NASA and NOAA scientists participating in NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel (HS3) mission used their expert skills, combined with a bit of serendipity on Sept. 17, 2014, to guide the remotely piloted Global Hawk over the eye of Hurricane Edouard and release a sonde that rotated within the eye as it descended and fell into the eyewall of the storm at low levels.
NASA’s HS3 mission has returned to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for the third year to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.
This video shows two passes over Hurricane Edouard during the sixth science flight of NASA’s Global Hawk No. 872 using two of the onboard cameras. One pass is during the day, the second right after “moonrise.”
Image Credit: NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, David Fratello
NOAA’s Advanced Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) aboard Global Hawk No. 872 released 88 dropsondes into the hurricane that measured temperature, humidity and winds throughout the depth of the troposphere, the region of the atmosphere where humans and aircraft experience weather.
During the Global Hawk’s seventh science flight on Sept. 17, “the remotely piloted aircraft released a dropsonde from 62,000 feet along the inner edge of the eyewall on a south to north pass,” said Michael L. Black, research meteorologist at the Hurricane Research Division, NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research - Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Florida.
Black said, “The sonde started out on the south side of the eye and rotated around to the eastern eyewall. The sonde reported a sea-level pressure of 963 millibars, surface winds of 90 knots [103.6 mph, or 166.7 kph], and average low-level winds of 95 knots.”
The data showed that Eduoard was indeed still at least a strong Category 2 hurricane, possibly Category 3, as the strong winds continued to be observed near the ocean surface.
Basically, the dropsonde, along with 87 others during this flight, provided readings from top to bottom of the critical region of the atmosphere, giving scientists a perfect view of winds, temperature and pressure throughout the whole depth of the storm.
On Sept. 18, Global Hawk No. 872 took off at 7:15 a.m. EDT to return to investigate Eduoard as it moved over cooler Atlantic waters and was expected to weaken. This mission was the eighth science flight during the current campaign for the Global Hawk. During the flight, the Global Hawk ejected 50 dropsondes and observed the decay of Hurricane Edouard to tropical storm strength and recorded the beginning of the demise of the storm that included the decoupling from the mid- and low-level centers of the storm.
Overall, the Global Hawk flights into Edouard documented its formation into a tropical storm, its rapid increase in intensity into a major, Category 3 storm, and its decay back to a tropical depression thereby capturing the life cycle of a classic hurricane with roots from a tropical wave from Africa.
The HS3 mission is funded by NASA Headquarters and overseen by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. It is one of five large airborne campaigns operating under the Earth Venture program.
The HS3 mission also involves collaborations with partners including the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Research Laboratory, NOAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program, Hurricane Research Division and Earth System Research Laboratory, Northrop Grumman Space Technology, National Center for Atmospheric Research, State University of New York at Albany, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, University of Wisconsin, and University of Utah. The HS3 mission is managed by the Earth Science Project Office at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The aircraft are maintained and based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
For more information about NASA’s HS3 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hs3
Rob Gutro | Eurek Alert!
The pace at which the world’s permafrost soils are warming
16.01.2019 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Using satellites to measure rates of ice mass loss in glaciers
16.01.2019 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2019 | Information Technology