The Airborne Platform
The Anderson Group instruments constitute an important component of the observational array required to address both the AURA calibration/validation requirements and the hypotheses that constitute the scientific objectives of the program. Consideration of AURA collaborative science and the scientific objectives of TC4 serves to identify required characteristics of the platform used in the airborne field operation that constitutes the core of this effort:
- Ability to carry the proper complement of instruments
- Ability to contiguously cover the altitudes required from the boundary layer to the lower stratosphere
- Ability to operate in convectively active regions and to engage in sophisticated storm avoidance
- Ability to minimize operational complexity for foreign deployments
- Ability to accept new instruments and to accept multiple instruments for intercomparison
- Ability to combine in situ and remote observations to increase the collaborative overlap between aircraft and satellites.
The WB-57 constitutes a critical part of the field deployment strategy from 2004 through the AURA period because of its ability to meet this combination of requirements.