The development of the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) will make possible a wealth of new geophysical research opportunities in the areas of atmospheric chemistry, climate forcing, weather system structure and evolution, the carbon and water vapor cycles, and ecosystem processes. In this paper, we present a brief background on the history of the HIAPER project and discuss the modifications made to the basic aircraft [a Gulfstream V (GV) business jet] and the infrastructure systems installed to transform it into an environmental research platform. General aircraft performance capabilities that make the GV uniquely suited for high-altitude, long-range studies of geophysical phenomena are also discussed. The conduct of research with HIAPER will require that suitable instrumentation payloads are available for use on the aircraft, and the processes followed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the development of an initial platform instrumentation suite to meet critical measurements needs are described. HIAPERs unique configuration and capabilities will make it an effective tool for the conduct of weather and water cycle research, the study of atmospheric chemistry and climate forcing, and the monitoring of biosphere structure and productivity, as we shall discuss. We conclude with an overview of the objectives of the initial HIAPER flight-testing program and the process whereby this new research platform will be made available to members of the scientific community for the support of environmental research.
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado*
NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma;
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, and National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
University of California, Davis, Davis, California;
National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia.
*The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.