Mission Debrief 08/10/02

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Mission Debrief

Flight Number: 88

Debrief Author: Kim

Date: 08/10/02

Pilot: Jason McDermitt

Launch Time: 16:32:00

Land Time: 20:14:00

EDOT Status: Operational

Miami Nexrad Status: Operational

Key West Nexrad Status: Operational

NPOL Status: Operational Will be up and running tomorrow

Mission Description:
Investigate isolated thunderstorms in ACES target domain (Everglades and nearby Ocean)

Mission Objective:
The weather forecast predicted possible thunderstorms on the southern edge of the Everglades. Fly to the Everglades and fly over and in vicinity of thunderstorms (if possible, during the entire duration of the storm from start to finish)

Mission Summary:
The Altus take off was at 1632 UTC. The Altus flew to the warning area and obtained altitude to 42 kft and then proceeded to the Everglades. The Altus reached the Everglades at 1807 UTC at the altitude of ~48 kft. There were no thunderstorms at that time. The Altus was flown to the center of the Everglades toward some cloud activity. These clouds did not develop into a thunderstorm. The science team directed the Altus to the southwestern tip of the Everglades to investigate some cloud formation and this did develop into a thunderstorm. The storm lasted for ~14 minutes with 5-6 cloud to ground lightning and possibly 30-40 intercloud lightning events. The Altus was able to stay above the storm during the entire lifecycle of the thunderstorm. As the science team was planning to target another storm, the indictor for the plane fuel pressure showed high and the pilot decided to return to base. The Altus landed at 2014 UTC just prior to a thunderstorm coming over the airfield.

Instruments/Aircraft/Ground Assets:
The aircraft fuel pressure indicated high precipitating a return to base. The condensation on the science instruments and the camera lenses during decent continues to be a nuisance. The gain changes on the DOPS and Slow Antenna showed good results. The payoad data system housing box reached 50 degree celcius during the climb to altitude due to additional time awaiting take off while the payload was on. The payload was turned off for 20 minutes during the climb to altitude. There was GOES 8 RSO on the 10th and 11th.

See mission summary above. Thunderstorms were supressed by cirrus shield overlaying the entire area. Area of convection initiated over the length of the FLorida Keys, and made it a little exciting during landing. This persisted and developed over the next several hours into a large area of rw/trw.

Total Flight Time: 3 Hours 42 Minutes



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