Garnet Abrams, 2012, Geosciences

Water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, and its distribution and transport in the ­atmosphere require further investigation. During my summer internship, I ­participated with other Princeton researchers in the Highly Instrumented Aerial Platform for ­Environmental Research (HIAPER) Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) onboard the NSF Gulfstream V research plane. Using the Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) ­hygrometer, we gathered 25 Hz in-situ data during the last two flights. Working with ­Professor Mark Zondlo and graduate student Minghui Diao, I learned to use the ­VCSEL hygrometer by monitoring live data, applying calibrations to the data analysis, and learning the ­calibration methods in the lab between flights. I also traveled to Broomfield, CO (where the plane is based), Kona, HI, and Anchorage, AK for field research and ­instrument maintenance. I also interacted with other scientists and learned about other ­instruments used for this research. With this data, we hope to improve climate models and large scale satellite observations.