Global Hawk #872 09/22/12 - 09/23/12

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Flight Number: 
872-0100
Payload Configuration: 
HS3 - TN872 2012 config
Nav Data Collected: 
No
Total Flight Time: 
25.1 hours
Flight Segments: 
From:WFFTo:WFF
Start:09/22/12 17:50 Z Finish:09/23/12 18:54 Z
Flight Time:25.1 hours
Log Number:12H002PI:Marilyn Vasques
Funding Source:Hal Maring - NASA - SMD - ESD Radiation Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:This flight was the fourth visit to Nadine. 58 dropsondes were deployed as planned. The instruments operated nominally and the aircraft landed with a green board. An inter-comparison was conducted between the Global Hawk and ER-2 CPL instruments during the Global Hawk return to base leg, just off the US Atlantic coast.
Flight Hour Summary: 
12H00213H008
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS327
Flight Hours Previously Approved 178.1
Total Used148.946
Total Remaining 132.1
13H008 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
10/06/12872-0102Science7.37.3170.8
10/12/12872-0103Ferry9.717161.1
11/01/12871-0082Check4.821.8156.3
11/05/12 - 11/06/12871-0083Science24.246132.1
12H002 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
08/28/12872-0094Check5.55.5321.5
08/30/12872-0095Maintenance0.76.2320.8
09/06/12 - 09/07/12872-0096Science19.325.5301.5
09/11/12 - 09/12/12872-0097Science25.751.2275.8
09/14/12 - 09/15/12872-0098Science22.473.6253.4
09/19/12 - 09/20/12872-0099Science24.898.4228.6
09/22/12 - 09/23/12872-0100Science25.1123.5203.5
09/26/12 - 09/27/12872-0101Science25.4148.9178.1

Flight Reports began being entered into this system as of 2012 flights. If there were flights flown under an earlier log number the flight reports are not available online.

Related Science Report: 

HS3 - Global Hawk #872 09/22/12 - 09/23/12 Science Report

Mission: 
HS3
Mission Summary: 

Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) Mission

HS3 2012-09-22 Flight Report: GLOBALHAWK AV-6

Flight Scientists:

Shift 1 (1600-0100 UT): Paul A. Newman, Ed Zipser

Shift 2 (0000-0900 UT): Michael Montgomery, Steve Guimond

Shift 3 (0800-1700 UT): Scott Braun, Pete Black, Gerry Heymsfield

Shift 4 (1600-0100 UT): Paul A. Newman, Ed Zipser

 

22 September 2012

1555 Engines started

Went through some problems bringing the Ku up. Unclear what was the problem

1742 Taxi

1750 Plane took off.

1830 Mission science requested a delayed release of the D03 sonde to give us a bit more spacing on the P31L system.

1920 After discussions with the pilots, we also adjusted D01 10 minutes earlier. D01-D02-D03 are now spaced 20 minutes apart.

 

LESSON LEARNED: All cloud plots need time stamps!


GOES visible image at about 1950Z (unknown without a time stamp). A clear circulation center for P31L can be seen in the image, with a trough axis oriented NNW from this center.

 

Position of AV-6 in the first leg of Nadine pattern at ~ 0200 UTC 9/22/2012.  Nadine has been stretched in the SW – NE direction by the mid-latitude flow.  It is hard to find the center of the system at this time.  In the last 30 minutes, there has been a cluster of lightning around 31 N 25 W associated with some moderate convection.  Nothing to worry about now, but we will keep an eye on this in the future.

 

We had considered a small northward displacement due to lightning within 25 nmi of the flight track, but the pilots were okay with continuing the current track.  Cloud tops were below threshold.  We are dropping an extra dropsonde between D23 and D24 as well as between D24 and D25 to sample the convective structure and potential outflow pattern.  Currently, convection is showing signs of development and we are monitoring cloud top temperatures for possible flight diversion.

 

 

Convection ceased developing as aircraft approached disturbed region.  Cloud top heights were 45,000 ft and below so no problems for aircraft.  There was lightning in the region, however, but the pilots didn’t have much concern with this.  Successfully dropped several sondes through the convection with two extra sondes (D23.5 and D24.5).

 

IR temps from NRL at 0824 UTC.  The above flight track is incorrect since the revised plan with east-west leg over estimated center did not load properly. 

 

Revised flight track entered at approximately 0800.  New horizontal leg will get over convective region.

 

IR temperatures at 0845.  Cloud tops are -65 to -70 C and CPL lidar tops were around 40kft.

 

Lightning at 0853.

 

 

Brightness temperature at 0945Z. Note that entire line of sondes were missed – AVAPS reset and working well at this time.

 

85 GHz brightness temperatures at 0600Z.

 

Visible image at 0915Z. Some overshooting tops on northeast side in 0845Z image.

 

85GHz temperatures at 0745Z.

 

IR temperatures at 0930Z.

 

SHIS approximately 11 micron IR temperatures.  Lowest temperatures were on 3rd E-W line that appears to be on is on north side of  center.  Center moved moved southeast during the flight over storm.

 

Dropsonde intervals were modified on last flight leg. We started with 5 minute intervals by adding one sonde between original points, then we went to 4 minute intervals.  We added some extra sondes between D49 and D50, and added D51 further out in the northwest environment of Nadine.  No sondes will be released on the return flight over P31L.

 

Dropsondes during last leg.  First sonde on east side is dry above 800 mb.  Second sonde still on east side has 50-55kt wind between 500-700mb, and it is very moist up to 400 mb. Third sonde is on west side of center and has north-northeast winds at 50 kts near surface and 25 kts at 700 mb, saturated up to 850 mb. Fourth sonde at 1035Z has stronger winds (70 kt) at 925 mb but it cuts out below this level.

 

 

Sequence of GOES VIS images of Nadine during rapid sonde deployment (0915Z, 1045Z and 1215Z (couresy of NRL web site).

 

SSMI microwave image of Nadine at start of rapid sonde deployment

 

Infrared images near start of rapid sonde deployment, 0745Z left, 0915Z right.

 

Upper level water vapor images with NA872 flight track and sonde deployment locations, including rapid deployment leg.

 

 

TMI 0630Z (left) and SSMIS 0736 (right) with rapid sonde flight track

 

Lightning flashes seen on OLS night time VIS image at 0530 GMT. Lightning in band SE of center and near overshooting tourrets north of the center was supported by lightning network flash locations.

 

Drop name

Drop #

Drop Time (UT)

comment

D01

1

1957

Adjusted 10 early from planned position

D02

2

2015

 

D03

3

2042

Adjusted from original point to be 10 minutes later. Slightly delayed because of air traffic.

D04

4

0057

 

D05

5

0107

Some KU problems around this time.

D06

6

0117

 

D07

7

0129

 

D08

8

0139

Appears that KU problems have been fixed.NOT TRUE!

D09

9

0150

 

D10

10

0201

 

D11

11

0226

This sonde was delayed due to air traffic.  AVAPS did not get return data for this sonde.

D12

12

0241

Bit of a delay on sonde due to a turn.  AVAPS reports no telemetry information from sonde.  They are going into debug mode.

D13

 

 

Missed sonde due to AVAPS trouble shooting of telemetry issue.

D14

 

 

Missed sonde due to AVAPS trouble shooting of telemetry issue.

D15

 

 

 

Missed sonde due to AVAPS trouble shooting telemetry problem

Above highlighted period was a disappointing string of sonde failures due to Ku band noise

D16

13

0326

Good sonde release, good returns.

D17

14

0337

Good sonde, good returns.

D18

15

0348

Good sonde

D19

16

0410

Good sonde

D20

17

0431

Good sonde

D21

18

0441

Good sonde

D22

19

0452

Good sonde

D23

20

0502

Good sonde

D23.5

21

0507

Good sonde.  Increased the sampling here to capture convection/outflow structure

D24

22

0514

Good sonde

D24.5

23

0519

Good sonde.  Increased the sampling here to capture convection/outflow structure

D25

24

0526

Good sonde

D26

25

0537

Good sonde

D27

26

0602

Delay due to aircraft turn.

D28

 

 

Skipped this sonde so we can place it in the convection on the west side of the circulation

D29

27

0635

[Sondes suspect this line] Sonde launched, but no data- begins another series of failed sondes (highlighted).

D30

28

0646

Sonde launched, but  no data, may need a reboot

D31

 

 

Reboot, skipped

            D32

29

0706

Sonde  launched, but no data.  Did a reboot but this didn’t help.  Now appears that some data is coming in.

D33

30

0716

]Sonde launched but no data yet

D34

31

0726

Sonde launched and good data.

D34.5

32

0736

Sonde launched but no data yet

D35

33

0749

Problems with AVAPS – may recycle it

D36

34

0809

Recycled AVAPS and all on board systems just prior to D36, sonde dropout below 450 mb.

D37

35

0819

Recycling power on GH seemed to have cleared up noise issue. Good sonde

D38

36

0829

Good sonde

D39

37

0839

 

D40

38

0850

Good sonde

D41

39

0900

Good sonde

D42

40

0923

Good sonde

D43

41

0931

Good sonde

D44

42

1000

Good sonde

D44.5

43

1005

Good sonde

D45

44

1010

Good sonde

D45.5

45

1016

Good sonde

D46

46

1021

Good sonde

D46.5

47

1026

Good sonde

D47

48

1030

Good sonde

D47.5

49

1034

Good sonde

D48

50

1039

Good sonde

D48.5

51

1043

Good sonde

D49A

52

1047

Good sonde

D49B

53

1052

Good sonde

D49C

54

1056

Good sonde

 

D49D

55

1100

Good sonde

D49E

56

1105

Good sonde

D50

57

1111

Good sonde

D51

58

1131

Good sonde

Most interesting part of this flight was the E-W leg of rapid sonde deploments arranged at the last minute by changing the return flight route so that it passed through the center and then using remaining sondes at 4 min intervals to sample a section through the storm center. Two period s of sonde drop-outs due to Ku band noise interference limited the coverage of the storm environment, especially in the northeast quadrant and just south of the center. The noise issue seemed to be greatly reduced after power on the GH was recycled. When system came back up, remaining sondes were relatively noise free. This sondes on this east west leg showed detailed wind and thermodynamic structure of Nadine and fixed the center location, minimum pressure (990mb) and WL150 estimated surface maximum wind (52 kt). This represents the first true GH reconnaissance mission, and served as the basis for NHC upgrading Nadine back to ta tropical storm at 1100 am EDT, 1500 GMT. From Nadine advisory number 44 we have the following:

 

DEEP CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE NADINE HAS

INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY DURING THE PAST 12-18 HOURS. ALTHOUGH THE

THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER HAS THINNED A BIT THIS

MORNING...THE LOW HAS MAINTAINED DEEP CONVECTION SINCE YESTERDAY

AFTERNOON. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN AN INCREASE IN ORGANIZATION OF THE

THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY AS THE PRIMARY BAND NOW WRAPS ABOUT HALF WAY

AROUND THE CIRCULATION.

 

DROPSONDE DATA

FROM AN ONGOING NASA GLOBAL HAWK MISSION SUGGESTS THAT THE MAXIMUM

WINDS ARE NEAR 50 KT. A DROPWINDSONDE NEAR THE CENTER AROUND 1030

UTC MEASURED A PRESSURE OF 989.9 MB WITH STRONG WINDS...SO THE

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 986 MB.

 

The soundings from the rapid deployment leg showed very dry air on the east side of the storm with low level max winds estimated at about 40 kt accompanying a narrow moist slot. Profile peak wind seemed to be centered at 400- 500 mb on the east side of the storm and much lower, but stronger, winds of 70 kt at 925 mb (57 kt at 60 m altitude) on the west side of the storm. Soundings also showed deep moist charateristics west of the center, and downstream from the strong convection north of the center, in contrast to the east side. Winds decrease rapid with increasing height on the west side with only 25 kt at 700 mb above the low level wind max.