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(Session on

Desi heric

sselll, J. Landor@, J.

derson3, D.LUX*,D.W. ~ ~ 1 1 and 5 , S. Wegenerl

NASA Ames Research Center tt Field, CA 94035 ch Facility, Edwards, CA 93523 2Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, 3107 Colvin St., Alexandria, VA 22314 3Department of Chemistry and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Haward University,

5David Hall Consulting, 1111West El Camino Real, Suite 109-406, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP) and the Atmospheric Effects component of NASA's High Speed Research Program (HSRP) both require aircraft t o carry scientific instruments t o altitudes higher than the ER-2, and preferably t o greater ranges and durations, with fewer restrictions on flying at night and over easurements by such aircraft are needed t o understand phenomena determining the atmospheric effect of high-speed aircraft, as well as other manmade and natural influences on the global ozone layer. Such aircraft could also provide unique, critical measurements needed t o address a wide range of questions in Earth system science. NASA is now planning the development of aircraft and instruments to meet the above needs. The plan features a sequential approach, with small aircraft developed first, not only t o provide valuable atmospheric science measurements, but also to advance technologies and t o provide data on flight in unexplored low-Reynolds-number regimes. The initial development is of several aircraft, called Perseus A, to carry payloads of at least 50 kg t o altitudes of a t least 25 km, in support of the Atmospheric Effects component of HSRP and of UARP. Perseus A science-mission readiness is scheduled for late 1993. Subsequent aircraft aim for eater payload, range, duration, and ceiling.
Copyright 0 1991 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. No copyright is asserted in the United States under Title 17, U.S. Code. The U.S. Government has a royalty-free license to exercise all rights under the copyright claimed herein for Governmental purposes. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner.

Recent airborne science campaigns (e.g. the SF-sponsored Antarctic and Arctic ozone missions) have yielded major advances in knowledge of how the Earth system functions. Whereas these successes have highlighted the ability of aircraft to provide critical information unobtainable by other means, they have also pointed t o the need for aircraft with capabilities beyond those of today's Earth-science fleet. These needs extend across the spectrum of Earth science disciplines and depend on the science questions confronting, and the measurement techniques available Lo, each discipline. Because of this broad and complex need, NASA Ames Research Center recently established an Earth Science Advanced Aircraft Team, one goal of which is t o define the aircraft requirements implied by the science questions now confronting the subfields of Earth System Science.

The 1980's brought clear evidence that the earth system is susceptible to global-scale changes at rates unimagined ten years ago. The 1990's represent a critical period during which fundamental advances in our understanding of feedback processes which control the rates of global change must be quantified for informed policy decisions.

(Session on High-S From a mechanistic point of view, much of the earth's atmosphere remains unexplored: cloud/ radiative feedback, sources and sinks of carbon, tropospheric oxidation, microphysics of tropical convection, free radical catalysis, stratosphere/ troposphere exchange, to select a few. Implicit in what follows is the distinction between mechanistic or process oriented studies and observations of climatology While both are essential for scientific progress, a balance must be struck in our national strategy. Advanced aircraft are an ideal companion to spacecraft in the nation's Global Change research program for a number of reasons including the following: Advanced aircraft can provide immediate data addressing key questions on climate change, polar ozone depletion, tropospheric oxidation rates, impact of high-speed civil transports, and severe storms. Advanced aircraft can provide data complementary to the large satellite platforms proposed for the decade's end. High spatial and temporal resolution information on the global scale can be obtained, extending from the ground potentially to altitudes of 30-35 km, for quantities such as the following:

stems and Operations altimore, Sept 23-25, 1991

Diagnostics for atmospheric dynamics: Atmospheric tracers (N20, CFC 1U12, CH4) required to identify air parcel trajectories Atmospheric structure: Winds, temperatures, lapse rates, potential vorticity, potential temperature, gravity waves Reactive reservoir species H20, HON02, HCl, CION02, ClOOCl, C12 Particle size (0.01 um to 20 um), concentration, shape, composition Cloud microphysical properties; cirrus, stratus, etc.

Measurements such as the above are essential in developing answers to fundamental questions now confronting Earth system science. (e.g. Anderson and Langford, 1991). Examples of such fundamental questions for three subdisciplines of atmospheric science include:

Radiation field measurements: Flux (and radiance) divergence and directionality with cloud properties and constituent concentrations from the surface to 30 kmwhich are essential for global warming and related climate change studies Global carbon cycle: Sourcedsinks of C02, and CH4, over open ocean, ice pack, tundra, jungles, marshes, etc., which are required to identify key players in the carbon cycle Water vapor: High accuracylprecision measurements of H,O concentrations between 5 and 25 km are needed to estimate the sign and magnitude of the water vaporgreenhouse effect feedback Ozone and water vapor: High accuracy/precision observations in the upper troposphere and in the stratosphere Simultaneous high accuracy observations with high spatial resolution of the catalytically active species (in ozone destruction processes): OH, HO2, C1, C10, BrO, NO, NO2, O(3P)

Are the cirrus clouds over the warm oceans the fundamental thermostats that regulate SSTs in the tropical oceans'? What are the relative roles of convection and thermodynamics in causing the super greenhouse effect over the warm pool (SST > 27"C)? What are the relative roles of moisture transport by convection and vapor detrained by cirrus in the water vapor distribution of the troposphere? Why is there a near perfect anticorrelation between the atmospheric plus cloud greenhouse effect and cloud shortwave forcing over the warm pool? What is the link between large-scale circulation, deep convection, and cirrus reflectivity in the western Pacific?

Why are hurricanes so rare, given that their source is present most of the time? Why do most tropical disturbance die without ever becoming cyclones?

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aft Design Systems and spheric Environment),

addressing critical questions in other fields of arth system science, including biogeochemical dynamics, ecol cal systems and dynamics, s, hydrology, and solid earth tudy of Smith and Bufton (1991) pointed to crustal dynamics, ice studies, ocean color monitoring, physical oceanography, and vegetation studies, in addition t o atmospheric Id benefit from the studies, as fie application of over, other fields of inquiry, such as air-sea interactions and atmosphere-biosphere interactions, might require still other advanced-aircraft capabilities, such as the ability to fly ve low and follow the terrain, so a s t o make both intensive and extensive measurements of the fluxes of energy, moisture, a n d chemical constituents between t h e atmosphere and the underlying surface.

y don't most hurricanes that do man develop ever reac e intensity that na permits, even th do? at conditions of the atmosphere are necessary to transform an innocu disturbance into a violent storm'? need to measure in practice t o se conditions are present so that hurricane formation can be predicted? do hurricanes influence their own motion? t role does the counter-rotating circulation e upper atmosphere play in this? at do we need to observe to predict hurricane motion and intensity as accurately as possible? Clearly, the present system of observations is woefully inadequate.

Will significant ozone erosion occur within the arctic vortex in the next ten years, as chlorine loading in the stratosphere approaches 5 ppbv? 1 an "ozone hole" appear in the misphere by decade's end? To what extent will the antarctic ozone hole expand and deepen with this increasing chlorine loading? Which mechanisms are responsible for the observed ozone erosion poleward of 30 N in the winterhpring northern hemisphere reported in satellite observations? How will these large distortions in the global distribution of ozone affect UV penetration t o the surface, heating rates in the upper troposphere and stratosphere, and lapse rate, surface temperatures, and general circulation?

The above questions, when coupled with the array of measurement techniques available and used to design field campaigns, imply sets of aircraft performance specifications. Two recent reports have addressed the question of advanced aircraft needs for stratospheric science ( G o , 1989; NASA, 1990; see also Chambers and Reed, 1990). The second report, t h e result of a workshop in Truckee, California, recommended development of an aircrafi with ceiling 30 km, payload capability of 1400 kg, and a range of 10,000 km. Recognizing that such a general-purpose aircraft (nicknamed the "Truckee Truck") would be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to develop, the report also recommended development of special-purpose aircraft that could answer important questions in stratospheric science at lesser cost and with shorter development time. Since the release of the above reports, the advanced aircraft needs of other fields of atmospheric science have been addressed. For cGeer e t al. (1990) have assessed the mission requirements implied by current questions in atmospheric radiation and climate, global C 0 2 and CH4 chemistry, stratospheretroposphere exchange, hurricane reconnaissance and research, operational meteorology, and satellite validation, as well as stratospheric science. By taking into account substantial projected decreases in aircraft instrument weight, they derived a maximum payload requirement of 250 kg. They also pointed out that mission needs

at will be the impact of proposed fleets of commercial supersonic transports on the global ozone layer?

I t has been noted (e.g atson, 1991) that the e range of atmospheric aircraft implied by the science requirements would also be of

Desi heric oups: high altitude (30 km and e is determined by round-trip se to the phenomenon e from 0 t o 10,000 km other companies. m in automated n-avoiding rotorc
is actively considering the broad range of

nference session on Not all the interact subdisciplines of system science have ducted an assessm the advanced-aircraft needs implied by their cal science questions (at least not t o the ertheless, a tentative survey of the -science needs conducted by the s t o the conclusion that the required aircraft may be usefully following categories: concentrates primarily on the development of high-altitude aircraft for stratospheric science.

Note that aircraft optimized for long range are not necessarily equivalent to aircraft optimized for long duration. oreover, each category can be subdivided according t o other characteristics, e.g. by payload. There is also a need for aircraft with the ability t o survive penetrations of cumulonimbus clouds and their anvils.
ways to meet the needs of the full range of categories and payloads, a broad range of candidates must be considered. These include a wide range of existing, flight-tested aircraft (e.g. , 1989) such as Boeing's Co 9) and Grob's Egrett (AW

currently exist, but a recent evaluation has indicated that the erseus A concept of Aurora Flight Sciences Cor ration has the best chance of meeting this requirement within current fundin and schedule constraints. has recently selected Auror Corporation to develop Perseus not only as a platform that permits unique, critically needed stratospheric measurements, but also a s an important technological step on the path t o more capable aircraft. This concept has the virtue of permitting immediate development to meet near-term mission needs while also promising the more extensive capabilities required to satisfy the needs of a very broad user community.

Science's Perse DeLaurier et al., 87), plus various design concepts, includin the Leigh Aerosystems Stratoplane (designed lo meet the specifications of the Truckee workshop, Reed et al., 19911, Aurora's Theseus, Lockheeds concept for an autonomous ER-2, and other concepts under development by The concept of Perseus as the first step on the path t o more capable arth science advanced aircrafi is illustrated in Figures 2.1-1 and 2.1-2.

Paper No. 91-3162, Aircraft Besi (Session on High-speed Civil Transport Atmospheri The designations "Jeep" and "Van" were developed t o the nickname 1, and indicate a pro that start small and increase i capacity. With N A's selection of Perseus A as its initial aircraft developed specifically for Earth science, Perseus A has become synonymous with the "Jeep" in Figures 2.1-1 and 2.1-2.

ystems and Operations ronment), Baltimore, Sept 23-25, 1991

. I .
Perseus i s a lightweight unmanned aircraft designed specifically for atmospheric science research. Three versions are under development (see Table 2.2-1). The first proof-of-concept (POC) aircraft has been built t o test construction, design, and control techniques, and is restricted t o low altitude. The A version (Figure 2.2-1) is designed for short duration, very high altitude missions with fuel and oxidizer carried onboard in liquid form.

wing span [ml wing area [m21 length [ml propeller diameter [ml empty weight [kgl gross weight [kgl max payload wt [kgl max altitude [kml max duration [hrl

17.9 16.0 7.3 1.2 250 420 50 5 5

17.9 16.0 7.3 4.5 368 600 70 30 8

17.9 16.0 7.3 2.4 386 1000 200 21 100

Its operating envelope is illustrated in Figure 2.22. The B version h a s recently entered development, and will use a turbocharged engine t o carry 50-150 kg of payload at 18 km for up t o 100 hours. All versions share common tooling and flight controls. The aircraft are designed to be autonomous in climb and cruise, with remote piloting required only at take-off and landing.


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Paper No. 91-3162, rcraft Design Systems and Operations (Session on High-speed Civil Transport Atmospheric Environment), Baltimore, Sept 23-25,199 1


e, 30-

The maximum altitude which can be reached in a sustained climb, h, is given by Before describing the design details of Perseus A, it is useful t o review some fundamental considerations in the quest for high altitude (rather than the more common objectives of speed or range).
fuel exhaustion

h =

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ept 23425,1991

fuel exhaustion

h =

fuel exhaustion


h =
where W is the gross weight, m is aircraft mass, g is the acceleration of gravity, and E is the total energy delivered by the propeller. Notice that, according to this policy, fuel is exhausted at the top of its climb, and the aircraft must glide back to base. This is the plan for Perseus A. The power required to balance aerodynamic drag is a function of air density (p, determined by altitude) wing loading (WE),and aerodynamic endurance parameter

To minimize power

fly at the minimize maximize

lowest altitude possible wing loading

minimize aerodynamic weight efficiency

According to this analysis an aircraft like Perseus must have: good aerodynamic perf'ormance; a low wing loading; an efficient powerplant; and a high energy fuel o r a large fuel weight fraction;

Paper No. 91-3162, Aircraft Design Systems and (Session on High-speed Civil Transport Atmospheric Environment), The following features s a t i s 6 these requirements: airfoils specifically designed for low numbers using computational methods developed and validated on the Daedalus human-powered aircraft;
A wing loading at altitude of approximately 260 N/m2 (-5.5 lbs/ft2);

ting 23-25, 1991

a minimum-induced loss propeller, validated on Daedalus and its predecessors;

a lightweight internal combustion engine operating with liquid oxygen and methane carried onboard. (This maintains engine efficiency at altitude without the weight penalty of turbocharging. For a high-altitude aircraft, turbocharging is worthwhile only if long range o r long endurance is required.)

C68020 microprocessor on a ght surfaces ar-: driven by servos adapted from military unmanned aircraft. Communications with the aircraft are maintained through a full duplex modem operating at 4800 baud over U H F radio frequencies. Two transceivers, each of a different frequency, will be carried. The primary frequency carries data t o and from the flight computer, while the second frequency streams data from an onboard data logger. In t h e event of interference on the primary frequency, the aircraft will switch automatically t o the back-up frequency. In the event of a failure in the flight computer itself, the ound operator can assume control of the servos directly through the data logger on the second frequency. The a i r d a t a system measures temperature, pressure altitude, altitude change rate, and airspeed.

These features have been combined into a design that offers : nose-mounted instruments with unobstructed inlet flow for sampling atmospheric constituents; disassembly for transport via standard air cargo containers; 3-hour set-up and assembly time; field operation with small (-7) crew; operation from remote, unimproved fields of ice or grass

Primary navigation data is obtained throlagh the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. On development and checkout flights the aircraft carries a radio-controlled, mortar-launched parachute for emergency recovery.

Perseus A is powered by a unique closed-cycle powerplant that includes a liquid-cooled rotary engine rated at 50 k W ; a two-speed reduction gearbox with provisions for clutching and locking the propeller; a carbon-fiber drive shaft; a 4.4 m diameter variable-pitch propeller; liquid fuel and oxygen storage tanks; and a condenser to cool the exhaust.


The Perseus airframe is constructed entirely out of graphitelepoxy, Nomex honeycomb, and Kevlar (see Figure 22-31. All of the aerodynamic surfaces a r e built in molds and cured at elevated temperature. The construction is similar t o that of high-performance sailplanes, except that it is much lighter. The primary structure is designed to handle a 7-g ultimate load factor.

A quarter-scale version of the engine was run in t h e Combustion Laboratory at Princeton University during J u n e of 1990. Full-scale development is presently underway.

The Perseus flight control system is digital fly-bywire, comprised of both military and commercial components. The central flight computer uses a

Depending upon a number of factors (including the success of Perseus A, the continually evolving needs of Earth science, and the availability of A intends to pursue the design, development, and use of more capable advanced aircraft for Earth science. This process will be carried out by competitive procurements for concept studies, more detailed design studies, and eventually for aircraft developments. The process

1-3162, &rcrafi Desi ansgort Atmospheri

stems and Operations altimore, Sept 23-25, 1991






-- + . \

Paper No. 91-3162, Aircraft Design Systems and Operations mospheric Environment), Baltimore, Sept 23-25,199 1 will be coordinated with other agencies (e.g. NOAA, DOE, NSF) so as t o follow strategies laid out by the interagency Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES). Instruments to fly on Perseus A are currently being developed under both HSRP and UARP funding, and others are in the planning and proposal stage. An instrument t o measure chlorine monoxide and bromine monoxide radicals (both of which play key roles in polar ozone depletion) has been under development by Harvard University since 1990. Another Harvard instrument, intended for measurements of nitric oxide and reactive odd nitrogen from balloons or Perseus, also began development in 1990. Efforts are underway at NOAA to miniaturize NO/NOy instrumentation for flight on Perseus. Recently a diode laser spectrometer proposed by NASA Ames to measure the tracers methane, nitrous oxide, a n d carbon monoxide was selected for development, as was another diode laser spectrometer proposed by J e t Propulsion Laboratory t o measure nitrous oxide, methane, and water vapor. All these instruments are expected to play prominent roles in experiments to study the impact of high-speed aviation and other human activities on the ozone layer. Instruments proposed for other applications include flux radiometers and solar spectrometers t o study atmospheric radiation and climate, as well as dropsondes t o improve measurements of wind fields above hurricanes (which are the primary determinant of their trajectories).

The Perseus program was initiated using private funding in the spring of 1989. The first Perseus vehicle was shown publicly at NASA Ames in October 1990 a n d at National Airport in November 1990 (Figure 2.2-1). The proof-ofconcept aircraft is currently being prepared for low-altitude flight tests which are scheduled to begin in the fall of 1991. High-altitude flight tests of Perseus A will be hosted by t h e NASA Ames Dryden Flight Research Facility in 1993. The current plan calls for takeoffs and landings t o occur at China Lake, with Dryden providing radar and high-resolution optical tracking, allocation of telemetry frequencies, and a n instrument package t o document aerodynamic performance. Perseus A is planned to be ready for science flights in 1994.

The first planned use of Perseus A is in a science mission of the High Speed Research Program, currently scheduled for spring 1994. The tentative science goal of this HSRP mission is t o improve understanding of tropical injections to the stratosphere and their subsequent transport within the stratosphere. The specific role that Perseus A is expected to play is to fill in the gap between the ER-2 ceiling (21 km) and the primary design altitudes of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). In particular, Perseus A should provide a picture of trace gas and radical mixing surfaces in the 20- t o 25-km altitude region, in which aerosol layers and other factors are likely t o make some UARS measurements difficult t o interpret. oreover, Perseus A will provide a spatial resolution much finer than that achievable by spaceborne measurements. In this m a n n e r Perseus is expected t o extend understanding of the mixing of key radicals, including t h e i r t r a n s p o r t between t h e midlatitudes and tropics.

Developing a suite of advanced aircraft that are truly useful t o the broad spectrum of Earth science disciplines requires first that an explicit set of aircraft specifications (e.g. flight envelope, operating payload accommodation s, characteristics) be derived from a prioritized list of current and expected science questions, current and expected measurement techniques (remote, in-situ, and air deployable), and realistic assessments of costs and competing budgetary priorities. This derivation process entails extensive discussions with the appropriate elements of the science community, science funding agencies, and aircraft developers and operators. To facilitate this process, NASA and other agencies a r e currently encouraging,


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, and participating in a number of workshops, and conferences. The goal is t o produce sets of written performance specifications that can be targeted by aircraft developers.

eed, 1990: AVery High Chambers, A., and Altitude Aircraft for Global Climate Research. Unmanned Systems, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 14-19. DeLaurier, J. , B. Gagnon, J. Wong, R. Williams, C. Hayball, and S. Advani, 1987: Progress esearch for a Stationary Highy Platform (SHARP), Unmanned Systems, Vol. 5 , No. 3, pp. 26-46. Geo, 1989: Airborne Geoscience: The Next port of the Special Interagency Task Group on Airborne Geoscience.

any of the scientifi questions confronting the various disciplines of arth System Science in the coming decades can best be addressed by supplementing space-, surface-, and subsurfacebased measurements with those made from aircraft platforms having capabilities exceeding those of today's Earth Science fleet. A particular class of such questions concerns the impact of high-speed aircraft and other manmade and natural phenomena on the stratospheric ozone layer. Answering those stratospheric questions requires a n aircraft that can carry scientific sampling instruments well above the ER-2's ceiling (20 km) at subsonic speeds. To meet this need NASA has recently selected Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation to develop Perseus A aircraft. Perseus As design goal is to carry scientific air-sampling payloads weighing at least 50 kg to altitudes of at least 25 km. Perseus A addresses these performance goals .by using airfoils specifically designed for low Reynolds n u m b e r s , a l i g h t w e i g h t s t r u c t u r e of graphite/epoxy, Nomex honeycomb, and Kevlar, and a closed-cycle powerplant that carries liquid oxygen. First high-altitude flights are scheduled for 1993, and a science mission for 1994.

. S., N, Arntz, and R. D. CONDOR for High Altitudes. America, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 36-37.


Hall, D. W., and P. B. Russell, 1992: Earth Science Advanced Aircraft Performance Models. Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, Silicon Valley Symposium, January 28-31, 1992, enlo Park, CA McGeer, T., J. S. Langford, J. G. Anderson, and Drela, 1990: THESEUS: A high-altitude aircraft for atmospheric science. SBIR Phase I Report t o National Science Foundation, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation. onastersky, R., 1991: Voyage into Unknown Skies. Science News, Vol. 139, pp. 136-137. NASA, 1989: Global Stratospheric Change: Requirements for a Very-high-altitude Aircraft for Atmospheric Research. NASA Conference Publication 10041, 1989. Reed, R. D., G. L. Harris, and A. G. Sim, 1991: Stratospheric Surveyor Aircraft "Stratoplane" Design Study. Available from first author, PRC Dryden Research Facility, P.O. Box 273, Building 4839, Edwards, CA 93523 Smith, D., and Bufton, J., 1991: The remotely piloted vehicle as a n Earth science research aircraft. Report available from J. Bufton, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Watson, R. T. , 1991: Research Opportunities Afforded by Remotely-Piloted Aircraft: An Initial Analysis by a n Ad-Hoc Interagency Team. Draft.

Anderson, J. G., a n d J. S. Langford, 1991: Unmanned Aircraft: An Essential Component in Global Change Research. Version 1.0, June 1991, available from J. G. Anderson, Departments of Chemistry and of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University. ST, 1988: Egrett-1 to be Offered in and RPV Versions. Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 129, No. 20, p. 92. AW&ST, 1989: Specifications of US RPVs and Drones and International RPVs and Drones, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 130, NO. 12, pp. 162-165.