Hurricane hunting

Best known for its ‘Hurricane Hunter’ platforms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) manages a fixed-wing research fleet that supports weather and atmospheric research as described by Tom Kaminski.

Known as Kermit, WP-3D Orion, N42RF is one of two of the type in service with the NOAA. Malcolm Nason

Located at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, Florida, the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) is a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, OMAO is responsible for conducting aerial surveys for hydrologic research and providing aerial support for coastal and aeronautical charting and remote sensing projects and for NOAA’s fishery research and marine mammal assessment programmes. Its aircraft are equipped to collect environmental and geographic data in and around hurricanes and other severe weather over the open ocean, mountains, coastal wetlands and Arctic pack ice and operate throughout the United States and around the world in support of NOAA’s mission.

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