NSF/NCAR C-130 Request Guidance

NSF/NCAR C-130 Overview

The NSF/NCAR C-130 is a four-engine, medium-size utility aircraft that has been extensively modified for research applications. The C-130 has a 10-hour flight endurance, a 2,900 nautical mile range at up to 27,000 ft, and a payload capacity of up to 13,000 lbs. This versatile research platform has a roomy fuselage that can accommodate payloads across an area of 414 square feet. In addition to standard thermodynamic, microphysics and radiation sensors, the C-130 has a range of inlets and optical ports. The Earth Observing Laboratory operates the aircraft within the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Configuration: Airborne research platform
Number of available systems: 1

NSF/NCAR C-130 Contacts

Dr. Pavel Romashkin / pavel@ucar.edu / (303) 497-1027 (Requests & Schedules)

Airborne Instrumentation

Each research payload is unique and will typically consist of some combination of EOL, ACOM (Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling) and user-supplied instrumentation. The tables in this document list available airborne sensors and measurements. For a more detailed description of the airborne instrumentation, see www.eol.ucar.edu/aircraft-instrumentation. Please note that different instruments require different levels of support.

RAF can supply several types of trace gas and small aerosol inlets (HIMIL unheated, HIMIL anti-iced, HIMIL aft facing, Solid diffuser SDI aerosol inlet, and the SMAI aerosol inlet, all with PFA or stainless steel tubing, with or without sample line heating.)

IMPORTANT NOTE

Prior to submitting this request, it is required to communicate with the appropriate airborne instrumentation contact(s) about the instruments listed below to determine if the basic payload request can be supported and/or if it will require additional resources.

[EOL] Dr. Julie Haggerty / haggerty@ucar.edu / (303) 497-1090 
[ACOM] Dr. Geoff Tyndall / tyndall@ucar.edu / (303) 497-1472

In building an aircraft payload, note that the payload consist of:

  1. Standard instrumentation: This is a suite of instruments that is permanently installed on the NSF/NCAR C-130 airplane, and these instruments provide data on all airborne projects. See the table below.
  2. Requestable instruments: This an extensive list of instruments that are requestable to fly on the NSF/NCAR C-130, and are provided by NCAR/EOL and NCAR/ACOM. See the table below.
  3. User-supplied instruments: PIs may request to include thier own instruments in the payload that complement the NCAR part of the payload. See the LAOF Aircraft User-Supplied Airborne Instrumentation Form that is uploaded in PRESTO in the facility request form.

Project-specific limitations of the capabilities of the standard instruments and requestable instruments will be identified by EOL and ACOM at the time of the feasibility study and will be discussed with the requesting investigators.

Payload Limitations

The number of requested instruments routinely exceeds the available space on the aircraft. We, therefore, ask PIs to indicate the priority of each measurement in addressing their research goals. The rating to be used is as follows: 

Mission Critical
Useful / Desireable
Not Requested 

Wing Store Configurations 

Basic information on possible wing store configurations, rack space requirements, and operator status is included in the tables. There are a total of 10 wing pod canister positions, three on each of the large C-130 wing pods, two on each wing tip.

User-supplied Instrumentation 

Detailed information on specific systems and platform infrastructure related to mounting user-supplied equipment can be found in the C-130 Investigator Handbook. All user-supplied equipment must meet RAF safety and design specifications. 

NSF/NCAR C-130 STANDARD INSTRUMENTATION - Provided on all projects 
Description Maximum Data Rate Location Sensor Quantity
Static Pressure 25 sps Fuselage 2
Dynamic Pressure 25 sps Fuselage and radome 3
Cabin Pressure 1 sps Electronics bay 1
Ambient Temperature 1 sps Fuselage 2
Chilled Mirror Dew Point Temperature 1 sps Fuselage 2
Aircraft Position, Altitude, Ground Relative Speeds, Accelerations and Attitude Angles (IRU) 1 – 50 sps Electronics bay 2
GPS w/ TerraStar C accuracy 10 sps Cabin overhead rack 1
3-Dimensional Wind Fields 25 sps Radome 1 set
Icing Rate (presence of supercooled cloud water) 1 sps Wing hard point 1
King Probe Cloud Liquid Water Content 25 sps Wing hard point ½
Remote (infrared) Surface Temperature 1 sps Belly aperture 2
Forward Digital Video 1 fps Cockpit 1
SATCOM N/A ADS rack N/A
XCHAT N/A ADS rack N/A
Real-time Data Transfer to Ground Variable ADS rack N/A
Real-time Display incl. maps, video, time series etc. Variable ADS / all displays N/A

NSF/NCAR C-130 INSTRUMENTS BY REQUEST
CLOUD MEASUREMENTS [EOL]
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP) (2 – 50 μm range), water droplets, ice crystals 10 sps Wing pod canister 0 0
OAP 2DS Cloud probe (2D-S stereo probe, 10-1280 μm resolution, 128 bins), ice, water Asynchronous Wing pod canister ¼ 0
OAP HVPS-3 Precipitation Probe (150 μm resolution, 128 bins)  Asynchronous Wing pod canister ¼ 0
HOLODEC-II Cloud Particle Imager 3 sps Wing pod canister ¼ 0
Counterflow Virtual Impactor (CVI) (with CN counter and water vapor TDL) Special Cabin w/ aperture 1 1
OAP 2D-C 10 µm (2-D imaging spectrometer, 20 - 640 µm), ice, water; special considerations B N/A Wing pod canister 0 0
OAP 2D-C 25 µm (2-D imaging spectrometer, 50 - 1600 µm), ice, water, special considerations B N/A Wing pod canister 0 0

RADIATIVE MEASUREMENTS [EOL] (unless otherwise noted)
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Radiometric Air Temperature 1 sps Wing pod 0 0
Remote (infrared) Sky Temperature (KT19.85 Heimann radiometer), 1 up, not stabilized 1 sps Special aperture 0 0
Remote (infrared) Surface Temperature (KT19.85 Heimann radiometer), 1 down, not stabilized 1 sps Special aperture 0 0
HIAPER Airborne Radiation Package (HARP) (spectrally resolved actinic flux and irradiance) [ACOM] Special Cabin w/ aperture 1 0
Shortwave (solar) irradiance (CMP22 Pyranometer - visible broadband radiometer), 2 up / 2 down*, stabilized, fixed 1 sps Special aperture 0 0
Infrared irradiance (CGR4 Pyrgeometer - infrared broadband radiometer), 2 up / 2 down*, stabilized, fixed 1 sps Special aperture 0 0

*Mounting positions for the CMP22 and CGR4 can be used interchangeably for either sensor.

STATE PARAMETERS and WIND MEASUREMENTS [EOL]
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Fast Ambient Temperature 25 sps Fuselage 0 0
Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) Hygrometer 25 sps Cabin w/aperture or large pod 0 0
UV Hygrometer 25 sps Standard aperture 0
Laser Air Motion Sensor (LAMS ) [1, 3, and 4 beam(s)] 50 sps Wing pod canister ½ 0

AEROSOL MEASUREMENTS [EOL]
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Condensation Nucleus (CN) Counter – (Butanol, low altitude only) 25 sps Cabin w/ aperture ¼ 0
Ultra-High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS) (0.06 – 1 μm) 10 sps Wing pod canister 0
Passive Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (PCASP) (0.1 – 3 μm range) 10 sps Wing pod canister 0 0
Auto Giant Nuclei Impactor (GNI) (sea salt, 2-30 μm range), 0.4 µm resolution Special Aperture 0
Manual GNI Giant Aerosol Impactor (sea-salt, 2 – 32 μm range) Custom Cabin w/ aperture 1


 

GAS MEASUREMENTS [EOL & ACOM]  
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators Special Consideraations*
Picarro CO2, Methane (CH4), Carbon Monoxide (C), and Water Vapor [ACOM] Custom HIMIL, 0.7 sps Cabin w/ aperture ½ 0 D
Aero-Laser Carbon Monoxide (CO)# [ACOM] Custom HIMIL, 0.5 sps Cabin w/ aperture ½ 0 D
Aerodyne CO and Nitrous Oxide (N₂O) Custom HIMIL, 1-10 sps Cabin w/ aperture ½ 0 D
Water Vapor Isotopic Analyzer (WVISO) [EOL] HIMIL, SDI, CVI, 5 sps Cabin w/aperture ½ 0  
Fast Ozone (O3) [ACOM] HIMIL, 1 - 10 sps Cabin w/ aperture 3/4 0 D
Total Organic Gas Analyzer (TOGA) (C2 - C10 organic range) [ACOM] Simple, 0.015 sps Cabin w/ aperture 1 1 A,D
Airborne Whole Air Sampler (AWAS) [EOL] HIMIL, asynchronous Wing pod canister 1 1  
Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (CIMS) (SO2, HNO3, HNO4, HNOand others) [ACOM] Special, 1 sps Cabin w/ aperture 1 0 B,C,D
Medusa Flask Sampler [EOL] Custom HIMIL, 32 samples per flight Cabin w/ aperture 1 1 A,B,C,D
Airborne Oxygen Analyzer (AO2 ) [EOL] Custom HIMIL, 0.2 sps Cabin w/ aperture 1 0.5 A,B,C,D
NO and NO2 [ACOM] HIMIL, 0.3 sps Cabin w/ aperture 1 0 B,D

# The Aerodyne is preferred for CO measurements when only one instrument is required.

*Special Considerations:
A ­ Instrument requires a dedicated operator on board the aircraft.
B ­ Special software tools are required for routine processing, display and analysis of the data acquired by this instrument.
C ­ Data recorded on a separate data acquisition system, not on RAF's ADS.
D ­ Data acquired by this instrument requires unique post-processing.
E ­ This instrument requires a separate request form

RAF can supply several types of gas and small aerosol inlets (HIMIL unheated, HIMIL anti-iced, aft-facing, all with PFA or stainless steel tubing, with or without sample line heating).

IN SITU VERTICAL PROFILING [EOL]
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Dropsonde profiles of pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and winds. 2 Hz thermodynamic, 4 Hz winds Dropsonde launcher 1 1 (may be remote)

OTHER MEASUREMENTS [EOL]
Description Inlet or Maximum Data Rate Location Rack Space Operators
Digital Video (forward, down, side) with optional date/time stamp 1 fps Standard windows 0 0
Radar Altitude (Above Ground Level) 1 sps Electronics bay 0 0