CU Boulder, NOAA research drones take to the skies for Flight Week


University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA atmospheric research drones will study the clouds, storms and rainfall of Colorado’s San Luis Valley beginning July 14 as part of Flight Week, hosted by the International Society for Atmospheric Research using Remotely Piloted Aircraft (ISARRA).

Media are invited to attend a community open house at Leach Airport near Alamosa, Colorado, on Saturday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to noon. A panel discussion held from 9 to 10 a.m. will feature CU Boulder and NOAA researchers explaining their projects, showcasing their aircraft and answering questions from the community. 

Demonstrations and test flights of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) will follow. CU Boulder and NOAA participants include: 

• Gijs de Boer, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES)/ NOAA 

• Brian Argrow, CU Boulder Ann & H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences

• Suzanne Smith, CLOUD-MAP/University of Kentucky 

• Capt. Phil Hall, NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems program

The researchers are experimenting with small, remotely-piloted drones carrying state-of-the-art weather instruments. Improving weather forecasts requires better observations from parts of the atmosphere where it can be difficult to make measurements. 

What: Flight Week 2018 kickoff and open house

Where: Leach Airport, County Road 53 & County Road C, Center, CO 81125

When: Saturday, July 14. The open house will run from 8 a.m. to noon, with a panel discussion from 9 to 10 a.m.

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