1. ITV Report

Leicester University team up with NASA

A NASA Global Hawk plane Photo: NASA

The University of Leicester have teamed up with NASA to gather high altitude atmospheric data.

It's the first scientific collaboration of its kind and a scientist from the University of Leicester is leading the project.

NASA is holding an event today at its Dryden Flight Research Centre in South California to showcase a number of science missions to study climate change and air pollution.

The aircraft which will record the data is a NASA Global Hawk. The plane was originally developed for military missions and will now explore the region where the Earth's air enters the stratosphere. This region is where pollutants and greenhouse gases are transported into and out of the atmosphere and can potentially influence our climate.

Scientists in the UK and USA will be studying these chemical and climate interactions, with the aim to discover how much of the gas moves up into storms.

The project offers us a unique opportunity to develop an instrument using UK technology, that will address key questions about the transport of greenhouse gases and provide a critical link to satellite observations .

– dr hartmut boesch, department of physics and astronomy, university of leicester

The Global Hawk will fly at around 65,600 feet. This is twice the height a commercial passenger jet flies at.