Environment

Daily Mesoscale Sea Surface Salinity from Evaporation and Precipitation

This model leads to a method for deriving sea surface salinity from evaporation and precipitation data at improved resolution.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Quantification of salinity is hampered by the lack of time and space resolution of existing measurements and models. At present, skin salinity measurements are available every few days with limited spatial resolution. Daily skin salinity products are full of gaps, which some applications can’t tolerate. Modeled salinity derived in the ocean mixed layer differs from remote sensing data of ocean skin layer salinity to a large extent for certain regions. The cool skin is a conductive layer in the upper few millimeters of the ocean within which transport of salt is dominated by vertical diffusion under the condition of weak to moderate winds. A technique to derive ocean skin layer salinity from satellite-based data for daily and 101 to 102 km scales was developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Remote sensing, Remote sensing, Water, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Software for Inferring the Aerosol Water and Soot Fractions from Remote Sensing Measurements

The technique uses the aerosol real refractive index.

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Aerosol water content and soot concentrations are important components of aerosol forcing. Aerosols contain varying amounts of water depending upon their aerosol hygroscopicity, and anthropogenic aerosols are among the most hygroscopic aerosols; hence, it is important to properly model aerosol hygroscopic effects when computing the effect of anthropogenic aerosols upon the climate system. Soot is the dominant absorbing particulate, and atmospheric soot originates exclusively from fossil fuel burning and biomass burning.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Remote sensing, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Remote sensing, Air pollution, Water
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Algae Photobioreactor Using Floating Enclosures With Semi-Permeable Membranes

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

Various species of algae are known to produce valuable products ranging from food to fertilizer to biofuels. Methods have been developed for producing biofuels by processing algae and other micro-organisms that grow in aquatic environments, but the largescale commercial production of these algae, particularly for commodity products like biofuels, has been limited by the unfavorable economics of the current cultivation and harvesting methods.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Green Design & Manufacturing, Biofuels, Production
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Parallelization of Snowflake Growth Simulation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Gravner and Griffeath have developed a serial numerical model that simulates the growth of snowflakes in three dimensions under the assumptions of 24-fold symmetry. To allow for much larger and asymmetric snowflakes as well as to reduce simulation time, their model was re-implemented using distributed parallelism via MPI (Message Passing Interface). Test-driven development (TDD) was applied to rapidly develop an accurate implementation that consistently reproduces the results of Gravner and Griffeath. Through parallelism, simulation times were reduced from days/weeks to mere hours, and crystal sizes could be explored that are roughly 10 times larger in each dimension than otherwise possible. This new implementation will be used to generate thousands of representative snow crystals as a means to improve the ability to use remote sensing to estimate water content in snow-containing clouds.

This work was done by Thomas Clune of Goddard Space Flight Center, and Christopher Pearson of Northrup Grumman Information Technology. GSC-16346-1

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Computer simulation, Remote sensing, Remote sensing, Water, Weather and climate
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Soil Remediation with Plant-Fungal Combinations

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

This work applies to remediation and restoration of soil contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes, etc. While there can be a beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removing pollutants from the environment. Having a set of enzymes from fungi specifically adapted to conditions in contaminated soil is a huge advantage.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Land pollution, Soils, Biological sciences
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Researchers Develop Shock-Based Desalination Process

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has come up with an innovative approach that, unlike most traditional desalination systems, does not separate ions or water molecules with filters, which can become clogged, or boiling, which consumes great amounts of energy.

Posted in: News, Recycling Technologies
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An Alternative Molecular Sexing Method for the Florida Scrub-jay

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

A new method of molecular sexing is described that helps to understand population dynamics of the Florida Scrub-jay (FSJ). FSJ is an endemic, nonmigratory, monomorphic species of bird found on the Florida peninsula in lowgrowing oak or pine scrub. The current conservation status listed for the FSJ is threatened and vulnerable to extinction.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Green Design & Manufacturing, Physical Sciences, Biological sciences
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Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) Science Simulator

This program simulates ocean topography observations for generating ocean circulation models.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The SWOT Science Simulator simulates projected SWOT altimetry observations that can be applied to an ocean general circulation model, allowing the exploration of ideas and methods to optimize information retrieval from the proposed SWOT Mission, which is currently baselined to launch in 2020.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Green Design & Manufacturing, Physical Sciences, Simulation and modeling
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Digital Elevation Model Maker (DEMmaker)

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

The DEMmaker suite of software applications produces data products containing surface shape, reflectivity, and geomorphology (craters and rocks) for a desired planetary surface based on statistically accurate size and frequency distributions of geologic and surface impact features. The current version can produce models at virtually any resolution or size for any location on the Moon. Remote sensing data can be incorporated to underlie the synthetic landscape with real data where available. The software suite is driven by a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets the user specify which tools of the suite to run, allowing flexibility in the products output by the package.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Green Design & Manufacturing, Physical Sciences, Simulation and modeling, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

TOPS is a modeling software system that integrates data from satellite, aircraft, and ground sensors, and weather/climate models with application models to expeditiously produce operational nowcasts and forecasts of ecological conditions. TOPS allows determination of the options for different socio-economic and resource management approaches to dealing with fluctuations within our biosphere, and will help in mitigating potential negative impacts.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Physical Sciences, Simulation and modeling, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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