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.

Twin Otter - CIRPAS - NPS

Naval Postgraduate School CIRPAS Twin Otter

A Twin Otter research aircraft has been operated by the Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA  since 1998.  The aircraft supports atmospheric and oceanographic research for Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and others.  The airplane is instrumented to measure the meteorological state variables, flight path and platform attitude, turbulence, aerosol particle concentration and size spectra, cloud and precipitation drop concentration and size spectra, light scatter and absorption coefficients and sea surface temperature.  Ample room is in the cabin for rack-mountable guest instruments.  Well characterized aerosol community inlet provides air samples into the cabin.  Nadir and zenith ports provide up and down view for radiometers, sunphotometers and imaging instruments.  Satellite communication system permits flight following from the ground and viewing of data in real time, as well as chat-room communication between flight scientist and science team on ground.  

Naval Postgraduate School Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies
Conventional fixed wing, twin turboprop
5.0 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
1,500 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
13,500 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
Max Altitude: 
Air Speed: 
100 knots
300 Nmi
200 A, 28VDC (up to 4KVA, 115VAC)
Point(s) of Contact: 

Roy Woods

Haflidi Jonsson

(831) 384-2776 ext. 11
(831) 241-4806

Anthony Bucholtz