Duct tape to the rescue!

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Picture of Brad Pierce (NOAA) after cleaning the glass plate on top of the HSRL lidar (Photo by Andrew Wagner, SSEC)

Every day is different out here at the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory outside of Erie, CO. Yesterday Andy Wagner (UW-Madison) noticed that the sun shield for the High Spectral Resolution (HSRL) LIDAR was torn from strong wind gusts, so today we needed to fix it. Duct tape and some pieces of wood from Home Depot did the job nicely. While we had the sun shield off we also cleaned the glass covering the HSRL. It was pretty dusty. Guess those theory guys are good for something other than forecasting where the pollution is!

 

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Picture of sun shield for UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) showing tears from strong wind gusts on Friday, July 25, 2014 (Photo by Andrew Wagner, SSEC)

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Picture of the repaired HSRL sun shield (Photo by Andrew Wagner, SSEC)

 

 

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Test flight #1

July 17, 2014, by Frank Flocke

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Picture by Sam Hall

Snowflake (or November One Three Zero Alpha Romeo, as the flight controllers call the NCAR/NSF C-130 Research Aircraft) did great today. And so did all the instrument inside.

We had a very successful test flight today. All instruments performed very well, and we got a good fell for what we can do out there. Our flight plans are so different from what normal aircraft do (we fly at low altitude, we fly zig-zag patterns over interesting emission areas, such as downtown Denver, the Denver-Julesburg Basin, or the forested areas in the mountains) and as a result air traffic control (ATC) has to get used to us as well.

Everything went great and we look forward to the first science flight!

 

 

Almost There

7/15/2014 by Frank Flocke

FRAPPÉ is about to start.

Today is the EMI test on the aircraft, which means all instruments are installed and have passed the flight readiness inspection. This is the mechanical part of the inspection when aircraft technicians make sure everything is bolted down and secured and ready to withstand the rigors of long flights in the boundary layer.

The EMI test makes sure that none of the electrical systems and electronics of the instruments interfere with the aircraft systems needed for flight.

We are planning to have our first test flight on Thursday. This will be a 2-2 ½ hr long flight with all instruments turned on and measuring. We will fly what would be a typical segment of a research flight so scientists can put their instruments through most of the conditions expected during a real research flight and can determine what needs to be adjusted and changed so their instruments will perform at their best during the experiment. After a day on the ground we will fly a second, longer test flight on Friday after which all instruments should be adjusted perfectly and ready to go.

If all goes well, and the weather plays along, we hope to be able to fly our first research mission next week.