NASA Completes First ATTREX Science Mission

Feb 17, 2014 by Beth Hagenauer
NASA's unmanned Global Hawk is pushed out of a hangar on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in preparation for an ATTREX science flight over the Western Pacific. Credit: NASA

NASA's Global Hawk No. 872 completed a 17.5-hour science flight Feb. 14, it's first for the 2014 Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) mission.

The , carrying a suite of specialized instruments, flew from Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam. Objectives were to sample vertical distribution of the Western Pacific tropical tropopause layer trace gases, and clouds. In situ data was gathered about in the cold tropopause regions surrounding Guam. Water vapor concentration was also measured in this area east-southeast of Guam.

To gather these measurements, the aircraft flew an arc first to the northwest of Guam, then reversed course and traveled south and back to the west.

Warren Gore, a researcher from NASA's Ames Research Center, readies the Solar Spectral Flux Radiometer developed by the University of Colorado and NASA Ames for an ATTREX science flight. Credit: NASA

The NASA Global Hawk research aircraft is in the Western Pacific region on the ATTREX mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth's climate.

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