ARCTAS - Forest Fire Smoke Plumes Probed

In a nondescript room on a Canadian Air Force Base, an international team of fire trackers, weather forecasters and various atmospheric scientists puzzle over computer models, satellite tracks and flight charts. Their goal is to find the best fire targets and tailor the flight path of NASA’s airborne laboratories to track and investigate the properties of smoke plumes.

The researchers are part of the summer deployment of NASA’s Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites, or ARCTAS, mission. The mission is just five days into its summer study of the smoke plumes from northern latitude forest fires, and already the choreographed effort between modelers and experimenters is producing a wealth of new data.

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