The Falcon 20

The Falcon 20 is available for research experiment since the beginning of 2006. It is an original Dassault Falcon 20 GF specially modified to scientific use. It is registred as F-GBTM.

falcon_dco_fcz

This aircraft is mainly used for multidisciplinary studies in high troposphere and low stratosphere: remote-sensing, chemistry, microphysics…

Flying performances:

  • Usual cruising speed : 150 m/s (min 82m/s max 254 m/s)
  • Max. endurance: 5 h (depending on payload)
  • Max range: 4100 km
  • Ceiling: 42 000 ft (12000 m)

Payload:

Scientific payload (normal operation): 1200 kg

Scientific Modifications

The Falcon 20 has been modified to accommodate a wide variety of instrumentation used for atmospheric and environmental research. The picture below is presenting the external configuration of the aircraft modifications:

f20_general_modif_internet

Nose section:

  • Nose boom length 1.8 m carrying measuring probe (e.g. five holes probe for turbulence measurements)
  • 5 instrument-mounting pads just aft of the radome for sensor mounting

Dropsonde launching:

The dropsonde launching system is a Vaisala AVAPS GPS system for RD93 dropsondes. A picture of the launch system is given below.

drop_sonde_internet

Fuselage section:

  • 4 circular apertures (diameter 80 mm each) on top of the fuselage
  • 1 circular aperture under fuselage (diameter 200 mm)
  • 1 under fuselage pod to carry radiometers sensors
  • 1 upper fuselage pod to carry radiometers sensors

Specific Windows:

  • 2 circular under fuselage apertures (diameter 520 mm each)
  • 2 circular upper fuselage apertures (diameter 320 mm each).
  • It can be equipped with BK7 glass to permit lidar and radar shoots.
  • Circular upper window & small aperture equipped with airlet.

Under wing:

up to 2 PMS canisters could be installed under each aircraft wing, see picture below.

(Hard points: 4 hardpoint stations (2 under each wing) to carry loads up to 500 kg each (using standard 14" NATO attachment system) but has to stay within the maximum payload limitation.)

pms_internet

 

Cabin description

Dimensions

- Length: 7.26 m
- Width: 1.79 m
- Height: 1.70 m

Seats available for users

Depending on configurations, up to 3 scientists + 1 SAFIRE operator. Only single seats are available.

Aperture:

- Main door: Width: 0,8m ; Height : 1,5 m

Cabin layout

Cabin layout is modular and depends on the experiment. An example of layout is given; see the AMMA Sop 2-A2 layout below.

Racks

Scientific payload is installed in racks which are all fitted on original seat rails on both corridor sides all along the cabin. It is easy to install and allows a useful modularity. SAFIRE is using DLR designed racks which can carry about 100 kg of scientific equipments.

A view of the F20 cabin and racks is given below.

cabine_F20

Electrical power

The aircraft generators and alternators are providing 28V DC & 115V AC to be used by aircraft & scientific equipments.

The electrical power available to scientific use is then:
- 8.5 kVA

Some power is saved (connected to a battery) in case of electrical system malfunctioning. The saved power is 3.2 kVA.

An A.P.U. (Auxiliary Power Unit) can deliver the electrical power at ground without any external power, which can be very useful depending on ground handling conditions.

In cabin, there is 5 distribution units which can deliver 28 V DC, saved 28V DC, 220 AC/50Hz, 115V AC/400Hz, 26V AC/400Hz & 12 V DC.