Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Research Title: Stratospheric Chemistry Research Program

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 23.4
FY95 19.5
FY96 16.3

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Ozone and ultraviolet Radiation (80%); Climate change (10%); Natural Variability (10%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure and function: Understanding (100%)

Organizational Component:
Ecology and Atmospheric Chemistry Branch
Science Division
Office of Mission to Planet Earth
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546

Point of Contact:
Michael Kurylo
Phone: 202-358-0237
E-Mail: mkurylo@hq.nasa.gov

Research Goals:
To develop and carry out a comprehensive program of research, technology, and monitoring of the phenomena of the upper atmosphere so as to provide for an understanding of and to maintain the chemical and physical integrity of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Research Description:
The program conducts research aimed at understanding the processes by which large-scale anthropogenic and natural processes influence the chemistry of the stratosphere. The program has emphasized airborne measurement campaigns in the polar regions, mid latitudes, and tropics, to observe first-hand and formulate a basis for understanding anthropogenic perturbations to stratospheric ozone and to atmospheric composition in and about the tropopause. Such perturbations include the effects of CFCs, Halons, and their replacements; methyl bromide; Nox emissions from subsonic and supersonic aircraft; etc. Observations are also conducted from balloon platforms (for high-altitude data and satellite correlative measurements), and using ground-based instrumentation, as part of the international Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC), which is aimed at observing and understanding changes in the physical and chemical state of the stratosphere. Laboratory measurements of kinetic and photochemical parameters together with the periodic assessment of the kinetics data base provide the basis for understanding and modeling the atmospheric observations. Laboratory spectroscopy measurements are carried out in support of remote-sensing and in-situ instruments.

Program Interfaces:
The Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP) interfaces with programs within NASA, in particular the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (Office of Mission to Planet Earth) and the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Project (Office of Aeronautics). The latter consists of the Atmospheric Effects of Stratospheric Aircraft (AESA) and Subsonic Assessment (SASS) programs. Furthermore, strong interactions exist with other US agencies, particularly NOAA and NSF (NCAR) through the field measurement campaigns. International collaborations take place through the NDSC, and the assessment activities sponsored by WMO/UNEP.

Program Milestones:
Late 1995-1996 analysis of ASHOE/MAESA data, results feeding into planning of future airborne missions by the UARP and AESA/SASS. 1995-1997 stratospheric traces of Atmospheric Transport (STRAT) aircraft campaign to determine the rates of global atmospheric transport by establishing a climatology of long-lived trace gases.

Policy Payoffs:
Assess the role of anthropogenic gases (CFCs, Halons, and their replacements; CH3Br; Nox) on the stratosphere, in particular stratospheric ozone; provide a firm scientific basis for assessments of the environmental effects of subsonic and future supersonic aircraft.