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P-3 Orion 03/20/13

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Flight Number: 
2013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1468
Payload Configuration: 
2013 Operation IceBridge Arctic
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
6.3 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:03/20/13 12:47 Z Finish:03/20/13 19:05 Z
Flight Time:6.3 hours
Log Number:13P001PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:2013 Operation IceBridge Arctic: Science Flight #1- northern coast of Greenland
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS255
Total Used211.6
Total Remaining43.4
13P001 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
03/14/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1447Check0.80.8254.2
03/14/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1449Check2.12.9252.1
03/15/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1448Check46.9248.1
03/18/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1450Transit7.914.8240.2
03/20/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1468Science6.321.1233.9
03/21/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1456Transit8.529.6225.4
03/22/13 - 03/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1474Science8.237.8217.2
03/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1470Science7.845.6209.4
03/24/13 - 03/25/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1469Science8.454201
03/26/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1475Transit8.662.6192.4
03/27/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1476Science7.970.5184.5
03/28/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1477Science3.373.8181.2
04/02/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1486Transit6.480.2174.8
04/04/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1484Science8.188.3166.7
04/05/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1489Science7.896.1158.9
04/06/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1487Science8104.1150.9
04/08/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1491Science7.5111.6143.4
04/09/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1493Science6.4118137
04/10/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1493Science6.6124.6130.4
04/11/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1495Science7.4132123
04/12/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1496Science6.2138.2116.8
04/15/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1502Science7.9146.1108.9
04/18/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1504Transit5.2151.3103.7
04/19/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1505Science7.4158.796.3
04/20/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1508Science6.8165.589.5
04/22/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1512Science7.8173.381.7
04/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1513Science7.718174
04/24/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1514Science818966
04/25/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1515Science7.5196.558.5
04/26/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1516Science7.1203.651.4
05/02/132013 Operation IceBridge ArcticTransit7.5211.143.9
05/02/132013 Operation IceBridge ArcticTransit0.5211.643.4

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 03/20/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F01 Sea Ice - CryoSat-2


  • Mid-altitude survey (4,500 ft AGL) over sea ice in the Lincoln Sea north of Alert.
  • Successful CryoSat-2 underflight at 17:33:19 UTC.
  • ATM, snow and Ku-band radars, and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Conducted pitch maneuvers for time stamp verification of snow and Ku-band radars.
  • Satellite Tracks: CryoSat-2 descending orbit # 15632
  • Repeat Mission: yes, 2012, but on different CryoSat-2 orbit

Science Data Report Summary

Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 32 GB None.
DMS yes 37.3 GB None. Collected 3,897 frames.
Snow Radar yes 324 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 324 GB None
Accumulation Radar yes 73 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 350 GB MCoRDS operated over land ice. Two issues* (see below)
KT-19 yes 20 MB None.

*The MCoRDS system had issues with receiving GPS data, something that can be resolved during data processing. A computer crash resulted in a 1.5 minute data gap.

Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

The Arctic 2013 campaign started with a surprise. Temperatures at Thule Air Base are over +40°F/+5°C with meltwater visible on the sea ice in North Star Bay. Temperatures in mid-March are usually around -20 to -25°C. The warm temperatures caused ground fog this morning resulting in conditions on the runway below the minimums for horizontal and vertical visibility required for takeoff. Fog is typical later in the deployment and during the summer, but we have not experienced fog in March during any of the IceBridge deployments so far. We had to delay takeoff by two hours in order to wait for the conditions on the runway to improve. 

Today mission is intended to underfly the CryoSat-2 spacecraft, as nearly simultaneous with the spacecraft as possible, preferably within 2 hours. We flew a grid centered on the ground track. The grid was planned around a track inside the red box depicted below in Fig. 1, and as far south as possible. The area is outside the CryoSat-2 SARin mode box, but in an area with relatively low ice drift rates. The grid was flown at 4500 ft AGL altitude, and was comprised of 10 lines of 160 km length spaced at 560 m. Because of the delayed takeoff we had to shorten the grid on the northern side by from 160 to 110 km to compensate for 2 hours of lost flight time. We were able to complete 6 110 km lines and the remaining 4 at 80 km lenght. The grid yields a composite ATM swath of more than 5 km, with 25% overlap between swaths, and lies within the operating range of the snow radar. CryoSat-2 passed overheat at 17:33:19 Z, shortly after we left the grid flying at 19,000 ft over the CryoSat-2 ground track over sea ice in the Nares Strait towards Thule. In addition to Level 1 Requirements SI1 and SI2, this mission addresses sea ice level 1 baseline requirement SI4 by conducting a sampling mission that is time-coincident with a CryoSat-2 track.

We collected 3.6 hours of science data.


Trajectory of today’s science mission over the Lincoln Sea

DMS mosaic of sea ice in the Lincoln Sea