DC-8 09/23/13 - 09/24/13

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Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.5 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:09/23/13 16:42 Z Finish:09/24/13 00:10 Z
Flight Time:7.5 hours
Log Number:138301 - Completed as of this flight.PI:Kent Shiffer
Funding Source:Hal Maring - NASA - SMD - ESD Radiation Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Transit
Comments:The Houston ship channel objective was achieved with two passes immediately after a takeoff to the north. Flight proceeded to just west of Memphis and approximately 2 hours of agricultural field burning smoke sampling was conducted over Missouri and Arkansas. Smoke columns were approached at 1300 ft agl and max performance climbs were attempted to match the rise of smoke and extend sampling in the plume. The transit to southern California was conducted to altitude and a descent made in the vicinity of Brawley with a low level run across the Salton Sea proceeding to follow I-10 along the base of the San Gabriel mountains. The flight concluded with a missed approach to 100 feet above the runway at Edwards and a landing back in Palmdale.
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 09/23/13 - 09/24/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 



The primary objective of this flight was to return to Palmdale and conclude SEAC4RS, but we planned several detours along the way.  Immediately after takeoff we hoped to revist the Houston ship channel before heading directly to the Ozarks for a pass above the isoprene volcano on a day with cooler temperatures than observed on previous visits.  When we left the forests of the Ozarks behind the plan allowed 45 minutes to search for agricultural fires in N AR, followed by a high altitude transit to S CA.  Final events of the sortie and campaign were a BL run from the CA/Mexico border region over the Salton Sea and then through the LA basin along the I-10 corridor, then a missed approach at Edwards over TCCON to complete an altitude profile started by ER-2 from 65 kft to 100 ft AGL.


All of the objectives were met.  We were in the plume from ship channel as soon as we took off and during a short W-E leg below 2 kft.  We made a longer E-W pass slightly to the N, so were upwind of the concentrated sources but still observed a number of very sharp spikes from individual plants.  Ascended to 29 kft to return to the Ozarks.  Along the way our route was a little west of Mississippi valley, we were able to observe several fires already burning by 13:00 LT and crossed one strong smoke plume that DIAL/HSRL was able to sample remotely.


We made BL pass over Ozarks from the NE side (expected to be high NOx) into the center and then turned  SE  (same ground track flown on 11 and 22 September).  Isoprene concentrations were lower than observed on previous daytime visits (just 1-3 ppb).  It also seemed that pollution levels (NOx and SO2) were higher over much of the region.


As we returned to the river valley we ascended to ~5kft to have better view of target fires.  Opportunities were abundant.  Made first pass through a small fire plume within 10 minutes of leaving the forest.  Pilots observed a larger fire nearby and proceeded to make 2 passes through that target.  Another 2 passes were made through a third fire, followed by a single pass through target 4 and then 3 passes through fifth fire.  It appeared that fires #2 and #5 went out while we were working them, but the plumes were still obvious and very well flown by pilots.  After the flight Bob Yokelson reported that our study region had highest density of GOES and MODIS hot spots in the US.


Transit to the west passed through some interesting structure in the UT, including filaments influenced by stratosphere and some very clean air believed to be “aged marine” (see attached DIAL curtain).  The BL run and missed approach went exactly as planned.  Landed at Palmdale at 17:05 local for 7.5 hour flight.  All of the instruments are already off of the DC-8, probes expected to follow on Wed 25 Sept.