molecule high in the atmosphere, life processes on the planet would be impossible. Ozone is an air pollutant and toxic in the lowest part of the atmosphere, and inhaling it could cause permanent damage to animals’ respiratory system. Long term exposure to high concentration of ozone has been linked with the development of asthma in children. Because of its complicated role in our atmosphere, scientists are studying its depletion and recovery in the stratosphere, and the minimization of ozone formation in the atmospheric boundary layer (the lowest part of the atmosphere). Here at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), the Atmospheric Branch of Earth Science Division is conducting a study to examine and compare ozone concentrations in the atmospheric boundary layer (0 to ~2 km above the surface of the Earth) to those of the free troposphere (~2 km to ~10 km, where regional transport occurs), and to validate the accuracy of the ozone instrument used in the experiment. Using a 2BTechnology, Inc., Dual Beam Ozone Monitor installed inside the wing pod of an Alpha jet aircraft based at Moffett Field vertical profiles of ozone concentrations have been collected at Trinidad Head, California, and Railroad Valley (RRV), Nevada. The airborne data at Trinidad Head are also compared to standard measurements collected by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) using a balloonborne DMT Electrochemical Concentration Cell Ozonesonde. My area of research is to support the calibration of the ozone instrument, to aggregate ozone measurements, and to analyze data collected from the three subject locations.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation.