Tag Archives: Geophysica

First high-altitude flight from Kiruna gets underway

From Dirk (ESA), Kiruna, northern Sweden, 11 December Great news! The Geophysica aircraft made its way out of the hangar for the first flight of the ESSENCE campaign. Owing to a few problems with the electronics and the GLORIA instrument playing up a bit we had to delay the first flight. So we were really happy this morning to see the pilot take his seat and the plane lift off. Once it had disappeared from view in the clouds, everyone followed the flight on the computer screen. As soon as it had reached the right altitude, the instrument was put into measurement mode and as far as we can tell, the data...

Limb viewing in Kiruna

From Dirk (ESA) Kiruna, northern Sweden, 9 December Last Sunday, I made my way up to Kiruna in northern Sweden to follow the ESSENCE campaign. The aim is to carry out measurements of the atmosphere from a high-altitude research aircraft called Geophysica to support the development of a candidate ESA Earth Explorer mission called PREMIER which promises to provide vital clues on how atmospheric chemistry and climate are linked. Geophysica is one of the very few aircraft that can fly up to 21 km above the surface of Earth, which is twice the height of a commercial plane. A new ‘limb’ sounder is onboard. This type of instrument looks horizontally through the...