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.