First DEEPWAVE Flight

I’m a bit behind on updates in all the excitement going on with DEEPWAVE, plus exploring beautiful New Zealand, but here’s more about our first flight mission and some links to stay involved!

Friday, June 6th, 2014: Hokitika, South Island, New Zealand

Click to view missions!
HIAPER GV Flight Path (4 dropsondes to release-all in the ocean)
Click for more mission plots!
Skew-T plot from 06 UTC Hokitika upsonde. We use these to tell us about the conditions at different levels of the atmosphere!

Today was our first Intensive Observing Period (IOP)! We’ve been watching the weather and tracking Energy Flux (EF) and wind over South Island, NZ. There’s a chance conditions will allow for internal gravity waves over us, so NSF/NCAR’s HIAPER GV research aircraft took off from Christchurch at 6 pm. They’re recording in-flight data and releasing dropsondes from 41,000 ft while we launch upsondes (weather balloons + radiosondes to collect data) from Hokitika!

Click for recent plots
Ceilometer Backscatter plotting above 4*10-9 m-1 sr-1 up to just after 4 pm local time. All the deep red reaching the ground (0 m on the vertical axis) is the rain we had today!

We launched two more upsondes here in Hokitika; one at 06 UTC and another at 09 UTC. The first used a 300 g balloon filled with 43 ft3 Helium, and the second filled with 39 ft3 He, rather than the 200 g balloons (bigger balloons because they reach higher altitudes before bursting = more data for us to use!)

I’m now tracking the 09 UTC upsonde and relaying its upper-air data to the HIAPER GV and the Operation Center in Christchurch. GV just let us know that the first two dropsondes were fastfalls, meaning their parachute didn’t deploy when released.  The exciting news is that gravity waves are now being tracked over the ocean southeast of South Island!  Next dropsonde is set for around 2230 local time.

20140606_195336
Relaying info to HIAPER and Ops Center!

Until then, I’m corresponding with HIAPER GV at least until the 09 UTC balloon reaches 150 mb. HIAPER is set to land back in Christchurch around 3 am and has the two dropsondes to release before then.

06 UTC launch with Jordan Miller
06 UTC launch with Jordan Miller

An overall exciting day for DEEPWAVE New Zealand and my first IOP experience!  (To say I was enthusiastic about today is an understatement–just ask our Project Supervisor Bill Brown, or Brian Billings who kindly brought me dinner while I was glued to the HIAPER GV chat and incoming data…)  

I’m very much looking forward to the days ahead with DEEPWAVE!  View the detailed summary of IOP #1 and future missions here.  If you’d like to stay updated on our experiment, check out our Field Catalog!

Truly,

Tash

 

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: New Zealand’s Incredible Clouds! « TashClimate


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