|Posted on May 12, 2011 07:13:51 PM | Emily Schaller | 9 Comments ||
The NASA Gulfstream-III aircraft returned to Palmdale, Calif., on Tuesday May 10, 2011 from a successful nine-day mission to the Big Island of Hawaii. The goal of the mission was to image volcanoes on the Big Island and map surface deformations on Oahu, Molokai, and Maui using an airborne radar system installed in the G-III called the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR).
G-III flight crew and scientists on May 2, 2011 at Kona International Airport (Image Credit: Bradley Pacific Aviation)
Seven science flights totaling 39.3 hours were flown over the nine-day deployment. “These repeat data acquisitions will allow us to image the surface displacement from the March 2011 Kilauea fissure eruption along its east rift zone at unprecedented resolution” said Paul Lundgren, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist and principal investigator of the volcano study. Future plans are to return to Hawaii at roughly year-long intervals (or sooner if new significant eruptive activity occurs). UAVSAR provides unique data than can improve our understanding of eruption source processes. The data collected on this mission will provide a basis for comparison with future missions flown in response to new or impending volcanic eruptions.
The G-III flies at 41,000 ft to collect airborne radar data. A break in the clouds allowed Tim Moes onboard the G-III to take this image of the snow-covered summit of Mauna Kea (14,000 ft) with its many astronomical observatories
Tags : G-III