Reporters are invited to a media day on Thursday, Sept.
26, to view a solar-powered airplane that will fly over the
largest coffee plantation in the United States, located on
the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Media day starts at 9 a.m. Hawaiian Standard Time at the
Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the island of Kauai.

The flights over the coffee fields will test the commercial
use of a solar-powered uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) for
precision agriculture. This technology might be used in the
future for the management of other crops as well as during
natural disasters and in other emergency situations where
digital aerial images are needed quickly.

UAVs are remotely piloted aircraft. Researchers envision that
ultimately these aircraft will be authorized to fly over
wildfires, floods and crops to take images that would help
forest firefighters, disaster relief workers and farmers.

Reporters will be able to ask questions of Dr. Stanley
Herwitz, who is the principal investigator of the UAV Coffee
Project and a professor of Earth science at Clark University,
Worcester, Mass. He will be leading a research staff on Kauai
of more than 10 team members from NASA Ames Research Center
in California’s Silicon Valley. Members of the demonstration
team also will be available for interviews.

Reporters will be able to view the ripening coffee fields
that will be analyzed during the demonstration project. The
data gathered will aid in a coffee company’s harvest

On media day, representatives of news organizations should
assemble at the PMRF visitor’s main gate at 8:45 a.m.
Hawaiian Standard Time to board a NASA vehicle for escort to
the runway and hangar utilized by the Pathfinder Plus
aircraft. For security purposes, persons who do not pre-
register by noon EDT on Sept. 16 will not be allowed into the
facility. Media representatives unsure whether or not they
will attend are encouraged to register by the deadline, even
if they must later cancel.

All persons wishing to attend the media day must provide the
following information to NASA Public Affairs by no later than
noon EDT Sept. 16:

* Name
* Affiliation
* Social Security Number
* Date of Birth
* Telephone Number

All information must be sent via fax or e-mail by noon EDT
Sept. 16 to:

Phone: 202/358-1730
FAX: 202/358-4210

More information about the Coffee Project can be found on the
Internet at: