SUMMARY OF COAST FLIGHT 3
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 12:32:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: JOHN M BANE
Subject: COAST Flight Report- May 19
COAST Flight Number 3 was conducted on May 19, 2001. The flight had two purposes: (1) to test our new airborne hyperspectral ocean color radiometers, and (2) to fly a pattern that would measure the near-surface air temperature structure over Big Box Line 2.
To test the color radiometers, we flew several straight-and-level lines that were oriented E-W, about 20nm long, and centered over the R/V Thompson. Lines were flown at altitudes of 160m, 300m and 600m. From initial indications aboard the aircraft the radiometers were working properly. The post-flight data processing for these instruments is such that useful upper-ocean color data products will not be available within a day or two of a flight. For all other aircraft-measured variables, we should be able to have good, first-look data products soon after each flight.
We then flew two cycles of a "sawtooth" pattern (climb from 60m altitude to 800m altitude, descent to 60m, then again to 800m, then finally to 60m) along Line 2 from near the coastline to just west of 125W. The return along that same line was level at 160m. This was done to investigate the near-surface air temperature over the water that was being affected by the developing northerly winds. We saw a very weak atmospheric temperature inversion, and almost no lateral temperature variation along the line within the atmospheric boundary layer was observed. We also made two vertical profiles while flying along the coast, measuring wind, air temperature and humidity from 60m to 1,500m. (Disclaimer - These descriptions are from looking at computer graphical displays while aboard the aircraft, and closer inspection of post-flight data products will provide more accurate conclusions, some of which may differ from statements here.)
We have tentatively scheduled our next flight for either Wednesday May 23 or Thursday May 24 over the Big Box, with AXBTs being deployed along Lines 2, 4, 6 and 8.
May 20, 2001