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Aircraft Operations Center (AOC)
P.O. Box 6829
MacDill AFB, FL 33608-0829

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NOAA is celebrating 200 years of science, service and stewardship. Visit the NOAA 200th Celebration Web Site to see how the NOAA Corps and OMAO have contributed to this 200-year-legacy.

 
Aircraft Operations Center Aircraft Operations Center
Aircraft Operations Center

For up-to-date Storm info: NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

The Aircraft Operations Center is a Center of the NOAA Marine and Aviation Office. The airplanes and helicopters of the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) are flown in support of NOAA's mission to promote global environmental assessment, prediction and stewardship of the Earth's environment. NOAA's aircraft operate throughout the United States and around the world; over open oceans, mountains, coastal wetlands, and Arctic pack ice. These versatile aircraft provide scientists with airborne platforms necessary to collect the environmental and geographic data essential to their research.

NOAA demonstrates a challenging and multi-disciplinary approach to meeting the responsibilities as the "Earth Systems Agency." The Aircraft Operations Center provides capable, mission-ready aircraft and professional crews to the scientific community wherever and whenever they are required. Whether studying global climate change or acid rain, assessing marine mammal populations, surveying coastal erosion, investigating oil spills, flight checking aeronautical charts, or improving hurricane prediction models, the AOC flight crews continue to operate in some of the world's most demanding flight regimes.

NOAA Project News

The Gulfstream IV-SP Flies for Winter Storms
The NOAA G-IV high-altitude jet will depart for Honolulu on January 16th to serve the scientific interests of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) over the course of the next two months. While conducting the Winter Storms Reconnaissance (WSR-07) project, the aircraft will fly extended patterns over the north Pacific, launching numerous dropwindsonde atmospheric profiling devices to more accurately characterize the environment of developing winter cyclones and snow storms. Data from these expendable instruments will be screened aboard the aircraft by AOC meteorologists, transmitted to NCEP by satellite communication and used to initialize NOAA's most sophisticated forecasting models, to improve warnings of severe weather events. The NOAA G-IV crew will also measure concentrations of ozone on each flight for the Chemical Sciences Division of the Earth System Research Laboratory. <See Daily Updates>

Kermit Braves the Cold ... Ocean Winds Winter Experiment
The Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) has been tasked to provide support for the 2007 Ocean Winds Winter Experiment. Ocean Winds is a continuing project who objective is to improve our understanding of satellite-based ocean wind retrievals in limiting environmental conditions. These include high winds and heavy precipitation. The experiment also seeks to determine how these wind retrievals change across sea surface temperature boundaries. NASA currently has a polar orbiting satellites aloft, QuikSCAT, doing surface wind retrievals, and AOC's WP-3D will be used in a cold weather environment to collect under-flight data with microwave scatterometers that will be used to validate the satellite measurements. The mission of AOC during this program will be to conduct airborne operations as required for the purpose of collecting data required to satisfy the objectives of Ocean Winds Winter. This AOC operations plan will deal with the manner in which it responds to these requirements and the methods used in performing the operation.

In support of this program, the AOC will provide one WP-3D, N42RF (affectionately referred to as 'Kermit'), along with the necessary personnel to operate and maintain both the aircraft and the instrumentation used in the program. The aircraft will fly out of St. John's, Newfoundland Canada for approximately a 1-month period. <See Daily Updates>

NOAA News Stories

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King Aerospace to Build, Test Radar for NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft
NOAA announced that it is exercising a contract option with King Aerospace Inc. of Addison, Texas, for the construction, integration and system testing for a tail Doppler radar, or TDR, to be installed on the agency's Gulfstream-IV hurricane surveillance aircraft. The option is valued at $3.1 million. "By installing the tail Doppler radar on the G-IV jet, NOAA will be taking a first step toward improving intensity forecasts," said Rear Admiral Samuel P. De Bow Jr., director of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. "This ultimately will help forecasters save lives and property during hurricanes." With the TDR system, the G-IV will be able to acquire three-dimensional hurricane core wind field data. The raw radar data will be processed onboard the aircraft through quality-control software being developed by the NOAA Hurricane Research Division. <Read Full Story>

Hurricane Hunters, NOAA's Air Operations Center
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Air Operations Center at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa serves as home to the Hurricane Hunters. <Read Full Story >

Northern Flights - Aviation Week & Space Technology
Congress should increase the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) budget for unmanned aircraft and create a test bed in Alaska for integrating them into the national air space, argues the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). <Read Full Story >

NOAA - All About Snow Survey Flights
The purpose of a snow survey mission is to collect data that accurately measures the moisture content of soil or snow to aid in the timely forecasting and warning of spring snow melt flooding and the prediction of impacts to agriculture, water supply, and/or recreational activities. <Read Full Story on PAGE 8 >

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