Naval Postgraduate School Aircraft
The general nature of our research flights was to map sea surface temperature and overwater wind velocity and to conduct a marine mammal census in the
vicinity of Monterey Bay on several individual days in August 2000. These data support our ongoing efforts to monitor and model the upwelling circulation and
accompanying ecosystem response in and around Monterey Bay. Most important, these flights were designed to coincide with a major oceanographic field campaign
taking place during August 2000, the central component of which is MBARI's MOOS Upper-Water-Column Science Experiment (MUSE).
The important role that we planned for aircraft overflights involves rapid mapping of the sea surface temperature in order to help direct the research vessel sampling program relative to upwelling fronts and eddies. The Spring-Summer upwelling period in this area has an extremely low probability of clear days over the ocean for which satellite temperature measurements can be used. Instead, we flew below the low stratus clouds with airborne passive radiometers to map the ocean temperature. The aircraft surveys also collect a spatial map of wind velocity, which is used to force the ocean circulation models and to validate high resolution atmospheric circulation models. These latter models produce highly contrasting wind fields between outside and inside Monterey Bay, but no two-dimensional wind observations exist to test them.
Project MethodologyAll flights were conducted with scientific and engineering support from the Navy's SPAWAR System Center-San Diego using a twin-engine Navajo aircraft owned and operated by Gibbs Flying Services, Inc., Montgomery Field, 8906 Aero Drive, San Diego, CA 92123. Logistical support was provided by NPS's Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS ), which is located at the Marina Municipal Airport.
This project involved level flight along a regular grid over Monterey Bay. All flights departed from and returned to the CIRPAS hanger. A total of 12 flights spread over the period 16 August to 3 September 2000 were planned, but there were thirteen flights performed. A few days had a morning and afternoon flight.
A sample flight track from the 233rd day of the year overlaid on a sea surface temperature map is shown below and all original and processed aircraft data listed in the following tables. The data collected were air, dew point, and sea surface temperatures immediately below the aircraft and wind speed and direction at the aircraft elevation. A permit was requested from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to fly along this nominal flight path at altitudes between 400 feet and 1000 feet. The primary need to fly below 1000 feet was because the low stratus cloud height in this region during this period is often at around 900 feet.
|Day of the year - 233|
NPS aircraft data
(in directory: Processed\Aircraft_NPS)
images from NPS aircraft data
Data reside in: Processed\Aircraft_NPS\Images
Note: On some days, data were collected morning and afternoon.
Morning data were labeled "a"; afternoon data were labeled "b".
|Air temperature||Dew point||Sea surface temperature|
|Wind speed||Combined data|
Metadata for NPS Aircraft
|Original Metadata - NPS Aircraft||Processed Metadata - NPS Aircraft|
|No Original data exist.||Aircraft|