Visualizing NASA Airborne and Field Campaigns


5 min read

Explore the complexities and solutions behind visualizing flight tracks for NASA's airborne and field investigations on CASEI.

Image by NASA Photograph by Lori Losey

Scientists can pinpoint the most relevant data for their research by visualizing deployment patterns.

Image by Carla Thomas, NASA

Fig. 1: The Global Hawk is a platform cataloged in CASEI that was deployed on numerous campaigns, including HS3, GRIP, ATTREX, EPOCH and GloPac. NASA Photograph by Carla Thomas.

Fig. 2: Example of a text file containing navigation data

Fig. 3: The orange path (points very close together) represents the plane's position at each second during the flight, which ends up forming a rounded and smooth line. The green line is the result of the data simplification process. They look almost identical, but they are points connected by lines that increase performance without compromising the overall path.

Fig. 4: Drafts of initial sketches and mockups before we had the actual navigational data. The bottom right image shows a screenshot of a Felt map where the first dataset was plotted.

Fig. 5: These are some examples of flight track maps for the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) campaign, the Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) campaign, and the GOES-R Post Launch Test (GOES-R PLT) campaign.

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