ARL News

ARL Instrumenting the Proteus Research Aircraft


August 9, 2004

Development of the Best Available Turbulence (BAT) probe for use on research aircraft continues. The system was invented by the late Tim Crawford, and has since become a mainstay of the world’s atmospheric research aircraft fleet. For instance, a BAT probe is being fitted to every Sky Arrow aircraft (from Italy) now being sold to study air-surface exchange. The German/Australian Grob Egrett high altitude research aircraft also carries a suite of 3 BAT probes for high-fidelity turbulence measurements. A modified BAT probe is now installed on one of the NOAA P-3 aircraft for hurricane turbulence research. One of the Twin Otters of the British Antarctic Survey will soon sport a BAT probe for cold region surface exchange studies. A BAT probe will be installed on one of the NOAA Twin Otters as soon as funding can be arranged.

A new NASA/NOAA relationship will use NOAA scientific prowess to install and operate an ARL BAT probe on the NASA Proteus aircraft. The Proteus is a Rutan-design high altitude research platform intended to permit long research missions. Its unusual configuration makes it especially attractive as a platform for investigating turbulence and turbulent exchange aloft. The NASA connection will permit NOAA to investigate new aspects of high-altitude turbulence to support the nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation (one of NOAA’s mission goals).

Contact information: Kirk L Clawson
Phone: (208) 526-2742