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P-3 Orion - WFF 05/05/19

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Flight Number: 
2019 OIB Science Flight #16
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.8 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:05/05/19 09:10 Z Finish:05/05/19 17:00 Z
Flight Time:7.8 hours
Log Number:19P017PI:Joseph MacGregor
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS250
Total Used216.3
Total Remaining33.7
19P017 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
03/26/19#2053: 2019 OIB ATFCheck0.90.9249.10
03/27/19#2059: 2019 OIB PTF-LaserCheck2.33.2246.80
03/28/19#2061: 2019 OIB PTF-RadarCheck3.26.4243.60
04/01/19#2068: 2019 OIB WFF-BGTL Transit FlightTransit6.913.3236.72458
04/03/19#2070: 2019 OIB Science Flight #1Science7.620.9229.11938
04/05/19#2072: 2019 OIB Science Flight #2Science7.728.6221.41910
04/06/19#2073: 2019 OIB Science Flight #3Science7.235.8214.22000
04/08/19#2075: 2019 OIB Science Flight #4Science6.942.7207.31780
04/09/19#2076: 2019 OIB Science Flight #5Science7.850.5199.52045
04/10/19#2081: 2019 OIB Science Flight #6Science10.160.6189.42702
04/11/19#2082: BGSF-BGTL TransitTransit2.262.8187.2696
04/12/19#2083: 2019 OIB Science Flight #7Science7.2701802109
04/15/19#2086: 2019 OIB Science Flight #8Science4.874.8175.21243
04/16/19#2087: 2019 OIB Science Flight #9Science7.682.4167.62036
04/17/19#2088: 2019 OIB Science Flight #10Science7.790.1159.91937
04/18/19#2090: 2019 OIB Science Flight #11Science7.897.9152.12008
04/19/19#2091: 2019 OIB Science Flight #12Science7.6105.5144.52104
04/20/19#2092: 2019 OIB Science Flight #13Science6.9112.4137.60
04/22/19#2094: 2019 OIB Science Flight #14Science6.61191311867
04/23/19#2099: 2019 OIB Science Flight #15Science7.7126.7123.31979
04/25/19#2102: 2019 OIB BGTL-KBGR Transit FlightTransit6.2132.9117.10
04/26/19 KBGR to BGSF TransitTransit5.7138.6111.40
05/05/192019 OIB Science Flight #16Science7.8146.4103.60
05/06/192019 OIB Science Flight #17Science8.4154.895.20
05/07/192019 OIB Science Flight #18Science8.5163.386.70
05/08/192019 OIB Science Flight #19Science8171.378.70
05/12/192019 OIB Science Flight #20Science9180.369.70
05/13/192019 OIB Science Flight #21Science7187.362.70
05/14/192019 OIB Science Flight #22Science7.9195.254.80
05/15/192019 OIB Science Flight #23Science8.3203.546.50
05/16/192019 OIB Science Flight #24Science6.3209.840.20
05/17/192019 OIB Transit Transit6.2216340
05/17/192019 OIB Transit Transit0.3216.333.70

Flight Reports began being entered into this system as of 2012 flights. If there were flights flown under an earlier log number the flight reports are not available online.

Related Science Report: 

OIB - P-3 Orion - WFF 05/05/19 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: ICESat-2 Central
Priority: Baseline
This baseline mission was last flown in 2017 and surveys nine ICESat-2 tracks of varying time latency. Specifically, the flight captures several different snow and ice surface conditions as well as many IS-2 crossovers.  Two of the IS-2 tracks were replaced (see notes below) to minimize the timing between OIB and IS-2 data collection. We also note the tracks where surface ponding was visible.  The mission also flies over the sites of several shallow ice cores that were collected by the GreenTrACS project.
This science mission begins only a short distance from Kangerlussuaq, and we were immediately stunned by the number and size of melt ponds littering the ice-sheet surface.  April temperatures in Greenland have been excessively high, leading to very early onset into the melt season.  The melt ponds stole the show on an otherwise near featureless flight.  As anticipated, the plane encountered frequent bouts of turbulence closer to the ice-sheet edge, which gradually reduced in duration as we migrated inland.  
Throughout the flight we were largely under high clouds although portions of clear sky or even patchy low clouds were encountered as well.  Thus, data collection was excellent.  We performed a ramp pass at 2500’ prior to landing. Headwall SWIR was unable to be operated today, but otherwise all instruments worked well. ATM estimates XX% altimetry data recovery.
ICESat-2 Tracks (+/- indicates OIB surveyed after/before ICESat-2)
0224, +23 days (surface ponding)
1108, -35 days (surface ponding)
0605, -2 days (substitute)
0041, +35 days
0422, +10 days
1245, + 47 days or - 44 days
0239, +22 days
1169, -39 days (surface ponding)
0620, - 3 days (substitute)


Highly crevasses section of Russell Glacier with regions of exposed bare ice with bands of debris, snow, and newly formed melt ponds

A look back towards the fjord where ice bends and breaks as it flows around a bedrock high

A CAMBOT mosaic of a melt pond with surface rippling

Spectacularly sinuous and deep blue melt ponds form after days of significant melt and anomalously warm weather

Emerald green ponds weave around ice and debris near the terminus of Russell Glacier, which is experiencing anomalously early melt onset