Specially-equipped wide-body commercial aircraft which are flying tropical and Southern Hemispheric routes are providing a new and unique source of meteorological data with a 100 km spatial resolution. Data have been gathered for the GATE, and the planning for a similar effort for the DST is in progress. These aircraft not only provide synoptic data in critical areas devoid of conventional data, but are, in effect, meteorological research platforms that can provide valuable information on mesoscale phenomena. By 1976 it is anticipated that there will be over 80 such aircraft flying global routes. These specially-equipped jets could also be effectively used for FGGE by providing the nucleus of a supplementary observing system for gathering world-wide meteorological data.
1 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.