Spatially coordinated airborne data and complementary products for aerosol, gas, cloud, and meteorological studies: the NASA ACTIVATE dataset

Armin Sorooshian, Mikhail D. Alexandrov, Adam D. Bell, Ryan Bennett, Grace Betito, Sharon P. Burton, Megan E. Buzanowicz, Brian Cairns, Eduard V. Chemyakin, Gao Chen, Yonghoon Choi, Brian L. Collister, Anthony L. Cook, Andrea F. Corral, Ewan C. Crosbie, Bastiaan Van Diedenhoven, Joshua P. Digangi, Glenn S. Diskin, Sanja Dmitrovic, Eva Lou EdwardsMarta A. Fenn, Richard A. Ferrare, David Van Gilst, Johnathan W. Hair, David B. Harper, Miguel Ricardo A. Hilario, Chris A. Hostetler, Nathan Jester, Michael Jones, Simon Kirschler, Mary M. Kleb, John M. Kusterer, Sean Leavor, Joseph W. Lee, Hongyu Liu, Kayla McCauley, Richard H. Moore, Joseph Nied, Anthony Notari, John B. Nowak, David Painemal, Kasey E. Phillips, Claire E. Robinson, Amy Jo Scarino, Joseph S. Schlosser, Shane T. Seaman, Chellappan Seethala, Taylor J. Shingler, Michael A. Shook, Kenneth A. Sinclair, William L. Smith, Douglas A. Spangenberg, Snorre A. Stamnes, Kenneth L. Thornhill, Christiane Voigt, Holger Vömel, Andrzej P. Wasilewski, Hailong Wang, Edward L. Winstead, Kira Zeider, Xubin Zeng, Bo Zhang, Luke D. Ziemba, Paquita Zuidema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The NASA Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) produced a unique dataset for research into aerosol-cloud-meteorology interactions, with applications extending from process-based studies to multi-scale model intercomparison and improvement as well as to remote-sensing algorithm assessments and advancements. ACTIVATE used two NASA Langley Research Center aircraft, a HU-25 Falcon and King Air, to conduct systematic and spatially coordinated flights over the northwest Atlantic Ocean, resulting in 162 joint flights and 17 other single-aircraft flights between 2020 and 2022 across all seasons. Data cover 574 and 592 cumulative flights hours for the HU-25 Falcon and King Air, respectively. The HU-25 Falcon conducted profiling at different level legs below, in, and just above boundary layer clouds (< 3 km) and obtained in situ measurements of trace gases, aerosol particles, clouds, and atmospheric state parameters. Under cloud-free conditions, the HU-25 Falcon similarly conducted profiling at different level legs within and immediately above the boundary layer. The King Air (the high-flying aircraft) flew at approximately ∼9 km and conducted remote sensing with a lidar and polarimeter while also launching dropsondes (785 in total). Collectively, simultaneous data from both aircraft help to characterize the same vertical column of the atmosphere. In addition to individual instrument files, data from the HU-25 Falcon aircraft are combined into "merge files"on the publicly available data archive that are created at different time resolutions of interest (e.g., 1, 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 s, or matching an individual data product's start and stop times). This paper describes the ACTIVATE flight strategy, instrument and complementary dataset products, data access and usage details, and data application notes. The data are publicly accessible through 10.5067/SUBORBITAL/ACTIVATE/DATA001 (ACTIVATE Science Team, 2020).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3419-3472
Number of pages54
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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