Flight B759 is away…..

After a day of setup and planning B759 took off at shortly after 09:00 localtime this morning with 14 scientists hungry to get to grips with the arctic clouds.B760_airborne

ACCACIA principal investigator, Ian Brooks, will be acting as mission scientist on the flight deck today. This means that Ian has the job to absorb the data coming from the instruments at the back and liaise with the aircrew to put the aircraft in the right place….!

Today’s plan….

Sortie Aims:  Establish lower atmosphere structure & presence of any plumes of polluted air above the boundary layer (lidar mapping on transit). Evaluation of aerosol properties within the boundary layer, and just above cloud top (source of entrained aerosol for BL), vertical structure of BL, and cloud microphysical properties. This will be done to South & South West of Svalbard with a refuelling stop at Longyearbyen.

Before the aircraft takes to the skies all the instruments have to be warmed up and prepared for the mission ahead and there is a preflight briefing for the team who will be onboard today. Final modifications to the flight plans are discussed with the pilots, altitudes for sampling runs are confirmed, positions for dropsondes (like a weather balloon but they go down! – more). The preflight this morning revealed that the aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) on the 146 aircraft has also developed a fault, this time the suspected culprit is the videocard in the control PC. A replacement is being dispatched from Manchester, today the spare part for the AMS on the ship is being dropped off in Longyearbyen where it will be delivered to the ship which is due into port tonight at about midnight, this plan is still going as hoped.

Mission science team for tomorrow is Ian and Martin, they submitted their chosen sortie brief for tomorrow, basically much of the same as today with a low level overpass of the RV Lance with plenty of opportunities for photos no doubt!

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About Jim McQuaid

Atmospheric scientist (chemist by birth). Working in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds). Often found in close proximity to the FAAM146 research aircraft. Previously found urrently providing some science (and weighing clouds!) to the BBC Cloud Lab project as well as making clouds for BBC Wild Weather series.... (more... http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/people/j.mcquaid) @jimmcquaid

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