New NSF plane will go higher and farther on environment studies
A new aircraft with exceptional research capabilities is scheduled to arrive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colo., this Friday. Known as HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research), the $81.5 million aircraft will serve the environmental research needs of the National Science Foundation, (NSF), NCARs primary sponsor and owner of the aircraft, for the next several decades.
HIAPER, which is scheduled to begin research missions later in 2005, will provide scientists with insights into the atmosphere and Earths natural systems. A modified Gulfstream V jet, the aircraft can fly at an altitude of 51,000 feet and has a range of 7,000 miles. It can carry 5,600 pounds of sensing equipment, putting it at the forefront of scientific discovery.
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