Mission Debrief 08/23/02

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Mission Debrief

Flight Number: 93

Debrief Author: Kim

Date: 08/23/02

Pilot: Jason McDermitt

Launch Time: 18:12:00

Land Time: 22:06:00

EDOT Status: Operational

1836 UTC, sample 1 sec

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:
Start flight later than usual per the weather forecast. A large cell developed over the southern tip of the Everglades. This storm had turrets that were too large to fly over and the pilot had to circumnavigate around the tallest of these. Over 450 trigger events were recorded by the instruments. The Altus flew over and around this system for approximately 1.5 hours. This storm system was not an isolated thunderstorm, but formed in a line from the Everglades toward the Boca Chica airfield. There was concern that the weather system might extend over the airfield and the pilot decided to return to base at 2102 UTC.

Instruments/Aircraft/Ground Assets:
GPS for both the payload and aircraft experienced problems at approximately the same time.

Well, we forecast a late start to any tstms, and hit pretty much on the money. Very isold tstms, but were perfectly located in the Glades. Storms blew up near Cape Sable, and drifted WSW with steering flow. As we expected, the east coast seabreeze moved inland and provided the trigger to the storms. Mid/upper level moisture moving in at the same time provided an additional nrg source, and once the storms got going they were farily long lived as the winds aloft were fairly benign to the 50k foot level. Pretty happy with the forecast and timing.

Total Flight Time: 3 Hours 54 Minutes

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