NASA Langley participates in 2001 Hurricane Study
The height of the hurricane season is here, and NASA Langley
researchers are looking for the next big storm.
Langley scientists are taking part in the fourth Convection and
Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) based out of Naval Air Station,
Jacksonville, Fla., through September. On board specially
instrumented aircraft, researchers will fly in and around
hurricanes approaching the East Coast and Gulf regions of the
United States. They will combine their storm data with readings
from other ground and orbiting satellite instruments to get a
better understanding of tropical cyclones. This should provide
meteorologists and other researchers with information to help
improve hurricane predictions that may decrease coastal evacuations
and increase warning time.
During CAMEX, Langleys Lidar Atmospheric Sensing
Experiment (LASE) system will use laser light pulses to measure
water vapor, clouds, and aerosols. It will compare the absorption
and scattering of different laser pulses creating an atmospheric
map of the hurricane area above and below the aircraft.
"We are going to further investigate the characteristics of
hurricanes and what type of importance our remote sensing
instrument has on hurricane forecasts," said Ed Browell, Langley
researcher and LASE team leader. "LASE will help define the energy
source for hurricanes by better understanding how much moisture is
flowing into it."
LASE will fly aboard NASAs DC-8. Other research aircraft
involved in the mission include the high-flying NASA ER-2 and the
remotely piloted Aerosonde aircraft. CAMEX-4 is the latest in a
series of field research investigations sponsored by the Earth
Sciences Enterprise at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. It
unites researchers from 10 universities, five NASA centers and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
After CAMEX, LASE scientists plan to participate in the
International Water Vapor Project, a field campaign to understand
the development of clouds and improve rainfall forecasts. This
experiment, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research,
will be conducted over the Southern Great Plains of Oklahoma during
the spring of 2002.
The CAMEX hurricane study is part of NASA's Earth Science
Enterprise, a long-term research program dedicated to better
understanding the total Earth system and the effects of natural and
human-induced changes on our global environment.
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