Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Good Views, But Not The Most Exciting Flight

On Sunday we stayed fairly local and flew out over Prince Edward Island and did some spirals around the area. The reason for this flight was that the Aura satellite (http://aura.gsfc.nasa.gov/) was doing a special overpass of the area. So we flew out over the ocean and since the sky was really clear did a spiral ascent and descent from 25,000 ft to 5,000 ft. From this we should have got some good data to compare with the satellite measurements. There were beautiful views of the island including one showing the clouds confined to the area above the land with totally clear skies over the sea.

We saw traces of a plume but whether it was from biomass burning or some other emissions we are not certain yet; concentrations of the typical tracers, acetonitrile, HCN, were not particularly high. After the flight we had a campaign photo taken, getting everyone together and organised was not an easy job and took a number of people quite some time. But when we got there the guy we asked to take the photo turned out to be a real David Bailey shooting from different directions, angles, even with diferent cameras...still not sure he got a good one...maybe I'll post one later on when I get the files.

Monday was a down day (no flying) with power to the aircraft so there was a small group of us on the aircraft making sure our instuments were working exactly as we wanted. We also had to change some gas cylinders as the plan for today and Wednesday was to fly to Thunder Bay, a double flight (8-10hrs) then stay overnight there and do more flying the next day. This meant that half empty gas cylinders would not last the duration.

Steve and Steph pose in laser goggles while Eleonora and I check the laser aligniment on the LIF

We have a full on sock monkey epidemic (if you don't know what I'm talking about this might help) here at the airport. It all started with the colourful fella in the picture below who has been posing around the aircraft. Then the discovery of a sock monkey shop in Halifax saw another one materialise (any chance of a photo Mike?). Another scientist has requested the ingredients from the aforementioned shop to enable him to create a masterpiece to take home for his girlfriend and a mascot for the aircraft has also been suggested.

Today was an early start with power on the aircraft at 5.30am. Towards the end of the warm up time the arrival of a camera man from the Discovery Channel Canada sparked a flurry of activity mounting a time lapse camera at the back of the aircraft and teaching James Lee to operate a camera for during today's flight. Shalini Punjabi, Guy Gratton and Paul Palmer were also interviewed. More filming will take place on landing tomorrow so keep your eye out for some BORTAS scientists starring on the small screen.

Filming the pre-flight briefing

1 comment:

  1. Cool sock monkey! How did it get on the plane without a security pass...? :)