Mission Summary
20040830I1 Aircraft 43RF
Frances flight 2004

Scientific Crew (43RF)
Lead ScientistRob Rogers
Radar ScientistPeter Dodge
SFMR ScientistEric Uhlhorn
Mission Plan :

N43RF is tasked by NHC for a one plane SFMR surface wind mission into Hurricane Frances. Takeoff from MacDill AFB, FL will be at 8:30 AM EDT and will recover in Barbados at 6:00 PM AST.

Mission Summary :

NOAA 43 flew an NHC tasked SFMR surface wind mission into Frances from 18 to 22 UTC, 30 August. The flight took off from MacDill AFB at 9:00 am and landed in Barbados at 7:00 pm. This was the first flight of the HRD SFMR since being refurbished by Mark Goodberlet at ProSensing, and the first high-wind flight for the new AOC pylon-mounted operational SFMR. Both sytems performed flawlessly. During the first penetration through the eye, the prototype HRD SFMR system was used to transmit real time operational data to NHC. After that, the the operational output was switched to the new AOC SFMR with a seamless transition that was indiestinguishable to the analyst at NHC. Peak surface winds were picked off the data plots within minutes of data arrival using the HRD H*WIND surface wind analysis utility pioneered by Mark Powell as well as radii of gale force, 50 kt and hurricane force winds for each of the quadrants as the flight progressed. Comparisons were made with surface winds from GPS dropsondes as they were transmitted in real time to NHC. After 8 comparisons, the average difference between SFMR surface winds and GPS sonde surface winds was 2-3 kt over a wind range from 40 to 100 kt. Forecasters were exstatic. One huge debt of gratitude goes to the effort mounted by HRD scientists Eric Uhlhorn, Rob Rogers and Peter Dodge as well as AOC flight crews directed by Tom Shepherd and especially to AOC engineers Terry Lynch and his staff. A huge debt is also owed to Jim McFadden for organizing the flight times and many logistical details.

This day will go down as a huge milestone for improvements in operational hurricane wind field monitoring, and hopefully is the beginning of a sustained effort to observe hurricane surface winds directly from both NOAA P3 and GIV aircraft and AFRC WC-130 aircraft if the SFMR technology can be transfered accordingly.

Pete Black
HRD Field Program Director

Problems :

Mission Data :

One minute listing

Flight Data

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

Flight track detail

Page last updated August 30, 2004
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