Which aircraft were participating in 1999?
FISTA is a modified NKC135-E aircraft. It has 20 upward-looking window ports oriented at different angles for maximum coverage of the sky. Main instruments are near-Infrared and mid-Infrared spectrometers of Aerospace
Corporation and AFRL. Infrared sensors detect the comparative heat of objects. Spectrometers take the light appart in its colors. FISTA also carries a compliment of visible and ultra-violet spectrometers and
imagers of other researchers for a total of 10 experiments.This US Air Force aircraft is operated by the 452nd Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. The aircraft is named FISTA, for Flying Infrared Signature Technology Aircraft.
ARIA is a Boeing 707 aircraft equipped with a telemetry antenna dish
in the nose of the aircraft
and 4 optical windows on the left side of the aircraft in the front observing deck. Four
more windows will be installed on the right side of the aircraft to faciliate spectroscopic
and imaging instruments. near-UV and visible spectrographs will search for the signature
of organic matter. Two windows are used for flux measurements which will be reported
while the mission unfolds.
The dish will be used for a live uplink with TDRSS.
Moreover, ARIA has four INMARSAT communication channels for internet and voice mail uplink.
ARIA stands for Advanced Ranging and Instrumentation Aircraft. The aircraft is
operated by the 452nd Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB.
The C-130 ADVON
The 102nd Resque Squadron
(New York Air National Guard, Westhampton Beach, New York)
provides airlift support for parts and emergency repair capability for the FISTA and
ARIA aircraft. They also provide a global command and control platform for mission
coordination. They are ADVON, our advance party which flies during daytime and
make arrangements for our arrival and expedite the processes of refueling,
calibration, and servicing of our aircraft.
The 106th Resque Wing (of which the 102nd is part)
operates and maintains the only rescue aircraft in the Northeastern United States designed for aerial refueling. The HC-130 "Hercules" is operated by a six member crew and is configured for both air to air refueling and search duties. With a long range flying capability, the
HC-130P is often used for over-water search and rescue missions; from the Azores to Bahamas.
This includes astronaut rescue contingency for aborted space shuttle launches.