A Very High Altitude Lab

Hurricane Observation – High Altitude LabMusic; Ambience: cockpit air-to-ground transmissions, tropical hurricane winds JM: High above the surface of the earth, it’s possible to get a unique glimpse of the workings of our world. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.JM: David Wright pilots the ER-2, a high altitude single-pilot research aircraft out of Dryden Research Center. The ER-2 carries instruments that study everything from land use to the formation of hurricanes. DW: “There is a variety of instruments several weather radars that could probe the-internal structure of the hurricane and determine the rain structure, precipitation levels, icing being formed in the clouds, other sensors to remotely sense the temperature throughout the entire profile of the hurricane. We had sensors onboard that measured the electrical charge around the airplane, which would indicate the charges above the hurricane itself and then other what are called multi-spectral imagers that can measure how the sun’s reflecting off the top of the clouds.”JM: Approaching the limits of our atmosphere enables the ER-2 to simulate conditions in space. DW: “Preparing and testing science experiments that are going to be sent into space, we can very closely simulate the conditions that that instrument will encounter in space. Or once an instrument is in space in orbit, we will fly the ER2 under the satellite as it passes over with similar instruments for the purposes of calibrating the instruments that have been in space for a while. And by calibration I mean taking the same measurements and testing the accuracy of the information and data that’s being sent back from the experiment that’s in orbit. We do also some air-sampling missions where we will collect air samples in the lower stratosphere for the purposes of studying pollution. We do land use studies where we have remote sensing instruments that can determine the impact of man’s presence on the earth’s surface.”JM: Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA. I’m Jim Metzner.

A Very High Altitude Lab

High-altitude planes use a variety of onboard research instruments to study both earth and space.
Air Date:09/11/2020
Scientist:
Transcript:

Hurricane Observation - High Altitude LabMusic; Ambience: cockpit air-to-ground transmissions, tropical hurricane winds JM: High above the surface of the earth, it's possible to get a unique glimpse of the workings of our world. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.JM: David Wright pilots the ER-2, a high altitude single-pilot research aircraft out of Dryden Research Center. The ER-2 carries instruments that study everything from land use to the formation of hurricanes. DW: "There is a variety of instruments several weather radars that could probe the-internal structure of the hurricane and determine the rain structure, precipitation levels, icing being formed in the clouds, other sensors to remotely sense the temperature throughout the entire profile of the hurricane. We had sensors onboard that measured the electrical charge around the airplane, which would indicate the charges above the hurricane itself and then other what are called multi-spectral imagers that can measure how the sun's reflecting off the top of the clouds."JM: Approaching the limits of our atmosphere enables the ER-2 to simulate conditions in space. DW: "Preparing and testing science experiments that are going to be sent into space, we can very closely simulate the conditions that that instrument will encounter in space. Or once an instrument is in space in orbit, we will fly the ER2 under the satellite as it passes over with similar instruments for the purposes of calibrating the instruments that have been in space for a while. And by calibration I mean taking the same measurements and testing the accuracy of the information and data that's being sent back from the experiment that's in orbit. We do also some air-sampling missions where we will collect air samples in the lower stratosphere for the purposes of studying pollution. We do land use studies where we have remote sensing instruments that can determine the impact of man's presence on the earth's surface."JM: Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA. I'm Jim Metzner.