Team Location: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Alabama
Authors: Tiffany Keeton, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Brad Barrick, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Kevin Cowart, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Kirstin Cooksey, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Tori Florence, Bob Jones High School; Steve Padgett-Vasquez, University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Advisors/Mentors: Dr. Jeff Luvall, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, GHCC Global Hydrology and Climate Center; Dr. Mark Lyles, SERVIR Deputy Science Applications Lead
Abstract: Ground-based studies conducted in Iraq have revealed the presence of potential human pathogens in airborne dust. Airborne particulate matter below 2.5ë_m (PM2.5) can cause long-term damage to the human respiratory system. The goal of this study was to use the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) to determine spectral characteristics of dust particles and dust particle sizes. Comparing dust particle size from the Sahara and Arabian Deserts gives insight into the composition and atmospheric transport characteristics of dust from each desert. Using NASA SeaWiFS DeepBlue Aerosol, dust particle sizes were estimated using the AngstrÌ¦m Exponent. The Brightness Temperature Difference (BTD) equation was used to determine the area of the dust storm. The Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra satellite was used in calculating BTD. Mineral composition of a dust storm that occurred April 17, 2008, near Baghdad was determined using imaging spectrometer data from the JPL Spectral Library and EO-1 Hyperion data. Mineralogy of this dust storm was subsequently compared to that of a dust storm that occurred over the BodÌ©lÌ© Depression in the Sahara Desert on June 7, 2003.