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SMAP - Soil Moisture Active Passive - Mapping soil moisture and freeze/thaw state from Space
BLOGS FROM THE FIELD
Aircraft Open House
June 23, 2012
Eni Njoku
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We are finally looking at a dry spell weatherwise for the next several days.

The forecast is for clear weather (started yesterday) that should last through the coming week. PALS and UAVSAR had flights yesterday and today. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be no flights, and then we plan to fly on Monday and then every third day or so following the 2-3 day flight schedule we originally planned. Over the week we should get a good sampling of the dry-down with both airborne and in situ observations across the experiment domain, modulated by the soil texture and vegetation differences between the fields.

The unstable weather caused a hiatus of four days without any flights so we arranged to have the Twin Otter aircraft and PALS instrument available for viewing in the hangar on Wednesday June 20. On that day those involved in the campaign (and their families) had a chance to view the aircraft up close and inside. Seth (JPL mission manager) gave a short tutorial on the workings of PALS and showed off the equipment inside. The pilots (Richard and David) also arrived after a short while and opened up the cockpit. Trying out the pilot's seat was a big hit for young and old (or not so young)!

Here are some photo highlights...

fig8o_sm
Can't all get in at once.
fig9o_sm
Brief introduction.
fig7o_sm
A few do's and don'ts.
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'Captain' Rotimi.
fig4o_sm
Flying this plane is a piece of cake.
fig3o_sm
Cockpit entry is harder than it looks.
fig1o_sm
One more pose.
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Last chance for questions.
fig5o_sm
All spick and span.

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