Development and Evaluation of satellite ValidatiOn Tools by Experimenters

The Development and Evaluation of satellite Validation Tools by Experimenters (DEVOTE) project investigated aerosols and clouds with the specific goals of satellite validation and the improvement of satellite data retrieval algorithms. Conducted in September and October 2011, DEVOTE scientists collected measurements of aerosols and cloud optical and microphysical properties using airborne sensors over ground sites and along satellite overpasses to demonstrate the use of airborne platforms in future scientific measurement campaigns. These measurements were used to validate and improve satellite data retrieval algorithms from missions including the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) mission and the Aerosol, Cloud, Ecosystems (ACE) Decadal Survey mission.

DEVOTE scientists conducted eleven science flights based at the NASA Langley Research Center throughout the campaign. The flight plans were specifically designed to coordinate with CALIPSO satellite overpasses and to fly over the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) ground network sites. The DEVOTE sampling strategy required two aircraft dedicated to remote sensing and in-situ observations, which flew in coordinated flight patterns. This was implemented through use of NASA UC-12 and the NASA B-200 airborne platforms. The UC-12 had a remote sensing payload: the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) and High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) instruments. The B-200 had an in-situ payload including the Polarized Imaging Nephelometer (PI-Neph), the Diode Laser Hygrometer (DLH), and Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment (LARGE) instruments for aerosol microphysical and optical properties.

DEVOTE was partly funded through the Hands-On Project Experience (HOPE) initiative. HOPE was a NASA development program designed to offer early career scientist opportunities to design, implement, and analyze small missions offering hands-on experience. Opportunities are increasingly limited for principal investigators, program managers, and system engineers to obtain mission life cycle training, and HOPE provides opportunities to those early on in their career or who are transitioning to a different field. Thus, DEVOTE had a focus on providing hands-on training in the mission life cycle to early career scientists in addition to its primary objective of using cloud and aerosol data collected from airborne sensors to validate and improve satellite data retrieval algorithms. Additionally, the information obtained from DEVOTE research was used to prepare for the implementation of ACE.

Disciplines:   Field Campaigns