Date: March 20, 1999
Mission: NPOESS EDR and moisture mapping, night cloud detection, HSRL comparisons.
Assess NAST-Interferometer performance in detecting moisture gradients and structure in cold Canadian airmass by flying over mid tropospheric moisture gradients en route to Lake Winnipeg region. Comparisons to uplooking AERI measurements at Truax Field and synoptic radiosonde network at INL and 71867 (00 UTC launch). Measure moisture advection by overflying same flight line outbound as inbound. Compare MAS and HSRL collocated measurements of cloud over SSEC for optical depth and Re retrieval (night only).
Take-off was at 2100 UTC. ER-2 landed at 0300 UTC (99080).
ER-2 spiraled up from Truax and flew to near ORD where it picked up northwestward track taking it over SSEC (3:44pm CST; 2144 UTC) and up to INL. MSN had mid and high scattered clouds. En route to INL, ER-2 crossed cold front in Western WI and then overflew low cloud deck behind cold front. Past INL, ER-2 flew to 50nm past radiosonde number 71867. In S. Canada, the low cloud deck ended and clear skies were encountered followed by scattered thin high cloud near L. Winnipeg. ER-2 then reversed course, flying entire route back to Madison on same line, but in darkness. Low cloud overcast in MN arrowhead and N WI. MSN sky conditions mostly clear with few scattered clouds on ER-2 overpasses at end of flight (0156 UTC on SE heading and 0213 UTC on west heading). Surface is bare ground from MSP down to MSN. No classondes at AERIbago due to hardware failure.
Clear, snow covered surface near dusk in S. Canada, thin scattered cirrus around 2330 UTC. Thick low cloud and clear at night. Three total overpasses of SSEC (HSRL, AERI on roof, AERIbago were operating).Mid-tropospheric moisture gradients sampled.