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Notes from the Field

A remote control plane, but no child’s play

March 10th, 2010 by Mike Carlowicz

The Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) mission is the first science use of NASA’s new unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The Global Hawk is a unique robotic plane that can fly for more than 30 hours at a time, soaring as high as 65,000 feet and as far as 11,000 nautical miles (12,659 miles). It can carry up to 1,500 lbs. of instruments.

Mission logo and patch for GloPac

The GloPac field campaign is scheduled for March and April 2010, flying out of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at the Edwards Air Force Base in southern California’s desert. GloPac will consist of four or five science flights that will take the Global Hawk over the Pacific Ocean and Arctic regions. The plane will carry ten science instruments that will sample the chemical composition of stratospheric and tropospheric air and observe cloud and particle distributions in the troposphere.

Join us for the next six weeks as scientists, engineers, technicians, and the flight team share their experiences from an airborne science expedition where only their instruments go airborne.