DC-8 09/16/13

Download PDF
Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8.1 hours
Flight Segments: 
Flight Time:8.1 hours
Log Number:138301PI:Kent Shiffer
Funding Source:Hal Maring - NASA - SMD - ESD Radiation Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Flew boundary over Houston immediately after takeoff and sampled ship channel. Transited east over panhandle then proceeded north in boundary layer to locate Atlanta plume. Operated at low level to Kentucky and proceeded west and south in search of agricultural burning. Located numerous plumes and sampled along track into Mississippi valley. Climbed to max altitude and stepped down and up along track. Completed flight with a spiral downward in Eastern Texas.
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 09/16/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

The SEAC4RS DC-8 science flight from Ellington Field on Sept. 16, 2013 had characteristics of a survey flight. Multiple goals included sampling air over from the Houston ship channel, the Atlanta urban plume, the composition and outflow associated with a front, low temperature biogenic and agriculture fire emissions, a terpene hot spot, and exploring UT composition to detect marine outflow from the hurricanes. This DC-8 mission was decoupled from the ER-2 that focused on the Ingrid hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. The flight plan and actual flight track associated with this DC-8 flight is attached.  About 80% of the flight time was spent in the Boundary Layer (BL).  Take off time was 11:30 LT and flight duration was 8.1 hours.

From Ellington the DC-8 headed to the Houston ship channel to sample pollution over this industrial area.  The region was partially clouded and the DC-8 was restricted to a lower altitude of 3000 ft. Unfortunately the cloud bases were at 2300 ft and sampling the BL was difficult. It was however possible to sample BL some of the time.  After completing the channel run the DC-8 ascended to 21Kft and headed for the region of high terpene emissions near Florida.  Pilots were able to get us to a restricted but desired (terpene hot spot) location (29.927N; -84.974) where terpene levels as high as 1 ppb were measured (isoprene-2ppb) under relatively clean conditions (AOD-0.1).  The DC-8 headed north after sampling the coastal region near Florida.  The Atlanta plume was intersected between PT4 and PT5 where SO4 exceeded 6 mg/m3 and was larger than total organic aerosol concentration (AOD-0.2).  According to model forecast the main outflow from Atlanta was to be expected in the northwesterly direction between PT 5 and PT6.  Unfortunately the winds had shifted and this plume was not found. Some urban emissions were sampled at multiple levels but these were probably not from Atlanta.  The DC-8 did a spiral from surface to 20 Kft in the front (between PT6 and PT 7) and descended at PT6 to sample low level pollution heading west.  Pollution levels here were moderate (SO2-2 ppb; SO4-6 mg/m3) but some power plant plumes were intersected (SO2-30 ppb).  Isoprene levels were moderately low (0.5 ppb) in comparison to previous runs in this area expected due to lower temperatures. On the southwest line we saw some small agricultural fires and the DC-8 sampled these smoke plumes that had rather unique composition (HCHO-20 ppb; CH3CHO-10 ppb; AOD- 0.6).  After sampling fires we ascended to 40Kft to do a spiral at a designated point to sample marine outflow to the UT from the two hurricanes east and west of Mexico.  Whole air samples will measure main marine tracers (CH3I, DMS, CHBr3) and provide this data in the coming days. In general, the atmosphere over the Southeast region of the US was found to be quite clean and CO and O3 levels did not exceed 160 ppb and 70 ppb respectively, all below health standards, and AOD remained between 0.1-0.2.  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. We had a minor electrical glitch before the Houston Channel run but the instruments recovered quickly. DACOM has only one channel operating collecting CO data. We are depending on whole Air Samples to get methane.

Prepared by HBS