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NOAA UAS Program Briefs the UNOLS Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR)

SHOUT mission successes highlighted at the inter-agency conference.

The NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program briefed UNOL’s Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR) on the recent mission successes and lessons learned over the past year.   The results of the SHOUT satellite gap mitigation study and UAS shipboard operations were highlighted by John “JC” Coffey supporting NOAA.  The UAS shipboard Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were the focus on the second day of the conference.  

The  University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) coordinates the use of federally supported oceanographic facilities, the community of academic oceanographic institutions that uses and operates those facilities.  Another objective is to foster federal and other support for academic oceanography, thereby continuing and enhancing the excellence of this nation’s oceanographic program. Emphasis is placed on ships and other seagoing facilities but UNOLS also coordinates airborne assets used in oceanographic research.

The Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR) is an advisory committee established in the UNOLS charter. This Committee provides recommendations and advice to the operators and supporting funding agencies of any aircraft facility designated by UNOLS as a National Oceanographic Aircraft Facility. The focus of SCOAR’s responsibilities in terms of providing advice and recommendations to the National Oceanographic Aircraft Facility manager and supporting funding agencies shall include but not be limited to:

  • Information sharing and advising National Oceanographic Aircraft Facility managers and supporting funding agencies
  • Technical/scientific briefings on past and future field programs
  • Information sharing and oversight on utilization and scheduling of facilities
  • Facilitating the requesting of aircraft facility services
  • Promoting the coordinated use of aircraft Facilities with research vessel operations and facilitating the scheduling of joint research vessel and aircraft experiments.
  • Reviewing flight policies, operating procedures and regulatory and safety issues to ensure compatibility with research plans and research vessel operations.
  • At the request of any funding agency or facility operator, SCOAR would review and provide advice or possible solutions regarding any technical issues that may arise during proposal or pre-proposal reviews being conducted by the agency or operator.

The focus of SCOAR responsibilities as they relate to promoting collaborations and cooperation between facility operators, funding agencies, and the scientific community shall include but not be limited to:

  • Information sharing and coordination with other scientific organizations concerned with aircraft facilities such as the Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure (IWG-FI), the Interagency Coordinating Committee for Airborne Geosciences Research and Application (ICCAGRA) and others
  • Information sharing and coordination with other UNOLS standing committees.
  • Staying abreast of evolving instrumentation, sensor, and technology developments including ocean observing systems.
  • Promoting participation by researchers in the Ocean Sciences as partners or mentors for new instrument development projects.
  • Facilitating the transition of new technologies from the military, the atmospheric sciences, space sciences and other areas to facilities supporting the ocean sciences.
  • Promoting positive interactions between the atmospheric and oceanographic science communities.
  • Promoting and supporting collaboration between agencies and institutions supporting research aircraft facilities for the ocean sciences.
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