The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led WISPAR airborne campaign that began February 11, 2011 was focused on improving scientists' understanding of how atmospheric rivers form and behave and evaluating the operational use of unmanned, high-altitude aircraft for investigating these phenomena. The research is also designed to assist NOAA in conducting potential offshore monitoring of atmospheric rivers to aid in future weather predictions.
A NASA Global Hawk aircraft completed the third and final flight of the Winter Storms and Pacific Atmospheric Rivers, or WISPAR, field campaign March 10, 2011. The long-duration flights over the Pacific Ocean explored atmospheric rivers and Arctic weather and collected targeted observations designed to improve operational weather forecasts.
A summary of the field campaign and HAMSR's role in it can be found here.