ARL to Participate in Houston, Texas Air Study
From April 15 to May 31, 2009, the Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) will participate in a 6-week intensive air quality study in Houston, Texas called the Study of Houston Atmospheric Radical Precursors (SHARP) project. Radicals are highly reactive atoms or molecules that usually take part in chemical reactions. Radicals play an important role in combustion, atmospheric chemistry, and many other chemical processes. The SHARP project will include an impressive array of trace gas and aerosol instrumentation deployed on fixed and mobile platforms to enhance our understanding of the complex chemical and physical processes occurring in the Houston area. ARL scientists will measure ambient air concentrations of reactive nitrogen species (commonly referred to as “NOx”), which are radical precursors that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. ARL will also measure atmospheric mercury compounds. Measurements will be made from rooftop laboratories installed atop the North Moody Tower, an 18-story dormitory on the campus of the University of Houston. ARL scientists will join dozens of other scientists and graduate students from a wide variety of universities, private sector companies, and other federal laboratories.