FLOE Aircraft Deployments

Partenavia Observer

One of the first aircraft flown was a Partenavia Observer owned and operated by the California State Department of Fish and Game. It is a 6-seat, twin-engine aircraft. No data were collected from this plane, it was only used for testing. After testing on this aircraft, the lidar was moved to the King to allow more room for observers in addition to the lidar operator.


As part of the JUVESU program, we have flown on a Spanish Casa airplane of the Spanish space agency INTA.  This is a twin-engine cargo plane that is used for aerial photography.  It has two large camera ports in the bottom.  One is used for the lidar and the other is used by INTA for simultaneous multispectral imagery.  The center picture is our lidar mounted in one of the camera ports.  This shows the black laser housing on the left of the main lidar plate and the white telescope tube on the right.  The picture on the right is the operator station showing the rack of electronics.  The laser cooling unit and power supply are at the bottom, the computer is next with the monitor and keyboard at the top, and at the top of the rack are the power supply for the photomultiplier tube and timing electronics.

King Air 200

The King Air is a twin-engine aircraft owned and operated by the California State Department of Fish and Game. They use the aircraft to stock mountain lakes with fish. This means that large cutouts have been put in the floor through which the fish can be dropped into the lakes without landing. One of these is an ideal window for the lidar.

Rockwell Aerocommander

During flights in Alaska in the summer of 2000, the lidar was installed in a Rockwell Aerocommander.  The aircraft is pictured at the left.  The next picture is the lidar looking back from the pilot's seat.  The optics package is in the foreground of the picture.  Just behind the optics package is the rack with the computer and the laser power supply.  The operator sits behind the rack in the back of the cabin and faces the rack. The picture on the right is the display seen by the operator. A similar plane was used in the Norwegian mackerel surveys.

Cessna Cardinal

The smallest aircraft that we have operated from is a 4-seat Cessna Cardinal. This plane is owned and operated by Dr. Jay Palmer, and is ideal for testing. It was also used in the herring survey done in Washington State. We modified the aircraft by installing a 8" by 10" window and by installing a 100-A alternator so that we could operate the lidar and still have enough electrical power for the airplane. The operator sits in the right-hand seat facing backwards. The monitor is held on the operator's lap, and the lidar is controlled via touch-screen.

DeHaviland Twin Otter

In December, 2000, the lidar was installed in the Twin Otter operated by the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Florida. The photograph on the right shows the equipment rack on the left. This contains the laser power supply, and computer, and some timing electronics. To the right is the optics package.  The white cylinder is the receiver telescope with the detector module on the top. The laser is out of sight behind the telescope. Both the telescope and the laser are pointer through the large camera port in the bottom of the aircraft.

King Air 90

Much of the recent work has been done in a King Air 90, which is smaller, and therefore more economical, than the 200. The photos are of the plane that was used in 2003. Different planes of the same type were used in 2001 and 2002. Only the lidar optics package is shown in the photo. The collecting telescope is the black tube on the left with the white detector package on top. To the right of that is the intensified CCD camera used for images of objects near the surface. The laser is on the back side of the plate, and the electronics rack is out of the field of view.

King Air 90 Lidar deployed on King Air 90