Synonyms: 
P3B
P-3 Orion
NASA P-3B
NASA P-3
NASA-P3B
P-3
P-3B
P3
P3-B
WFF P3-B
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Geostationary Imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer

The GIFS instrument, a tunable triple-etalon Fabry-Perot Imaging Spectrometer, is designed to measure the O2 absorption lines in solar radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface. This optical technique can provide data to characterize cloud properties in 2 dimensions. The instrument also potentially provides measurements with spatial resolution, spatial coverage, revisit time, and precision/accuracy that would be difficult to obtain with existing methods.

The instrument enables measurements of cloud top temperature, pressure and altitude on a global scale, when deployed in geostationary orbit. Introduction of these data points into weather forecasting models will lead to significant improvements in the forecasting of weather events, including hurricane motion and intensity. The GIFS instrument successfully flew and operated on-board a NASA P-3 Orion in multiple flights throughout January and February 2008.

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Sam Yee (PI)

Flight Modem

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Delay-Doppler Phase-monopulse Radar

D2P is a JHU/APL (Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory) designed, built, and operated airborne radar instrument sponsored by NASA's Instrument Incubator Program (start in 1998). The goal of this project is to demonstrate the use of two enhancements to satellite radar altimetry and to reduce the risk to a future flight program that would employ an enhanced altimeter.

The D2P system is composed of two logical portions: the flight system, and the ground system. The flight system has also two logical sections:

• A set of RF and digital components that create, amplify and transmit the radar pulse, and receivers to capture the returning radar echoes

• A set of computers that control the operation of the RF/digital components as well as digitizing and recording the received data.

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Carbon Monoxide By Attenuation of Laser Transmission

COBALT makes measurements using off-axis integrated output spectroscopy.

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Carbon Dioxide and Ozone Airborne in Situ Tracers

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14-channel NASA Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometer

AATS-14 measures direct solar beam transmission at 14 wavelengths between 354 and 2139 nm in narrow channels with bandwidths between 2 and 5.6 nm for the wavelengths less than 1640 nm and 17.3 nm for the 2139 nm channel. The transmission measurements at all channels except 940 nm are used to retrieve spectra of aerosol optical depth (AOD). In addition, the transmission at 940 nm and surrounding channels is used to derive columnar water vapor (CWV) [Livingston et al., 2008]. Methods for AATS-14 data reduction, calibration, and error analysis have been described extensively, for example, by Russell et al. [2007] and Shinozuka et al. [2011]. AATS-14 measurements of spectral AOD and CWV obtained during aircraft vertical profiles can be differentiated to determine corresponding vertical profiles of spectral aerosol extinction and water vapor density. Such measurements have been used extensively in the characterization of the horizontal and vertical distribution of aerosol optical properties and in the validation of satellite aerosol sensors. For example, in the Aerosol Characterization Experiment-Asia (ACE-Asia), AATS measurements were used for closure (consistency) studies with in situ aerosol samplers aboard the NCAR C-130 and the CIRPAS Twin-Otter aircraft, and with ground-based lidar systems. In ACE-Asia, CLAMS (Chesapeake Lighthouse & Aircraft Measurements for Satellites, 2001), the Extended-MODIS-λ Validation Experiment (EVE), INTEX-A, INTEX-B, and ARCTAS, AATS results have been used in the validation of satellite sensors aboard various EOS platforms, providing important aerosol information used in the improvement of retrieval algorithms for the MISR and MODIS sensors among others.

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2D-S Stereo Probe

The 2D-S Stereo Probe is an optical imaging instrument that obtains stereo cloud particle images and concentrations using linear array shadowing. Two diode laser beams cross at right angles and illuminate two linear 128-photodiode arrays. The lasers are single-mode, temperature-stabilized, fiber-coupled diode lasers operating at 45 mW. The optical paths are arbitrarily labeled the “vertical” and “horizontal” probe channels, but the verticality of each channel actually depends on how the probe is oriented on an aircraft. The imaging optical system is based on a Keplerian telescope design having a (theoretical) primary system magnification of 5X, which results in a theoretical effective size of (42.5 µm + 15 µm)/5 = 11.5 µm. However, actual lenses and arrays have tolerances, so it is preferable to measure the actual effective pixel size by dropping several thousands of glass beads with known diameters through the object plane of the optics system.

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Continuous Flow Streamwise Thermal Gradient CCN Counter

Developed by Droplet Measurement Technologies, the CFSTGC is based on a concept by Roberts and Nenes [2005]. The instrument counts the fraction of aerosol particles that become droplets when exposed to a given water vapor supersaturation (RH > 100%).

As with all CCN counters, a temperature gradient is applied to produce a supersaturation of water vapor. However, the mechanism for generating supersaturation is not the same for all CCN counters. For example, for continuous flow parallel plate diffusion chambers, the temperature gradient is perpendicular to the flow, and supersaturation is a result of the nonlinear dependence of vapor pressure upon temperature. The same mechanism applies for static diffusion cloud chambers, where there is no flow at all.

However, as the name implies, for the Continuous Flow Streamwise Thermal Gradient CCN Counter, the temperature gradient is in the streamwise direction (maintained by thermoelectric coolers). In this case, supersaturation results as a consequence of the greater rate of mass transfer over heat transfer.

With laminar flow, heat and water vapor are transferred to the centerline of the column from the walls only by diffusion.

Since molecular diffusivity is greater than thermal diffusivity, the distance downstream that a water molecule travels before reaching the centerline is less than the distance the heat travels downstream before reaching the centerline. If you pick a point at the centerline, the heat originated from a greater distance upstream than the water vapor.

There are four facts that are necessary to explain how supersaturation is generated within the CFSTGC:

1) Assuming that the inner surface of the column is saturated with water vapor at all points, since the temperature is greater at point B than at point A, the water vapor partial pressure is also greater at point B than at point A.

2) The actual partial pressure of water vapor at point C is equal to the partial pressure of water vapor at point B.

3) However, since the temperature at point C is the same as at point A, the equilibrium water vapor pressure at point C is equal to the water vapor partial pressure at point A.

4) The saturation ratio is the ratio between the actual partial pressure of water vapor and the equilibrium vapor pressure. This is equivalent to the partial pressure at point B divided by the partial pressure at point A, which is always greater than one. Thus supersaturation is generated through a dynamic equilibrium.

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Balloon, P-3 Orion - WFF, C-130H - WFF, DC-8 - AFRC, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC
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BroadBand Radiometers

The Broadband Radiometers (BBR) consist of modified Kipp & Zonen CM-22 pyranometers (to measure solar irradiance) and CG-4 pyrgeometers (to measure IR irradiance) (see http://www.kippzonen.com/). The modifications to make these instruments more suitable for aircraft use include new instrument housings and amplification of the signal at the sensor. The instruments are run in current-loop mode to minimize the effects of noise in long signal cables. The housing is sealed and evacuated to prevent condensation or freezing inside the instrument. Each BBR has the following properties: Field-of-view: Hemispheric Temperature Range: -65C to +80C Estimated Accuracy: 3-5% Data Rate: 10Hz

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Cloud Absorption Radiometer

CAR is a multi-wavelength scanning radiometer for determining albedo of clouds in the visible and near-infrared and measuring the angular distribution of scattered radiation and bidirectional reflectance of various surface types. It acquires imagery of cloud and Earth surface features.

For details, visit: https://car.gsfc.nasa.gov/

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J-31, P-3 Orion - WFF, Convair 580 NRC, Naval Research Lab (NRL) P-3 Orion, C-131A University of Washington
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