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Field Campaigns

Field research campaigns are essential for observing and measuring actual Earth system phenomena and validating computer models that simulate Earth systems. Ultimately, field data help improve the nation's ability to predict climate change and its impacts. The collaborative effort between Earth Scientists at the Global Hydrology and Resource Center (GHRC) and IT researchers has resulted in unique solutions to the collection, archive, management and dissemination of science data. Since 1994, the GHRC has been the national archive for lightning data from the LIS and OTD instruments. In addition, the GHRC maintains data for NASA's series of Convection and Moisture EXperiments (CAMEX), atmospheric data from passive microwave sensors in orbit as well as on-board airplanes, and in situ data.

HS3 HS3 - Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is a NASA airborne field campaign aimed at better understanding the physical processes that control hurricane intensity change. HS3 will help answer questions related to the roles of environmental conditions and internal storm structures to storm intensification. HS3 is a 5-year mission with three observation years (2012, 2013, 2014). Instrument data will be available at GHRC in early 2015.
GRIP

GRIP - The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment was a NASA Earth science field experiment in 2010 that was conducted to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes. NASA used the DC-8 aircraft, the WB-57 aircraft, and the Global Hawk Unmanned Airborne System (UAS) configured with a suite of in situ and remote sensing instruments used to observe and characterize the lifecycle of hurricanes. The GRIP deployment was 15 August – 30 September 2010 with bases in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the DC-8, at Houston, TX for the WB-57, and at NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, CA for the Global Hawk.  This campaign capitalized on a number of ground networks, airborne science platforms (both manned and unmanned), and space-based assets. The field campaign was executed according to a prioritized set of scientific objectives.  In two separate science solicitations, NASA selected a team of investigators to collect NASA satellite and aircraft field campaign data with the goal of conducting basic research on problems related to the formation and intensification of hurricanes. The GRIP hurricane field campaign and research project were managed by Dr. Ramesh Kakar, Weather Focus Area Leader within the Earth Science Division, NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kakar was primarily responsible for assembling the science team and the instrument payload for the NASA aircraft participating in this field experiment.

ARCTAS

ARCTAS - The Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) took place as two 3-week aircraft deployments, in spring and summer 2008. It involved the NASA DC-8 as an in situ platform for detailed atmospheric composition. Two other aircraft, the NASA P-3 and the NASA B-200 focused more closely on aerosols and radiation. The P-3 serves as a remote sensing platform generally flying constant altitude transects in the middle to upper troposphere. The B-200 is a profiling aircraft for examining radiative fluxes and in situ aerosol properties. The spring (April 1 - 22) deployment in Fairbanks, Alaska targeted anthropogenic pollution including arctic haze, stratosphere-troposphere exchange, and sunrise photochemistry including halogen radicals. The summer deployment (June 26- July 14) in Cold Lake, Alberta targeted boreal forest fires, stratosphere-troposphere exchange, and summertime photochemistry.

TC4

TC4 - The NASA TC4 (Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling) mission investigated the structure, properties and processes in the tropical Eastern Pacific. A-train satellite observations provided crucial information on the spatial and temporal variations of this region; however, carefully planned TC4 aircraft observations were required both to validate satellite data and to provide critical observations not available from the satellites. High altitude aircraft collected tropopause data while the medium altitude aircraft provided profiles and structure measurements of the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

NAMMA

NAMMA - The NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA) campaign is a field research investigation sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This mission was based in the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles off the coast of Senegal in west Africa. Commencing in August 2006, NASA scientists employed surface observation networks and aircraft to characterize the evolution and structure of African Easterly Waves (AEWs) and Mesoscale Convective Systems over continental western Africa, and their associated impacts on regional water and energy budgets. NASA also made extensive use of its orbiting satellites (including Aqua, TRMM, and the recently-launched Cloudsat/CALIPSO) and modeling capabilities to improve its forecasts and flight plans. Dr. Edward Zipser of the University of Utah was the Chief Mission Scientist.

TCSP

TCSP - The Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) Program is an Earth science field research investigation sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The field phase was conducted during the period July 1-27, 2005 out of the Juan Santamaria Airfield in San Jose , Costa Rica . The TCSP field experiment flew 12 NASA ER-2 science flights, including missions to Hurricanes Dennis and Emily, Tropical Storm Gert and an eastern Pacific mesoscale complex that may possibly have further developed into Tropical Storm Eugene. The P-3 aircraft from the NOAA Hurricane Research Division (HRD) flew 18 coordinated missions with the NASA research aircraft to investigate developing tropical disturbances. Additionally, the Aerosonde uninhabited aerial vehicle flew 8 surveillance missions and the Instituto Meteorologico Nacionale (IMN) of Costa Rica launched RS-92 balloon sondes daily to gather humidity measurements and provide validation of the water vapor measurements.

ACES

ACES - The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) used an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to gather lightning and storm data. Based at the Naval Air Facility Key West in Florida, researchers in August 2002 chased down thunderstorms using this UAV technology, allowing them to achieve dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing new aircraft technology. This marked the first time a UAV was used to conduct lightning research. Aimed at better understanding the causes of an electrical storm's fury and its effects on our home planet, this study was a collaboration among the Marshall Center; the University of Alabama at Huntsville; NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; Pennsylvania State University, University Park; and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., San Diego.

CAMEX-4

CAMEX-4 - The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) is a series of field research investigations sponsored by the Earth Science Enterprise of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The fourth field campaign in the CAMEX series (CAMEX-4) took place on 16 August - 24 September, 2001 and was based out of Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Florida. CAMEX-4 was focused on the study of tropical cyclone (hurricane) development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation. The primary aircraft used during CAMEX-4 were the NASA DC-8 and ER-2 research airborne platforms. These instrumented aircraft flew over, through, and around selected hurricanes as they approached landfall in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and along the east coast of the United States. The NASA aircraft investigated upper altitude regions of the hurricane not normally sampled.

CAMEX-3

CAMEX-3 - The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) is a series of field research investigations sponsored by the Earth Science Enterprise of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The third field campaign in the CAMEX series (CAMEX-3) was based at Patrick Air Force Base , Florida from 6 August - 23 September, 1998. CAMEX-3 successfully studied Hurricanes Bonnie, Danielle, Earl and Georges. CAMEX-3 collected data for research in tropical cyclone development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation.