Title: Coordinating Aircraft During NASA Airborne Science Field Campaigns
Author: Michael Goodman
Organization: Marshall Space Flight Center
Co-Authors: Rich Blakeslee, John Hall, Matt He, Paul Meyer, Michelle Garrett, Kathryn Regner, Helen Conover, Tammy Smith
The NASA Real Time Mission Monitor (RTMM) is a situational awareness decision-support tool that integrates real time aircraft tracks, waypoints, satellite imagery, radar products, surface observations, model output parameters and airborne remote sensing variables in an easy to use and view web-based application. RTMM enables real time decision-making for mission scientists, pilots, mission managers, instrument scientists and program managers by providing up-to-date information about the weather, spacecraft, and the location, altitude and heading of the aircraft.
The Real Time Mission Monitor optimizes both airborne science experimental field campaigns and operational science aircraft missions. The second-generation version of RTMM is now fully integrated into a web browser portal and no longer relies on the standalone Google Earth application. The implementation in a web browser makes it easy for any authorized user anywhere with an Internet connection to follow and coordinate aircraft tracking during dynamic airborne science missions. The RTMM tool is being integrated into NASA's Common Operations Management Portal for Airborne Science Systems (COMPASS). COMPASS is a NASA Airborne Science Program initiative to coordinate airborne science tools and databases.
The Real Time Mission Monitor is a proven tool having been used in many field experiments from arctic forest fire missions to soil moisture mapping as well as tracking the BP Gulf Oil spill. In the summer of 2010, RTMM was integral to the success of the NASA Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) coordinated manned and unmanned hurricane flights. An overview of the use of RTMM during the 2010 hurricane flights, plus its usage in the 2011 Winter Storms and Pacific Atmospheric Rivers (WISPAR) and 2011 Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) will be described. RTMM animations of the 2010 and 2011 flights and demonstrations of RTMM and the pre-flight waypoint planning tool will be provided.