HU-25C Guardian 09/28/15

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Flight Number: 
OIB2015 Arctic Sea Ice West
Payload Configuration: 
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
3.7 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:09/28/15 14:05 Z Finish:09/28/15 17:47 Z
Flight Time:3.7 hours
Log Number:15F005PI:John Woods
Funding Source:Thomas Wagner - NASA - SMD - ESD Cryospheric Science
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:The first Sea Ice Flight was flown out of Thule today in support of the 2015 Arctic OIB program. Lack of good weather in areas of interest this morning delayed the takeoff by 2.5 hours. Next flight tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29.
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS100
Flight Hours Previously Approved 67.4
Total Used32.665.3
Total Remaining 2.1
16F002 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
10/05/15OIB2015 Arctic Sea Ice CentralScience3.63.663.8
10/05/15OIB2015 Arctic Sea Ice EastScience3.87.460
10/06/15OIB2015 Arctic Ice-Sat2 NorthScience411.456
10/07/15OIB2015 Arctic Transit Thule to KangerlussuaqTransit213.454
10/08/15OIB2015 Arctic Southwest Coastal AScience3.817.250.2
10/08/15OIB2015 Arctic Thomas-Jakobshavn 01Science3.720.946.5
10/09/15OIB2015 Arctic Umanaq BScience3.924.842.6
10/13/15OIB2015 Arctic Jakobshavn Eqip StoreScience2.927.739.7
10/13/15OIB2015 Arctic Southeast Coastal AScience3.631.336.1
10/18/15OIB2015 Arctic Southeast Coastal BScience4.135.432
10/19/15OIB2015 Arctic Helheim-KangerdlugussuaqScience3.739.128.3
10/19/15OIB2015 Arctic Helheim-Kangerdlugussuaq Gap BScience3.94324.4
10/20/15OIB2015 Arctic Jakobshavn Mop-UpScience3.746.720.7
10/20/15OIB2015 Arctic Southwest Coastal BScience3.750.417
10/21/15OIB2015 Arctic Southwest Coastal CScience3.453.813.6
10/21/15OIB2015 Arctic K-EGIG-SummitScience3.757.59.9
10/22/15OIB2015 Arctic Mopup SouthScience259.57.9
10/22/15OIB2015 Arctic Ferry BGSF-CYYRFerry2.261.75.7
10/23/15OIB2015 Arctic Ferry CYYR-KRICFerry3.3652.4
10/23/15OIB2015 Arctic Ferry CYYR-KRICFerry0.365.32.1
15F005 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
09/15/15OIB #1Check2.72.797.3
09/20/15OIB #2, 3, 4Ferry2.75.494.6
09/21/15OIB #2, 3, 4Ferry2.37.792.3
09/21/15OIB #2, 3, 4Ferry29.790.3
09/23/15OIB2015 Arctic North Central Gap 02Science3.913.686.4
09/24/15OIB2015 Arctic Northwest Coastal AScience3.717.382.7
09/25/15OIB2015 Arctic Northwest Coastal BScience3.821.178.9
09/28/15OIB2015 Arctic Sea Ice WestScience3.724.875.2
09/30/15OIB2015 Arctic North Central Gap 01Science3.928.771.3
09/30/15OIB2015 Arctic Zachariae-79NScience3.932.667.4

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 - HU-25C Guardian 09/28/15 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: Falcon Sea Ice West (priority: medium)

This mission is similar to the western “bunny ear” of the Zigzag West mission flown in Spring 2015.  However the pattern has been rotated slightly toward the east in order to better distribute the net coverage obtained by the suite of sea ice flights.

Weather today was quite poor in general, with northern Greenland completely obscured by clouds associated with a well-organized low-pressure system centered over the ice sheet.  Our sea ice targets were largely obscured as well, by a mixture of cirrus, low-level stratus, and fog.  However the morning satellite imagery showed a confined strip with only scattered cloudiness north of Ellesmere Island, and we selected the only flight which was an approximate fit to this narrow clear area.  With only a few more days available in our schedule to accomplish sea ice flights and none in the bag so far, we felt it was appropriate to risk the loss of significant data due to weather today.  We did encounter extensive cloudiness at several elevations during much of the flight, but were able to obtain solid ATM, DMS, and FLIR data for approximately the northern 50% of both the eastern and western sea ice legs of this mission.  On the southern half of the western leg, we obtained scattered optical data through a stratus deck.

All instruments performed well today.  However the lighting conditions were poor for the DMS instrument, with solar elevation angles below 5 deg for most of the data collection legs, and below 1 deg for the northernmost portions.  Shadowing from clouds also adversely affected DMS.

We flew the majority of the flight at 33,000' MSL, and were prevented from climbing higher due to air traffic concerns.

We conducted a ramp pass at 2000' MSL.

Data volumes:
DMS: 12.1 Gb
Narrow Swath ATM: 24 Gb
FLIR: 1.9 Gb

total data collection time: 3.6 hrs


Map of Falcon - Sea Ice West

Weather satellite image from this morning

Falcon pilots preparing for flight.