DISCOVERAQ_Maryland_Ground_Oldtown_Data contains data collected at the Oldtown ground site during the Maryland (Baltimore-Washington) deployment of NASA's DISCOVER-AQ field study. This data product contains data for only the Maryland deployment and data collection is complete.
Understanding the factors that contribute to near surface pollution is difficult using only satellite-based observations. The incorporation of surface-level measurements from aircraft and ground-based platforms provides the crucial information necessary to validate and expand upon the use of satellites in understanding near surface pollution. Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) was a four-year campaign conducted in collaboration between NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Ames Research Center, and multiple universities to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health and environmental benefit. Through targeted airborne and ground-based observations, DISCOVER-AQ enabled more effective use of current and future satellites to diagnose ground level conditions influencing air quality.
DISCOVER-AQ employed two NASA aircraft, the P-3B and King Air, with the P-3B completing in-situ spiral profiling of the atmosphere (aerosol properties, meteorological variables, and trace gas species). The King Air conducted both passive and active remote sensing of the atmospheric column extending below the aircraft to the surface. Data from an existing network of surface air quality monitors, AERONET sun photometers, Pandora UV/vis spectrometers and model simulations were also collected. Further, DISCOVER-AQ employed many surface monitoring sites, with measurements being made on the ground, in conjunction with the aircraft. The B200 and P-3B conducted flights in Baltimore-Washington, D.C. in 2011, Houston, TX in 2013, San Joaquin Valley, CA in 2013, and Denver, CO in 2014. These regions were targeted due to being in violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
The first objective of DISCOVER-AQ was to determine and investigate correlations between surface measurements and satellite column observations for the trace gases ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and formaldehyde (CH2O) to understand how satellite column observations can diagnose surface conditions. DISCOVER-AQ also had the objective of using surface-level measurements to understand how satellites measure diurnal variability and to understand what factors control diurnal variability. Lastly, DISCOVER-AQ aimed to explore horizontal scales of variability, such as regions with steep gradients and urban plumes.