Unmanned Aerial System Laser Hygrometer

Instrument Team with WB-57 Crew

Conducting a power check on the aircraft.

Unmanned Aerial System Laser Hygrometer

ULH measures water vapor at high accuracy in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere to meet the following 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, The ULH flights on Global Hawk will advance the state of the art technologically with remote command and control. ULH will provide real-time in-situ stratospheric water vapor measurements from Global Hawk. Additionally, ULH will make continuous measurements during long-duration flights up to 33 hours, which would be impossible with manned aircraft.

The advantages of ULH over other hygrometers are:

• Small and lightweight instrument package,
• No outgassing (achieved by mounting the open-path optical cell in the free air stream),
• Fast time response measurements in and out of clouds, without contamination,
• Accurate with a low detection limit <1 ppmv.

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