Abstract

NASA’s Ames Research Center currently operates a Convair 990 four-engine jet transport as a National Facility for airborne scientific research (astronomy, aurora, airglow, meteorology, earth resources). This aircraft can carry about twelve experiments to 12 km for several hours. A second aircraft, a twin-engine Lear Jet, has been used on a limited basis for airborne science and can carry one experiment to 15 km for 1 h. Mobility and altitude are the principal advantages over ground sites, while large payload and personnel carrying capabilities, combined with ease of operations and relatively low cost, are the main advantages compared to balloons, rockets, or satellites. Typical airborne instrumentation and scientific results are presented.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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