The ORNL DAAC recently released the following Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) dataset by Ray, E.A., et al. (2021):
This dataset contains back trajectories, boundary layer influences, and convective influences of air parcels along NASA DC-8 aircraft's flight tracks during the four ATom campaigns that occurred from 2016 to 2018. Back trajectories were interpolated using National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA2) meteorology. Back trajectory analysis determines the origin of air masses by modeling the path of an air parcel backward in time. It can be used to better understand the sources of atmospheric compounds. Boundary layer Influences were determined based on 30 Day Back Trajectories. The atmospheric boundary layer is the lowest part of the troposphere that is directly influenced by earth's surface. The boundary layer influences wind patterns and thus the dispersal of pollutants and other atmospheric compounds of interest. Convective influences were based on 10 Day Back Trajectories and NASA Langley cloud products. Convective influences model the effects of convection on the movement of water vapor through the atmosphere, which influences cloud behavior.
The Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) is a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital-2 mission to study the impact of human-produced air pollution on greenhouse gases and on chemically reactive gases in the atmosphere. ATom deployed an extensive gas and aerosol payload on the NASA DC-8 aircraft for systematic, global-scale sampling of the atmosphere, profiling continuously from 0.2 to 12 km altitude. Around-the-world flights were conducted in each of four seasons between 2016 and 2018.
Additional data from ATom and other relevant links can be found on the ORNL DAAC's ATom Project Page.
Citation: Ray, E.A. 2021. ATom: Back Trajectories and Influences of Air Parcels Along Flight Track, 2016-2018. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1889