The NASA Airborne Science Program aircraft list provides unique NASA aircraft and commercial aircraft that benefit the earth science community. These manned and unmanned aircraft carry the sensors that provide data to support and augment NASA spaceborne missions.
Reminder: All investigators with approved or pending proposals from the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) announcements that have a requirement for a NASA Airborne Science platform/instrument, must submit a Flight Request. The Flight Request is also the method to acquire an estimate if your proposal requires a cost estimate for Airborne Science support. However, for investigators proposing to participate on large, multi-aircraft experiments, such as the ROSES Call 2015: KORUS-AQ (Korea US- Air Quality), a single Flight Request will be submitted for each mission by the Project Manager or Project Scientist. The Science Operations Flight Request System (SOFRS) can be reached directly at http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/sofrs.
For all "Commercial" aircraft, in addition to filing a Flight Request, investigators are responsible for contacting vendors to determine if the platform meets the requirements of the proposed scientific investigation. It is the responsibility of the investigator to ensure that before any preliminary test flights or actual data collection flights utilizing NASA personnel, instruments or funds occur, all vendors successfully complete a NASA airworthiness/flight safety review in accordance with NASA Aviation Safety Policy for Non-NASA Aircraft.
The NASA Langley Cessna 206H Stationair (NASA 504) is an all-metal, six-place, high-wing, single-engine general aviation airplane equipped with tricycle landing gear and is designed for general utility purposes. The aircraft was acquired by NASA in 2001 to provide a low-cost research platform for advanced pilot displays and to serve as a platform for atmospheric science instruments. The aircraft has been reconfigured to accommodate a crew of three: a subject pilot, a safety pilot, and a researcher. The subject pilot/researcher may sit in either of the two front seats, as required by the experiment. The lead researcher sits in the right aft seat at a researcher workstation.
In addition to internal space in the aft section of the cabin for instrumentation, up to 300 lbs can be carried in the Cessna production belly cargo pod and 100 lbs in a custom-designed pod which attaches to the right wing strut.
The aircraft is equipped with NASA Langley’s General Aviation Baseline Research System, which includes GPS, Air Data, Attitudes and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), out-the-window video, a Researcher Workstation, and control position transducers on the aileron, rudder, elevator, pitch trim, and throttle. The research system provides 30A of 28 VDC power.
Page Last Updated: February 3, 2015
Page Editor: Katja Drdla
NASA Official: Mike Craig