Practice English Speaking&Listening with: NASA Global Hawk UAV Atmospheric Research Mission - GloPac

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>> Dave Fahey, Co-Project Scientist: The Global Hawk is the world's most sophisticated unmanned

aircraft. NASA's acquisition of these aircraft are the first by a civilian agency. And so

that gives us an opportunity to show how we might use these for Earth science. This capability

is our future.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: GloPac is the Global Hawk Pacific Mission. GloPac

is the first scientific mission that is being flown on the Global Hawk aircraft. Before

this aircraft was acquired by NASA, it was used for actually military reconnaissance.

The Global Hawk is a fully autonomous aircraft. It doesnt have any operators onboard. The

Global Hawk can fly to 65,000 feet, it has a wingspan thats just a little longer than

the wingspan of a 737. A long wingspan allows you to get to higher altitudes. It can fly

over 30 hours continuously, and has a range of over ten thousand nautical miles. The Global

Hawk can take off from California and get all the way up to the high Arctic, plus it

can go all the way to the equator. And so its a really capable plane in terms of

duration and altitude. Much more than any manned aircraft we've ever used.

>> Dave Fahey, Co-Project Scientist: The value of the GloPac mission really is two-fold.

One, its showing how an unmanned aircraft of the capabilities of the Global Hawk can

be used for the benefit of Earth Science. This aircraft significantly expands our capability.

And second, we will gather some very important information from the atmosphere during GloPac,

to tell us about the distribution of gases and aerosols in the upper troposphere and

lower stratosphere. The upper troposphere and lower stratosphere is a very important

region of the atmosphere to study. One of the reasons is it's not very often studied

because of the difficulty of getting there. Satellites routinely sample that region but

not as, with the same kind of precision that you might like. So we'd like to do more process-based

studies in that region.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: There's a total of ten instruments aboard the Global

Hawk for the GloPac mission. These instruments break into two kinds; one is what we call

a remote sensor, which measures things far away. We have another type of instrument we

call an in situ instrument, and this measures the air that the aircraft is actually flying

through. They will measure particular gases like ozone, water, nitrous oxide, or laughing

gas, plus temperatures, pressures, winds and so forth.

>> Dave Fahey, Co-Project Scientist: The other thing is were very interested in validation

of the Aura satellite.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: The Aura satellite measures ozone depleting gases

and ozone. The second thing it does, is that Aura measures various gases involved with

air quality. So its a validation experiment. You have to make sure that your satellite

instruments are still measuring what you originally intended for them to measure.

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>> Chris Naftel, Global Hawk Project Manager: One of the great things about this aircraft

is it can be configured for a wide range of payloads. Payloads can be mounted underneath

the nose of the aircraft, under the belly of the aircraft, in the rear tail area. There's

several bays on the side of the aircraft that are available. On top, near the front of the

aircraft, under the radome.

>> Dave Fratello, Global Hawk Payload Manager: So on the airplane itself, we've identified

over 14 different compartments that are available for payloads. We've added six Iridium links

for global payload communication. There's also four on there for the aircraft command

and control. So we're actually carrying 10 Iridium systems on the airplane. Iridium is

an array of satellites. You can be anywhere on the Earth and you're within Iridium coverage

24-7. And so it's a great way for us to talk to the airplane and get downlink data from

the aircraft no matter where it is in the world.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: With most aircraft, the people are either sitting

in the aircraft and so they're watching their measurements as the airplane is flying through

certain air, or they're on the ground, and you don't see your data until after the plane

has landed. With the Global Hawk, though, everybody's sitting in a room called the Global

Hawk Operations Center, and you're viewing your data as it's being measured. So you get

to see your data in real time.

>> Dave Fratello, Global Hawk Payload Manager: Well, the GHOC, our Global Hawk Operations

Center, it's uniquely divided into two rooms. We've got the flight operations group in the

front. In the back room we have a fully independent capability for our payload scientists. So

we've got 14 workstations there. Each one dedicated to supporting an individual instrument.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: And we have all the instrument operators sitting

in this back room, they can talk to their instruments and make subtle corrections to

the computer programming of the instrument, or they can send it in to a different sampling

mode. So it's really an interactive process now. So it's a new way of doing science.

>> Phil Hall, Global Hawk Pilot: When we were controlling the NASA Global Hawk, it?s a whole

different challenge. It's more like being a cross between an air traffic controller

and pilot because you have this birds-eye view of the aircraft. It's a very sort of

a disconnected experience. We have to really focus on where it is, how it's going to react.

When I give it commands how long is it going to take. It's a lot of the basic airmanship,

but the hand-eye coordination is a lot different. It's mouse-screen coordination

>> Delewis Porter, Global Hawk Pilot: If you're an airplane pilot, then to think the possibility

of leaving that and start flying an airplane that's remotely controlled and using a mouse

and a keyboard, that's a big paradigm shift. But, as I got more and more involved in it

and started to search it out and realizing the potential of the Global Hawk aircraft

and its impact on the science world, I became more and more enamored with it.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: The GloPac mission is really a partnership of

a number of federal agencies and private industries, and universities. NASA is the one who owns

and operates these planes. But that's a partnership with both NOAA, the National Oceanographic

and Atmospheric Administration, and Northrup Grumman, the people who have built these planes.

>> Dave Fahey, Co-Project Scientist: The GloPac mission is a great example of the collaboration

between NASA and NOAA. Both agencies share an interest in the future of unmanned aircraft

for their particular program. And those of us in the GloPac mission see ourselves as

early adopters. And its very clear already that a success of this aircraft will have

a lot of ramifications because people?’ imaginations will be engaged as to what else

we could do now that weve demonstrated for the first time that putting scientific

instruments onboard and taking it far away from home is a good idea and can be done in

a successful way.

>> Paul Newman, Co-Project Scientist: I really think that this is really a historic occasion

for us. It's because we're on the cusp of something new. We're on the cusp of using

a plane that's a basically a satellite as well as a plane. We can venture out into the

regions where a lot of the weather in the United States forms but is so remote from

us that we can't get to it. And so that information is now going to be used to improve forecasts,

it'll be used to improve our policies towards air quality and climate change and ozone depletion.

It's a new way of doing things for us. And I think that's what makes you think that we're

really doing something exciting and new and historic.

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The Description of NASA Global Hawk UAV Atmospheric Research Mission - GloPac