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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
Doing Business As Name:University of Montana
PD/PI:
  • Lu Hu
  • (406) 243-6670
  • lu.hu@mso.umt.edu
Award Date:11/26/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 263,334
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 263,334
  • FY 2020=$263,334
Start Date:12/01/2019
End Date:11/30/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.083
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RII Track-4: Assessing the Capability of TEMPO Geostationary Satellite Observations of Formaldehyde to Constrain Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Western U.S. Wildfire Smok
Federal Award ID Number:1929210
DUNS ID:010379790
Parent DUNS ID:079602596
Program:EPSCoR Research Infrastructure
Program Officer:
  • Timothy VanReken
  • (703) 292-7378
  • tvanreke@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:32 CAMPUS DRIVE
City:Missoula
State:MT
ZIP:59812-0001
County:Missoula
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Street:60 Garden Street
City:Cambridge
State:MA
ZIP:02138-1516
County:Cambridge
Country:US
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

Wildfires emit toxic trace gases and particular matters into the atmosphere, substantially impacting air quality, particularly in the western U.S. The project aims to contribute to the temporal observing strategy of a planned satellite for monitoring volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from wildfires in near real-time. This project will potentially lead to better air quality forecast for many western EPSCoR states like Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah, and thus would benefit millions of people exposed to wildfire smoke. The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) geostationary satellite is planned for launch in 2022, providing key tropospheric composition measurements, including formaldehyde (HCHO) at unprecedentedly high spatial and temporal resolution. This proposed research will explore how the planned TEMPO formaldehyde observations could constrain VOC emissions from wildfire smoke in the western U.S., and to optimize TEMPO observing strategy for episodic wildfire events. Through the collaborative visit to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), we will develop new research skills in satellite remote sensing at the University of Montana (UM) that will provide a unique strength to understand organic emissions from the land surface. Specific tasks are designed to incorporate opportunities to strengthen the collaboration with the SAO and TEMPO science team and build the capacities of satellite remote sensing research at UM: (a) generating the synthetic TEMPO HCHO column data, (b) applying a high resolution adjoint-based inversion using synthetic data over western U.S., and (c) evaluating inversion results with independent airborne and ground field data for specific fire events. The results will inform TEMPO temporal observing strategy for exceptional wildfires and provide a guide for other episodic events such as dust outbreaks. The synthetic TEMPO data and the inversion results will be evaluated by independent field campaigns primarily focused on wildfire emissions (WE-CAN, FIREX-AQ, and Mt. Bachelor Observatory). It is expected that the comparison and validation will improve our knowledge on the uncertainties of satellite retrievals, and ultimately the VOC emissions from wildfires. This research will focus on fires in the western U.S., and results will be informative for other regions in the U.S. and around the world, and also for other pollution emissions that evolve at higher temporal resolution. By engaging in the TEMPO's pre-launch research, the proposed project not only will potentially transform the PI's career trajectory for the lifespan of the satellite, but also improve the UM's long-term competitiveness in environmental and ecological research. This project will bring the next generation of earth observing system to Montana and could benefit regional science communities and air quality regulators for various applications in air pollution, wildfire, forestry, ecology, public health, and beyond. 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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