TWiLiTE was integrated in the ER-2 Q-Bay in February. All mechanical, electrical and thermal interfaces were checked and initial flights revealed several issues requiring some rework. In September, more than 20 hours of engineering flight data were collected and all functions of the lidar including autonomous data collection, etalon calibration, auto-boresight and alignment of the laser and telescope were tested.
The previous image depicts an example flight track from Feb 15, 2011 This was a 6 hour flight from Palmdale , CA to Boulder, CO with ER-2 flying at 20 km. Approximately 3 hours were spent flying a diamond pattern with North, South crossing legs centered on sounding site just North of Denver. Ground validation iavailable ncludes multiple radiosonde launches, Vaisala and NOAA profilers.
TWiLiTE LOS wind profiles from Feb 14, 2011 ER2 test flight. A 10 minute segment taken over Fresno, CA is shown. Inset is a single TWiLiTE profile compared with wind profile data from the 00Z, Feb 15 NWS radiosonde launched from Oakland, CA.
The TWiLiTE Team is back from field work at Palmadale, California. Several engineering flights and a successful science flight were conducted aboard an ER-2.