Errol Korn, seated left, deploys a dropsonde experiment over the Gulf of Mexico during the first GRIP flight Aug. 17 aboard NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory as Janel Thomas, a University of Maryland graduate student, and Bob Pasken look on. (NASA/Paul Alers)
NASA's DC-8 Picks Up Storm Data on Second GRIP Flight
NASA’s DC-8 flying science laboratory completed an almost 7 ½ -hour flight Aug. 24 over the Gulf of Mexico to probe an area of convection in the Gulf for signs of development and vorticity. The flight was its second mission during NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes, or GRIP, hurricane study mission.
The flight pattern involved a “lawn mower” pattern over the Gulf at cruise altitudes ranging from 33,000 to 39,000 feet along a line between Louisiana and Merida, Mexico, the U.S. Gulf Coast region and Cuba. A spiral descent and ascent was performed between 37,000 ft and 27,000 feet. Twenty-four sondes were dropped from the plane, all of which transmitted atmospheric data, and all of the sensors installed on the DC-8 for the GRIP mission were operating. The flight also underflew NASA’s Aqua and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellites to compare space-borne measurements with those on board the aircraft.
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