Wednesday, June 9, 2010

GRIP experiment on track

NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft completed four science flights over the Pacific Ocean in April in a joint project between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and plans are on track to use the UAV later this year to track hurricanes in the Atlantic. In the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) mission, a Global Hawk fitted with 11 science instruments acquired and transmitted data that has never before been accessible through either manned flights or satellites. Flights reached up to 65,000 feet where information was collected from the air as well as the water and polar ice below. Later this year, NASA Global Hawk will examine hurricanes and their formation process to explore the possibility of improving hurricane forecasts in the GRIP experiment. (Source: Northrop Grumman via Globe Newswire, 06/09/10) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. Background on GRIP.