P-3 Orion 03/13/14

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Flight Number: 
Sea Ice - Zig Zag East
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.7 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:03/13/14 10:52 Z Finish:03/13/14 18:35 Z
Flight Time:7.7 hours
Log Number:14P008PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:We flew the Zig Zag East sea ice mission today. All was nominal. Off to Fairbanks tomorrow.
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS369
Total Used354.1
Total Remaining14.9
14P008 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
03/10/14WFF to Thule TransitTransit8.117.8351.2
03/12/14Sea Ice - Nansen GapScience7.625.4343.6
03/13/14Sea Ice - Zig Zag EastScience7.733.1335.9
03/14/14Thule - Fairbanks Transit: Sea Ice - Laxon LineScience8.841.9327.1
03/15/14 - 03/16/14Sea Ice - SIZRS ZigZagScience8.150319
03/17/14 - 03/18/14Sea Ice - North Beaufort Loop - with BarrowScience8.258.2310.8
03/18/14 - 03/19/14F06 Sea Ice - East Beaufort - with ONR/MIZ/CryoVEx campScience8.266.4302.6
03/19/14 - 03/20/14F07 Sea Ice - Beaufort -Chukchi DiamondScience8.374.7294.3
03/21/14F08: Sea Ice – South Basin TransectScience8.583.2285.8
03/24/14F09: Sea Ice – Giles GatewayScience891.2277.8
03/25/14F10 - Axel Heiberg-EurekaScience394.2274.8
03/26/14F11 - Zigzag WestScience7.9102.1266.9
03/28/14Sea Ice – South Canada BasinScience7109.1259.9
03/31/14F13 Sea Ice – CryoVEx NordScience7.3116.4252.6
04/03/14F15 Sea Ice - North Canada BasinScience8.2124.6244.4
04/04/14Transit from Thule to KangerlussuaqTransit2.8127.4241.6
04/05/14Science Flight #16 - East GlaciersScience7.8135.2233.8
04/07/14Science Flight - Southwest Coastal AScience7.7142.9226.1
04/08/14Science Flight - Southeast Glacier 01Science7.6150.5218.5
04/09/14Science Flight - Jakobshaven Glacier 01Science8158.5210.5
04/10/14Science Flight - K-EGIG Summit MissionScience7.9166.4202.6
04/12/14Science Flight - OSU ClustersScience6.6173196
04/14/14Science Flight - Jakobshavn-Eqip-Store Science7.7180.7188.3
04/15/14Science Flight - Southwest Glacier 01Science7.3188181
04/16/14Science Flight - IceSat 2 CentralScience8.4196.4172.6
04/19/14Science Flight - Jakobshaven 02Science6.4202.8166.2
04/21/14Science Flight - Geikie Glacier 01Science8.6211.4157.6
04/23/14Science Flight - Baffin 02Science6217.4151.6
04/24/14Science Flight - Helheim-KangerdScience8.2225.6143.4
04/25/14Transit Flight - Kangerlussuaq to ThuleTransit2.6228.2140.8
04/26/14Science Flight - NW Glacier 02 Mop-UpScience5.6233.8135.2
04/28/14Science Flight - North Pole TransectScience7.3241.1127.9
04/29/14Science Flight - Northeast Glaciers 01Science7.8248.9120.1
04/30/14Science Flight - Northeast Grid 01Science2.6251.5117.5
05/01/14Science Flight - Humboldt 01Science5.5257112
05/02/14Science Flight - Cryosat LandScience7264105
05/05/14Science Flight - IceSat 2 - NorthScience827297
05/07/14Science Flight - NW Glaciers 01Science828089
05/08/14Science Flight - North Central Gap 01Science828881
05/09/14Science Flight - NW Coastal BScience6.9294.974.1
05/12/14Science Flight - Alexander-Petermann 01Science7301.967.1
05/14/14Science Flight - Northeast Grid 01Science7.7309.659.4
05/15/14Science Flight - Northeast Grid 06Science8317.651.4
05/16/14Science Flight - NW Coastal CScience6.1323.745.3
05/19/14Science Flight - North Glaciers 02 PrimeScience8331.737.3
05/20/14Science Flight - Northwest MopupScience6.5338.230.8
05/21/14Science Flight - Northeast Grid 04Science7.9346.122.9
05/23/14Transit Flight - Thule to WallopsTransit7.5353.615.4
05/23/14Transit Flight - Thule to WallopsTransit0.5354.114.9

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 - P-3 Orion 03/13/14 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F02 Sea Ice Zigzag East




  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over sea ice north of Greenland.
  • ATM, Albedo, KT-19, snow, Ku-band, accumulation, MCoRDS and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Collected MCoRDS test data over the Greenland Ice Sheet from high altitude.
  • Ramp pass at 1,000 ft AGL.
  • Satellite Tracks: none.
  • Repeat Mission: last flown in 2013.


Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 41 GB None. 100% surface returns.
DMS yes 57 GB None.
Snow Radar yes 91 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 91 GB None.
Accumulation Radar yes 131 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 800 GB None. Checking calibration settings over sea ice, then imaging mode.
KT-19 yes 9 MB None.
Albedo yes 4 GB None.


Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)


Today's mission is a modified version of the similar Zigzag East flight flown in prior years. It is intended to sample the thick multi-year ice near the Greenland coast as well as the gradient to thinner ice closer to the pole. In addition to Level 1 Requirements SI1 and SI2, the mission addresses sea ice level 1 baseline requirement SI3b by sampling thick multi-year ice near the northern coast of Greenland and the poleward gradient towards thinner ice. During the high-altitude transit across northern Greenland on the way back to Thule, we collected multi-beam MCoRDS data as test for future tomographic imaging of the bedrock. Another MCoRDS data set along the same profile with different settings was collected yesterday during the Nansen Gap mission.

We had planned to fly the Connor Corridor mission today because there are only 4 days on this 11 week deployment were the orbits of the SARAL spacecraft with the AltiKa radar altimeter on board are suitable for an underflight and today was the first of the four days. Unfortunately, fog and dense cloud cover in the area made this a high risk choice that was ranked only with medium priority (see Fig. 2). Given excellent conditions north of Greenland we decided to fly the high priority mission ZigZag East. It turned out to be the right decision. The weather was great and we recorded 100% surface returns. Before landing we did a ramp pass at 1,000 ft AGL at Thule Air Base for instrument calibration.

LiDAR data collection started 03/13/2014 11:00 UTC and ended at 18:25 UTC. In total we collected 7.4 hours of science data. 4.2 hours of this was low altitude data collected with wide-swath ATM T4 laser scanner. The lasers recorded 100% of the surface returns.


Today's mission plan and P-3 trajectory.

Infrared satellite image available before takeoff