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The ALTUS Cloud Electrification Study (ACES) was based at the Naval Air Facility Key West in Florida. During August 2002, ACES researchers conducted overflights of thunderstorms over the southwestern corner of Florida. For the first time in NASA research, an uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) named ALTUS was used to collect cloud electrification data. Carrying field mills, optical sensors, electric field sensors and other instruments, ALTUS allowed scientists to collect cloud electrification data for the first time from above the storm, from its birth through dissipation. This experiment allowed scientists to achieve the dual goals of gathering weather data safely and testing new aircraft technology. This dataset consists of data collected from the following instruments: Slow/Fast antenna, Electric Field Mill, Optical Pulse Sensors, Searchcoil Magnetometer, Accelerometer, and Gerdien Conductivity Probe. These data were collected at 200KHz from the first 16 telemetry items collected on the aircraft, were initiated by an operator selected trigger (e.g. DOPS), and continued collecting for as long as the trigger continued.

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