Atmospheric Sciences Competency, Science Directorate, Langley Research Center, NASA

Data Center Description
Researchers in Atmospheric Sciences at NASA's Langley Research Center
in Hampton, Virginia, study the Earth's atmosphere and how human
activities influence it for a better understanding of global
change. Their research focuses primarily on the Earth's radiation
balance and climate, atmospheric chemistry, and associated data
management. They also support NASA's application programs and
educational outreach activities.

The Chemistry and Dynamics Branch, the Radiation and Aerosols Branch,
and the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center (ASDC) comprise Atmospheric
Sciences. Scientists in the research branches participate in field
experiments to validate Earth-orbiting satellites and study
information gathered by satellite instruments for a better
understanding of the atmosphere. They also collect information from
ground-based instruments as well as those on aircraft and
balloons. NASA data from satellite instruments and from other projects
related to the radiation budget, clouds, aerosols, and tropospheric
chemistry are available worldwide through the ASDC. In addition to
supporting satellite-based missions, people also work on many other
projects that build on the unique experiences and strengths of
Langley's atmospheric scientists, engineers, and computer scientists.

Atmospheric science research at Langley can trace its beginnings to
the Center's aeronautical studies. In the 1960s, scientists began
exploring how atmospheric dynamics, density, and temperature varied
with altitude to understand their affect on aircraft
performance. Scientists expanded this effort in the 1970s to include
atmospheric chemistry studies and shifted their research emphasis to
environmental concerns. Rich in aeronautical heritage, Langley's
atmospheric science research impacts how all of NASA studies the


[Summary provided by NASA.]