OIB - P-3 Orion - WFF 04/17/19 Science Report

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Mission Location: 
ICESat-2 North
Mission Summary: 

Mission: ICESat-2 North
Priority: Baseline
This mission is designed to overfly planned IceSat-2 ground tracks over a wide range of ice regimes near Thule. We center some of the flightlines on each of three beam pairs (left, nadir and right) in turn, sampling at least one of each beam pair during this mission. The east-west crossing line is designed to capture as many ascending/descending crossovers as possible. We also fly a particular flowline of Petermann Glacier which has been sampled intermittently during the ATM and OIB eras, overflying two GCNet sites in the process. For 2018 we modify the return leg to Thule to overfly a segment of an Ultra-wideband radiometer (UWBRAD) flight line, at the request of Ken Jezek.
Following a quick repair of ATM T-6 yesterday, we got off the ground at the usual time this morning. Relatively few options were available to us today, and no sea ice mission was viable, so we opted for our one remaining baseline land ice mission based out of Thule AB. Because of the dearth of ramp passes that we’d been able to collect over the past week and the T6 repair, we collected a ramp pass at 1,200 ft AGL after take-off. We encountered some haze flying up Humboldt Glacier during which the ground was briefly lost, but Petermann Glacier was clear, which had not been obvious in the morning’s imagery, and winds were light. This mission mostly targets weak beams, but we replaced the second planned ICESat-2 ground track with a low latency (<12 hours) RGT a few kilometers away, from which we briefly detoured over Washington Land to observe the Keybird crash. Otherwise, the flight proceeded uneventfully along ICESat-2 RGTs. Headwall froze up again, but otherwise all instruments worked well, including ATM T6 at a slightly slower scan rate than before (13 Hz). ATM estimates 98% altimetry data recovery. We conducted two additional ramp passes at 1,200 and 1,600 ft AGL.
ICESat-2 reference ground track (RGT) / targeted ICESat-2 beam / latency (positive/negative = ICESat-2 orbits before/after our flight)
0484 / 2R / -12 days
0301 / 2L / -10 hours (switched out from RGT 1246)
0621 / 2R / -21 days
0057 / 3R / +15 days
0880 / 2R / -38 days
0316 / 1R / -1 day
Attached images:

  1. Map of today’s mission (John Sonntag / NASA)
  2. Window reflection of John Sonntag’s flight suit while flying across Tracy Glacier (John Sonntag / NASA)
  3. An occasionally narrow canyon in Washington Land (Joe MacGregor / NASA)
  4. A tributary glacier flowing into the western flank of Petermann Glacier’s ice shelf (Joe MacGregor / NASA)
  5. The southern flank of Petermann Glacier (Jeremy Harbeck / NASA)
  6. The thin terminus of Petermann Glacier (Jeremy Harbeck / NASA)
  7. The Kee Bird crash on a small lake in Washington Land (Jeremy Harbeck / NASA)

An occasionally narrow canyon in Washington Land

Window reflection of John Sonntag’s flight suit while flying across Tracy Glacier

A tributary glacier flowing into the western flank of Petermann Glacier’s ice shelf

The southern flank of Petermann Glacier

The thin terminus of Petermann Glacier

The Kee Bird crash on a small lake in Washington Land

Related Flight Report: 

P-3 Orion - WFF 04/16/19

Flight Number: 
#2087: 2019 OIB Science Flight #9
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.6 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:04/16/19 10:50 Z Finish:04/16/19 18:24 Z
Flight Time:7.6 hours
Log Number:19P017PI:Joseph MacGregor
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Miles Flown:2036 miles
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

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