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Pacific Dust Experiment Image 2
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Pacific Dust Experiment (Image 2)

July 30, 2010
The HIAPER (High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research), a modified Gulfstream-V aircraft owned by the National Science Foundation and operated and maintained by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The plane has a range of about 6,000 miles and can cruise from just a few hundred feet above the Earth's surface to over 50,000 feet.

The G-V was deployed by researchers for PACDEX (Pacific Dust Experiment), a field project launched in April 2007 to study plumes of airborne dust and pollutants that originate in Asia and journey to North America. The plumes are among the largest such events on Earth and are so great in scope, that scientists believe they might affect clouds and weather across thousands of miles, while interacting with the sun's radiation and playing a role in global climate. The plane's features enabled scientists to study the plumes across thousands of miles and at different levels of the atmosphere.

The project was led by scientists from NCAR and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with funding provided primarily by the National Science Foundation.


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