FASTNET Smoke Scenario

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

<Back to GEOSS AIP Pilot Scenario

FASTNET Smoke Scenario

Fast Aerosol Sensing Tools for Natural Event Tracking (FASTNET) Proposal

The real-time natural aerosol event tracking-analysis will be performed for a single event occurring in the warm season (May-Oct) of 2004. The proposed real-time event analysis system will utilize all the capabilities of the FASTNET web information system including the Community Website, the Analyst Console and the Managers Console. Below is a tentative scenario that describes the proposed procedures and actions in Task 4.

  1. The AQ Analyst Console will be set up to monitor at least six different aerosol parameters as spatial maps, time series and animations: MODIS (incl. fire locations), GOES and TOMS satellites; PM25, ASOS visibility and surface weather parameters; global/NAM wind fields and trajectories and current and forecast model calculations.
  2. Designated and voluntary analyst(s) (watch-person) will use the web-based Analysts Console to monitor the current aerosol situation over North America and beyond.
  3. The monitoring consists of scanning the spatial, temporal aerosol pattern on satellite images as well as the time series of point samplers.
  4. Once an ‘interesting’ event appears at any of the pages of the Analysts Console, the watch-person(s) will explore the pattern of other peripheral data such as weather pattern, trajectories and other monitors to ascertain the emergence of the natural event.
  5. Some forecast models (e.g. The NRL global aerosol model) could predict with high level of confidence the onset of dust major events. The time and location of major smoke events is probably not predictable.
  6. Throughout the event’s emergence, the watch-persons share their observations and views about the event, in particular the judgment whether the event is sufficiently large to warrant issuing trigger messages.
  7. Given a trigger decision, cascading trigger messages will be issued to different groups that may need to act or who are interested in observing/participating in the community action.
  8. Throughout the entire time the Managers Console exposes a subset of the aerosol data relevant to the managers. Following a trigger message from RAW, the Managers Console activates additional AQ management triggers.
  9. As the significant natural aerosol event evolves, the virtual workgroup of analysts summarizes the initial findings about the natural event including sources, transport, aerosol pattern and impact in a simple story and picture book (PPT). The Analysts summary will also be linked to the to the Managers Console for informing and educating the broader community.
  10. As the entire alerted RAW system tracks the event, a multiplicity of decisions and actions are executed, including the decision to slow down or conclude the intensive event watch.
  11. Following the event, the natural event is evaluated and decisions are made if the event warrants more detailed analyses for regulatory, or other purposes.
  12. Finally, the community lays out plans for possible retrospective analysis of the event.

According to the current plans, the MODIS satellite data will be obtained from the U Wisconsin Direct-broadcast station. (The access to the MODIS direct-broadcast aerosol product has not yet been assured). Fire locations will be obtained from NASA MODIS University of Maryland real-time fire product or the NOAA ABBA GOES University of Wisconsin hourly fire locations. Daily Micro-Pulse Lidar (MPL) images will be picked up from the NASA Goddard MPLNet website. A significant new source of vertical aerosol profiles is the GLAS space borne lidar. We anticipate its availability for use in FASTNET. Images from Webcams will be obtained from HAZENET, NPS and other sources of high-resolution photographs. The hourly (truncated) ASOS visibility data from about 1200 sites will be provided by CAPITA. STI will provide CAPITA access to hourly AIRNow PM2.5 and ozone data in spatial and/or temporal format via FTP. While EPA has tentatively agreed to make these data

A significant aspect of Task 4 is the development and testing of the Managers Console prototype, to be developed and operated by STI. The ACMC is described in the above section ‘Air Quality Managers Console (ACMC)’.

The useful, integrated derived data products will be developed from the following data combinations:

  • Spatial Pattern: Primary PM2.5, ASOS, MODIS and TOMS Satellite
  • Temporal Pattern: PM2.5, ASOS, GOES satellite
  • Vertical Pattern: MPL lidar, GLAS lidar, PM/ASOS comparison to MODIS AOT, AERONET AOT
  • Source Identification: Satellite, Forward/back trajectories, spatio-temporal source signatures
  • Visibility Impact: ASOS, PM2.5 and satellite as surrogate


  1. Demonstration of the real-time data access-ingestion-analysis capabilities of the FASTNET web-based tools system to track natural aerosol events consisting of the (1) Community website; (2) Analysts Console and the (3) Managers Console.
  2. Assessment report of the strengths and weaknesses of the real-time data tracking system
  3. Community summary report on the initial analysis and interpretation of the selected event
  4. Event data, organized and stored (5+years), suitable for subsequent detailed analysis.