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

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Friday, April 19, 2019
Mission Location: 
ICESat-2 Arctic Ocean #3
Mission Summary: 

Mission: ICESat-2 Arctic Ocean #3 (long line)
Priority: Baseline
This new flight for 2019 flies out along a single ICESat-2 ground track, selected and timed so that our aircraft and the spacecraft fly the track as closely as possible in time, and also with the track drift-corrected according to winds measured from the aircraft. The particulars of the technique we will use to fly the track will depend on knowledge of ICESat-2’s pointing accuracy just prior to the time of this flight. Options include out-and-back along the same or parallel and offset lines, varying the altitude of one or both lines, or even a four-segment line. The general idea is to obtain a composite swath wide enough to capture any likely pointing offset of the spacecraft. See Appendix D for more details on the design of these flights.
Yesterday’s forecast matched the imagery and we opted for a much-needed sea ice mission, with a zero-latency underflight of RGT 0325 at 13:10:46 UTC. An uneventful transit over Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg and Ellef Ringnes Islands brought us to the start of the mission, which we flew at 3,500 ft AGL. To our pleasant surprise, the cloud conditions were scattered and better than forecast. Headwall SWIR was unable to be started at the beginning of the line, likely due to the cold high-altitude transit. Clear conditions lasted for a few minutes for we entered a layer that we dropped below somewhat by descending to 3,000 ft AGL prior to the time of ICESat-2 passing overhead. At that time, there was moderate haze above us and what appeared mostly ridged first-year sea ice below us, for which observations were challenged by the flat light conditions. About a third of the way through the mission and ~25 minutes after the ICESat-2 coincident pass, the skies began to clear and the light conditions improved and we returned to 3,500 ft AGL. About two thirds of the way through the mission, haze descended again and we lost the surface for about 10 minutes. ATM estimated 90% altimetry data collection. We didn’t see many leads in the first third of the mission, but many appeared after that. We corrected our course for sea ice drift relative to the time since ICESat-2’s passing multiple times during flight. Headwall SWIR again froze occasionally once it warmed up sufficiently, losing about the first hour of the survey. Snow radar performed well. We conducted a ramp pass at 1,200 ft AGL.
Attached images/files:
1. Map of today’s mission (John Sonntag / NASA)
2. KML of today’s mission (John Sonntag / NASA)
3. Land-terminating glacier terminus and snow-covered proglacial outwash on Ellef Ringnes Island (Joe MacGregor / NASA)
4. First-year and multi-year floes about a third of the way through the mission (Jeremy Harbeck / NASA)
5. CAMBOT image of leads slicing through pressure ridges (Jeremy Harbeck / NASA)


Land-terminating glacier terminus and snow-covered proglacial outwash on Ellef Ringnes Island

First-year and multi-year floes about a third of the way through the mission

CAMBOT image of leads slicing through pressure ridges

Related Flight Report: 

P-3 Orion - WFF 04/19/19

Flight Number: 
#2091: 2019 OIB Science Flight #12
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.6 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:04/19/19 10:50 Z Finish:04/19/19 18:28 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:2104 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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