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Contact: Jana Goldman
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Tim Crawford of Idaho Falls was honored posthumously by the U.S. Department of Commerce with a Gold Medal, the most distinguished employee award presented annually by the Commerce Department. The award ceremony will be Friday, Oct. 24, in College Park, Md. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Crawford, director of NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory Field Research Division in Idaho Falls, suffered a fatal stroke Aug. 3, 2002, while piloting his aircraft, the Long EZ, during a research field study over the Atlantic Ocean.

“Tim was ahead of his time,” said Richard Artz, deputy director of the Air Resources Laboratory. “He had vision and spirit that allowed him to blend his two favorite things – science and flying.”

One of Crawford's innovations, the Best Aircraft Turbulence (BAT) probe, was used successfully by NOAA's hurricane researchers during flights into hurricanes Fabian and Isabel. The BAT probe measures wind speed and temperature with a high degree of accuracy up to 50 times a second. Acquiring these turbulence data are critical for understanding the transfer of energy between the ocean surface and the hurricane. It is this transfer of energy that controls the evolution and the ultimate strengthening (and/or weakening) of the storm.

Part of the citation for the award reads: for pioneering scientific and engineering contributions to the department through untiring and extensive personal efforts in establishing and advancing the small environmental research aircraft (SERA) concept for the study of airborne geosciences worldwide.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resource.

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