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April 28, 2006

JCET/GEST Director, Students Track Chinese Dust Storms, Celebrate Satellite Launch

When someone tells Ray Hoff, professor of physics and director of two of UMBC’s NASA-Goddard related collaborative research centers, that he and his graduate students have their heads in the clouds, it’s taken as a compliment.

This spring has seen two big events for Hoff and his team of faculty and graduate student researchers at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center (GEST).

On April 28, Hoff and his students celebrated the successful launch
of NASA’s CALIPSO and Cloudsat satellites. Hoff, a member of the NASA science team for CALIPSO, will join JCET/GEST researchers at UMBC for research using spaceborne lidar (an acronym for light detection and ranging -- using laser beams aimed down from space or up from the earth to collect scientific data) analysis from CALIPSO for years to come.

Throughout April, they worked with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin to track some of the biggest dust storms the Asian continent has seen in decades. The dust storms, which sent large clouds of dust as high as 20,000 feet, were tracked on the “Smog Blog” a web journal devoted to tracking manmade and natural pollution events in the atmosphere.

UMBC, which is ranked 16th nationally in NASA research funding, is also home to a third major NASA-related research center, the Joint Center for Astrophysics (JCA).

Posted by crose at April 28, 2006 3:33 PM