NASA’s High-Altitude Plane Takes to a Sky for GOES-16 Field Campaign

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A NASA ER-2 high-altitude craft has taken to a atmosphere to finish proviso one of a 11-week GOES-16 Field Campaign to safeguard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite provides accurate satellite measurements, that will urge forecasting.

The mission? Ensure that NOAA’s GOES-16’s Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instruments are “seeing” a same targets as a plane’s instruments.

Why? Because, to put it simply, GOES-16’s information has to be as well-calibrated and accurate as possible—lives count on it.

View from a NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft cockpit: Sonoran Desert seashore during ABI validation moody on Mar 23.
Credits: NASA

“Are we saying what we am seeing?”

Flying out of Palmdale, California, NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude plane and a apartment of highly-specialized instruments took to a atmosphere over a Sonoran Desert in Mexico (the largest dessert in a Western Hemisphere) and a Mojave Desert in Ivanpah, California on Mar 23 and 28 to countenance GOES-16’s ABI— a satellite’s primary instrument.

The craft done several passes over a vast and spatially uniform dried regions, collecting an huge volume of information and clocking scarcely 18 hours of moody time. In a highly-coordinated effort, any time a craft upheld over a designated segment of desert, scientists used a ABI to perform a array of special north-south scans of a analogous area.

The devise seems elementary enough, right? Collect dual sets of data, review a data, and see how good they match. However, validating a satellite’s imager, generally one as modernized as a ABI, is not so easy.

Before a information from a high-altitude craft and GOES-16’s ABI can be compared and analyzed, scientists contingency initial determine that a plane’s instruments are accurate.

Scientists check a ground-validation hire in Ivanpah, California.
Credits: NASA JPL

To do this, dual teams of scientists took to a dried to collect information regulating an array of belligerent sensors during several segments of a plane’s flight. NOAA even enlisted a assistance of a possess NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite.

Phase one of a margin debate was timed so that a polar-orbiting satellite’s trail would join with a high-altitude flights. By regulating proven, operational information from a Suomi NPP satellite and measurements collected by palm in a desert, scientists were means to safeguard that their measuring stick, a NASA ER-2 high-altitude plane, is accurate.

The genuine pretence was doing this all during a same time.

What’s next?

With this formidable dance of scientists, satellites, and planes finish and information collected, there is still work to do. Scientists are now examining a information from this initial proviso while concurrently scheming for a second proviso of a margin campaign.

On Apr 11, NASA’s ER-2 aircraft will fly from Palmdale, California to Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. From there, a GOES-R group will trigger a subsequent proviso that will start from Apr 12 to May 18.

During this duration a craft will make identical flights over a eastern United States and adjacent oceans to check a information collected by GOES-16’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper instrument. The craft is scheduled to fly in lightning-producing storms over both land and sea while a satellite monitors them from space.

Previously, during a exam moody on Mar 21, scarcely 7 hours of information were collected over serious lightning-producing storms easterly of a San Francisco Bay area. These information were collected concurrently with ground-based lightning showing networks and a lightning imager on a International Space Station. Similar sensors will be used during proviso dual to determine a satellite’s data.

NASA successfully launched NOAA’s GOES-R satellite during 6:42 p.m. EST on Nov 19, 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and it was renamed GOES-16 when it achieved orbit. GOES-16 is now watching a world from an equatorial perspective approximately 22,300 miles above a aspect of a Earth.

GOES-16, one of a GOES-R array of satellites will assistance meteorologists observe and envision internal continue events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, peep floods, and other serious weather. In addition, GOES-16 will guard hazards such as aerosols, dirt storms, volcanic eruptions, and timberland fires and will also be used for space weather, oceanography, meridian monitoring, in-situ information collection, and for hunt and rescue.

Source: NASA

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