NASA Global Hawk Mission Operations Center

In 2012, GMB was contracted to provide Architectural and Engineering services for the design of a Mission Operations Center – East for NASA’s Global Hawk (GHOC) project, located at Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia.  The new facility is a companion operations center to NASA’s existing facility in California.

The mission utilizes Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), called Global Hawks, to support NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission.  HS3 will help researchers and forecasters uncover information about how hurricanes and tropical storms form and intensify.

 “The primary objective of the environmental Global Hawk is to describe the interaction of tropical disturbances and cyclones with the hot, dry and dusty air that moves westward off the Saharan desert and appears to affect the ability of storms to form and intensify,” said Scott Braun, HS3 mission principal investigator and research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The Global Hawks will carry a laser system called the Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL), the Scanning High-resolution Interferometer Sounder (S-HIS), and the Advanced Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS).

GMB’s involvement in this project relates to the design of the Global Hawk Mission Operations Center-East (GHOC-E) inside the second floor of the north side of building D at Wallops Flight Facility. The design includes raised access flooring and demountable glass partition systems. The center will meet ADA guidelines for accessibility.

Components of the Mission Operations Center include a Flight Operations Room, Payload Operations Room, Observation Room, and associated support spaces.