ESRL Global Systems Division

NOAA Presence at NASA Dryden Global Hawk Event

On January 15, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center will be celebrating the debut of the first non-military Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flights at Edwards Air Force Base in California. NOAA has been involved in this effort through its UAS Program. NOAA atmospheric sampling instruments will be part of the payload on the first Global Hawk flights in support of earth science missions that will take place in June 2009. Representatives from NOAA will be at the event including a delegation from NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory and Rear Admiral Philip M. Kenul, who will be speaking on behalf of NOAA.

UAS is a developing technology that has the potential to bridge the information gap between satellites and surface-based sensors and thus expand NOAA's ability to monitor the global environment. There is increased recognition that UAS can fill critical gaps in our current measurement systems over remote and dangerous areas, such as Polar Regions, the mid-oceans, expansive wildlands, and volcanic islands where manned aircraft flights are not possible due to long flight durations and hazardous conditions. The NOAA UAS program is currently testing UAS for a variety of applications in three test bed regions; the Arctic, Pacific, and Gulf/Atlantic.

NOAA's UAS involvement in this event supports and promotes important policies in climate change research, Earth observations, weather and water resources forecasting, and ecosystems monitoring and management.

Contact information
Name: Sara Summers
Tel: 303-497-4221