Atmospheric Carbon and Transport – America (ACT-America) Data Sets: Description, Management, and Delivery


The ACT-America project is a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital-2 mission designed to study the transport and fluxes of greenhouse gases. The open and freely available ACT-America data sets provide airborne in situ measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane, trace gases, aerosols, clouds, and meteorological properties, airborne remote sensing measurements of aerosol backscatter, atmospheric boundary layer height and columnar content of atmospheric carbon dioxide, tower-based measurements, and modeled atmospheric mole fractions and regional carbon fluxes of greenhouse gases over the Central and Eastern United States. We conducted 121 research flights during five campaigns in four seasons during 2016–2019 over three regions of the US (Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South) using two NASA research aircraft (B-200 and C-130). We performed three flight patterns (fair weather, frontal crossings, and OCO-2 underflights) and collected more than 1,140 h of airborne measurements via level-leg flights in the atmospheric boundary layer, lower, and upper free troposphere and vertical profiles spanning these altitudes. We also merged various airborne in situ measurements onto a common standard sampling interval, which brings coherence to the data, creates geolocated data products, and makes it much easier for the users to perform holistic analysis of the ACT-America data products. Here, we report on detailed information of data sets collected, the workflow for data sets including storage and processing of the quality controlled and quality assured harmonized observations, and their archival and formatting for users. Finally, we provide some important information on the dissemination of data products including metadata and highlights of applications of ACT-America data sets.


© 2021. The Authors. Earth and Space Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


ACT-America, Atmospheric CH4, Atmospheric CO2, Data Description, Meteorological Properties, Trace Gases


Wei, Y., Shrestha, R., Pal, S., Gerken, T., Feng, S., McNelis, J., et al. (2021). Atmospheric Carbon and Transport – America (ACT-America) data sets: Description, management, and delivery. Earth and Space Science, 8, e2020EA001634.