by Michael Studinger, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

I was involved in organizing two workshops related to research aviation and Antarctic science. The goal of the LARA workshop in 2004 was to develop a strong multi-disciplinary science justification for a long-range research aviation facility. In preparation for the LARA workshop, a small group of scientists visited NCAR's Research Aviation Facility to assess the scope of modifications required for the production of a National Science Foundation owned LC-130 aircraft with research capabilities.

LARA - Scientific Opportunities for a Long-Range Aircraft for Research in Antarctica:

From September 27-29, 2004, the National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop on scientific opportunities for a multidisciplinary research aircraft for Antarctic research (workshop web site). The overall goal of the workshop was to: 1) identify the key scientific questions in Antarctic science that currently cannot be addressed because of agap in our observational capabilities; 2) develop a strong science justification for the required new research tools; and 3) provide the National Science Foundation with recommendations on the requirements for a long-range research aviation facility. The workshop results have been published in an EOS article and in the workshop report.

Assessing the Scope of Science Modifications for an LC-130 Hercules:

In preparation for the LARA workshop, I coordinated the visit of a small group of scientists, broadly representing the solid Earth, glaciology, oceanography, and atmospheric science communities, at the Research Aviation Facility (RAF) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Jefferson County Airport, Broomfield, Colorado. The objective of this visit was to estimate the scope of modifications required for the production of a NSF LC-130 aircraft with research capabilities. RAF engineers shared their experience with the group of scientists. The assessment was done for the specific case of an LC-130, but the challenges will be similar for other types of aircraft. The scope of modifications will not only depend on the type of aircraft, but also on a particular configuration of a candidate aircraft. The full report is available on the workshop website.


Published Workshop Reports and Articles:

Studinger, M., Bromwich, D., Csatho, B., Muench, R., Parish, T., Stith, J. Science Opportunities for a Long-Range Antarctic Research Aircraft, EOS Transactions, Vol. 86 No. 4, 39-40, 2005. doi:10.1029/2005EO040004.

Studinger, M., Bromwich, D., Csatho, B., Muench, R., Parish, T., Stith, J., Scientific Opportunities for a Long-Range Aircraft for Research in Antarctica (LARA), Workshop report, 60 pp, 2005.

http://polarmet.mps.ohio-state.edu/lara/doc/LARA_July_2005.pdf

Studinger, M., Science Requirements for a Long-Range Aircraft for Antarctic Research: Assessing the Scope of Modifications for an LC-130 Hercules. Meeting report, 17 pp, 2004.

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~mstuding/LCSB/LC-130-report.pdf


This work was supported by:

The National Science Foundation,

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.