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Guam Students Use NASA Mission Tools Suite for Education to Follow Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment Flights
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Guam Students Use NASA Mission Tools Suite for Education to Follow Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment Flights

Guam students and teachers had the opportunity to meet a team of NASA researchers conducting atmospheric science investigations for the Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment (ATTREX) on the island from January 17 through March 14, 2014. During the ATTREX mission, students and teachers from twenty-five classrooms in Guam, Chile, and the U.S. used the web-based NASA Mission Tools Suite for Education (MTSE) to follow ATTREX flights in real time and participate in live online chats through the MTSE website with ATTREX scientists, pilots, and engineers in Guam. MTSE is now used by schools all over the world to connect their classrooms to NASA Airborne Science Program missions and to text-chat live with mission personnel.

BACKGROUND: The NASA Mission Tools Suite (MTS) is a web-based system that is primarily used to assist with tactical decision-making and situational awareness during airborne science campaigns. MTS represents the ground complement to the NASA SensorNet project, which is the airborne networking infrastructure enabling satellite communications (SATCOM) of aircraft parameter and instrument data during flight missions. MTS is designed to encourage more responsive and collaborative measurements between instruments on multiple aircraft, satellites, and on the surface of the Earth in order to increase the scientific value of the measurements, as well as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of flight missions. At its most basic, MTS provides a means for visualizing the real-time position of aircraft and airborne instrument status data in concert with satellite and model products during the course of the mission. MTS further provides solutions for customized meteorological and instrument visualization products and integrated tools for education and public outreach activities, such as the Mission Tools Suite for Education (MTSE).

The goal of the Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment (ATTREX) missions is to better understand the composition and humidity of the Tropical Tropopause Layer – an atmospheric layer located approximately 55,000 feet above the surface of Earth in the tropics. Data acquired during these ATTREX flights will be used to better predict stratospheric humidity and chemical composition, which will help to improve models of global climate change.

TEAM: Aaron Duley (Project Lead), Francis Enomoto, Patrick Finch, Sandy Johan, and Eugene Turkov; Palmdale: David Van Gilst, Emily Schaller; Project and Program Support: Matthew Fladeland and Don Sullivan; Participating Groups: Earth Science Project Office (ESPO), National Suborbital Education and Research Center (NSERC), and the Airborne Sensor Facility (ASF)

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Airborne Science Program

Contact: Aaron Duley

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