P-3 Orion 03/15/14 - 03/16/14

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Flight Number: 
Sea Ice - SIZRS ZigZag
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8.1 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:03/15/14 16:50 Z Finish:03/16/14 00:56 Z
Flight Time:8.1 hours
Log Number:14P008PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:All was nominal. performed sea ice survey of Beaufort Sea; great weather for majority of flight, but had to skip the NRL buoy over flight due to low clouds that entered the area quickly; will attempt that part on Monday.
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 03/15/14 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F04 SIZRS Zig-Zag




  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over sea ice in the Beaufort Sea.
  • ATM, Albedo, KT-19, snow, Ku-band, accumulation radars,and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Satellite Tracks: none
  • Repeat Mission: last flown in 2013.


Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 46 GB None. 100% surface returns 20 miles offshore.
DMS yes 140 GB None.
Snow Radar yes 70 GB NAS failure. Recorded temporarily on local drive.
Ku-band Radar yes 70 GB NAS failure. Recorded temporarily on local drive.
Accumulation Radar yes 124 GB None.
MCoRDS no N/A Not operated due to sea ice mission.
KT-19 yes 9 MB None.
Albedo yes 4 GB None.


Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

Today's mission is designed to sample sea ice along the north-south gradient in the southern Beaufort Sea. The leg flown along the 210th meridian facilitates a new collaboration between OIB and the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) program, and it improves the temporal extent of the SIZRS time series into early spring. This is the primary flight in which to incorporate the NRL site overflights near Barrow, with North Beaufort Loop as the backup. In addition to Level-1 Requirements SI1 and SI2, this mission addresses sea ice level 1 projected requirement SIP2d by extending sea ice baseline observations to the southern Beaufort and Chukchi Seas; sea ice baseline level-1 requirement SI9 by coordinating with a field campaign the complements the IceBridge measurements.

The weather forecast, local observation and satellite images looked all very promising for the entire survey area including the ground site near Barrow. We coordinated an overflight with the NRL Twin Otter and CRREL personnel in Barrow. When we descended into the survey area we saw a thick cloud layer and the tower in Barrow reported overcast from 700 - 1200 ft. The cloud layer must have formed quickly after we took off since it was not reported before takeoff (Fig. 2). We did a pass over the 15 km long line at 1,500 ft without getting any LiDAR returns or DMS imagery. The cloud layer was wide spread and thick and too low to underfly. We will try again in a mission next week. As we moved away from the cost on our first outbound line, the cloud layer dissolved 20 nautical miles away from the cost and we surveyed the remainder of the day in perfect conditions as expected.

The snow and Ku-band radars experienced a failure of the NAS recording unit and temporarily switched to a local drive during the transit to the first data line between 18:30 and 19:57 UTC. A few minutes of data were lost at the start of the line in the area with dense cloud cover before the system was rebooted and ready to record data again. 

LiDAR data collection (that recorded surface returns) started 03/15/2014 18:41 UTC and ended at 03/15/2014 23:40 UTC. In total we collected 5.0 hours of science data. The lasers recorded 100% of the surface returns during that time.



Infrared satellite image available before takeoff