Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR)
April 06, 2005
NCAR RAF, Conference Room
Jeffco Airport, Broomfield, CO 80021
To download a pdf version of this report click <200504scomi_rev3.pdf>
The UNOLS Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR) held a committee meeting at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) aircraft facility at Jeffco Airport in Broomfield, Colorado on Wednesday April 6, 2005. On the previous day, the Interagency Coordinating Committee for Airborne Geoscience Research and Applications (ICCAGRA) held a meeting and many of the participants stayed for the SCOAR Meeting allowing for some very useful interaction between the representatives of the academic oceanography community (SCOAR) and the representatives of the broader Federal research aircraft community (ICCAGRA). A highlight of the meeting was a review of the capabilities of the new NCAR High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) with a tour of the aircraft, which was undergoing installation of its scientific instrumentation. Major focuses of the meeting were research aircraft safety standards and regulations and methods for assessing the requirements of the scientific community for airborne data collection and sampling.
Recommendations: No new recommendations for CIRPAS or funding agencies.
SCOAR Committee Action Items
1. Community feedback process
Draft white paper on how aircraft can or should support ocean sciences, what they can do.
Dan R., John B.
Draft in progress
Draft letter to ocean science community asking for feedback on aircraft requirements and current use of them.
Create a feedback questionnaire as a companion to the letter.
SCOAR, Mike P.
Develop plans for a workshop with aircraft operators and earth (or just ocean) science users and funding agencies.
2. Update information on CIRPAS and SCOAR web pages, reorganize to make user friendly, higher profile on Homepage.
UNOLS Office put aircraft (Twin Otter) into rotating ships, add other quick links to aircraft on home and scheduling pages.
Update presentation of information on other university and agency aircraft and update links, Page with pictures, contact info.
Develop a method for keeping CIRPAS schedule and request information up to date.
Link to new CIRPAS pages as appropriate.
3. Stay tuned on safety standards from ICAP and continue to formulate UNOLS aircraft safety guidelines.
When ICAP safety procedures are finalized, finish a document that articulates the standards to be met by UNOLS aircraft.
Index of Appendices
Proceeding of the meeting
Welcome and Introductions
The meeting called to order and participants were welcomed by SCOAR Chair, John Bane. Introductions were made which also included new SCOAR members Dick Zimmerman, ODU and Steve Hartz, UAK (See appendix II). Opening remarks were made by RAF Director, Jeff Stith. Dr. Stith also welcomed everyone to the facility.
Accept minutes of the November 2004 meeting - Motion, Second, Approved
Reviewed Agenda for this meeting. Appendix
Visualizing The Coastal Ocean and Atmosphere The Coastal Ocean and Atmosphere - John Bane showed data from a recent project using his aircraft off the coast of Oregon. Combined measurements using aircraft, ship (R/V Wecoma) and moorings were used to create a more complete picture of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Used this as an example of how aircraft can add to the data set for a coastal project Appendix III
Agency and CIRPAS Reports
UNOLS report - Mike Prince (Appendix
Discussion about the fact that renewal budgets are now coming out of existing science, operations and maintenance budgets. Ken Melville remarked that the idea of providing access to aircraft might be more difficult unless it can be shown how aircraft can augment what ships can do and reduce costs of some projects.
CIRPAS report - Haf Jonsson (Appendix
Haf reviewed the 2004 operations. Described projects for Steve Ramp (NPS) and Dean Hegg (UW) funded by ONR, for Jens Redemann (NASA Ames) funded by NASA Ames, and for John Seinfeld (Caltech) funded by NSF/ONR/NOAA. Steve Ramp's bi-weekly surveys were part of a larger project using AUVs, ships, moorings, CODAR, etc. Three-month maintenance program at the end of the year. 2005 operations started with a continuation of the Ramp Ocean Surveys. In March, CIRPAS scheduled three weeks of test flights for new instrumentation developed under the SBIR programs. They wanted to be sure these instruments were ready for use. They have scheduled ONR programs in July and August. There are four programs that have not been firmly scheduled yet, pending decisions on funding and requirements. These programs are potentially funded by NASA, DOE and NPOESS. They also are planning to test a towed platform when they receive it with ONR funding.
Requests for next year:
• Jens Redemann is requesting about 20 hours of work in Australia,
which would require about 300 hours of ferry time.
• Dave Emmitt LIDAR study in North Carolina
• John Bane
• Steve Ramp/Graham Feingold surveys of cloud chemistry
MSP Triple DMA’S
Pro Sensing 94 Ghz cloud radar
Stabilized Radiation Platforms
Coherent Technologies wind lidar-New transceiver
Phased Doppler Cloud Spectrometer-
SP2 carbon particle spectrometer
SCAPS single particle scatter probe
LISST, S-CIP and TOWED PLATFORM
DMA's and NMASS are particle size measuring instruments.
Three more anticipated this year and several more in the works.
They need feedback on exactly what needs to be measured from the academic community. Need ocean science community input, ask with the letter about aircraft needs. Harris remarked that NOAA goes through the FAA certification program for installing new equipment on both their public use vessels and the FAA certified planes. CIRPAS uses the same procedures, but does not get FAA approval, this is all done in-house. Discussion about bringing equipment to attach to the aircraft: Is there a pod available that can be used to install instruments without going through all the approval processes? CIRPAS has an integration period, where the CIRPAS people engineer and accomplish the modifications necessary to adapt PI instruments into pods or the aircraft. This allows the PI to later install and remove instruments using the integration design. Haf showed a list of papers published as a result of CIRPAS field expeditions.
Overviews from federal agency representatives
NSF - Jim Huning
There has been reorganization at NCAR. The facility programs have been stressed to the limit. Two recent programs, RICO and NAME were extended deployments that took people beyond their normal away time. The SPOL RADAR has major refurbishment issues. The C-130 is undergoing inspection and overhaul. ALMA is an international program that would use the SPOL RADAR and the ELDORA, but this is not a high priority for NSF. This is a year of catching up, getting equipment ready for FY 06. FY06 will be a busy year with HIAPER work being the major focus. The HIAPER will be tested and operate some missions demonstrating its capabilities. Joachim Keuttner is the PI for TIREX, which will include the HIAPER, King Air and other facilities. There are some conflicts for the use of aircraft and integrated sounding system because of a lack of equipment and people to support these instrumentation requirements. Jim mentioned several studies that did not involve aircraft, other than the King Air in some cases. Getting HIAPER going is their first priority. HIAPER's MRE came in under budget and on time. Jim will be presenting a $98.40 refund check to the NSF MRE Account manager. This is a certified aircraft and all PI's developing instrumentation must use the integration handbook, so the hope is that when instrumentation shows up, integration should not be as difficult. The new policies for requesting aircraft time for large projects are posted on the web pages (NSF and NCAR). Partnerships (agency to agency, agency to institution, etc.)
Safety issues for NSF and ICAP, security issues since 9/11 including fences, locked doors, inspections for self regulation under ICAP, not inspected by FAA. ARMS inspection looks at documentation, regulations, etc.
Funding for science and facilities. NSF receives about 44,000 proposals per year and fund about 21%. The director mentioned before Congress that NSF will probably have focused priorities, but not clear what that means. The T-28 has been grounded, and they are looking at replacing it using mid-size infrastructure funding out of the division budget to obtain an A-10 Warthog as a storm penetrating platform.
ONR - John Freitag
John deferred to Ron Ferek. Ron Ferek reported that they are seeing a lot more interdisciplinary ocean/atmospheric proposals using multiple facilities. Ron sees this as a growth area and sees ocean and atmospheric scientists collaborating more and more.
Ken Melville added that it is becoming clear that you can't do coastal (air/sea/land boundary areas) work with out doing both oceanography and atmospheric work.
NOAA - Beth White and Jim McFadden
Beth went over the DOD process that NOAA is now using, Planning, Programming, Budget, Execution System (PPBES). Program managers are not forced to think about facility requirements in terms of operations and renewal. NOAA also is working on an Aviation Safety Policy.
NOAA Aircraft Facilities brief by Jim McFadden. NOAA aviation facilities are at MacDill Air Force Base just south of Tampa, Florida. They may loose their hanger space in the next few years, but would be offered an area for a new hanger on the MacDill grounds.
Jim showed the current hanger facilities and the room they had for the visiting NRL P-3, and he showed and listed the 13 aircraft in their inventory. AOC has a modernization plan that is not yet public and on its way to Congress. He showed a chart of the planned retirements of current aircraft. Next chart shows the planned acquisitions. Twin Otter in FY06, in FY08 three more, more later.
Draft Aviation Safety Plan:
Medical survey form that would let the scientist know the types of things that would be of concern. Turning in the form to a PHS physician who will review the form and give an "up-chit" if ok.
Aviation Safety Training plan - check list based on type of operations planned. Also includes a list of required safety equipment.
FY 2005 projects - showed the planned operations for the various aircraft. One program looks for aggregation of floating debris and reports location for cleanup. G-4 mostly does survey work, but is getting some chemistry work. Most of the light aircraft are kept busy with time bought by various programs. FY06 requests include more than they can support. One P-3 will be used the entire summer for non-hurricane research work. That leaves only one for hurricane reconnaissance. Jim showed two of the Pods they carry. Everything inside the Pods must be certified. They had to add fire detection and suppression systems because the Pods cannot be released.
Jim Huning asked about funding for requests from outside users. Requests are cost estimated. They charge an overhead to cover fixed costs, and estimate the variable costs that the user would pay for. It is not hard to get access as long as the aircraft is available. NOAA would know a year or so in advance more or less what the availability is. During hurricane season, the P-3's could be called away for hurricane ops. The PPBES process allows them to know their requirements a few years ahead of time. Couldn't this allow making commitments for ship-time needs earlier than they do now? Dick asked what percentage of time was available for outside users. The answer addressed more the fact that they can now know ahead of time what the internal needs are.
A tour of the HIAPER aircraft was conducted just before lunch
NASA/ICCAGRA - Cheryl Yuhas (Appendix
Showed the restructuring of suborbital science group
FY2005 Platform Catalog includes
• Non-NASA Commercial and University aircraft (pay as you go) e.g. Twin Otter, KingAir, etc.
• NASA and Non NASA Federal aircraft (pay as you go) GRC Learjet, NRL P3, DOE King Air, NSF C130
• NASA & Non NASA Federal Aircraft (on retainer): pays some fixed costs DFRC, ER2, JSC WB57, NASA DC8, and GSFC/WFF P3-B.
• ER2: terminate ER2 airborne science program in 2006.
• DC8: conduct safety review and risk assessment of DC8 transferring into university based operation in 2005
• P3-B: Transfer P3 missions to a commercial or other non-NASA operation, and put NASA P3-B in flyable storage.
Earth Science Capability Project
Repeat Pass Project: develop flight control capability to repeat flight path within a 10M tube, to support UAV-SAR.
NOAA UAV Mission Demonstration, http://uav.noaa.gov
Western States Fire Mission: http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sge/WRAP/current/future_missions.html
Advance Mission Platform requirements analysis (potential platforms include Proteus II, G-V OPV, Adam Aircraft A700)
Civil UAV assessment, http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/research/civuav/civ_uav_index.html
April 26-28 Workshop in Akron, Ohio. Showed chart of Missions for FY05 through FY06
Ore Validation and a 1/3 TCSP operation are the only ones shown that have not been cancelled for FY05. TWP-ICE and Carbon work are the only FY06 missions that are not completely uncertain. Flight Request system - online system to receive requests from NASA and Non NASA PI's to ask for access to Catalogue of assets.
ICCAGRA – Appendix
Chartered subcommittee for a Data Systems Working Group to coordinate and establish standards for aircraft data systems.
Coordination of crew safety standards, especially medical standards for PI's. ICAP Strategic Plan to be updated next month: input to Jim Huning as ICAP co-chair. NOAA, NSF, NRL and NASA all anticipate some level of participation of aircraft in IPY, but no specifics yet.
Agreement (FINISH FROM SLIDES_)
SCOAR Activity Reports and Discussion
Letter to the community about the need for a long-range assessment of aircraft/satellite requirements and development of instrumentation through the SBIR program - Bane
Discussion about possible goals of a potential workshop, and how a letter to the community(s) would support that effort. The goals of a workshop were discussed
• Define the role of aircraft in earth observing systems.
• Define the requirements of the broader geosciences community for aircraft platforms.
• How to provide academic and institutional support for aircraft facilities.
• Limited personnel in agencies advocating for aircraft facilities.
• Benefit of long term assessment and planning is that it provides a better opportunity.
Draft Goals and Methods for community feedback and future workshops
Workshop - Community Input Process
• Recommend ongoing forum or process for coordinating utilization, improvement and renewal of aircraft facilities across all science disciplines, agencies and user communities.
• Assessment of current and future requirements for aircraft platforms.
• Assessment of measurements/sampling capabilities that the science community requires.
• Assess the current and planned future capabilities.
• Make recommendations about the need for developing new facilities or better utilization of existing facilities.
• Make recommendations about instrumentation development requirements.
• Agencies would check with senior management to determine support for a community wide workshop on aircraft support requirements.
• White Paper with a straw-man idea of how aircraft could support Ocean Sciences.
• SCOAR Letter to ocean science community with request for feedback. What questions?
• Determine recommendations and projections from previous and planned workshops such as the NSF workshop for ATM sciences.
• Use forums such as professional societies and other organizations, AGU, AMS, ASLO, TOS, Estuarine Research Federation (ERF), Ocean.US, Orion, etc. Implement Targeted communications with key people in these organizations.
• ICCAGRA and Academic aircraft operators create a consolidated assessment of current and planned research aircraft and instrumentation.
• Define the need and goals for a broader (earth sciences) community workshop on aircraft facility requirements.
Safety standards - Flagg (Charlie Flagg was absent and sent
a report by email)
• Wait to see what comes out of the ICAP process; take into account the new NOAA safety policy.
• Identify requirements to the science community, such as medical requirements.
• Articulate the type of procedures and information operators should have in place.
• No immediate action need, find out what ICAP recommends.
Scheduling information on the SCOAR website – Mike Prince
Request form changes – Mike Prince/Haf Jonsson
The SCOAR website was displayed showing the links to the CIRPAS schedule and request form. The schedule will be kept up to date by UNOLS Office with input from CIRPAS. Look at entering schedule into UNOLS system.
The online form has been used by one PI so far, John Bane. John had some suggestions for improvement that are more or less in line with suggestions from the last SCOAR meeting. The committee was asked for any other suggestions. The UNOLS Office will work with CIRPAS to make the recommended changes.
SCOAR Goals and Objectives
Open discussion about what SCOAR should be doing, in a broad sense, to enhance aircraft oceanography. The EOS and OCEANOGRAPHY articles had that sense to them, in that we were able to communicate to the general community about our committee and some of its activities and goals. What else should we be shooting for as a committee? We are entering our third year, and it may be a good time to review and contemplate who we are and what we are doing.
1. Improve visibility and clarity of info on aircraft facilities: Discussed the web page and making information available on aircraft facilities other than National Facilities.
• Fix links on web page, link to new CIRPAS page.
• Make the catalogue of aircraft a little more user friendly with pictures and links to correct information pages.
• Update and fix URLs for other aircraft operators.
• Make Aircraft more visible on the UNOLS Homepage, put Twin Otter in rotating ships file, put link to Aircraft info part of SCOAR page.
• Work with SCOAR and CIRPAS to update website info on CIRPAS and SCOAR websites.
2. Carry forward with assessing current aircraft capabilities and ocean science community's requirements for aircraft and airborne instrumentation. See earlier discussion.
3. Continue to set up the National Facility procedures and give CIRPAS feedback on improvements to support ocean sciences.
Action item list and assignment - SCOAR
1. Community feedback process
• Draft white paper on how aircraft can or should support ocean sciences,
what they can do.
• Draft letter to ocean science community asking for feedback on aircraft requirements and current use of them.
• Create a feedback questionnaire as a companion to the letter.
• Develop plans for a workshop with aircraft operators and earth (or just ocean) science users and funding agencies.
2. Update information on CIRPAS and SCOAR web pages, reorganize to make user friendly, higher profile on homepage.
• UNOLS Office put aircraft (Twin Otter) into rotating ships; add other
quick links to aircraft on home and scheduling pages.
• Update presentation of information on other university and agency aircraft and update links, page with pictures, contact info.
• Develop a method for keeping CIRPAS schedule and request information up to date.
• Link to new CIRPAS pages as appropriate.
3. Stay tuned on safety standards from ICAP and continue to formulate UNOLS aircraft safety guidelines. When ICAP safety procedures are finalized, finish a document that articulates the standards to be met by UNOLS aircraft.
Next SCOAR Meeting
Discussed whether or not the next meeting should be a phone/web conference. This depends on the agenda and length of time needed. A suggestion was made to meet at a ship operating institution such as Scripps in November and include a half-day open session for local ocean scientists. Atmospheric scientists would have a chance to tour a research vessel.
5:00PM - Adjourn