DC-8 10/22/12

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Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
OIB Antarctic 2012
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
11.2 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:10/22/12 12:00 Z Finish:10/22/12 23:14 Z
Flight Time:11.2 hours
Log Number:138003PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Depart SCCI at 1200Z. Perform calibration ramp pass to the SE and overfly targets at 1207Z at 1000 ft AGL. Climb to cruise altitudes of FL310 & FL330. Descend to 1500ft AGL to cross first science waypoint at 1508Z. Continue to fly ground track pattern from roughly north to south on the east side of the Ellsworth mountain range. Pass over final waypoint at 1904Z. Perform radar pitch maneuvers at 2000 ft AGL at 1908Z. High altitude ATM data collected during transit segments. Climb to FL380 to FL400 block for transit to Punta Arenas. Cross ground track path at 1952Z during return transit segment. Xchat with school children in class rooms across USA during mission. Land SCCI at 2314Z.
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 10/22/12 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F07 Ronne Grounding Line West


  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) along and across the Recovery Glacier and several subglacial lakes in the area.
  • Completed all planned survey lines.
  • ATM, MCoRDS, snow and Ku-band radars, gravimeter, and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Collected additional ATM and DMS high-altitude data on transit home including cross-overs with low-altitude data.
  • Conducted pitch maneuvers for time stamp verification of snow and Ku-band radars.
  • Conducted ramp pass (1,000 ft AGL) at Punta Arenas airport after takeoff for DMS, ATM, snow and Ku-band radar instrument calibration.
  • Hosted several question and answer sessions on x-chat during the flight with students and teachers from the US.
  • Satellite Tracks: none
  • Repeat Mission: none

Science Data Report Summary

Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 45 GB None
DMS yes 80 GB None. Collected 11,349 frames.
Snow Radar yes 437 GB None
Ku-band Radar yes 437 GB None
MCoRDS yes 710 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)

Our primary mission plan for today was the Endurance mission over sea ice in the Weddell Sea because of the favorable CryoSat-2 timing and orbit geometry. Unfortunately, the GFS model forecast we got at the airport predicted significant cloud cover over large parts of the survey area. We spend a considerable amount of time with the forecaster to understand the weather situation and had to conclude that the Weddell Sea was a no go today. We decided to fly the high priority mission Ronne Grounding Line west instead, which had a very promising weather forecast. The conditions in the area were perfect and we completed all planned survey lines. We also collected high altitude data on the transit from the survey area to Punta Arenas, including cross-over data with the low-altitude data.

We enjoyed spectacular views of the Ellsworth Mountains, the Sentinel Range, and Mount Vinson, the tallest peak in Antarctica (4,897 m) as well as the Rutford Ice Stream (see photos below).

We also completed a ramp pass at Punta Arenas airport at 1,000 ft AGL after takeoff to ensure data collection during daylight for DMS and ATM instrument calibration and also for snow and Ku-band radar calibration.

We hosted again several question and answer sessions on x-chat during the flight with students and teachers from across the United States.

ATM data collection Time (UTC) Hours
Begin high altitude data collection
Begin low altitude data collection 14:45
End low altitude data collection 19:10 4.3
End high altitude data collection 20:10 1.0
Total 5.3

Map of today’s science mission

View of the Ellsworth Mountains and Sentinel Range

View of the Ellsworth Mountains with the Vinson Massif and Mount Vinson

View of the Ellsworth Mountains with the Vinson Massif and Mount Vinson

Ice fall in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica

Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica