DC-8 09/11/13

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Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8.8 hours
Flight Segments: 
Flight Time:8.8 hours
Log Number:138301PI:Kent Shiffer
Funding Source:Hal Maring - NASA - SMD - ESD Radiation Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Out and back from Ellington field TX. Long transit through SE sampling boundary layer between 1-3 thousand AGL. Located 1 significant agricultural burning. Sampled gases up wind, downwind and into the smoke. Proceeded north and into Little Rock area to work multiple levels coordinating with Lear and ER-2. Scattered cumulus sampled in racetrack pattern and outflow sampled. MTS unavailable during cumulus sampling racetracks. Limited comms with SPEC Lear and chat. High traffic area in vicinity of storm samples. Proceeded to second cumulus buildup west of first location and executed racetrack from FL400 to1000 AGL.
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 09/11/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

The SEAC4RS DC-8 science flight from Ellington Field on Sept. 11 had main objectives of investigating pollution over the Ohio River Valley, biogenic hot spots over the Ozarks, agricultural fires and deep convection associate with selected cloud cells. A key objective included coordinating activities with the Lear Jet and ER-2 to investigate cloud physics in and around polluted as well as unpolluted storm cells.  The flight plan and actual flight track associated with this DC-8 flight is attached.  Take off time was 10:30 LT and flight duration was 8.8 hours.

From Ellington the DC-8 headed northeast with the main goal of fully characterizing the troposphere with the hope of two deep profiles until arrival at the eastern end of the Ohio River run in the boundary layer.  The second profile had to be a cut a bit short to reach PT3 at 1Kft.  Little near surface pollution was encountered on this track (AOD-0.2, isoprene-1.5 ppb, HCHO-4 ppb).  The organic aerosol in this entire flight exceeded sulfate by a factor of 2 or more.  Heading west over the Ohio River Valley we encountered modest levels of pollution (SO2-2 ppb; CO-200 ppb, HCHO-6 ppb) and an AOD of 0.4.  The region over the Ozarks (PT5 to PT7) saw rather high levels of isoprene (peaks up to 16 ppb) but it was quite variable with associated products that were typically half as abundant (HCHO-6 ppb). We deviated after PT 7 as the entire region was hazy and the composition of air was a mix of urban pollution and fire smoke with extremely low visibility (2-3 miles) and AOD exceeding 0.5.  The higher priority at this point was to fine a storm cell in this polluted region and work this together with the Lear Jet as well as the ER-2 overhead with its remote sensors.  The DC-8 came in low and sampled air below the storm cell and slowly climbed up to the top hoping to see outflow at around 30Kft.  The entire UT was covered with thick cirrus with tops well above the DC8 reach (45Kft).  We extensively sampled the outflow region and attempted to find a second storm cell west of our position under clean conditions.  Pilot to Pilot communication were disrupted so the DC-8 identified a cloud cell and sampled the air from top to bottom to be later joined by the Lear Jet and ER-2.  The high level track (40 Kft) between the cells showed signs of deep convection with concentrations of several insoluble species (CO, isoprene) nearly the same as in the surface.  Many instances were sampled with isoprene associated wit both low and high NOx concentrations near the surface (pollution) as well as in the UT (lightning; NO-10 ppb). After some attempts to intersect the bottom of the storm cell the DC-8 headed towards Ellington and did a DIAL run over Houston from west to east.  Ozone mixing ratios in the vicinity of 80 ppb were present aloft over Houston with lower near the surface concentrations (see slide 2).  After the Houston run the DC-8 returned to Ellington landing at about 7:20 PM. Nearly all instruments performed well and collected very interesting and unique data.  All objectives were met.  

Instrument status:

All instruments were up and running and collected data. DACOM has only one channel operating collecting CO data. We are depending on whole Air Samples to get methane

Prepared by HBS