NASA

May 31, 2013

NASA, Northrop Grumman continue partnership for science

Their bulbous noses almost touching, NASA’s two Global Hawks line up nose-to-nose on the ramp at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the two autonomously operated unmanned aircraft are flown on long-duration environmental science missions.

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and the Northrop Grumman have extended a no-cost agreement that enables NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to conduct Earth science research with the Northrop Grumman-developed RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system.

The original five-year Space Act Agreement has been extended for an additional five years through April 30, 2018.

Under the original agreement that was effective May 1, 2008, NASA and Northrop Grumman returned two pre-production Global Hawk aircraft to flight status. Northrop Grumman shares in their use to conduct its own flight demonstrations for expanded markets, missions and airborne capabilities, including integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center support scientists Andrew Kupchock (top left) and Patrick Selmer (bottom left) assist Northrop Grumman mechanics Tom Ripley (top right) and Steve Crowell in installation of Goddard’s Cloud Physics Lidar into the front compartment of a NASA Global Hawk. The CPL measured cloud structure and aerosols such as dust, sea salt and smoke particles during NASA’s 2012 Hurricane and Severe Sentinel mission.

Under the partnership, a permanent ground control station was built at Dryden. A portable ground control station was then constructed and has been used for deployment of a Global Hawk to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in support of a 2012 hurricane study. Pilots controlled the aircraft for the first time from both locations.

The two Global Hawk aircraft, among the first seven built during the original Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, were transferred to NASA Dryden from the U.S. Air Force in September 2007. NASA acquired the two aircraft for research activities supporting its Airborne Science Program.

The Global Hawk is a fully autonomous, high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system that can fly up to 65,000 feet for more than 30 hours at a time. The aircraft has a range of 11,000 nautical miles. Its endurance and range allow for a non-stop flight from NASA Dryden in Southern California to the North Pole and allow it to loiter for up to seven hours over the polar region before returning to its home base.

The Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is capitalizing on the range and dwell time of the Global Hawk for atmospheric chemistry and radiation science missions in addition to hurricane research. NASA’s Genesis and Rapid Intensification and Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel missions helped researchers investigate the development and intensification of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

Data was also collected over winter storms in the Pacific and Arctic region. Scientists for the multi-year Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment study the composition of the tropopause over the Pacific.

In addition to the advancement of science, the Global Hawk also has many other potential applications including disaster support capabilities and development of advanced unmanned aircraft systems technologies.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
unity

The beauty of unity

Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton What do cheeseburgers, musical groups, sports teams and the United States of America have in common? If you said “the letter ‘s,’ you’re right, but th...
 
 

Up-and-coming awards

2015 Cooke award nominations sought JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force officials are seeking nominations for the 11th Annual Department of Defense David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award. This award was created to promote, perpetuate and recognize the type of exceptional contributions David O. Cooke made to the federal service. He...
 

 
Courtesy graphic

AF releases criteria for new service medal

Courtesy graphic Graphic of the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. WASHINGTON - Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air...
 
 

Undergrad flying training applications due in December

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The 2015 undergraduate flying training selection board originally scheduled for Jan. 20-23 will now convene Feb. 17-20 and associated application suspenses have shifted by approximately a month, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Oct. 10. Eligible active duty officers interested in undergraduate flying training must apply by Dec. 19...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Bunch encourages one enterprise mindset at commanders call

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, discussed his six strategic goals for the test center at a commanders call Oct. 14 in the base theater. Maj. Gen. Arnie Bunch, A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>