DC-8 08/12/13

Download PDF
Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8.2 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:08/12/13 13:20 Z Finish:08/12/13 21:33 Z
Flight Time:8.2 hours
Log Number:138301PI:Kent Shiffer
Funding Source:Hal Maring - NASA - SMD - ESD Radiation Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Purpose of Flight: Science flight (pollution plumes & convective weather) Aircraft Status: Airworthy Sensor Status: SEAC4RS instrument payload; all instrument operated including DACOM which took its first data for the campaign. Significant Issues: None Accomplishments: Round robin flight out of Ellington Airport, TX. Transit at FL190 southeast of KEFD to off shore from Pensacola, FL to fly data wall on southwest to northeast track at 3000ft MSL, 1000ft MSL, 2300ft MSL in cooperation with ER2. Complete data wall at 1537Z. Fly north to southwest of Montgomery, AL area at various altitudes 3000ft MSL, 5000ft MSL, 7000ft MSL and finally 1200ft MSL. Turn east toward Selma, AL at 1634Z climbing to 7500ft MSL then descend to 1500ft MSL. Reverse course at Macon, GA at 1706Z to head west climbing to FL100 to start data wall maneuver between points N13/N14 (northwest of Dobbins AFB, AL) in cooperation with ER2 at FL180, 4000ft MSL, 6000ft MSL, 3000ft MSL, 2300ft MSL, and complete at 1823Z. Head to Huntsville, AL area to fly cooperatively with SPEC Lear Jet around convective weather near Muscle Shoals, GA. Focus was on APR-2 and SPEC instruments collecting data. Fly under/ over building convective storm at 7000ft MSL & 9000ft MSL. Descend to 3500ft MSL to fly next to growing convective storm. Perform spiral ascent on downwind side of storm to FL380 to pass over top of storm. Delay ascent at FL200 (freezing level) to collect data. Head direct KEFD initially at FL380 then varying altitudes: FL260, FL380, FL260. Descend and land at Ellington Airport, Houston. Takeoff time: 224 13 20 48 Landing time: 224 21 33 18
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS187
Total Used180.6
Total Remaining6.4
138301 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
08/02/13 - 08/03/13130602Check4.15.9181.1
08/06/13 - 08/07/13130604Science8.719.6167.4
08/08/13 - 08/09/13130605Science7.827.4159.6
08/26/13 - 08/27/13130612Science7.782.6104.4
08/27/13 - 08/28/13130613Science8.791.395.7
08/30/13 - 08/31/13130614Science7.999.287.8
09/21/13 - 09/22/13130623Science9.1173.113.9
09/23/13 - 09/24/13130624Transit7.5180.66.4

Flight Reports began being entered into this system as of 2012 flights. If there were flights flown under an earlier log number the flight reports are not available online.

Related Science Report: 

SEAC4RS - DC-8 08/12/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 


The first DC-8 science flight from Ellington Field (3rd SEAC4RS Science Flight) on Aug. 12 had main objectives of investigating biogenic emissions over the Southeast United states, their interactions with urban pollutants, and transport to UTLS in a convective environment.  Other objectives included coordinating activities with the ER-2 to support remote sensors and with the Lear Jet to investigate cloud physics in the vicinity of a developing cloud cell. 

From Ellington the DC-8 headed east over the Gulf to rendezvous with ER-2 and did a wall under it with 4 legs at 18 Kft, above cloud top, below cloud base, and at the lowest level.  This is a standard wall that is repeated under the ER-2 rosette.  The air over the Gulf waters was super clean with NOy levels typical of background conditions (50 ppt) but significant VOC/OVOC abundances.  After completion of the wall the DC-8 headed north and sampled the lower troposphere (2-6 Kft) over a region of significant biogenic emissions.  There were urban influences as well. As we flew north over land isoprene levels were typically in the 1-3 ppb range and sulfate and organic carbon were present in comparable amounts.  Prior to meeting with the ER-2 for the second rosette we sampled urban outflow possibly from Birmingham and collected data in which biogenic and urban influences were mixed.  After the second wall under the ER-2 rosette we moved northwest to coordinate activities with the Lear Jet and successfully sampled outflow from a developing cell and penetrated anvils.  We sampled air while over the top of cells to maximum height of about 37 Kft.  The UT region saw evidence of convective influences with presence of detectable levels of isoprene and larger amounts of its oxidation products.  The DC-8 returned after the cloud experiment while sampling the UTLS region and deviating from turbulent weather. 

All objectives were met.  Nearly all instruments performed well and collected data.  There were several adjustments made to the flight plan due to ATC restrictions but these did not prevent us from achieving our objectives. The DC-8 will not be able to fly at 500 ft over water at any time during SEAC4RS. 

Instrument status:

All instruments were up and running and collected data. DACOM started to collect CO data but will need more work to be fully operational.  Real time data is difficult for some instruments ( e. g. 4STAR) due to calibration uncertainties.

Prepared by HBS