Aircraft List

The NASA Airborne Science Program provides a unique set of NASA supported 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, 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

Non-NASA Aircraft
NASA instrumentation may fly on non-NASA Federal aircraft as well as academic and commercial platforms for which agreements for access by SMD investigators are in place, in process, or have recently been approved by NASA Aviation Management as airworthy and safe to operate. For more information, please review the current ASP Call Letter for further requirements and guidance. Please note that in addition to filing the required Flight Request, investigators are responsible for contacting vendors to determine if the platform meets the requirements of the proposed scientific investigation. It is also 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.

Cessna 402B

University Technical Services, Inc. operates a twin-engine Cessna 402B aircraft for low altitude sensor platforms and scientific equipment. One area involves enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) sensor and synthetic vision system (SVS) evaluation. The aircraft has mulitiple nose coses for housing various windows for IR, millimeter wave, and UV forward-looking sensors, whose images are displayed on a head-up display (HUD) or head-down display, with simultaneous recording of three inputs (sensor/SVS, HUD, CCD normal vision camera). Data recording of aircraft attitude and position information is provided by the mission computer. The Cessna 402B also supports evaluation of other scientific equipment platforms such as advanced inertial management units (IMU). Air-ground video and data link communication capabilities are also supported on this aircraft.

University Technical Services, Inc.
Conventional Aircraft
6.0 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
900 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
6,300 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
Single Pilot
Max Altitude: 
27,000 MSL
Air Speed: 
210 knots
1,200 Nmi
Dual 110VAC Inverters, 30 amps each