ER-2 Flight: 96105

Date: April 20, 1996

Mission: Cirrus and persistent contrails over ARM CART site.

Mission Objectives

Observe cirrus clouds of various ages and contrails in the presence of cirrus. In situ cloud sampling with the DC-8 with ground-based uplooking and ER-2 based downlooking characterization of cirrus and contrails. Investigate differences in the radiative signature of contrails and natural cirrus. Flight plans support combined ER-2 remote sensing and DC-8 in situ cloud microphysics studies.

Flight Summary

ER-2 ENE-WSW oriented lines over the ARM CART site. First two legs are approximately 115 nm long with the ARM CART (36 36.3'N 97 29.1'W) site near the WSW end of the leg. This first leg was coordinated with the DC-8 starting at 37 32.6 N 95 23.7W (060 at 115 from ARM site) with the second point at the ARM site. After two legs the ER-2 heading was adjusted to approximately 80 and 100 degrees with straight line patterns centered on the ARM site. Flight path of the ER-2 was again adjusted around 1925 (during the ninth horizontal flight leg) to align with the DC-8 (headings of approximately 60 and 240 degrees).

Cirrus in westerly flow aloft of varying thickness over ARM CART site and along ER-2 flight line. DC-8 made vertical profiles of the clouds.


Lots of cirrus and contrails reported by the ARM CART site during this mission. Twelve overpasses of ARM CART site (approximately 1604, 1618, 1657, 1721, 1745, 1808, 1833, 1856, 1921, 1945, 2009 and 2033 UTC).

At approximately 1556 UTC the MAS observed a large contrail extending across the entire swath (37 km).

Instrument Status

Additional Pilot Notes:. During first two legs that were coordinated with the DC-8, conditions were mostly clear--the DC-8 was making broken contrails that were visible from the ER-2. At the end of flight ARM site was mostly overcast, though breaks in the cloud did exist. Contrails were visible during mission. Circle rings of DC-8 spiral run near the end of the mission were visible from the ER-2.