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NASA Chooses Two Proposals for Air Pollution, Tropical Cyclone Investigation Tools

deep_spaceNASA has selected two proposals for low-Earth orbit instruments the agency plans to use in investigations of potential air pollutants and to track the development of tropical cyclones in oceans.

The space agency said Thursday it chose the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols proposal to test air pollutants of major cities across the world, while the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats investigation was selected to monitor tropical cyclones.

MAIA and TROPICS were two out of 14 total proposals submitted to the solicitation for the Earth Venture Instrument-3 program, which is a part of the Earth Venture portfolio of small investigations that aim to support the agency’s larger missions.

The MAIA team, under principal investigator David Diner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will characterize air pollution particles and study them alongside human health records in an effort to determine whether pollutants affect childbirth and cardiovascular and respiratory health.

Diner’s team will employ the help of NASA Langley Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and various academic and federal research organizations, the agency noted.

The TROPICS team will be led by William Blackwell of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory in using a constellation of 12 CubeSats that work to track tropical cyclone changes as often as every 21 minutes.

The TROPICS team’s collaborators include NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Goddard, several universities and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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