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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Georgia Tech Research Corporation
  • Nga Lee Ng
  • (404) 385-2148
  • Armistead G Russell
  • Ann M Dillner
  • Roya Bahreini
Award Date:09/20/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 12,136,232
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 8,076,251
  • FY 2021=$8,076,251
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP): Atmospheric Science and Chemistry mEasurement NeTwork (ASCENT)
Federal Award ID Number:2131914
DUNS ID:097394084
Parent DUNS ID:097394084
Program:Mid-scale RI - Track 1
Program Officer:
  • Nicholas Anderson
  • (703) 292-4715

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Georgia Institute of Technology
Street:225 North Avenue
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

This Mid-scale Research Infrastructure – 1 award is for the establishment of the Atmospheric Science and Chemistry mEasurement NeTwork (ASCENT). ASCENT will provide the first high time-resolution, long-term measurements of the properties of atmospheric particulates, known as aerosols. Aerosols have a significant impact on climate through direct interaction with sunlight and their impact on clouds. Aerosols also contribute to poor air quality which is a significant health concern. This award will establish a network of 12 sites around the United States, outfitted with state-of-the-art instruments for characterizing the properties of aerosols. Data from ASCENT will allow researchers to address a variety of questions about how the composition and abundance of aerosols are changing, such as how the modernization of electrical production (coal to natural gas to renewable) and transportation (gasoline to electric vehicles) are impacting air pollution and climate-relevant variables. ASCENT will also allow US researchers to remain competitive in a global research environment. On the education and outreach side, the project has specific recruitment, mentoring, training, and career development plans for graduate and undergraduate students, with an emphasis on underrepresented groups. One of the ASCENT locations is on tribal land and the project will train tribal air quality staff and perform outreach to interested tribal members. The ASCENT network consists of twelve sites across the United States that will provide a comprehensive, high time-resolution, long-term characterization of aerosol chemical composition and physical properties. The sites are strategically located in rural, urban, and remote sites that have pre-existing infrastructure for atmospheric monitoring. Each site will be equipped with four advanced instruments: an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM, non-refractory aerosols), Xact (trace metals), Aethalometer (black/brown carbon), and Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS, aerosol number size distribution and concentration). The measurement capability of ASCENT represents a step change between infrequent and low time-resolution filter measurements, and real-time measurements of fine aerosol chemical composition and properties. ASCENT is responsive to recommendations in the 2016 NASEM “Future of Atmospheric Chemistry” report and a 2020 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. ASCENT will enable a wide range of new and exciting research capabilities, such as advancing fundamental process-level understanding of atmospheric aerosols in response to changes in infrastructure, energy systems, and land use/coverage, constraining uncertainties in aerosol-radiation interactions and climate feedbacks, unraveling specific aerosol types and properties responsible for their adverse health effects, and improving chemical transport models. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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