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Analysis of the March 30, 2011 Hail Event at Shuttle Launch Pad 39AThe Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Hail Monitor System, a joint effort of the NASA KSC Physics Lab and the KSC Engineering Services Contract (ESC) Applied Technology Lab, was first deployed for operational testing in the fall of 2006. Volunteers from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) in conjunction with Colorado State University have been instrumental in validation testing using duplicate hail monitor systems at sites in the hail prone high plains of Colorado. The KSC Hail Monitor System (HMS), consisting of three stations positioned approximately 500 ft from the launch pad and forming an approximate equilateral triangle, as shown in Figure 1, was first deployed to Pad 39B for support of STS-115. Two months later, the HMS was deployed to Pad 39A for support of STS-116. During support of STS-117 in late February 2007, an unusually intense (for Florida standards) hail event occurred in the immediate vicinity of the exposed space shuttle and launch pad. Hail data of this event was collected by the HMS and analyzed. Support of STS-118 revealed another important application of the hail monitor system. Ground Instrumentation personnel check the hail monitors daily when a vehicle is on the launch pad, with special attention after any storm suspected of containing hail. If no hail is recorded by the HMS, the vehicle and pad inspection team has no need to conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle immediately following a storm. On the afternoon of July 13, 2007, hail on the ground was reported by observers at the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) and Launch Control Center (LCC), about three miles west of Pad 39A, as well as at several other locations at KSC. The HMS showed no impact detections, indicating that the shuttle had not been damaged by any of the numerous hail events which occurred on that day.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lane, John E.
(Enterprise Advisory Services, Inc. United States)
Doesken, Nolan J.
(Colorado State Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Kasparis, Takis C.
(Cyprus University of Tech. Lemess, Cyprus)
Sharp, David W.
(National Weather Service Melbourne, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 23, 2012
Subject Category
Ground Support Systems And Facilities (Space)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2012 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting(New Orleans, LA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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