P-3 Orion 05/05/17

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Flight Number: 
Science Flight #35-Helheim-Kangerdlugssuaq Gap B (High Priority)
Payload Configuration: 
OIB Arctic
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8.2 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:05/05/17 10:16 Z Finish:05/05/17 18:30 Z
Flight Time:8.2 hours
Log Number:17P006PI:Nathan Kurtz
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS333.6
Total Used332
Total Remaining1.6
17P006 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
02/24/17Airworthiness Test FlightCheck11332.6
02/26/17Project Test Flight #1Check4.95.9327.7
02/27/17Project Test Flight #2Check38.9324.7
03/07/17Transit FlightTransit8.217.1316.5
03/09/17Science Flight #1 - North Pole TransectScience825.1308.5
03/10/17Science Flight #2 - Laxon LineScience8.533.6300
03/11/17 - 03/12/17Science Flight #3 - Chukchi West LineScience841.6292
03/12/17 - 03/13/17Science Flight #4 - North Beaufort Loop LineScience8.149.7283.9
03/14/17 - 03/15/17Science Flight #5 - East Beaufort Loop LineScience857.7275.9
03/20/17Science Flight #6 - Sea Ice South Basin Transect (to Thule)Science8.165.8267.8
03/22/17Science Flight #7 - North Flux 02Science7.973.7259.9
03/23/17Science Flight #8 - Zig Zag West LineScience7.981.6252
03/24/17Science Flight #9 - CryoVEx LineScience5.887.4246.2
03/27/17Science Flight #10 - Northwest Coastal A LineScience7.494.8238.8
03/28/17Science Flight #11 - North Central Cap 01 LineScience7.6102.4231.2
03/29/17Science Flight #12 - Ellesemere Island 01 LineScience7.6110223.6
03/30/17Science Flight #13 - Ellesemere South LineScience7.9117.9215.7
03/31/17Science Flight #14- Alexander-Petermann LineScience6.5124.4209.2
04/03/17Science Flight #15- Zachariae 79N Fram Straight and BGTL ENSB TransitScience7.4131.8201.8
04/05/17Science Flight #16 - Svalbard North Line (High Priority)Science7138.8194.8
04/06/17Science Flight #17- Svalbard South Mission (High Priority)Science8.5147.3186.3
04/07/17Science Flight #18- Combined Zig Zag East Mission and Transit ENSB to BGTLScience8.3155.6178
04/10/17Science Flight #19- North Central Gap 3Science7.8163.4170.2
04/11/17Science Flight #20- CryoVex 2 (High Priority)Science7.8171.2162.4
04/12/17Science Flight #21-Northwest Coastal CScience7.2178.4155.2
04/13/17Science Flight #22-North Glaciers 02 Prime (High Priority)Science8.2186.6147
04/14/17Science Flight #23-IceSat-2 North/CryoSat-2 SARInScience7193.6140
04/17/17Science Flight #24-Humboldt 01(High Priority)Science7.8201.4132.2
04/19/17Science Flight #25-Sea Ice - South Canada Basin (MediumPriority)Science7.8209.2124.4
04/20/17Transit Flight to KangerlussuaqTransit3212.2121.4
04/21/17Science Flight #26-Southeast CoastalScience8220.2113.4
04/22/17Science Flight #27-Helheim-KangerdScience7.8228105.6
04/24/17Science Flight #28-Geikie 01 (High Priority) Science823697.6
04/26/17Science Flight #29-Devon-Bylot (Medium Priority)Science7.9243.989.7
04/28/17Science Flight #30-Penny 01 (Medium Priority)Science6249.983.7
04/29/17Science Flight #31-Thomas - Jakobshavn 01Science8.4258.375.3
05/01/17Science Flight #32-Thomas - Jakobshavn-Eqip-StoreScience8.4266.766.9
05/02/17Science Flight #33-Thomas - ICESat-2 Central Science7.9274.659
05/03/17Science Flight #34-Thomas - Southwest Coastal AScience8.3282.950.7
05/05/17Science Flight #35-Helheim-Kangerdlugssuaq Gap B (High Priority)Science8.2291.142.5
05/06/17Science Flight #36-Helheim-K-EGIG-Summit Science8299.134.5
05/08/17Science Flight #37-Southeast Glaciers 01 (High Priority)Science8307.126.5
05/10/17Science Flight #38-Umanaq B (High Priority)Science8315.118.5
05/11/17Science Flight #39-ICESat-2 South (High Priority)Science8.1323.210.4
05/12/17Science Flight #40-Nuuk FjordsScience1.83258.6
05/13/17Transit Flight to Dover DE (to clear customs)Transit6.4331.42.2
05/13/17Transit Flight to Wallops Flight FacilityTransit0.63321.6

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 05/05/17 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: Helheim-Kangerdlugssuaq Gap B (priority: high; last flown: 2016)


This mission is designed (along with Helheim-Kangerdlugssuaq Gap A) to refly a 2012 grid over the area of complex terrain between the Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq Glaciers. Each of these new missions alone forms a coast-parallel grid spaced at 20 km, and the two flights together interlace to form a 10-km grid. This particular mission also reoccupies the centerlines of two glaciers in the area (names unknown). This flight retains a high priority for 2016 because it continues an intra-annual time series with the spring and fall 2015/2016 campaigns along these lines. 


Various weak systems in southern Greenland were slowly clearing today and offered us a clear opportunity to complete this mission along the southeast coast. On our outbound transit, we were pleasantly surprised to able to collect altimetry data all the way to the ice divide, at which point a cloud bank sharply began. Upon arriving at the southeast coast, the clouds mostly cleared, as expected, and the mission proceeded as planned. At our survey altitude (1500’) and throughout the mission along the southeast coast, peak outside air temperatures up to 18ºC were reported by the pilots, but FLIR reported temperatures only slightly above freezing at the surface, suggesting a significant inversion, which a visiting DMI meteorologist confirmed. We also had a visitor from CH2M Polarfield Services. The coast was clear, all instruments performed satisfactorily and we made good enough time to perform additional repeat centerline surveys of Fenris and Helheim glaciers. In a southeastern fjord, we also performed a series of roll and pitch maneuvers for MCoRDS sensitivity testing. The east flank of the ice sheet had broken clouds that again cleared upon reaching the divide. A ramp pass was performed at 4000’. 


Attached images:

1. Map of today’s mission

2. DMS image of the calving front of Fenris Glacier (Eric Fraim/ NASA)

3. ATM T6 surface elevation along the calving front of Fenris Glacier (Matt Linkswiler / NASA)

4. Subglacial outlet along the western ice-sheet margin near Kangerlussuaq (Lauren Andrews / NASA)

5. Wavy surface texture over a col in southeastern Greenland (Lauren Andrews / NASA)

6. Calving front of Helheim Glacier (John Sonntag / NASA)


Map of today’s mission

DMS image of the calving front of Fenris Glacier

ATM T6 surface elevation along the calving front of Fenris Glacier

Subglacial outlet along the western ice-sheet margin near Kangerlussuaq

Wavy surface texture over a col in southeastern Greenland

Calving front of Helheim Glacier