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Hurricane Imaging Radiometer

HIRAD is a multi-frequency, hurricane imaging, interferometric single-pol passive C-band radiometer, operating from 4 GHz to 7 GHz, with both cross-track and along-track resolution that measures strong ocean surface winds through heavy rain from an aircraft or space-based platform. A one-dimensional thinned synthetic aperture array antenna is used to obtain wide-swath measurements with multiple simultaneous beams in a push-broom configuration. HIRAD features software beam forming with no moving parts, internal hot, cold, and noise diode based calibration, and continuous, gap-free imaging. Its swath width is approximately 60 degrees in either direction. There are two products: rain rate and wind speed.

The basis of the HIRAD design is the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) that has successfully measured surface wind speed and rain rate in hurricanes from the NOAA Hurricane Research Division’s (HRD) P-3 aircraft. Unlike the SFMR that views only at nadir, the HIRAD provides wide-swath measurements between ± 40 degrees in incidence angle with a spot-beam spatial resolution of approximately 1-3 km. HIRAD would be able to provide high resolution hurricane imaging when used on an operational hurricane surveillance aircraft such as the NOAA HRD’s Gulfstream-IV.

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Cloud Aerosol and Precipitation Spectrometer

Measures concentration and records images of cloud particles from approximately 50-1600 microns in diameter with a resolution of 25 microns per pixel. Measures cloud droplet and aerosol concentrations within the size range of 0.5-50 microns.

The three DMT instruments included in the CAPS are the Cloud Imaging Probe (CIP), the Cloud and Aerosol Spectrometer (CAS), and the Hotwire Liquid Water Content Sensor (Hotwire LWC).

The CIP, which measures larger particles, operates as follows. Shadow images of particles passing through a collimated laser beam are projected onto a linear array of 64 photodetectors. The presence of a particle is registered by a change in the light level on each diode. The registered changes in the photodetectors are stored at a rate consistent with probe velocity and the instrument’s size resolution. Particle images are reconstructed from individual “slices,” where a slice is the state of the 64-element linear array at a given moment in time. A slice must be stored each time interval that the particle advances through the beam a distance equal to the resolution of the probe. Optional grayscale imaging gives three levels of shadow recording on each photodetector, allowing more detailed information on the particles.

The CAS, which measures smaller particles, relies on light-scattering rather than imaging techniques. Particles scatter light from an incident laser, and collecting optics guide the light scattered in the 4° to 12° range into a forward-sizing photodetector. This light is measured and used to infer particle size. Backscatter optics also measure light in the 168° to 176° range, which allows determination of the real component of a particle’s refractive index for spherical particles.

The Hotwire LWC instrument estimates liquid water content using a heated sensing coil. The system maintains the coil at a constant temperature, usually 125 °C, and measures the power necessary to maintain this temperature. More power is needed to maintain the temperature as droplets evaporate on the coil surface and cool the surface and surrounding air. Hence, this power reading can be used to estimate LWC. Both the LWC design and the optional PADS software contain features to ensure the LWC reading is not affected by conductive heat loss.

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Harvard Harriot Hygrometer

The Harvard Herriott Hygrometer (HHH) is a multipass Herriott cell that measures water vapor via direct detection. Predicted accuracy and precision are ± 3–5% and ± 0.05 ppmv H2O, in the lower stratosphere, for a 10-s integration time, respectively. The theory and application of HHH as a water vapor instrument are laid out in the context of making accurate measurements traceable to laboratory standards. In conjunction with the Harvard Water Vapor (HWV) instrument, HHH will establish ultimate credibility via three, independent detection methods in-flight and five for laboratory and in-field calibration. A multi-detection, calibration system of this nature is beyond the scope of any in existence today. Because HHH promises such high reliability and slight margins of error, the data acquired by this instrument should minimize the uncertainty associated with natural and anthropogenic climate forcing. HHH may serve as a prototype instrument for the use of miniaturized, TDL systems as in situ quantifiers of atmospheric gases via the straightforward method of direct detection, thus extending the scientific payback of this new system.

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UAS Chromatograph for Atmospheric Trace Species

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Chromatograph for Atmospheric Trace Species (UCATS) was designed and built for autonomous operation on pilotless aircraft. It uses chromatography to separate atmospheric trace gases along a narrow heated column, followed by precise and accurate detection with electron capture detectors. There are two chromatographs on UCATS, one of which measures nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride, the other of which measures methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide. In addition, there is a small ozone instrument and a tunable diode laser instrument for water vapor. Gas is pumped into the instruments from an inlet below the GV, measured, and vented. UCATS has flown on the Altair UAS, the GV during HIPPO I and II, and most recently on the NASA/NOAA Global Hawk UAS during the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) mission, where a record was set for the longest duration research flight (more than 28 hours). UCATS is relatively lightweight and compact, making it ideal for smaller platforms, but it is easily adaptable to a mid-size platform like the GV for HIPPO. The data are used to measure sources and sinks of trace gases involved in climate and air quality, as well as transport through the atmosphere.

UCATS is three different instruments in one enclosure:

1. 2-channel gas chromatograph (GC)
2. Dual-beam ozone photometer (OZ)
3. Tunable diode laser (TDL) spectrometer for water vapor (WV)

N2O, SF6, CH4, CO, O3, H2, H2O
Altair, Global Hawk - AFRC, DC-8 - AFRC, Gulfstream V - NSF, WB-57 - JSC
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Crewmember Working on WB-57


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