Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 17073-17123, 2009
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The ARCTAS aircraft mission: design and execution
D. J. Jacob1, J. H. Crawford2, H. Maring3, A. D. Clarke5, J. E. Dibb4, R. A. Ferrare2, C. A. Hostetler2, P. B. Russell6, H. B. Singh6, A. M. Thompson7, G. E. Shaw8, E. McCauley9, J. R. Pederson9, and J. A. Fisher1
1Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
3NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA
4University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA
5University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
6NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA
7Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA
8University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
9California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, California, USA

Abstract. The NASA Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) mission was conducted in two 3-week deployments based in Alaska (April 2008) and western Canada (June–July 2008). The goal of ARCTAS was to better understand the factors driving current changes in Arctic atmospheric composition and climate, including (1) transport of mid-latitude pollution, (2) boreal forest fires, (3) aerosol radiative forcing, and (4) chemical processes. ARCTAS involved three aircraft: a DC-8 with detailed chemical payload, a P-3 with extensive aerosol payload, and a B-200 with aerosol remote sensing instrumentation. The aircraft augmented satellite observations of Arctic atmospheric composition, in particular from the NASA A-Train, by (1) validating the data, (2) improving constraints on retrievals, (3) making correlated observations, and (4) characterizing chemical and aerosol processes. The April flights (ARCTAS-A) sampled pollution plumes from all three mid-latitude continents, fire plumes from Siberia and Southeast Asia, and halogen radical events. The June-July flights (ARCTAS-B) focused on boreal forest fire influences and sampled fresh fire plumes from northern Saskatchewan as well as older fire plumes from Canada, Siberia, and California. The June–July deployment was preceded by one week of flights over California sponsored by the California Air Resources Board (ARCTAS-CARB). The ARCTAS-CARB goals were to (1) improve state emission inventories for greenhouse gases and aerosols, (2) provide observations to test and improve models of ozone and aerosol pollution. Extensive sampling across southern California and the Central Valley characterized emissions from urban centers, offshore shipping lanes, agricultural crops, feedlots, industrial sources, and wildfires.

Citation: Jacob, D. J., Crawford, J. H., Maring, H., Clarke, A. D., Dibb, J. E., Ferrare, R. A., Hostetler, C. A., Russell, P. B., Singh, H. B., Thompson, A. M., Shaw, G. E., McCauley, E., Pederson, J. R., and Fisher, J. A.: The ARCTAS aircraft mission: design and execution, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 17073-17123, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-17073-2009, 2009.
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