AFWEX Status, 09 December 2000

The last DC-8 science flight was flown this evening. There are ~3 remaining flight hours left, to be used for the ferry flight back to Dryden. This was an ~8 hour flight with a take-off at ~1740. This earlier take-off was chosen in order to take advantage of an expected clear sky window. The flight consisted of a ~1 mile run over the North/South road just east of the CART site at 3000 ft, followed by a tight spiral up around the CART site to ~40 kft, a series of cross-wind dogbones (90/270 degree turns) between 40 and 25 kft, a tight spiral descent, a wide (~10 mile radius) spiral ascent, a series of along-wind dogbones, and a final tight spiral descent around the site. Some patchy thin cirrus at ~8.5 km with ~0.5 km geometrical thickness was observed west of the CART site during the final set of level legs. Flight level conditions included 120 knot winds at ~35 kft, with the upper level jet stream observed to be just south of CF. Four chilled mirror sondes were launched during the flight. The final spiral descent was aborted at ~30 kft for an early landing due to fog at Tinker AFB. A nice landing despite very thick fog.

During the flight, thicker aerosols were observed in the lowest 1.5 km. A full moon was also present. These conditions cause some minor degradation of upper level return in the ground based lidar systems.

At the daily science telecon, the date for submission of revised data sets was proposed to be Feb 15. Arrangements will be made to hold an AFWEX breakout meeting at the ARM Science Team Meeting in March.

At mid-day, mid and high level clouds associated with a shortwave from the southeast were passing through central Oklahoma, with an expectation of clearing by 6pm-ish. Also expecting a ~6 hour window of clear before cirrus arriving from northeast. My mid-afternoon, conditions across northern Oklahoma became mostly clear. Conditions remained mostly clear til the end of the flight when some light cirrus moved in from the northwest.

Instrument Status/Comments
CART site:
   CART Raman Lidar Normal operations.
   GSFC Raman Lidar Normal operations; ~1800 to ~0200 CST.
   MPI DIAL Normal operations; ~1800 to ~0130 CST.
   WFF Chilled Mirror Sondes 4 launches: ~1715, ~1945, ~2215, ~0045 CST
   Other Vaisala sonde launches at 1730, 2030, 2330, ... CST
   LASE Normal operations.
   DLH Normal operations.
   Cryo frost-point/chilled-mirror Normal operations. Saw decreased flow rate on down-wind legs (120 knot winds) which produced significant oscillations in preliminary dew points.
   SHIS Normal operations.
   COAST Normal operations.
   AeroSapient Normal operations.

Dave Tobin, University of Wisconsin