Sub-orbital Program

Roll over the cards below to see the types of science questions that ACCP’s sub-orbital program will address.

Low Clouds / Aerosol Cloud Interactions
Low clouds cartoon
Low Clouds / Aerosol Cloud Interactions

Key Questions to be Addressed

How is precipitation triggered in shallow cumulus clouds?
Rain over a city
How do shallow cloud systems evolve, and how do they affect the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface?
Rain over a city
How does ice form in the layer of clouds that interacts with Earth's surface?
Convection and High Clouds
High clouds cartoon
Convection and High Clouds

Key Questions to be Addressed

How do environmental conditions control how thunderstorms form?
Rain over a city
How do we better predict storms with powerful updrafts that "overshoot" their tops, churning out tornadoes and destructive hailstones?
Clouds outside an airplane window
How does the lifecycle of anvil cirrus evolve to influence climate?
Thunderstorm evolution diagram
Aerosol and Cloud Interactions
Cloud and aerosol interaction cartoon
Aerosol and Cloud Interactions

Key Questions to be Addressed

How do tiny airborne particles – known as "aerosols" – affect cloud and precipitation formation in clouds at various altitudes? How do the aerosols influence radiation transfer over or near clouds?
Smokestacks
How does the type and layering of aerosols affect clouds and how does the vertical motion of clouds affect the location of aerosols?
How does the lowest part of our atmosphere – known as the “planetary boundary layer” – interact with aerosols to affect air quality?
Smog over Shanghai
Systematic Aerosol Data Collection
Graph cartoon
Systematic Aerosol Data Collection

Key Questions to be Addressed

How do we map the location of aerosols and their impact on weather systems?
Cloud altitudes over Africa
What are the types of aerosols in the atmosphere?
How do aerosols affect the natural transfer of energy from the Sun to the Earth?