Internet connectivity aboard the ship has been limited, so we have not being able to update as much as we would like to on this page. However, we had been able provided some quick updates in our Facebook Fan Page. Feel free to peruse through some of our pictures and don’t forget to like us too! (http://www.facebook.com/pages/NOAA-Aerosols-and-Ocean-Science-Expeditions-Aerose/216006751763910?ref=ts&fref=ts)
We have enjoyed of a couple of sunny and beautiful days on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown. But it has not been that way at all during the past week. We were riding at the tail of a massive low-pressure system that developed higher latitudes and moved in a SSE (south-southeast) pattern. The ship followed the southwestern edge of this low, which allowed us to experience a wild rock and roll ride (with up to 22 ft seas and sustained winds of over 30 knots over a period of 5 days). Besides the science, we have also been busy with mandatory emergency drills.
Model of the wave heights and direction, courtesy of Navy NRL/Monterey Lab
Our science has been going on since day one despite the weather and sea sickness. All of our instruments are installed and fully operational. Our instrument suite for this campaign includes an aerodynamic particle sizer, a scanning mobility particle spectrometer, laser particle counters, gas analyzers, hand-held sunphotometers for both visible and uv channels, a bio-sampler, broadband radiometers, a ceilometer, radiosondes and ozonesondes, among others. The two primary objectives of this campaign are to (1) study the physical, chemical and marine meteorology characteristics of biomass and other aerosols, particularly those emerging from the African coast during the peak of their biomass burning season and (2) provide validation for the newest NOAA/NASA weather satellite, NPP. So far, most of our instruments have been running continually and we have deployed 25 radiosondes (Vaisala RS-92s) and 6 electrochemical cells ozonesondes.
Our group of scientists is led by Dr. Vernon Morris, AEROSE Principal Investigator and Director of the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Howard University. The mission is divided into three different components:
(1) Aerosol and Trace Gas (ATG) operations by Dr. Morris (Howard University), Dr. Ebony Roper (Howard), Mr. Chris Spells (Hampton) and Ms. Elsa Castillo (UTEP)
(2) Atmospheric Physics and Radiation (APR) operations by Dr. Everette Joseph and Ms. Mayra Oyola (Howard)
(3) Satellite validation operations by Dr. Nick Nalli (NOAA/NESDIS), Dr. Everette Joseph (Howard) Ms. Mayra Oyola (Howard)
Our sister research team for this mission (and over the past 6 years) is the PIRATA Northeast Extension (PNE), a joint venture of NOAA AOML and PMEL to expand an array of tropical Atlantic buoys and moorings into the northern and northeastern sectors of the Tropical Atlantic Ocean.
The 14 science pirates of the PNE/AEROSE 8 campaign, led by Dr. Claudia Schmid, onboard the NOAA research vessel Ronald H. Brown