NASA Retires a Research Workhorse | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On YouTube

Airborne Unlimited-09.27.21

Airborne-UnManned-09.21.21

Airborne-Unlimited-09.15.21

Airborne-Flight Training-09.23.21

Airborne Unlimited-09.24.21

ANN LIVE Coverage of AEA 2021 Is Archived at www.airborne-live.net

Sun, Jul 18, 2021

NASA Retires a Research Workhorse

S-3B Was Being Used Almost Daily As A Flight Research Aircraft

When the U.S. Navy retired its fleet of S-3B Vikings from active duty in 2009, not all of them were grounded. At NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, one S-3B was being used almost daily as a flight research aircraft.

Acquired in 2004 and flown for the next 16 years on a variety of research missions, this S-3B Viking is about to fly off into the sunset and retire at the San Diego Air and Space Museum in California where it will be used to educate the public about its important role in the U.S. Navy and at NASA.

“This is the last S-3B flying today anywhere in the world,” says Jim Demers, Glenn’s Flight Operations Manager. “It’s been a workhorse for NASA, but we just can’t source its unique parts anymore.”

Originally designed by Lockheed Martin as an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, NASA’s S-3B Viking was completely reconfigured in 2006 for flight research purposes. All weapons systems were removed and replaced with civilian avionics, GPS, and satellite communications systems to conduct flight communications research.

One of its major contributions was helping NASA’s aeronautical innovators define communications standards that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can apply to the unmanned aircraft systems for safe operation in U.S. airspace.

“This old aircraft has been a huge part of ushering in the future of aviation,” says Mike Jarrell, lead of NASA’s Command and Control project. “The S-3B has been a perfect match for our research. It has a nice flat bottom where we can mount a variety of antenna; it flies steady and goes low and slow so we can communicate with ground stations.”

Jarrell adds that the S-3B has conducted research flights in every terrain in the national airspace including mountains, hills, over water, plains, and deserts. The results of the flight research have given NASA, the FAA, and its commercial partners a path to secure, reliable command-and-control radios used for communication from the ground to unmanned aircraft systems.

The S-3B also flew research flights to monitor algal bloom growth in Lake Erie and develop hyperspectral imaging equipment to provide more accurate data for university scientists studying the problem. The hyperspectral imagers, mounted to the aircraft’s underbelly, analyze a wide spectrum of light to identify the types of harmful algal blooms in the water.

“The S-3B gave us the flexibility to fly at different altitudes to image large swaths of Lake Erie and other bodies of water,” says Roger Tokars, an elliptical and optics engineer with NASA Glenn.  “The other advantage was the aircraft’s inertial navigation system that helped us calibrate our equipment for better geo-referencing data.”

NASA’s communications research in advanced air mobility will continue using a T-34 Mentor aircraft as new standards are developed to recommend to the Federal Aviation Administration.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

ANN FAQ (Updated): You Can Sponsor ANN And/Or Aero-TV!

Help ANN Grow So That We Can Be Of Greater Service To You! For nearly 25 years, ANN has set the pace for the growing and evolving aero-info revolution. No other news service has do>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.24.21): Wind Shear Escape

Wind Shear Escape An unplanned abortive maneuver initiated by the pilot in command (PIC) as a result of onboard cockpit systems. Wind shear escapes are characterized by maximum thr>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.25.21): Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA)

Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA) An instrument landing system comprised of an ILS PRM, RNAV PRM or GLS PRM approach to one runway and an offset LDA PRM with glideslop>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (09.25.21)

"This is an important first step toward a solution to the FAA's misguided interpretation on flight training. The FAA did not heed the [Transportation and Infrastructure] Committee'>[...]

Airborne-Flight Training 09.23.21: RedTail Flt Academy, Whirly-Girls, Pan Am

Also: Legacy Flight Training, New CAP-10C NG, EAA Ultralight/LSA Council, T-45 Loss The RedTail Flight Academy celebrated the opening of its flight academy September 10th at New Yo>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2021 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC