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Leonid MAC

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1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Destination: 1998 mission 1999 mission 2000 campaign 2001 mission 2002 mission

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.

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