CAP Cadets Help NASA Collect Solar Eclipse Data

October 25, 2023

Civil Air Patrol cadets across the nation joined an innovative CAP Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) Solar Eclipse Mission that began with the Oct. 14 Annular Solar Eclipse. The RMR team partnered with NASA’s GLOBE Observer program to give CAP members the opportunity to become solar eclipse citizen scientists. This program will continue through the April 2024 Solar Eclipse event.

Squadrons across North America were invited to create cadet teams to track the effects of the solar eclipse on cloud cover, air temperature, and wind speed/direction. CAP citizen science teams helped create the first continent scale data set that measures the effects of solar eclipses on VHF radio operations. The teams were provided the needed experimental materials and almost 200 squadrons with over 2,000 members across CAP participated.

Cadet teams conducted community viewing events and over 45,000 people across the country joined them, learning more about CAP’s emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education missions for America. Read more about this project here.

AFA is proud to have a long-standing partnership with CAP and its members, many of whom are also AFA members and work with their local AFA Chapters. AFA provides awards and grants to support CAP aerospace/STEM programs for CAP cadets and educator members.

CAP’s TX Wing’s Randolph Composite Squadron participated in the annular solar eclipse by becoming citizen scientists for the day. They collected data on clouds, temperature, wind, and radio operations during the eclipse. Wasting no time during data collection breaks, cadets also did some PT, played some football, and practiced flying drones.