The US NATIONAL Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has begun operating a specially configured Gulfstream IV-SP.

The heavily modified business aircraft is being used for high-altitude, atmospheric data collection, to improve hurricane forecasting.

Raytheon E-Systems installed an electrical-power management system and atmospheric sensor arrays, while the NOAA added mission-specific electronics and weather-predicting scientific hardware. The data collected are transmitted to the National Weather Service in Washington for analysis.

Based at McDill AFB in Tampa, Florida, the special-mission GIV can be flown higher and faster than can Lockheed Martin WC-130 turboprops now flown by the US Air Force for the task.

Source: Flight International