HS3 Mission Gets Support from NASA Ames' Earth Science Project Office
The Earth Science Project Office (ESPO) is a small group of success-oriented individuals providing project management for NASA's Science Mission Directorate field research, and one of those projects is the Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel (HS3) mission flying this summer.
ESPO is located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. ESPO is responsible for planning, implementation and post-mission support – for HS3 and for other large, complex, multi-agency, national and international field campaigns.
The ESPO also provides support to the Airborne Science Program (ASP) for both the ASP website development and the ASP Science Operations Flight Request System (SOFRS).
The ESPO office was formed in 1987 and now has supported more than 40 domestic and international campaigns. Each year ESPO supports a number of single-year missions and more recently, several multi-year missions.
ESPO currently provides Project Management to two of the 5-year Earth Venture Projects, Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) and Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment.
HS3 will involve flying two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft deployed from NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Va. to study hurricane development in the Atlantic Basin. HS3 is a particularly challenging field deployment because it is the first time the GHs will deploy to another airfield, the first time the Payload Mobile Operations Facility will be used and the first time two Global Hawks will be flown back-to-back.
Beginning in early August, the HS3 crew will begin work in the hangar at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. to integrate instruments onto the Global Hawks and will start operations at the NASA Wallops facility soon after. Five weeks of field science operations at Wallops Flight Facility are scheduled.
ESPO is spearheading educational and public outreach efforts for HS3. This summer, teacher workshops will be held in early August at Wallops and at Dryden. Participating educators will meet some of the HS3 participants and learn how NASA’s hurricane science can be a useful and exciting learning tool in the middle grades.
Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment will deploy the Global Hawk from several locations over the next few years to further investigate the water vapor physics and the chemistry of the tropical tropopause.
Another, multi-year mission ESPO is supporting is Operation IceBridge. Operation Ice Bridge uses multiple aircraft for ongoing investigations of the thinning and movement of Arctic and Antarctic Sea and Land Ice. This involves studies of the Arctic from Greenland in the spring and the Antarctic from Punta Arenas Chile in the fall.
For all missions, the ESPO team investigates locations for deployment site selection, coordinates with the local sites and facilitates communications among all parties. They also oversee site preparations and provide support throughout the missions.
The ASP and SOFRS website development and maintenance is a new addition to ESPO’s scope over the past few years. The tools created for these websites have improved the user interfaces as well as policies and products.
Mike Craig, the ESPO director at NASA Ames, said, "We have the privilege of being recognized for our successes in both project management and website development."
For more information about the Earth Science Project Office, visit:
For more information about ATTREX, visit:
For more information about the HS3 Mission, visit the ESPO HS3 page:
For more information about Operation Ice Bridge, visit:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.