DC-8 11/15/14

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Flight Number: 
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge 2014
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
11.2 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:11/15/14 12:09 Z Finish:11/15/14 23:23 Z
Flight Time:11.2 hours
Log Number:158003PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Purpose of Flight: OIB 2014 Science Flight – Institute Ice Stream 01 at 1,500 ft AGL Aircraft Status: Airworthy Sensor Status: All instruments operated Significant Issues: None Accomplishments: Takeoff at 319 12 09 51 Land 319 23 23 40 After climb to transit altitude of FL330. Start descent at 1534Z in preparation to start data tracks at 1500’ agl. 1. Southeast tack 1610Z – 1634Z 2. Northwest track 1642Z – 1712Z 3. Southeast track 1719Z – 1753Z 4. Southwest track 1754Z – 1759Z 5. Northwest track 1800z – 1804Z 6. Northeast track 1805Z – 1828Z 7. Southwest track 1834Z - 1858Z 8. Northeast track 1903z – 1926Z Complete ground tracks and turn north to PUQ at 1926Z. Transit at FL400. Perform ramp calibration pass at PUQ at 2311Z at 2000’ agl just prior to landing. . Planned events: Continue science flights out of Punta Arenas, Chile
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS300
Total Used292.1
Total Remaining7.9
158003 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
10/07/14 - 10/08/14150102Science5.26.4293.6
10/18/14 - 10/19/14150107Science11.946.6253.4
10/26/14 - 10/27/14150111Science11.993.4206.6
11/25/14 - 11/26/14150131Transit11.2292.17.9

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 11/15/14 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F19 Institute Ice Stream 01


  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over the Institute Ice Stream.
  • ATM, albedo, KT-19, snow, Ku-band, MCoRDS, gravimeter, and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Collected additional high altitude data on transits to and from the survey area.
  • Ramp pass at Punta Arenas airport before landing at 2,000 ft AGL.
  • Satellite tracks: ICESat-2: 0168, 0421, 0183, 0069, 0079, 0084, 0337, 0099.
  • Repeat Mission: new mission plan.


Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 33 GB None.
CAMBOT yes 50 GB None.
DMS yes 60 GB None.
Snow Radar yes 342 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 342 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 1.2 TB Intermittent noise of unknown origin.
KT-19 yes 10 MB None.
Albedo yes 2.7 GB None.
Albedo camera yes 350 MB None.
Gravimeter yes 2.0 GB None.


Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

Today's flight is a new mission plan that is intended to collect altimetry, radar and gravity data over the lower Institute Ice Stream, entirely along ICESat-1 ground tracks straddling, and upstream of, the grounding line. This area has been traversed by only a single IceBridge line to date, an approximation of the grounding line flown in 2012. Prior geophysical work in the area included a SPRI/NSF/TU-Denmark airborne campaign in the 1970s, an AWI effort in the 1990s, and several ground traverses dating from the late 1950s.

Today we looked at Thwaites Glacier, the English Coast, Evans Ice Stream, and the Institute Ice Stream as candidates based on the weather forecasts. All remaining sea ice mission had unfavorable weather. Unfortunately, we had to drop all high priority land ice targets due to the high risk of loosing data and decided to fly the medium priority Institute 1 mission, which promised to have good conditions. On the way to the survey area we passed over Evans Ice Stream and saw widespread patches of low clouds that would have been impossible to underfly and a safety risk given some of the terrain along this mission.

The conditions over the Institute Ice Stream were good. ATM and DMS only lost 5 minutes of data along the last line due to a small patch of low clouds. A layer of haze was below us for most of the survey, which did not cause any problems.

We observed two almost vertical sidewalls in the bedrock topography on MCorDS over the Hercules Inlet. The steep sidewalls also have a clear expression in the ice surface as seen on DMS (Fig. 2).

LiDAR data collection started 11/15/2014 15:37 UTC and ended at 20:01 UTC. In total we collected 4.4 hours of LiDAR data.


Figure 1: Today's trajectory in yellow.

Figure 2: DMS image of the surface expression of the grounding line of Hercules Inlet.