NSF/NCAR HIAPER

Unique Capabilities Mean New Discoveries

The NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V (GV) aircraft is a cutting-edge observational platform that will meet the scientific needs of researchers who study many different areas: Chemistry and Climate, Chemical Cycles, Studies of the Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere, Air Quality, and Mesoscale Weather.

The GV has unique capabilities that set it apart from other research aircraft. It can reach 51,000 feet (15,500 meters), enabling scientists to collect data at the tops of storms and the lower edge of the stratosphere. With a range of about 7,000 miles (11,265 kilometers), it can track atmospheric particles across the oceans or reach the South Pole from bases in South America or New Zealand.

Such attributes, plus the ability to carry 5,600 pounds (2,540 kilograms) of state-of-the-art sensors, mean the NSF/NCAR GV will be on the forefront of scientific discovery. Scientists will be able to probe the upper edges of hurricanes and thunderstorms in unprecedented detail, determining the dynamics that drive these powerful storms. The aircraft enables researchers to study pivotal chemical processes high above Earth that affect global temperatures. HIAPER can also provide satellite mapping information and will play an important role in recalibrating satellite instruments.