Tempus Applied Solutions has been awarded an aircraft modification contract with NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the company said.
JPL is a federally funded NASA field center for research and development located in La CaÃ±ada Flintridge, California, and Pasadena, California. Under the contract, Tempus will design, engineer, modify and seek FAA certification of a Gulfstream IV aircraft integrated with a portable remote imaging spectrometer (PRISM), a specialized hyperspectral sensor developed by NASA and JPL, to survey the condition of the coral reef systems around the world as part of a NASA field expedition.
Modifications of the Gulfstream IV business jet began in April 2016 and are scheduled to be completed in May 2016. Modifications are taking place at Tempus´ Brunswick, Maine, facility. The 84,000 square foot facility is uniquely designed and enables Tempus to perform the required modifications including airframe structure, interior design, electrical changes, primary and secondary controls and avionics. The engineering support team based in Williamsburg, VA will provide more than 5,000 hours of engineering support for the modification project. Tempus has applied for an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for this unique modification and expects to receive the certification approval and intellectual property rights later this year.
After completion of the modifications, Tempus will fly the aircraft several hundred hours annually in a variety of locations around the world in support of the sensor operations and data collection efforts of NASA and JPL. The first flight is scheduled to depart in early June 2016 to the Pacific region with a scientist team onboard after the aircraft completes its post modification tests during the last week of May. The aircraft´s first mission will last approximately three weeks depending on weather, which can affect the timeliness of the data collection process.