51 Potential Missions for the SPA-10

Monday, 5 November 2012
Symphony III and Foyer (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Andrew G. Detwiler, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD; and H. H. Jonsson

Handout (1.2 MB)

An A-10 “Warthog” aircraft is being converted into an armored storm-penetrating airborne research platform for use in atmospheric research in rugged storm environments. The “SPA-10” will be an NSF-supported field observing facility available for research projects sponsored by NSF and other state, federal and international agencies. The Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies at the US Naval Postgraduate School is managing the conversion and will operate the aircraft. Conversion from combat to research configuration has begun. A test-flight program is planned to begin in mid-2013. To help potential users appreciate the capabilities of the SPA-10 platform and how it might perform in various types of airborne research missions, we present a review of several past missions using storm-penetrating aircraft. We then project how such missions with similar goals might be accomplished using the SPA-10 and highlight the enhanced observing capabilities of the new platform. These mission scenarios will include studies of supercell convective storms, MCS's, tropical cyclones, and winter storms.
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