Airplanes of different sizes
This picture shows the cabin of the Twin Otter looking from the back of the cabin towards the cockpit. Along the left, you can see a number of instrument racks. These hold many of the instruments used on the aircraft. You can also see our fearless leader Bruce Albrecht operating the cloud radar. It's pretty obvious from the picture that this plane is quite a bit smaller than some of the other ones used in VOCALS like the NSF C-130! (Take a look at some of the other posts for pictures of the interiors of other aircraft). We typically have only two scientists on board the airplane, as compared to twenty or more on the NSF C-130. Despite the relatively small size, we manage to pack a lot of instruments onto the plane because we design the instruments to be compact and able to function without a dedicated person to watch over it. That's how we manage to collect a lot of different measurements in such a small space!
This will be my last postcard from Iquique as I'm leaving tomorrow. I hope that these posts helped you get a glimpse of what it's like to be an atmospheric scientist in the field!
Postcards from the Field: Climate Science from the Southeast Pacific