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Notes from the Field

Fare Thee Well AV-1: Making Things Work in the Midst of Technical Difficulties

September 11th, 2014 by Mary Morris
AV-6 in the hanger at Wallops Flight Facility

AV-6 in the hanger at Wallops Flight Facility

Since I last posted, HS3 has decided to give up on trying to fix AV-1, thus ending my time at NASA Wallops this hurricane season. We came to this decision so we would still have some time to get two of the instruments, including the one I work with, off AV-1 and moved onto a WB-57 for the rest of the hurricane season. So not all hope is lost! While I am disappointed that my time at Wallops will be cut short, it is important for us to move on. If everything goes smoothly, we could be ready to fly the WB-57 in a little over a week.

Although I would have wished to detail more of my “field work” experiences here, I think my experiences, or lack thereof, is also important to portray. Like most jobs, this one has its up and downs. This campaign has taught us all how to adapt to difficult situations and make the most of every opportunity.

HS3 scientists are making the most of this situation right now with the use of our other UAV, AV-6, which is currently heading towards tropical depression six. In just this past week, AV-6 has been able to successfully investigate two other systems: Tropical Storm Dolly and a weaker system off the African Coast.

September 11, 2014 - AV-6 (green icon) flies from WFF to Tropical Depression Six as seen in GOES infrared imagery overlaid on a Google map

September 11, 2014 – AV-6 (green icon) flies from WFF to Tropical Depression Six as seen in GOES infrared imagery overlaid on a Google map

AV-6 will be returning to Wallops tomorrow. In other news, I hope to introduce a new blogger soon: someone who is actually at Wallops! A new perspective is exactly what this blog needs. Thanks for reading!

4 Responses to “Fare Thee Well AV-1: Making Things Work in the Midst of Technical Difficulties”

  1. James Watt says:

    What is the future of the program? Will a new device be built or will this one be repaired before the next hurricane season?

    • Mary Morris says:

      Since this is the last year of the HS3 mission, we don’t have to repair the UAV before the next hurricane season. We will make do with a different type of aircraft for the rest of this year’s season.

  2. Jim in IA says:

    What is wrong with AV-1?

    Thanks for your posts. I enjoy seeing what work is done.