Velocity

2014

NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

Issue link: http://velocitymagazine.epubxp.com/i/380251

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global hawk velocity 2014 For more Solutions visit http://www.novatel.com 10 applications from homeland security to aerial survey to mine detection. The over-storm payload Global Hawk is equipped with a NovAtel SPAN-SE receiver which provides the user interface to SPAN and outputs raw measurement data or solution data over several communication protocols or to a re- movable SD card. As the principal investigator on the HIRWAP radar, Heymsfield works closely with the SPAN-SE technology. His primary role is to work with the radar measurements and re- trievals, which is deriving the winds from the radar measurements in the storm. "We're not doing anything in real time. We're doing post-processing," Heymsfield said. "What we do is use the post-processed data to improve the accuracy of winds obtained from HIWRAP. We have to know the attitude of the airplane so we can remove any winds that are caused by the aircraft itself. We want to look at the winds in the storm, so we have to remove any effects of the aircraft. That means we need an accurate position and attitude of the plane." Heymsfield and his team use the SPAN-SE with an LN-200 IMU to provide high-accuracy attitude and position data. They can get this in- formation from the aircraft, Heymsfield says, but the SPAN technology provides it at a higher data rate—of up to 200 Hz. The SPAN receiver is located on top of the Global Hawk's HIWRAP radar, so it is more accurate than the aircraft system that is locat- ed about 20 feet forward of the radar location, Heymsfield says. "It [SPAN] allows us to have high qual- ity navigation data along with our radar data," Heymsfield says. "It makes it easier to correct for the aircraft motions, and it makes data more accurate." Some of the findings Even though 2013 was a quiet hurricane season, the Global Hawks did manage to obtain impor- tant data that will help researchers better un- derstand rapid storm intensification, according to NASA. The over-storm Global Hawk f lew over Hurricane Ingrid on Sept. 15, 2013 accord- ing to NASA. The storm moved through the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico, travel- ing west-northwestward along Mexico's east coast. The plane's Hurricane Imaging Radi- ometer, HIRAD, measured energy coming from the rough ocean surface caused by rain and strong winds, enabling it to identify an area of heavy rain and likely strong winds on the storm's eastern side. The environmental payload Global Hawk f lew over the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin to capture data on the SAL in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, obtained data from Tropical Storm Humberto, studied a storm that had a 70 percent chance to develop but never did, and analyzed the environment of Tropical Depression 7, which would become Tropical Storm Gabrielle. The GRIP experiment The HS3 mission isn't the first time NASA used NovAtel's SPAN technology to obtain accurate navigation measurements. NASA first used SPAN during 2010 in an experiment known as GRIP—the Genesis and Rapid Intensifica- tion Processes. This six-week mission was con- ducted to help better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurri- canes, according to NASA. During this experiment, a Global Hawk gath- ered data from Hurricane Karl, a Category 3 hurricane that made landfall in Mexico, leaving nearly half a million people without power and 20,000 damaged or flooded homes. It also stud- ied Hurricanes Earl and Matthew. The HIRAD instrument on board the Global Hawk was able to measure strong ocean winds through heavy rain during Karl, providing both rain rate and wind speed. "We've learned that we've been able to de- rive winds within a storm," Heymsfield says. Team Thor at the frst DARPA ground based unmanned vehicle race Planning/testing for the Mars Rover expedition. The frst unmanned airbornne refueling test A leader in unmanned solutions NovAtel's technology has been vital to the success of several important applications, including: 3 1 2

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