13 October, 2016 08:32

NASA Global Hawk Conducts Third 24 Hour UAS Mission Over Hurricane Matthew and in front of Nicole

NASA Global Hawk Conducts Third 24 Hour UAS Mission Over Hurricane Matthew and in front of Nicole

NOAA SHOUT 2016 Science Flight #9 conducts multi-aircraft mission above Matthew and in front of Nicole.

The NOAA UAS Program’s SHOUT Team launched the NASA Global Hawk from NASA Armstrong at 2000 PT October 8th with the mission objective to sample Hurricane Matthew and model sensitivity areas (HWRF and ECMWF) east of the storm, near the storm environment, and in the Gulf of Mexico. As the flight evolved, the team in close coordination with the National Hurricane Center and manned aircraft the team also collected data in front of Hurricane Nicole. This was the first time that the NASA Global Hawk flew three hurricane missions in a row with minimum turn-around time.

During the flight, the aircraft delivered data such as temperature, relative humidity, pressure and winds. This information was delivered in real-time to the National Hurricane Center in Florida, the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and numerous modeling centers around the world for use in forecast and model development. The dropsonde data was provided to the Global Telecommunication System which delivers it to NHC and the modeling centers for input to the NCEP HWRF, ECMWF, UKMet and other models. This mission’s data was quickly used by the NHC in forecaster discussions 46 and 47 (attached):

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE MATTHEW DISCUSSION NUMBER 46

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142016

1100 AM EDT SUN OCT 09 2016

Satellite data and surface observations indicate that a cold

front has wrapped around the southwestern portion of Matthew’s

circulation and the post-tropical cyclone is now analyzed as an

extratropical low. Despite the change in the cyclone’s structure

over the past 24 hours, Matthew continues to produce an area of very

strong winds to the southwest and west of the center. Sustained

winds of 55 to 60 kt with gusts above hurricane force were reported

at several coastal marine observing stations near the Outer Banks of

North Carolina this morning, and a recent dropsonde from the Global

Hawk unmanned aircraft reported surface winds of 58 kt.

Forecaster Brown

These flights were especially important as record-breaking flooding was occurring in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew dumped extreme amounts of rain on eastern parts of the state.

The aircraft landed back in California at 2047 PT October 9th after launching 63 sondes. This is the third year of NOAA’s SHOUT research project with NASA to evaluate the benefits of using the unmanned aircraft in routine operations to improve severe storm forecasts. The research also looks at whether unmanned aircraft can fill data gaps if there are interruptions in weather satellite coverage.

John "JC" Coffey

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10 October, 2016 00:03

Global Hawk launch crew at NASA Armstrong prior to SHOUT Science Flight #9 Mike Bereda, Gina Patrick, Sammy McKeehan, Andres Hernandez, Ralph Doull and Steve Crowell (left to right). (John "JC" Coffey)

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9 October, 2016 23:46

Global Hawk on the take-off roll for SHOUT Science Flight #9 on October 9th en-route to Hurricane Matthew. (John "JC" Coffey)

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9 October, 2016 23:34

Global Hawk at the hold short at NASA Armstrong prior to SHOUT Science Flight #9 on October 9th. (John "JC" Coffey)

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9 October, 2016 23:20

​SHOUT Science Flight #9 tracks on October 9th around Hurricane Matthew. (John "JC" Coffey)

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9 October, 2016 23:10

​Global Hawk at Sunset NASA Wallops. (Stephen Crowell)

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9 October, 2016 22:58

NASA Global Hawk Conducts Second 24 Hour UAS Mission Over Hurricane Matthew

NASA Global Hawk Conducts Second 24 Hour UAS Mission Over Hurricane Matthew

NOAA SHOUT 2016 Science Flight #8 conducts multi-aircraft mission above and around Hurricane Matthew.

Within 23 hours of flying its first Hurricane Matthew mission, the SHOUT Team launched NASA’s Global Hawk at 1924 PT October 6th for the eighth science flight of the SHOUT 2016 campaign towards Hurricane Matthew. The flight tracks are being closely coordinated with the manned aircraft events and the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The crew dropped several dozen sondes and conduct numerous passes over the eye of Hurricane Matthew. The scientific data is being delivered in real-time to the National Hurricane Center in Florida, the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and numerous modeling centers around the world for use in forecast and model development.

The dropsonde data is going into the Global Telecommunication System which delivers it to NHC with that the data currently being used by the NCEP HWRF, the ECMWF, and the UKMet Models. After landing back at NASA Armstrong, CA at 1905 PT October 7th, the Global Hawk will be quickly turned-around and takeoff at 1900 PT October 8th back to Matthew.

Social media was also following the SHOUT event at several sites including:

https://twitter.com/NASAJPL/status/784426562435231744

https://www.facebook.com/NASAHurricane/photos/a.121853331194802.11206.112998395413629/1190483457665112/?type=3&theater

https://twitter.com/NASAEarth/status/784473090860261377

https://twitter.com/NASAAirborne/status/784472156226723840

https://www.facebook.com/NASAAirborne/photos/a.445537385641180.1073741829.417800165081569/529003910627860/?type=3&theater

https://twitter.com/NASAEarth/status/784418515491000320

https://twitter.com/NASAAirborne/status/784417856888856576

John "JC" Coffey

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7 October, 2016 21:21

​Global Hawk landing at NASA Wallops, VA during SHOUT 2016. (Stephen Crowell)

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6 October, 2016 12:40

SHOUT 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Launches Global Hawk Towards Hurricane Matthew

SHOUT 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Launches Global Hawk Towards Hurricane Matthew

NOAA UAS Program coordinates Science Flight #7 from NASA Armstrong, CA.

Following a 9.7 hour reposition flight from NASA Wallops to NASA Armstrong on September 28th, NOAA’s UAS Program re-established the SHOUT Hurricane Rapid Response posture to support Hurricane Matthew operations. With 48 hours notice, the team launched NASA’s Global Hawk at 1956 PDT October 4th for seventh science flight of the SHOUT 2016 campaign towards Hurricane Matthew.

Of note, SHOUT HRR continued to minimized the number of deployed personnel and took advantage of having Global Hawk Operation Centers (GHOC) at both East and West Coast sites. For the Hurricane Matthew events, the flight crews are all located at Armstrong where they are home based while the payload personnel and science teams are conducting their operations from Armstrong, Wallops or remotely. This has greatly increased operational flexibility while decreasing costs.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 1700 EDT October 4th, "When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to estimate impacts this far in advance. For example, only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore, while a small deviation to the right could keep all of the hurricane-force winds offshore. It will likely take another day or so for the potential impacts of Matthew in the United States to clarify."

On October 5th, the Global Hawk collected data East of Florida in close support with the manned aircraft in the vicinity to be used by the NHC and landed safely back at California at 2040 PDT after a 24.7 hour mission dropping 62 sondes. Our next flight is scheduled for 1900 PDT October 6th.

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3 October, 2016 08:43

Global Hawk being towed back into the Hangar at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center preparing for NOAA SHOUT flights above Hurricane Matthew the first week of October 2016. (Don Sessions)

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