Tech

September 19, 2012

Northrop Grumman-built NASA Global Hawks support hurricane missions from both U.S. coasts

Now deployed to the U.S. East Coast, Northrop Grumman Corporation-built unmanned NASA Global Hawks will be able to better support environmental scientists during Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel missions. NASA Global Hawk AV-6 collected data over Hurricane Leslie Sept. 6-7.

Now deployed to the U.S. East coast, Northrop Grumman-built unmanned NASA Global Hawks will be able to better support environmental scientists during Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel missions.

The HS3 missions aim to study the processes of hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2012 HS3 missions began earlier this month, marking the first time the unmanned aircraft were employed from NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, not from their regular base of operations at the Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Additionally, this is the first time pilots have controlled the aircraft from two locations, from ground stations at both Edwards Air Force Base and NASA Wallops.

“This year, we’re utilizing two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft and flying them from the U.S. east coast rather than one Global Hawk flying from the west coast, as we did during previous NASA hurricane field campaigns,” said NASA Scientist Dr. Scott Braun, HS3 mission principal investigator and a research meteorologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Md. “We’re also flying new instrument payloads this year, which will sample the large-scale environment of storms to see if conditions are favorable for storm formation and intensification.”

Now deployed to the U.S. East Coast, Northrop Grumman Corporation-built unmanned NASA Global Hawks will be able to better support environmental scientists during Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel missions. NASA Global Hawk AV-6 collected data over Hurricane Leslie Sept. 6-7.

NASA Wallops was selected as a deployment site because the area of scientific interest is the Atlantic Ocean, especially the eastern Atlantic where hurricanes begin to form. Although Global Hawks have flown over hurricanes in the Atlantic from NASA Dryden in California, flights from Wallops will travel further out over the Atlantic and collect data for a longer period of time. The long range, endurance and high altitude capability of the aircraft provide access to storms forming off the coast of Africa, and the aircraft can track the storms far into the Caribbean.

Northrop Grumman is contributing pilots, mission planners, maintenance and engineering support at both Wallops Island and NASA Dryden for these important science missions. By operating as an integrated team with NASA, the flight operations have been controlled from both locations during these flights. NASA Global Hawk AV-6 has supported flights and collected data over two hurricanes: Sept. 6-7 over Hurricane Leslie and Sept. 11-12 over Nadine. Flights will continue over tropical storms forming in the Atlantic and will employ the second aircraft later in the month.

“Able to fly as high as 65,000 feet for periods up to 31 hours, Global Hawk provides the unique combination of high altitude and long endurance performance capabilities that allow the science community to study and deepen our understanding of how hurricanes form and what processes control their intensity,” said Fred Ricker, vice president and deputy general manager for Advanced Programs and Technology for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Under our agreement, Global Hawk is able to meet many demanding payload and mission requirements, allowing it to host various instruments and sensors to conduct different science missions and research campaigns for both the NASA/NOAA science community and other Northrop Grumman customers.”

In 2010, NASA Global Hawk completed the first science research campaign called GloPac, studying the atmosphere over the Pacific and Arctic. Later that year, the aircraft was used in the Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) hurricane surveillance missions that provided extended monitoring of changes in hurricane intensity during five different storms in the southern Caribbean and western Atlantic. In the spring of 2011, NASA flew winter storm missions over the Pacific and Arctic, observing among other weather phenomena, an “atmospheric river,” which sometimes causes flooding on the West Coast. In fall 2011, Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment flights over the Pacific studied the composition of the tropopause by climbing and descending between 65,000 feet and 45,000 feet.




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


 
 

 

Sparks fly as NASA pushes limits of 3-D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector – a highly complex part that...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Alexander

NASA MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft completes visual, radar mission in Hawaii

NASA photograph “Ikhana,” NASA’s MQ-9 remotely piloted research aircraft, carries a maritime radar in a specialized centerline pod during a flight to check out systems prior to the aircraft’s deployment ...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Armstrong’s space shuttle Mate-Demate Device coming down

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida The space shuttle Mate-Demate Device that stood as an iconic symbol of NASA’s now-concluded Space Shuttle Program at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center for 38 years is being dismantled af...
 

 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 
 

NASA picks top Earth data challenge ideas, opens call for climate apps

NASA has selected four ideas from the public for innovative uses of climate projections and Earth-observing satellite data. The agency also has announced a follow-on challenge with awards of $50,000 to build climate applications based on OpenNEX data on the Amazon cloud computing platform. Both challenges use the Open NASA Earth Exchange, or OpenNEX, a...
 
 
nasa-flying-lab

NASA’s flying laboratories study our world

Throughout the remainder of 2014, NASA is flying a series of airborne research campaigns from the North Pole to the South Pole and many points in between ñ to take a closer look at U.S. air quality, hurricanes in the Atlantic ...
 




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>