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NASA HS3 Mission Time Lapse Highlights Cameras Over Tropical Systems
September 18, 2014

NASA released a time-lapse video that highlights three different cameras aboard NASA's remotely piloted Global Hawk aircraft No. 872 as it investigated two tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean in early September 2014.


The 2 minute and 40 second time lapse was created by Dave Fratello, HS3 payload manager of the NASA Global Hawk project at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.  

The video highlights the imaging from the daylight HDVis, or high-definition Visualization camera, and low-light camera. The video begins using the daylight camera and shows the Global Hawk taking off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility runway in Virginia.

"The HDVis images were from our second science flight on Aug. 28 and 29 to Hurricane Cristobal," said Fratello. As the time-lapse progresses, the HDVis captures images of Hurricane Cristobal below during the storm’s extra-tropical transition.

"The daylight and low light images were from the Global Hawk's fourth science flight on Sept. 4 and 5 to [a developing tropical low-pressure area called] Invest 90L near the African Coast."

NASA's airborne Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission is revisiting the Atlantic Ocean for the third consecutive year. HS3 is a collaborative effort that brings together several NASA centers with federal and university partners to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin. The flights from Wallops began Aug. 26 and will continue until Sept. 29 during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The HS3 mission is funded by NASA Headquarters and overseen by NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. It is one of five large airborne campaigns operating under the Earth Venture program.

The HS3 mission also involves collaborations with partners including the National Centers for Environmental PredictionNaval Postgraduate SchoolNaval Research LaboratoryNOAA's Unmanned Aircraft System Program, Hurricane Research Division and Earth System Research LaboratoryNorthrop Grumman Space TechnologyNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchState University of New York at AlbanyUniversity of Maryland - Baltimore CountyUniversity of Wisconsin, and University of Utah. The HS3 mission is managed by the Earth Science Project Office at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. The aircraft are maintained and based at NASA Armstrong.

For more information about NASA's HS3 mission, visit: 


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NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center/Dave Fratello
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Page Last Updated: September 24th, 2014
Page Editor: Rob Garner