DC-8 10/13/12 - 10/14/12

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Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
OIB Antarctic 2012
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
10.9 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:10/13/12 13:27 Z Finish:10/14/12 00:19 Z
Flight Time:10.9 hours
Log Number:138003PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Depart SCCI at 1327Z. Perform calibration ramp pass to the SE and overfly targets at 1340Z at 1500 AGL. Climb to cruise altitude of FL310. Descend to 1500 ft MSL to cross first science waypoint at 1605Z. Fly circuitous path over sea ice along Antarctic coastline in Bellingshausen & Amundsen Sea areas. MCoRDs depth sounder recorded ice thickness data over Burke Island. Overfly last low altitude waypoint at 2044Z. Climb to FL400 for transit to Punta Arenas continuing to collect data during first 0.5 hours of return leg. Land SCCI at 0019Z.
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS200
Total Used215.7
Total Remaining-15.7
138003 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
10/08/12 - 10/09/12130103Transit10.718.9181.1
10/13/12 - 10/14/12130106Science10.944.2155.8
10/16/12 - 10/17/12130108Science11.867.6132.4
10/19/12 - 10/20/12130110Science10.289.4110.6
10/23/12 - 10/24/12130112Science11.3111.988.1
10/28/12 - 10/29/12130115Science11.314654
11/01/12 - 11/02/12130116Science1215842
11/02/12 - 11/03/12130117Science10.6168.631.4
11/06/12 - 11/07/12130119Science9.418911
11/07/12 - 11/08/12130120Science11.5200.5-0.5
11/10/12 - 11/11/12130122Transit11.6215.4-15.4

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 - DC-8 10/13/12 - 10/14/12 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F02 Bellingshausen Sea 01


  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Sea. Completed all planned survey lines.
  • Collected additional high altitude data.
  • ATM, MCoRDS, snow and Ku-band radars, gravimeter, and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Conducted one ramp pass (1,500 ft AGL) at Punta Arenas airport after takeoff for DMS, ATM, snow and Ku-band radar instrument calibration.
  • Satellite Tracks: none
  • Repeat Mission: October 21, 2009; October 10, 2010; October 11, 2011

Science Data Report Summary

Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 55 GB None
DMS yes 97 GB None
Snow Radar yes 474 GB None
Ku-band Radar yes 474 GB None
MCoRDS yes 140 GB None
KT-19 yes 20 MB None
Gravimeter yes 1.2 GB None
DC-8 On-board Data yes 40 MB None

Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

The various weather models predicted favorable conditions this morning for the high priority mission plan Bellingshausen 1. On October 21, 2009 we flew this landmark sea ice mission for the first time. It has been repeated on October 10 and 11 in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Today’s flight marks the fourth year of data collection over this important sea ice transect across the pack ice of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Sea under relatively heavy ice conditions.

We expected some clouds at the eastern part of the survey area from the low pressure system centered over Alexander Island. The forecast from the airport met office also predicted low clouds in the center of the survey area. As expected, none of the clouds posed any real issues for us and we lost only 15 minutes of ATM and DMS data on the entire survey line due to clouds. The northern segment was flown at high altitude. At waypoint 110n we started a 1000 ft/min climb to 40,000 ft AGL. Both ATM T3 and DMS kept recording data and with the exception of a few isolated clouds got good extra data along this line. We recorded 4.6 hours of science data at low altitude and an additional 0.5 hours during the high altitude segment bringing the total up to 5.1 hours of science data collection.
We also flew over Burke Island in the Amundsen Sea. There was some interest in the science community about the ice thickness over this small island. We turned on the MCoRDS depth sounder and recorded ice thickness data over the small island during this sea ice mission.

The known wildlife colonies in the survey area were at safe distance from the flight path of the DC-8.

After takeoff we did a ramp pass at 1,500 ft over the field at Punta Arenas airport for DMS and ATM instrument calibration.

All in all this was the perfect day. The weather over such a large and difficult area could not have been better.

Time (UTC) Hours
Begin high altitude data collection
Begin low altitude data collection 16:07
End low altitude data collection 20:45 4.6
End high altitude data collection 21:45 0.5
Total 5.1

Trajectory of today’s science mission over the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas

Sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea seen from the DC-8