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NASA's G-III and UAVSAR Conducting East Coast Vegetation Study
August 13, 2009

NASA's Gulfstream-III research testbed lifts off with the UAV synthetic aperture radar pod.NASA's Gulfstream-III research testbed lifts off the Edwards AFB runway on an envelope-expansion flight test with the UAV synthetic aperture radar pod. (NASA Photo / Tony Landis)

NASA's Gulfstream-III environmental science research aircraft is conducting a two-week radar imaging mission along the East Coast.

En route, the G-III imaged areas of Yellowstone National Park, collecting data about deformation of the Earth's surface.

The aircraft is carrying the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-developed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, located in a pod under the aircraft's belly. The instrument is designed to acquire airborne repeat path tracks of synthetic aperture radar data for differential interferometric measurements.

The G-III is flying from Bangor International Airport, Maine, and the UAVSAR imaged forests in Maine, Vermont and Canada. Collecting repeat path data, scientists are looking for short-term changes in the forest canopy.

The G-III will then transit to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, N.C., for additional forest canopy penetration studies covering the Harvard and Duke forests.

The synthetic aperture radar pod is slung beneath NASA's Gulfstream-III research testbed.The synthetic aperture radar pod developed by JPL is slung beneath NASA's Gulfstream-III research testbed during flight tests. (NASA Photo / Tony Landis)

The return flight to California on Aug. 16 will include data collection over Coastal Virginia and the Piedmont region of North Carolina to study wetlands and coastal beach erosion.




Beth Hagenauer
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

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