Instruments Available on NCAR-Operated Research Aircraft

(Click here for an alphabetical list of RAF instruments.)

The EOL home page for airborne instrumentation presents a broad range of the resources available for request as part of airborne research projects. This page covers only the airborne instruments that are housed at the EOL Research Aviation Facility and maintained by the RAF scientists and technicians.

The main categories of measurements that RAF deploys on its aircraft include (click on a category to see subcategories):

      1. Heated (deiced) Total / Ambient Temperature Sensor (ATHx-TTHx)
      2. High Rate Ambient Temperature Sensor (ATRx-TTRx)
        1. OPHIR-III Air Temperature Radiometer (Ophir)
        2. In-Cloud Air Temperature Radiometer (ITR)
        1. Microwave Temperature Profiler (MTP)
        2. GNSS Instrument System for Multi-static and Occultation Sensing (GISMOS)
        3. AVAPS Dropsonde (AVAPS)
      1. Thermo-electronic Dew Point Sensor (DPx)
      2. Buck Instruments Model CR-2 Cryogenic Hygrometer (CR2)
      3. Ultraviolet absorption hygrometer (UVH)
      4. Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser Hygrometer (VCSEL)
      5. Open-Path Laser Hygrometer (OPLH)
      1. Ambient Static Pressure (PSFx)
    1. (obtained from the addition of the relative-wind vector & aircraft-velocity vector), using the following sensors
        1. Dynamic Pressure (QCx; at pitot-tube inlet)
        2. Radome Gust Probe for 3-D wind measurements (ADIFR-BDIFR-QCRC)
        3. All Weather Wind Gust Pod (TASX; anti-iced for all-weather capability)
        4. Laser Air Motion Sensor (LAMS; remote measurement ahead of disturbed airflow)
        1. Inertial Navigation System, A.K.A Inertial Reference Unit (IRU)
          1. Research Global Positioning System (GPS; standard)
          2. Differential GPS ground station (DGPS; highest accuracy, depends on a reference station)
        1. Inertial Navigation System, A.K.A Inertial Reference Unit (IRU)
          1. Research Global Positioning System (GPS; standard)
          2. Differential GPS ground station (DGPS; highest accuracy, depends on a reference station)
        2. Radar Altimeter (RALT; height above the surface underlying the aircraft)
      1. Time Server (Time)
      1. Cabin Pressure (PCAB)
      2. Cabin Temperature at ADS Rack Location (TCAB)
      3. Instrument Exhaust Gas Dump Pressure (PDump; pressure in the gas-dump manifold, this outlet is used as a common outlet for sampling lines)
      1. King Probe Liquid Water Sensor (CSIRO)
      2. Gerber Liquid Water Probe (PVM-100 or XGLWC)
      3. Rosemount Icing Detector (RICE; supercooled liquid water sensor)
      4. (also obtained as a derived quantity from distrometers listed below)
      1. Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe, Model 100 (FSSP-100)
      2. Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe, Model 300 (FSSP-300)
      3. Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP)
      4. (see also the SID-IIH, 2DC, and 3V-CPI)
      1. Two-Dimensional Optical Array Cloud Probe (2DC or 2D-OAP)
      2. Two-Dimensional Optical Array Precipitation Probe (2DP)
      3. Small Ice Detector, version 2 for HIAPER (SID2H)
      4. Three-View Cloud Particle Imager (3V-CPI)
      5. Holographic Detector for Clouds (HOLODEC)
      1. HIAPER cloud radar (HCR)
      2. (see also HSRL below and MTP above)
      1. Nitric Oxide Chemiluminescence Ozone Instrument (FO3_ACD)
      2. RAF Ozone Photometer (OP-1 or OP-2; photometric ozone)
      3. Thermo Environmental Instruments Model 49 Ozone Analyzer (TECO)
      1. Picarro Instrument for Airborne Measurement of CO2 and CH4 (CO2_PIC, CH4_PIC; also measures methane)
      2. Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer (QCLS; also measures CO, CH4, N2O)
      3. (see also AO2 and flask-sampling systems below)
      1. Advanced Whole Air Sampler (AWAS)
      2. NCAR/Scripps Medusa Flask Sampler (Medusa)
      1. Aero-Laser VUV Resonance Fluorescence Carbon Monoxide (COMR_AL; See also QCLS above)
      2. 2-channel chemiluminescence (NO-NO2)
      3. Airborne Oxygen (AO2)
      4. Georgia Tech Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (GTCIMS; nitric acid and other species)
      5. Trace Organic Gas Analyzerr (TOGA; many organic species)
    1. Condensation Nucleus Counter (water or butanol) (CN)
      1. Ultra-High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS)
      2. Signal Processing Package - 200 for Passive Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (SPP-200 or PCASP-100X)
      3. Radial Differential Mobility Analyzer (RDMA)
      4. Scanning Mobility Particle Spectrometer (SMPS)
      5. HIAPER Aerosol Spectrometer Probe, Optical Particle Counter (OPC, HASP)
      1. Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (TOF-AMS; composition)
      2. Counter-flow Virtual Impactor (CVI; samples selected for size)
      3. Integrating Nephelometer (Neph; wet and dry, radiative properties)
      4. Giant Nuclei Impactor (GNI; collector of giant/ultra-giant particles on slides for analysis)
      1. High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL)
    2. Special inlet: Solid Diffuser Aerosol Inlet (SDI)
      1. HIAPER Airborne Radiation Package (HARP)
      2. Broadband Radiometers (Pyrgeometers and Pyranometers)
      1. HIAPER Airborne Radiation Package (HARP)
      1. Heimann Infrared Radiation Pyrometer (KT19)
    1. HIAPER Modular Inlet (HIMIL; "HIMIL” inlets)
    2. Digital Imagery (camera or video)
    3. Satellite Communications System (SATCOM)
    4. Mission Coordinator station (MC)

These instruments provide just a basic set of measurement that are typically used on most airborne field campaigns. Each project uses other instruments, provided by the participants from universities, industry, NASA, NOAA or other agencies that can address more specific needs of a particular project.