P-3 Orion 05/06/17

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Flight Number: 
Science Flight #36-Helheim-K-EGIG-Summit
Payload Configuration: 
OIB Arctic
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:05/06/17 10:13 Z Finish:05/06/17 18:15 Z
Flight Time:8 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 05/06/17 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: K-EGIG-Summit (priority: baseline; last flown: 2015 spring)


This mission was designed to accomplish a number of high-priority tasks. First, we refly the van den Broeke “K-Transect” in the Russell Glacier catchment, consisting of several sites where comprehensive glaciological measurements are collected annually. We also fly the EGIG traverse line, which is expected to be occupied as part of the CryoVex effort in spring 2014. We overfly the ICESat-1 track 412 Summit calibration site, and we fly two ICESat-2 groundtracks in the same area near Summit, with the expectation that these will become regular calibrations sites as well. For 2016, we add an overflight of a GreenTrACS core near IceSat track 0055. Finally we extend the coverage of the Jakobshavn basin upstream along ICESat-1 tracks, to capture continued inland progression of thinning there. 


Intermittent clouds over central Greenland offered a strong if not perfect forecast for this last baseline mission. A good webcam view of Summit and favorable evolution during the day gave us confidence to select it. We directly overflew all of the K-transect sites as planned, with what was described as our most successful direct overflight of K-transect yet. We flew several ICESat tracks upstream of Jakobshavn Isbræ and a short grid near Summit Station multiple times. A moth, possibly already deceased, intermittently obscured the DMS window. It was successfully extracted from the below the DMS instrument by its harnessed operator, Eric Fraim, but then a second such insect appeared that could not be extracted. The mission continued with mostly interrupted surface visibility and overall better visibility than expected. We flew by Swiss Camp at the end of the EGIG line, performed a ramp pass at 1000’ and straight-and-level tests for MCoRDS along the Kangerlussuaq fjord.


Attached images:

1. Map of today’s mission

2. Snow-filled supraglacial stream near Kangerlussuaq (Lauren Andrews / NASA)

3. Summit Station, central Greenland (Lauren Andrews / NASA)

4. Steep land-terminating cliffs, northeastern Greenland (Lauren Andrews / NASA)

5. Swiss Camp, occupied in the last few days by Koni Steffen’s group (Hara Madhav Talasila / KU)


Map of today’s mission

Snow-filled supraglacial stream near Kangerlussuaq

Summit Station, central Greenland

Steep land-terminating cliffs, northeastern Greenland

Swiss Camp, occupied in the last few days by Koni Steffen’s group