Global Hawk landing at NASA Wallops, VA during SHOUT 2016. (Stephen Crowell)
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.
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)
Aircraft’s new visual transparency mode is exposed. (Dave Fratello)
A Video Overview (Dave Fratello):
– The NOAA SHOUT-Hurricane Rapid Response (Alert "48") Mission at Wallops – in Review: Click Here
John "JC" Coffey
Global Hawk ready for pre-dawn tow out for transit flight from NASA Wallops to NASA Armstrong on September 28th. (Dave Fratello)
NOAA’s 2016 SHOUT Team during launch of Global Hawk for Science Flight #6 (Left to Right) – Pete Black, Robbie Hood, Michael Goodman, Gary Wick, JC Coffey.
SHOUT 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Executes Science Flight #5 Above KARL
NASA/NOAA Global Hawk recovered at NASA Wallops, VA after a 24 hour mission supplying multi-sensor real-time data to the National Hurricane Center with 82 sondes deployed.
The NOAA UAS Program’s SHOUT launched the NASA Global Hawk at 1813 EDT September 22nd recovering at 1813 EDT September 23rd after conducting a multi-aircraft mission above Tropical Storm Karl. According the the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Karl has the opportunity to strengthen during the next couple of days while it is moving over warmer water and relatively low shear as it approaches Bermuda and turns North. The Bermuda Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning characterizing Karl as a “threat” with its closest point of approach to Bermuda to be 50 nm to the SSE at 0400 AST on Saturday, September 24th.
Fixes from several reconnaissance planes including the Global Hawk (red track), WC-130s, WP-3 (blue track), G-IV and satellites show the core of Karl closing in on Bermuda in about 24 hours. The team closely coordinated with the manned aircraft for sonde drops and to conduct inter-comparisons between the Global Hawk’s High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP) and the WP-3’s Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (IWRAP) above the storm. The JPL’s High Altitude Monolithic Microwave integrated Circuit (MMIC) Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR) is a microwave atmospheric sounder onboard the Global Hawk.
The SHOUT team is scheduled for a minimum turn-around take-off for science flight #6 at 1500 EDT on Saturday, September 24th in coordination with German, Swiss and US North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX) which is currently flying manned aircraft from Iceland.