Tuesday, June 3, 2014

India to Acquire NASA’s DC 8 Flying Laboratory

India to Acquire NASA’s DC 8 Flying Laboratory 

Originally Posted in Aviation Analysis Wing

India is considering to procure a NASA DC-8 airborne laboratory aircraft to study wind patterns at high altitude for better prediction of such calamities.

“We are procuring McDonnell Douglas DC-8 aircraft from NASA and we should hopefully get it by 2015-2016. This aircraft has a laboratory within itself and will be helpful in studying wind patterns,” Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) Secretary Shailesh Nayak told PTI.

The modified Douglas DC-8 jetliner is based at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California. The DC-8 flies three primary missions - sensor development, satellite sensor verification, and basic research studies of the Earth's surface and atmosphere.

The aircraft has a range of 5,400 nautical miles (6,200 statute miles) and can fly at mission altitudes from 1,000 to 42,000 feet for up to 12 hours, although most science missions average 6 to 10 hours. The DC-8 can carry 30,000 pounds of scientific instruments and equipment.

The aircraft has many modifications specifically oriented to support scientific research. These include zenith and nadir instrument ports; modified window ports for instrument and probe mounting; external antenna mounts; wing pylon instrument mounts; optical windows of various materials; a dropsonde delivery tube; air and aerosol sampling probes; standard 19-inch equipment racks (up to 20 racks and 25 instruments typically accommodated); a laser chiller unit; both 400 Hz and 60 Hz power available to experimenter stations; and seating for up to 45 experimenters and flight crew.

The DC-8 also incorporates a suite of operational aircraft and data systems that can be tailored to specific missions or science instruments. These include weather radar; global positioning and inertial navigational systems; a radar altimeter; sensors for recording total air temperature, ambient pressure, and relative humidity; a time code generator (NTP and IRIG-B), video, and digital recording systems; data acquisition, distribution, and recording systems; an Ethernet LAN with servers; and Web-based displays.

Picture Courtesy Airliners.net 

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