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*** DECEMBER 2007 ***

...Devastating wildfires, moon research and high tech Silicon Valley collaborations were top stories for NASA Ames
Research Center...
California Wildfires: NASA helped firefighters battle some of the worst wildfires in the state's history. In September, NASA flew the remotely piloted Ikhana airplane and its instruments that can see through smoke over the Lick wildfire near Gilroy, Calif. NASA Ames developed the Autonomous Modular Sensor-Wildfire instrument to look through the smoke to see hot spots, flames and temperature differences. The data is then overlaid on maps and made available to fire incident commanders to assist them in allocating resources.
...NASA pilots again flew the Ikhana over numerous raging wildfires in Southern California. The flights were part of the Western States Fire Mission that demonstrated improved wildfire imaging and mapping capabilities of the sophisticated sensor and real-time data communications equipment developed at NASA Ames...

...Martian clouds may contain less water than previously thought, according to a new NASA study.
New NASA laboratory measurements of simulated martian clouds reveal that scientists may have been overestimating the amount of water in the planet's atmosphere.
"The martian clouds we are studying are composed of water ice, like some clouds on Earth. However, they are forming at very cold temperatures, often below minus 100 degrees Celsius (minus 212 degrees Fahrenheit)," said Tony Colaprete, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "What we have found in our laboratory studies is that it is much harder to initiate cloud formation at these cloud temperatures than what we thought," he explained.
"This difficulty results in larger cloud particles, which fall out of the atmosphere more quickly and, thus, result in less cloud mass and a drier atmosphere," Colaprete explained.