Poster Session P8.3 A review of Solar-Powered aircraft flight activity at the Pacific Missile Range Test Facility, Kauai, Hawaii

Wednesday, 6 October 2004
L. J. Ehernberger, NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA; and C. Donohue and E. H. Teets Jr.

Handout (1.2 MB)

Present solar powered aircraft are extremely light weight and limited to modest flight speeds. As a results wind speeds at some altitudes often exceed flight speed. Some margin between flight speed and wind speed is desired to enable positive airspace control of the flight track. Kauai HI is located in a area that often provides acceptable wind speeds aloft as well as a relatively high solar elevation angle during summer months. This paper reviews the wind conditions experienced on solar powered aircraft flight days. Flight tracks are illustrated for a variety of days as well as wind conditions for days cancelled due to winds aloft. The interplay between flight planners, forecasters, rawinsonde data and production numerical forecast model profiles is discussed. (release approval pending 5/19/04)
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