NASA to begin operating unmanned Global Hawk drones to investigate hurricanes

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posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 09:04 AM
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I had heard that NASA got a few Northrop-Grumman Global Hawk drones from the Air Force a while back for testing purposes. Now, it seems they're publicly announcing that the high-tech spy drones are being put into play. At an estimated cost of $104mil per unit (NASA has 2 of them), and operating expenses exceeding $6500/hr, it's difficult to imagine that hurricanes are the only thing they'll be investigating.

Source

Beginning this summer and over the next several years, NASA will be sending unmanned aircraft dubbed "severe storm sentinels" above stormy skies to help researchers and forecasters uncover information about hurricane formation and intensity changes.


For more information on the specs, costs, and capabilities of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, check out WikiPedia




posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by draco49
 


Well I'm glad that they found a domestic use for drones that doesn't revolve around spying on American citizens. I really wish that Obama hadn't changed NASA's mission from exploring space to proving global warming, though.

I feel that global warming is a fraud perpetrated to separate us from our money through guilt and that using such an agency as NASA to further that agenda is wrong.

Studying hurricanes though, that I am okay with. I wonder if they'll give drones to NOAA for similar purposes?
edit on 3-6-2012 by Mkoll because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Mkoll
reply to post by draco49
 


Well I'm glad that they found a domestic use for drones that doesn't revolve around spying on American citizens. I really wish that Obama hadn't changed NASA's mission from exploring space to proving global warming, though.

I feel that global warming is a fraud perpetrated to separate us from our money through guilt and that using such an agency as NASA to further that agenda is wrong.

Studying hurricanes though, that I am okay with. I wonder if they'll give drones to NOAA for similar purposes?


I have serious doubts that hurricane research is the true intention for these drones. You brought up the NOAA, and it seems to me that if any agency was going to be given top-shelf equipment to study hurricanes, it would be them and not NASA. I see it as a 'red herring'. The same way that every UFO sighting is a weather balloon, now every drone sighting is going to be a NASA weather drone. Same old BS with a new paint-job.

As for global warming, I think the phenomenon is evident. It's the cause that is controversial. Obama and Al Gore like to believe that it's human-created situation. The problem with that argument is that it doesn't explain why every other planet in the solar system is experiencing the same thing. Increasing levels of gamma radiation exposure originating at the galactic center provides a better explanation for this systemic rise in planetary temperatures.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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NASA has done environmental research for years. They have flown the ER-2, based on the U-2C since about the 1980s, doing all kinds of air sampling missions, studying storms, and taking pictures of the ground in various areas. They also have operated the WB-57F, doing similar missions. Both fly with collection bottles to take air samples, for everything from checking for radioactivity, to examining toxic levels in various areas.

NOAA tends to take a more "hands on" approach to studying hurricanes, and has several aircraft that they fly through, taking samples from inside the storm, while NASA does more above the storms, trying to help develop better modelling software for forecasting future storms.


ER-2 High Altitude Airborne Science Aircraft12.16.09 NASA is operating two Lockheed ER-2 Earth resources aircraft as flying laboratories in the Sub-Orbital Science Program under the agency's Science Mission Directorate. The aircraft, based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., collect information about our surroundings, including Earth resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes. The aircraft also are used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration and satellite data validation.

Program History

In 1981, NASA acquired its first ER-2 aircraft. The agency obtained a second ER-2 in 1989. They replaced two Lockheed U-2 aircraft, which NASA had used to collect science data since 1971. The U-2s, and later the ER-2s, were based at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., until 1997, when the ER-2 aircraft and their operations moved to NASA Dryden.

Since the airborne science program's inaugural flight on Aug. 31, 1971, NASA U-2s and ER-2s have flown more than 4,500 data missions and test flights in support of scientific research conducted by scientists from NASA, other federal agencies, states, universities and the private sector.

www.nasa.gov...


High Altitude Research Program


Mission Statement:

The NASA WB-57 Program provides unique, high-altitude airborne platforms to US Government agencies, academic institutions, and commercial customers in order to support scientific research and advanced technology development and testing at locations around the world. Mission examples include atmospheric and earth science, ground mapping, cosmic dust collection, rocket launch support, and test bed operations for future airborne or spaceborne systems.

The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas is the home of the NASA WB-57 High Altitude Research Program. Two fully operational WB-57 aircraft are based near JSC at Ellington Field. Both aircraft have been flying research missions since the early 1960's, and continue to be an asset to the scientific community with professional, reliable, customer-oriented service designed to meet all scientific objectives.

jsc-aircraft-ops.jsc.nasa.gov...


edit on 6/7/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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As of right now, there are no drones being flown out of houston, JSC or Ellington Field JRB.

As a prior membor of the 147th Reconnaissance Wing located at EF, i know for sure that drones aren't being flown. Our unit once was a Fighter Wing with F-16's then a few years ago BRAC changed our mission to MQ-1 Predator Drones.

Our unit wasn't allowed to launch/Recover our drones at Ellington because of FAA's restrictions. I'm sure that these restrictions would be the same for NASA.

Out of the 6 years i was out there, never once did i see a globalhawk on the flightline (on the ellington side, not the NASA side). after seeing first hand the equipment it takes to fly a drone, i had never seen any on the NASA side of the flight line

however, the WB-57 was regularly flown, once a week or so.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 08:17 AM
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Just watched a show on the Weather Channel here in the U.S.. Sounds to me like a pretty niffty toy. And could really help saving lives.





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