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NASA's Global Hawk Pacific - GloPac UAV Atmospheric Research

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Published on May 3, 2010

Courtesy: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Interactive Global Hawk: http://bit.ly/GloPac

The NASA Global Hawk Pacific, or GloPac, campaign is the first Earth Science mission to be conducted on the aircraft. The Global Hawk's ability to autonomously fly long distances and remain aloft for extended periods brings a new capability to the science community for measuring and observing large areas of the Earth. Ten specialized instruments will be installed in the aircraft to explore the trace gases, aerosols, and dynamics of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The instruments will also validate sensors aboard NASA's Aura Earth-monitoring satellite.

Proposed flights of the Global Hawk for the Global Hawk Pacific Mission (GloPac) are to be conducted in support of the Aura Validation Experiment (AVE). This mission will take place out of Dryden Flight Research Center and is expected to encompass the entire offshore Pacific region with four to five 30 hour flights. Aura is one of the A-train satellites supported by NASA Earth Observation System.

The flights are designed to address various science objectives:

1. validation and scientific collaboration with NASA earth-monitoring satellite missions, principally the Aura satellite,
2. observations of stratospheric trace gases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere from the mid-latitudes into the tropics,
3. sampling of polar stratospheric air and the break-up fragments of the air that move into the mid-latitudes,
4. measurements of dust, smoke, and pollution that cross the Pacific from Asia and Siberia,
5. measurements of streamers of moist air from the central tropical Pacific that move onto the West Coast of the United States (atmospheric rivers).

GloPac is supported by:

Randy Albertson, NASA Airborne Science Program
Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate
Ken Jucks, NASA Program Manager, Upper Atmosphere Research Program
Hal Maring, NASA Program Manager, Radiation Sciences Program

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