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    • Hurricane Science
      • GHRC has worked with NASA's Hurricane Science Research Program (HSRP) since the 1990's. We are the archive and distribution center for data collected during HSRP field campaigns, as well as the recent Hurricane Science and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) Earth Venture mission. Field campaigns provide for intensive observation of specific phenomena using a variety of instruments on aircraft, satellites and surface networks.

        GHRC also hosts a database of Atlantic and Pacific tropical storm tracks derived from the storm data published by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
    • HS3 (2012-14)
      • Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is an Earth Ventures – Suborbital 1 mission aimed at better understanding the physical processes that control hurricane intensity change, addressing questions related to the roles of environmental conditions and internal storm structures to storm intensification.

        A variety of in-situ, satellite observations, airborne data, meteorological analyses, and simulation data were collected with missions over the Atlantic in August and September of three observation years (2012, 2013, 2014). These data are available at GHRC beginning in 2015.
    • GRIP (2010)
      • The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment was a NASA Earth science field experiment in 2010 that was conducted to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes.

        The GRIP deployment was 15 August – 30 September 2010 with bases in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the DC-8, at Houston, TX for the WB-57, and at NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, CA for the Global Hawk.
    • TC4 (2007)
      • The NASA TC4 (Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling) mission investigated the structure and properties of the chemical, dynamic, and physical processes in atmosphere of the tropical Eastern Pacific.

        TC4 was based in San Jose, Costa Rica during July 2007.

        The Real Time Mission Monitor provided simultaneous aircraft status for three aircraft during the TC4 experiment. During TC4, the NASA ER-2, WB-57 and DC-8 aircraft flew missions at various times. The science flights were scheduled between 17 July and 8 August 2007.
    • NAMMA (2006)
      • The NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA) campaign was a field research investigation based in the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles off the coast of Senegal in west Africa.

        Commenced in August 2006, NASA scientists employed surface observation networks and aircraft to characterize the evolution and structure of African Easterly Waves (AEWs) and Mesoscale Convective Systems over continental western Africa, and their associated impacts on regional water and energy budgets.
    • TCSP (2005)
      • The Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) mission was an Earth science field research investigation focused on the study of the dynamics and thermodynamics of precipitating cloud systems and tropical cyclones. TCSP was conducted during the period July 1-27, 2005 out of the Juan Santamaria Airfield in San Jose, Costa Rica.

        The TCSP field experiment flew 12 NASA ER-2 science flights, including missions to Hurricanes Dennis and Emily, Tropical Storm Gert and an eastern Pacific mesoscale complex that may possibly have further developed into Tropical Storm Eugene.
    • ACES (2002)
      • The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) was aimed at better understanding the causes and effects of electrical storms.

        Based at the Naval Air Station Key West in Florida, researchers in August 2002 chased down thunderstorms using an uninhabited aerial vehicle, or "UAV", allowing them to achieve dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing new aircraft technology. This marked the first time a UAV was used to conduct lightning research.
    • CAMEX-4 (2001)
      • The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) was a series of NASA-sponsored hurricane science field research investigations. The fourth field campaign in the CAMEX series (CAMEX-4) was held in 16 August - 24 September, 2001 and was based out of Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Florida.

        CAMEX-4 was focused on the study of tropical cyclone (hurricane) development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation.
    • CAMEX-3 (1998)
      • The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) is a series of hurricane science field research investigations sponsored by NASA. The third field campaign in the CAMEX series (CAMEX-3) was based at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida from 6 August - 23 September, 1998.

        CAMEX-3 successfully studied Hurricanes Bonnie, Danielle, Earl and Georges, yielding data on hurricane structure, dynamics, and motion. CAMEX-3 collected data for research in tropical cyclone development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation.
    • GPM Ground Validation
      • The NASA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) Ground Validation (GV) program includes the following field campaigns:

        a) LPVEx, Gulf of Finland in autumn 2010, to study rainfall in high latitude environments

        b) MC3E, cental Oklahoma spring and early summer 2011, to develop a complete characterization of convective cloud systems, precipitation and the environment

        c) GCPEx, Ontario, Canada winter of 2011-2012, direct and remove sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of precipitating snow.

        d) IFloodS, Iowa, spring and early summer 2013, to study the relative roles of rainfall quantities and other factors in flood genesis.

        e) IPHEx, N. Carolina Appalachians/Piedmont region May-June 2014, for hydrologic validation over varied topography.

        f) OLYMPEx, Washington's Olympic Peninsula scheduled November 2015-February 2016, for hydrologic validation in extreme coastal and topographic gradients
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      • The OLYMPEX field campaign is scheduled to take place between November, 2015, and February, 2016, on the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

        This field campaign will provide ground-based validation support of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite program that is a joint effort between NASA and JAXA.

        As for all GPM-GV campaigns, the GHRC will provide a collaboration portal to help investigators exchange planning information and to support collection of real-time data as well as mission science, project and instrument status reports during the campaign.
    • IPHEx (2014)
      • The Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment (IPHEx) was conducted in North Carolina during the months of April-June, 2014.

        IPHEx sought to characterize warm season orographic precipitation regimes, and the relationship between precipitation regimes and hydrologic processes in regions of complex terrain.
    • IFLOODs (2013)
      • The Iowa Flood Studies (IFloodS) experiment was conducted in the central to northeastern part of Iowa in Midwestern United States during the months of April-June, 2013.

        IFloodS' primary goal was to discern the relative roles of rainfall quantities such as rate and accumulation as compared to other factors (e.g. transport of water in the drainage network) in flood genesis.
    • GCPEX (2011-2012)
      • The GPM Cold-season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx) occurred in Ontario, Canada during the winter season (Jan 15- Feb 26) of 2011-2012.

        GCPEx addressed shortcomings in GPM snowfall retrieval algorithm by collecting microphysical properties, associated remote sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of precipitating snow. Collectively the GCPEx data set provides a high quality, physically-consistent and coherent data set suited to the development and testing of GPM snowfall retrieval algorithm physics.
    • MC3E (2011)
      • The Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place in central Oklahoma during the April–June 2011 period.

        The overarching goal was to provide the most complete characterization of convective cloud systems, precipitation, and the environment that has ever been obtained, providing constraints for model cumulus parameterizations and space-based rainfall retrieval algorithms over land that had never before been available.
    • LPVEx (2010)
      • The Light Precipitation Evaluation Experiment (LPVEx) took place in the Gulf of Finland in September and October, 2010 and collected microphysical properties, associated remote sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of high latitude precipitation systems to drive the evaluation and development of precipitation algorithms for current and future satellite platforms.

        In doing so, LPVEx sought to address the general lack of dedicated ground-validation datasets from the ongoing development of new or improved algorithms for detecting and quantifying high latitude rainfall
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      • Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is an Earth Ventures – Suborbital 1 mission aimed at better understanding the physical processes that control hurricane intensity change, addressing questions related to the roles of environmental conditions and internal storm structures to storm intensification.
      • DISCOVER was funded by NASA’s MEaSUREs program to provide highly accurate, multi-decadal geophysical products derived from satellite microwave sensors.
    • LIS Mission
      • Lightning observations from the Lightning Imaging Sensors (LIS) aboard the NASA’s TRMM satellite and International Space Station, as well as airborne observations and ground validation data.
    • SANDS
      • The SANDS project addressed Gulf of Mexico Alliance priority issues by generating enhanced imagery from MODIS and Landsat data to identify suspended sediment resulting from tropical cyclones. These tropical cyclones have significantly altered normal coastal processes and characteristics in the Gulf region through sediment disturbance.
      • The Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) system provides access to near real-time data (less than 3 hours from observation) from AIRS, AMSR2, MLS, MODIS, and OMI instruments. LANCE AMSR2 products are generated by the AMSR Science Investigator-led Processing System at the GHRC.
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Guide Documents

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Dataset Software

CAMEX-3: ER-2 Navigation Data

Table of Contents

Content and structure of the NAV files
Contact Information


This README file contains information about the content and structure of the ER-2 navigation files for flights in support of CAMEX-3. These data files were generated on board the ER-2, saved to disk, and downloaded post flight.

Content and structure of the NAV files

Each NAV filename has the structure: er2nav_1998.ddd_daily.tar. In its own way, the filename is a metadata tag for the data file itself, where er2nav announces that this is navigation data from the NASA ER-2 aircraft. The year (1998) and day of year (ddd) give the start date (UTC) of the mission. The data for each mission is combined in a tape archive format (tarred) file so that the ASCII text files, and the .gif image files are easily disseminated. For the following descriptions, we will use er2nav_1998.216_daily.tar as an example. Upon 'untarring' this file we find four files: 98216_flt_data.txt, 98216_switch.txt, 98216_param_01.gif, and 98216_param_02.gif. These will be detailed below.

a. 98216_flt_data.txt

This text file contains information recorded by on board navigation and data collection systems. In addition to typical navigation data (e.g. date, time, lat/lon and altitude) it contains outside meteorological parameters such as wind speed and direction and temperature. The table here shows a sample of the data from the file above, but has been edited for the sake of clarity and brevity. If you are viewing this in HTML expand the window to full screen to see the entire data line.

The first line of data decodes as follows:

          NASA 806 - ER-2 tail number 806 belonging to NASA<
          Flight #98-100 08/04/98/216 (GMT)-  98-101 is the NASA flight number
           07/31/98- DD/MM/YY , 216 is the numeric day of the year, GMT-UTC on which the flight took off
          RECORDER2 HARD DISK 8 - the recorder and disk the data was originally saved upon.

Lines 3 and 4 provide column headers (when properly aligned) for the data, while line 5 provides the units in which the data are reported. INU means Inertial Navigation Unit. The other abbreviations are self-explanatory. Time is in UTC. Note the difference between the PRESS ALT (ft) and the SAT altitude (feet) in the first data line: 68005 vs 67057. This difference is due to the method by which the altitude is determined: the pitot-static system is based upon a relationshiop between ambient pressure and altitude while the SAT altitude is determined from the GPS system. Also note that values for AIR SPD (knts) is missing for each data entry (as it so happens they are missing for the entire flight).

As these data are extensive in nature and difficult to extract to fit on one page as text, it might behoove the user to import these data into a spreadsheet. Once there you can format the cells so that the data fit to columns, then realign the column headers to reflect the pattern above.

b. 98216_switch.txt

Below are the contents of this file. Commonly called ?switchology?, this file describes information about the mission, pilot, date and time as well as on/off times for each of the switches which control the separate scientific instruments. If for example you knew that your instrument was in the ?Q-bay? and was powered through switch Q6, you would know that your instrument was powered at 16:21:25 while the aircraft was at 2534 feet.

ER-2 Nav Recorder Report
Aircraft: 806
Pilot: Porter
Date: 98-08-04
Day of year: 216
Takeoff (UTC): 16:31
Landing (UTC): 18:11
Departure airport: Dryden
Arrival airport: Dryden
Site/Objective: CAMEX
Log Number(s): 82204
Sortie Number: 98-102
Date submitted: 98-08-04
By: Sky Yarbrough
Nav recorder: NAVREC# 02
Hard drive: HD# 011
Anomalies: None Noted.
Original filename: N0804_AD.DAT
Original size (bytes): 5,697,738
Date/Time Stamp (UTC): 98-08-04 12:16
Initial time: 15:29:48
GPS sync time: 15:32:47
1 sec gap at: 15:32:57
Last reported time: 18:19:58
Total Records: 10211
File duration 02:50:12

NOSE POWER : ON 16:20:51 2561 ft
LOWER QBAY POWER : ON 16:21:00 2557 ft
UPPER QBAY POWER : ON 16:21:01 2556 ft
LEFT WING POWER : ON 16:21:03 2555 ft
RIGHT WING POWER : ON 16:21:04 2554 ft
Switch Q1 : ON 16:21:21 2538 ft
Switch Q6 : ON 16:21:25 2534 ft
Switch L3 : ON 16:21:28 2530 ft
Switch R3 : ON 16:21:31 2526 ft
Switch N1 : ON 16:33:17 14809 ft
Switch N2 : ON 16:33:18 14911 ft
Switch L1 : ON 16:53:53 61666 ft
Switch R1 : ON 16:53:53 61666 ft
Switch N2 : OFF 16:54:15 61841 ft
Switch N1 : OFF 16:54:16 61851 ft
Switch N1 : ON 16:55:26 62911 ft
Switch N2 : ON 16:55:27 62926 ft
Switch L1 : OFF 16:57:56 63524 ft
Switch R2 : ON 16:59:34 65261 ft
Switch L1 : ON 17:00:05 65740 ft
Switch L1 : OFF 17:03:58 66655 ft
Switch L1 : ON 17:06:58 67530 ft
Switch L1 : OFF 17:11:01 68758 ft
LEFT WING POWER : OFF 17:11:03 68766 ft
Switch L3 : OFF 17:11:03 68766 ft
LEFT WING POWER : ON 17:11:11 68810 ft
Switch L3 : ON 17:11:11 68810 ft
Switch L1 : ON 17:11:13 68823 ft
Switch L1 : OFF 17:14:15 69368 ft
Switch R2 : OFF 17:32:33 70148 ft
Switch R1 : OFF 17:33:39 70305 ft
Switch N2 : OFF 17:56:50 20747 ft
Switch N1 : OFF 17:56:50 20747 ft

216 15:29:48 Weight ON
216 16:31:06 Weight OFF
216 18:11:52 Weight ON
216 18:11:53 Weight OFF
216 18:11:54 Weight ON
End Report

c. 98216_param_01.gif, 98216_param_02.gif

These two images graphically depict flight parameters with respect to time. These data are based upon the flight data collected in paragraph 2a above. There are two such plots, 01 and 02, each of which displays different flight parameters. Close examination will reveal that they are self-explanatory.

Flight parameters 1

Flight parameters 2

Contact Information

To order these data or for further information, please contact:

Global Hydrology Resource Center
User Services
320 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone: 256-961-7932




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