Mission Summary
20140916H1 Aircraft 43RF
COYOTE/Model Evaluation flight

Aircraft Crew (43RF)
Aircraft CommanderJustin Kibbey
Co-pilotCatherine Martin
Co-pilotScott Price
NavigatorPete Siegel
Flight EngineerJoe Klippel
Flight EngineerPaul Darby
Flight DirectorRich Henning
Flight DirectorKristie Twining
System EngineerSteven Paul
Data TechnicianJoe Bosko
AVAPSTodd Richards
ObserverDavid Hall (OMAO)

Scientific Crew (43RF)
LPSJoe Cione (HRD)
RadarEvan Kalina (UColo)
DropsondeJason Dunion (HRD)
CCN spectraLuke Ziemba (NASA)
COYOTEEric Redweick (Sensintel)
COYOTEDrew Osbrink (Sensintel)

Mission Plan :

NOAA43 will conduct both an HRD-tasked Model Evaluation mission with a COYOTE module into Hurricane Edouard. Takeoff is scheduled for 1230 UTC from Bermuda and recover there at 2130 UTC.

Mission Summary :

Proposed track

Take off Landing
Bermuda 12:52 UTC Bermuda 18:53 UTC
Penetrations 4

Proposed Coyote track

The mission into Hurricane Edouard began at 1432Z on September 16th, 2014. NOAA along with partners Sensintel and ItriCorp, conducted the first-ever air-deployed Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) mission into a hurricane environment. While it was a Major Hurricane, Sensintel's Coyote UAS was released into Edouard's eye using NOAA's P-3 aircraft as the delivery vehicle. Once deployed, the 13 pound, 5-ft wingspan UAS proceeded to spiral downward and outward into the highest wind region of the storm known as the "eyewall". At an approximate altitude of 2940 ft, the UAS penetrated Edouard's western eyewall and recorded platform record-breaking winds of 100 kt as it proceeded to 'orbit' this high wind region during its historic 28-minute mission. The minimum altitude was 896m (2940 ft).

This is Coyote data in the eye and the high wind eyewall. The earlier time
is to the left and time progresses to the right. Wind speed is given in
knots and is in red. Wind direction is in green (in degrees). The
Coyote UAS altitude is shown in black (meters divided by 10). As we can
see the Coyote started out in low wind conditions in the eye and began to
approach the high wind eyewall from minutes 45-53. Over that 8 minute
period the winds jumped from 10kts to 100kts.

This type of concept of operations (conop), especially orbiting within the hurricane eyewall at various altitudes, is simply not possible using any other observing platform we currently have in our arsenal. It is among other things what makes an observing platform like the low flying Coyote UAS so unique, and highly desirable. We plan to look at these data closely and see what physical processes we can begin to better understand, especially in regions we have yet to fully observe using other observing tools. We also plan to use these unique and important data to compare with similar fields (in the hurricane eye and eyewall) obtained from operational models that are used to predict intensity change. Data from this experiment (pressure, temperature, humidity, winds and as well as many aircraft derived metrics) are currently being analyzed and evaluated. Preliminary investigations suggest a highly unique dataset with many possibilities going forward.

Satellite images with the Coyote UAS trajectory super imposed. The angles
of the satellite image are a bit misleading, but as the data clearly show,
the Coyote was initially in the calm eye and then made its way into they
high wind eyewall and partially 'orbited' the storm within the highest
wind region.

24 dropsondes, 11 AXBTs, and 1 COYOTE launched, with 4 bad AXBTs. All dropsondes and 7 AXBTs transmitted.

Mission Evaluation:


Joe Cione
Oct. 25, 2014

Mission Data :

NetCDF | 1 second data | serial | Coyote
Flight Director's log
Dropsonde log | Radar log

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

Flight track detail

Page last updated Feb. 17, 2015
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