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 November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>