Mission Debrief 08/21/02

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Mission Debrief

Flight Number: 92

Debrief Author: Kim

Date: 08/21/02

Pilot: Jason McDermitt

Launch Time: 15:40:00

Land Time: 22:12:00

EDOT Status: Operational

Set to 1 second records at 1904 UTC to end of mission.

Miami Nexrad Status: Operational

Key West Nexrad Status: Operational

NPOL Status: Operational

Mission Description:
Investigate isolated thunderstorms in the ACES target domain (Everglades and the surrounding Ocean).

Mission Objective:
Overfly as many thunderstorms as possible, and record science data (electrical, magnetic, optical, resistivity, etc...) during the entire life cycle of the storms.

Mission Summary:
Today's flight was a great success and the Altus performed marvelously flying for 6.7 hours. Four thunderstorms were flown. The first thunderstorm was in the northwest boundary of the ACES domain over the ocean. The second and third storm was at the western edge/coast of the Everglades and eventually combined together. The last thunderstorm flown had cloud tops at 50 kft, and the pilot was careful in circumnavigating the high tops of this storm. The field mills measured 10 kV/m maximum at the location of the plane. Initial estimate for optical triggers is between 150 to 200 for this storm alone. The plane was able to stay over and around this storm for one hour and twenty minutes collecting a great amount of scientific data.

Instruments/Aircraft/Ground Assets:
The GSFC z-axis E-field measurement seem to go bad at 1853 UT. Switch to Slow E ch3 at 0.1.

Fuel level sensor on the aircraft seems to be malfunctioning. It is likely that the cold temperature has affected its function.

During the flight, Miami center called x-2483 and asked about the (ATC 132.2) transmitter strength and it's location (in GCS or ALTUS). They mentioned that Ft. Myers could not hear the communication. This would be the case since we communicate with a receiver on Stock Island which has a direct land link to Miami.

As forecast, thunderstorms kicked off over the Glades around 1430L, and provided several cells for overflight. Looked a little sparse at takeoff time, but as the afternoon progressed, more storms were seen popping up all around. More storms were starting when the decision was made by the team to return to base. The storms developing was not as big as the last storm flown.

Total Flight Time: 6 Hours 32 Minutes

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