Tech

July 17, 2013

NASA’s DC-8 flight helps validate new technologies

Numerous instrument probes protrude from NASA’s DC-8 Airborne Science flying laboratory as it flies an instrument checkout flight.

NASA’s DC-8 airborne laboratory has flown Earth science missions for more than 25 years. The converted jetliner recently carried several instruments testing new technologies that could aid those missions, Global Positioning System accuracy and aviation safety in years to come.

One such instrument is the High Definition Sounding System comprised of dropsondes using long-range telemetry. The instrument was developed by Yankee Environmental Systems in western Massachusetts and funded by the Navy, NOAA and a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant through NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. Eight soda-can sized sondes were dispensed during flight, sending back data on pressure, temperature, humidity, winds and sea surface temperature.

Next phase of the dropsonde study will be flown in September on several NASA WB-57 flights when up to 96 sondes per flight will be automatically dispensed at high altitude. This research, which includes flights on NASA’s P-3B flying laboratory, is leading up to installation on a NASA Global Hawk for the 2014 Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission.

A second technology study flown on the DC-8 had two parts, the first of which is related to airline safety. The prime task was to demonstrate the real-time measurement of radiation on aircraft, transmit it to the ground via satellite link, incorporate the data into global radiation models and distribute it to users – all within 15 minutes. Space Environmental Technologies is mapping radiation doses over Earth and at different altitudes. The company, which received real-time data during portions of the DC-8 flight, will provide a system for the commercial airline industry to monitor severe radiation from solar flares for global aviation safety.

Mark Beaubien, (left) of Yankee Environmental Systems, and Lee Harrison, of the State University of New York at Albany, prepare to dispense a soda-can sized dropsonde from NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory.

The second part of this study was conducted by Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates of Boulder, Colo., producers of GPS receivers. Company instrumentation collected longitude and latitude data as the system made ionospheric, or upper atmosphere, measurements. The company is exploring whether it is feasible to measure scintillation, or GPS signal fluctuation, from an airplane.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 1, 2014

News: Military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds - An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said July 31 that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats. Defense industry funds flow to contenders for key House chairmanships - Four of the top...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

China allows foreign reporters at news conference Foreign reporters are being allowed to attend China’s Defense Ministry briefings for the first time, marking a small milestone in the increasingly confident Chinese military’s efforts to project a more transparent image. Restrictions still apply and there is no sign of an improvement in the generally paltry amount...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Rapid Equipping Force, PEO Soldier test targeting device at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton SFC Justin Rotti, a combat developer from the Training and Doctrine Command Fire Cell, Fires Center of Excellence, uses a developmental hand held precision targeting device during a test ...
 

 

NASA awards modification for geophysics, geodynamics, space geodesy support contract

NASA has awarded a modification to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. of Greenbelt, Md. to continuing working the the Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy Support Services contract. The maximum ordering value of the GGSG contract will increase to $76.8 million. The previous amount was $49.5 million. The increase in the maximum ordering value of the contract...
 
 
boeing-japan

Boeing, All Nippon Airways finalize order for 40 wide-body airplanes

  Boeing and All Nippon Airways July 31 finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300ERs (Extended Range) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet ren...
 
 

Excalibur Ib enters full rate production, receives $52 million award

TUCSON, Ariz., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon’s Excalibur Ib precision guided projectile has entered full rate production. U.S. Army approval of FRP completes Excalibur Ib’s low rate initial production phase. †Additionally, the U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon $52 million for continued Excalibur Ib production. “The full rate production decision is the culmination ...
 




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>