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Hurricane Mission Topic of NASA Visitor Center Presentation
An upcoming mission to study the development of Atlantic hurricanes using unmanned aerial vehicles basing at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will be the topic of a public presentation at 3 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, at the facility’s NASA Visitor Center.

The Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is a five-year mission specifically targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

GlobalHawk UAS HS3 will use two NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, one with an instrument suite geared toward measurement of the environment and the other with instruments suited to inner-core structure and processes. The aircraft are capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours.

The presentation will be given by Marilyn Vasques, HS3 project manager from the NASA Ames Research Center in California. More than 200 people will be involved in preparing and supporting the aircraft, flight planning and aircraft coordination and conducting the science data collection.

The first Global Hawk is scheduled to arrive at Wallops from its home base at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in California on August 29 and be ready to support science flights beginning September 1. The second vehicle will arrive September 7. The science operations are scheduled to end October 5.

In addition to the 2012 mission, the project also will be conducted from Wallops in 2013 and 2014, providing sustained measurements over several years due to the limited sampling opportunities in any given hurricane season.

The Visitor Center, part of the Robert L. Krieger Education Complex, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located on Va. Route 175 about six miles from U.S. Route 13 and five miles from Chincoteague, Va. Admission to the Visitor Center is free. For further information, please call (757) 824-1344.

Further information on the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission is available at:http://www.nasa.gov/hs3

For information about the Visitor Center on the Internet, visit:http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/vc