Thursday, February 20, 2020

[NASA HQ News] Media Invited to Inside Look at NASA Marine Cloud Study

  February 20, 2020 
Media Invited to Inside Look at NASA Marine Cloud Study
The Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE)
Using two research aircraft based at NASA's Langley Research Center, scientists will fly below, through and above clouds over the western North Atlantic ocean to study how clouds form, evolve and affect their surroundings.
Credits: NASA/Luke Ziemba

Media are invited to preview a NASA airborne science campaign to help improve weather and climate predictions at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, Feb. 25, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The study is the second of five new major NASA airborne science studies to take to the field in 2020.

The Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) will collect extensive data on cloud processes over the western North Atlantic Ocean with flights through the end of March and returning in May and June. Researchers will return to the skies to conduct additional flights as part of the campaign in 2021 and 2022.

As part of the campaign, scientists are studying how tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect the formation and evolution of clouds. Modelers will use the collected data to better understand how the clouds, in turn, affect aerosol particles and the meteorological environment. ACTIVATE will be the first NASA field campaign to collect such extensive data of cloud processes in a single region.

During the event, media will learn about the science questions ACTIVATE is addressing and have opportunities to interview mission scientists and see the two research aircraft participating in the campaign.

The event is only open to media who are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Media must request credentials by Monday, Feb. 24, by sending their full name, media affiliation, email address, and phone number to Joe Atkinson at

Researchers expect to gather nearly 1,200 flight hours of data during six flight campaigns over the next three years. Key to the mission are coordinated flights between NASA's HU-25 Falcon and King Air aircrafts. The Falcon will fly under and through the clouds, where instruments will take samples of the surrounding air. The King Air will fly above the clouds and take measurements with remote sensors and dropsondes.

For more information on ACTIVATE, visit:




Press Contacts

Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington


Joe Atkinson
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.


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