RF16: 14-6-2002 12:01 - 17:47


P3 Flight Log:

A boundary layer evolution mission was scheduled for the P3 with a take off time of 1030 UTC. Due to concerns regarding cloud cover in the general region of interest, the take off was delayed until 1100 UTC. The P3 arrived in the Homestead ? S-Pol region around 1130 UTC and descended to 3500? MSL. The flight pattern was pre-determined and all legs were to be coordinated between three of the four planes participating in the experiment (P3, King Air, and Falcon). The NASA DC8 had a separate flight pattern. We experienced problems with ELDORA, but went ahead with the first leg anyway at 1150 UTC starting at the P3 point A. The King Air was flying at the same altitude and in tandem with the P3 with the Falcon above them at a much higher altitude. After the first box (A-B-C-D) had been executed, it was determined that the P3 and the King Air would not descent to 3300?, but remain at 3500? MSL for the next two circuits. This decision was based on topography and towers in the area being surveyed by both planes. We finished the third circuit at 1307 UTC and climbed to 4000? MSL, where an extended flight pattern, which included two additional legs, was started at the P3 point D. The remaining circuits included wide right 180 degree turns at the northern end points with LEANDRE off and left 180 degree turns with LEANDRE on for the majority of the turns at the southern end points. We finished the last leg at 1730 UTC, completed a calibration leg for ELDORA over S-Pol and headed back to OKC at 1800 UTC. LEANDRE collected great data. They had no problems with the eye-safety radar and only approximately 10% of the data was contaminated by ground clutter. ELDORA did not start seeing great clear air returns until 1530 UTC. Dual-Doppler wind synthesis in the clear air will be difficult, if not, impossible. We had some problems with the mission. The major issue was the fact that there were three different sets of coordinates for the P3, King Air and the Falcon all labeled with the same letters. Fortunately, the communication between the pilots was excellent and no mistakes were made in the coordination between the planes. I would like to thank Wayne Sand for his invaluable help with the coordination between planes. I am not convinced this flight would have been as successful had he not taken the time to understand the flight pattern and how important the coordination was for intercomparisons. Also, the DC8 contacted the P3 because their southern most leg had a thick cloud cover that they were not able to descend below and they wanted advise as to what to do. We contacted Tammy Weckwerth and a redesign of the flight pattern was made. Unfortunately, the exact waypoints for the DC8 were not known by either the P3 scientists or the ground, and this made it practically impossible to relay the new information to the DC8. It was finally determined to have the DC8 contact the lead PI directly via satellite phone. It would be valuable in the future to know the flight patterns of all planes participating in the mission.

Flight Track:

ELDORA Images for this Flight:

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