Airborne Stabilized Platform for Infrared Experiments
The Airborne Stabilized Platform for Infrared Experiments (ASPIRE) will deploy the NSF/NCAR HIAPER GV to observe the eclipse from 15 November - 7 December 2021. The ASPIRE program designed and built a solar-tracking platform for the GV aircraft and demonstrated its capabilities by flying two focal plane instruments in the 2020 total solar eclipse across South America. ASPIRE builds on the success of the Airborne InfraRed Spectrometer (AIR-Spec), turning the GV into a solar-viewing platform for rapid prototyping of solar and atmospheric instruments. The platform is well-suited for infrared investigations of the sun, as it can operate above the influence of most of the Earth’s atmosphere, and for atmospheric measurements of trace gases obtained by observing sunlight transmitted through atmospheric absorption bands.
Test flights for instrument functionality will be performed in Colorado in July 2021. The 2021 eclipse takes place over Antarctica on December 4, 2021.