The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has, in archive, digital data from the historical NASA Global Atmospheric Sampling Program (GASP). The GASP program began in 1972 with a feasibility study of the concept of using commercial airliners in routine service to obtain atmospheric data. While GASP was operational, from March 1975 to June 1979, NASA obtained data with instruments placed aboard a ... United Airlines B-747, two Pan American Airways B-747s, a Quantas Airways B-747, and the NASA CV-990 research aircraft. There is some data between 1972 and the official start of GASP in 1975. There is also some data between 1979, the year the program officially ended, and 1983. The objectives of GASP were to provide baseline data of selected atmospheric constituents in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere and to document and analyze these data to 1) prove a better understanding of the dynamics of the atmosphere in the region where commercial aircraft flew, and 2) provide initial value boundary conditions for atmospheric models being used to assess potential adverse effects from aircraft exhaust emissions on the natural atmosphere. For each GASP flight, data acquisition began on ascent through the 6 KM altitude flight level, and terminated on descent through 6 KM. A complete GASP sampling cycle was 60 minutes, divided into 12 five minute sampling segments. During alternate segments (at 10 minute intervals), air sample data was recorded for all instruments. During the intervening segments, the system was on one of six different calibration cycles to allow for in-flight checks on instrument operation (if required). Whenever any calibration cycle was not needed for a given instrument, that instrument acquired air sample data during the segment. For normal GASP sampling, a 16 second recording was made at the end of each five minute sampling segment. The parameters that make up this digital data are beginning and ending times of the flight (GMT), ambient ozone, cabin ozone, water vapor, clouds, carbon monoxide, and filter samples of sulfate, nitrates, chlorides, and fluorides. Also included are tropopause pressure fields and other meteorological data from National Meteorological Center analyses. The National Meteorological Center is now the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).
To make a wide range of climatic data available to researchers and the public.
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