Aura

Overview

Aura (Latin for breeze) obtains measurements of ozone, aerosols and key gases throughout the atmosphere using technologically innovative space instrumentation. Scientists use these data to gain revolutionary insights into the chemistry of our atmosphere.

Learn more: https://aura.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Disasters Applications

  • The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instrument can distinguish between aerosol types, such as smoke, dust, and sulfates, and measures cloud pressure and coverage, which provides data to derive tropospheric ozone. OMI can detect the sulfur dioxide (SO2) from volcanic plumes, which is important for volcanic plume dispersion forecasts for aviation avoidance and volcanic fog forecasts. (https://disasters.nasa.gov/kilauea-hawaii-eruption-2018/aura-omi-so2-map...)

Latest Updates

February 3, 2020
Carbon monoide levels measured by the Aura MLS instrument from July 2019 - January 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 
Carbon monoxide levels measured by the Aura MLS instrument from July 2019 - January 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory  Bushfires have raged in Victoria and New South Wales since November 2019, yielding startling satellite images of smoke plumes streaming from southeastern Australia on a near daily basis. The images got even more eye-popping in January 2020 when...
January 29, 2020
Aura MLS carbon monoxide measurements from multiple altitudes on January 23rd, 2020, show the CO plume off the southern tip of South America at between 68 hPa (~19km) and 32 hPa (~23km), indicating that the plume is at least 4km thick. Credit: NASA Disast
NASA researchers are using data from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument onboard the Aura satellite to track atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) levels from the fires in Australia. Carbon monoxide is one the main trace gases emitted from fires and can be used to help track the path of smoke plumes. Carbon monoxide can also be used to track smoke which is injected directly to high altitudes from explosive fires.   This animation of Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) data shows carbon...