Closing in on Aircraft Campaign in California

Published: 15 March 2010

This preliminary flight plan illustrates an afternoon flight to sample aged air from the Bay Area and Sacramento.
This preliminary flight plan illustrates an afternoon flight to sample aged air from the Bay Area and Sacramento.
In preparation for the upcoming Carbonaceous Aerosol and Radiative Effects Study (CARES) in California, the ARM Aerial Facility is putting the finishing touches on research equipment upgrades to the Gulfstream-159, or G-1 aircraft. Over the winter, AAF staff began installing a number of new instruments and associated hardware and data systems, thanks in large part to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The CARES science team is now concentrating on the various instruments that will be added to the G-1 payload for the campaign, and is also finalizing flight plans and ground site logistics. The campaign is scheduled to begin in June and last approximately one month, with 72 hours allotted for science flights.

In February, the CARES aircraft team reviewed progress on the aircraft, notably passing a successful safety review. They also confirmed roles and responsibilities for the intensive instrument integration and flight testing schedule in March. They then reviewed a number of flight plans developed for sampling over the two CARES surface sites. Morning flight patterns are designed to sample morning emissions from Sacramento as they flow northwest or Bay Area emissions when the airflow is moving toward Sacramento. Afternoon flight patterns will then sample the aged emissions depending on the morning flight pattern selected for that day. During the campaign, the G-1 will be based out of McClellan Airport, located about 12.5 miles from downtown Sacramento, California.

Meanwhile, the CARES ground team continued to make progress on logistics for the CARES surface sites. Northside School is a K-8 school located at Cool, California, about 70 km northeast of Sacramento, and American River College, a community college, is located in outer Sacramento. In the past month, the ground team visited both locations to conduct site inspections, confirm power availability, and discuss equipment delivery and security arrangements. These visits set the stage for site use agreements that will confirm roles and responsibilities among the participants. Instrumentation installed at each site will measure emissions originating in Sacramento and transported via airflow toward the Sierras.