Real-Time Data at EOL
A number of real-time products will be available on the ground during research flights. These include the flight track and instrument data for Google Earth, a browser version of the instrument data, and data visualization using Aeros.
Data provided in real-time should not be used in any publication as they are preliminary and will change after proper quality control. Even after formal data release, these data should only be used with proper acknowledgment of the NSF and project researchers.
Real-Time Flight Position in Google Earth
To use, open the Google Earth KML file below and check the desired checkbox. The flight tracking will be updated automatically once the flight takes off. Real-time variables can be viewed by downloading the current project KML file from the field program, using the most common checkboxes, or clicking on the folder name itself to display the available variables, then select one from the list. Please note that the complete list of variables is not updated as EOL adds new variables to the data feed, so reload the KML file every few days to ensure you can see the new variables (if any). Adjust the transparency of the overlays as desired. Real-time satellite imagery can be enabled by selecting the appropriate checkbox.
Browser Data Access
Selecting variables from the list will display them as a strip chart. The charts will not refresh automatically, so use your browser's "Refresh" function to update the plots. Access data here. The list of variables displayed using this method is dynamic. It automatically updates every flight so that all variables transmitted to the ground during the current flight may be seen.
Use the right mouse to click in the Aeros window after connecting the RT-GROUND database to add new graphs and variables. Download Aeros Software here. Aeros is the most flexible way of viewing flight data in real time. It allows zooming in and out and selecting time intervals to display; it will show data as time series, X-Y plots, 3D flight tracks, and many other ways, but it is only available for Windows or Linux at this time. Aeros is built around mouse clicks: to start working with Aeros, right-click to add items, and right-click on existing items to modify them.
Real-Time Digital Imagery
The NSF/NCAR aircraft are equipped with a forward-looking digital camera. The imagery from this camera is used to reconstruct the conditions along the flight track and identify cloud entry times and cloud base altitude. We usually send reduced-size images to the ground every few minutes, and the latest image can be seen at the top of this page. They are also available as overlays in the Google Earth KML file (linked above) that is used for real-time flight tracking.
You can also see the approximate location of the flight on FlightAware. Please realize that FlightAware does not use any data feeds from the aircraft or NCAR and does not always provide an accurate real-time position. Also, if the airplane is flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), the flight track will not be visible on FlightAware.
Relevant aircraft tail numbers: