AMES RESEARCH CENTER METEOROLOGICAL MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS

Research Staff: T. Paul Bui, Stuart W. Bowen, Cecilia Chang, Jonathan Dean-Day, Leonhard Pfister

The Meteorological Measurement System (MMS) provides accurate high-resolution meteorological parameters (pressure, temperature, turbulence index, and the 3-dimensional wind vector). The MMS consists of three major systems: (1) an air motion sensing system to measure the air velocity with respect to the aircraft, (2) an aircraft motion sensing system to measure the aircraft velocity with respect to the earth, and (3) a data acquisition system to sample, process and record the measured quantities.

The MMS is uniquely qualified to investigate atmospheric mesoscale (gravity and mountain lee waves) and microscale (turbulence) phenomena. An accurate characterization of the turbulence phenomenon is important for the understanding of dynamic processes in the atmosphere, such as the behavior of buoyant plumes within cirrus clouds, diffusions of chemical species within wake vortices generated by jet aircraft, and microphysical processes in breaking gravity waves. Accurate temperature and pressure data are needed to evaluate chemical reaction rates as well as to determine accurate mixing ratios. Accurate wind field data establish a detailed relationship with the various constituents and the measured wind also verifies numerical models used to evaluate air mass origin. Since the MMS provides quality information on atmospheric state variables, MMS data have been extensively used by many investigators to process and interpret the in situ experiments aboard the same aircraft.

The MMS has operated on the NASA ER-2, DC-8, and WB-57F research aircraft. The instrument team has successfully participated in the following major NASA field missions: STEP (1987), AAOE (1987), AASE-I (1989), AASE-II (1991-1992), SPADE (1992-1993), ASHOE/MAESA (1994), SUCCESS (1996), STRAT (1995-1996), POLARIS (1997), SONEX (1997), CAMEX-3 (1998), SOLVE (2000), CAMEX-4 (2001), and CRYSTAL-FACE (2002).

Point of Contact: T. Paul Bui, (650) 604-5534, pbui@mail.arc.nasa.gov

MMS web site