Advanced aircraft for atmospheric researchThe development of aircraft for high-altitude research is described in terms of program objectives and environmental, technological limitations, and the work on the Perseus A aircraft. The need for these advanced aircraft is proposed in relation to atmospheric science issues such as greenhouse trapping, the dynamics of tropical cyclones, and stratospheric ozone. The implications of the study on aircraft design requirements is addressed with attention given to the basic categories of high-altitude, long-range, long-duration, and nap-of-the-earth aircraft. A strategy is delineated for a platform that permits unique stratospheric measurements and is a step toward a more advanced aircraft. The goal of Perseus A is to carry scientific air sampling payloads weighing at least 50 kg to altitudes of more than 25 km. The airfoils are designed for low Reynolds numbers, the structural weight is very low, and the closed-cycle power plant runs on liquid oxygen.
Russell, P. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Wegener, S. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Langford, J. (Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. Alexandria, VA, United States)
Anderson, J. (Harvard University Cambridge, MA, United States)
Lux, D. (NASA Flight Research Center Edwards, CA, United States)
Hall, D. W. (David Hall Consulting Sunnyvale, CA, United States)