Mission investigates tropical cirrus clouds



It has been 18 months since NASA conducted the highly successful Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment Study (CRYSTAL-FACE). The measurement campaign was designed to investigate the physical properties and formation processes of tropical cirrus clouds. CRYSTAL-FACE was sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise as an integral component of its Earth observation research strategy and included substantial collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Naval Research Laboratory. During July 2002, the mission's six aircraft (NASA ER-2, NASA WB-57, Scaled Composites Proteus, University of North Dakota Citation, NSF-supported NRL P-3,and NRL Twin Otter) operated from the Key West Naval Air Facility.