P-3 Orion 03/24/14

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Flight Number: 
F09: Sea Ice – Giles Gateway
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
8 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:03/24/14 10:54 Z Finish:03/24/14 18:53 Z
Flight Time:8 hours
Log Number:14P008PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Completed mission as planned with successful data collection over the survey lines and two additional crossings of the Greenland Ice Sheet. No issues with science instruments or aircraft.
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 03/24/14 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F09 Sea Ice Giles Gateway




  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over sea ice in the Fram Strait.
  • 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 (15,000 ft MSL).
  • Collected LiDAR, DMS, and MCoRDS data from high altitude at two east-west transits to and from the survey area.
  • Ramp pass at 1,500 ft AGL.
  • Satellite Tracks: none.
  • Repeat Mission: no.


Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 86 GB None. 100% surface returns.
DMS yes 55 GB None.
Snow Radar yes 162 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 162 GB None.
Accumulation Radar yes 66 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 1.3 TB None.
KT-19 yes 10 MB None.
Albedo yes 4 GB None.


Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

Today's mission is a new mission. It is designed to sample ice passing through the Fram “gateway” between northeast Greenland and Svalbard, and to sample ice south of the gateway as it is transported south along the Greenland coast. In addition to Level 1 Requirements SI1 and SI2, this mission addresses sea ice level 1 baseline requirements SI3c and d by sampling sea ice in and south of Fram Strait. During the high-altitude transit across northern Greenland, we also collected multi-beam MCoRDS data, in conjunction with the same line on the Zigzag East and Nansen Gap flights.

This week we are facing numerous operational constraints from having to coordinate with several collaborative experiments, suitable satellite orbits and other constraints such as weather. Our ideal candidate mission for today was the Axel Heiberg-Eureka mission in support of an agreement between the Canadian Space Agency and NASA. Unfortunately, the weather over the target area was poor and we decided to fly the Giles Gateway mission instead, which looked mostly clear, including two transits over the Greenland Ice Sheet. We downloaded sea ice concentration maps derived from yesterday's AMSR-2 data in order to minimize time over open water (Fig. 1). The weather was mostly good and we recorded 100% surface returns. The new T3 data computer performed well. Before landing we did a ramp pass at 1500 ft AGL at Thule Air Base for instrument calibration. In addition to the sea ice data we were fortunate to have almost the entire northern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet severe clear which allowed data collection with ATM T3 and T4 lasers on the eastward crossing and T3 on the way back. MCoRDS also recorded multi-beam experimental data and saw the bed on real time display on the aircraft most of the time.

LiDAR data collection started 03/24/2014 11:05 UTC and ended at 18:46 UTC. In total we collected 7.7 hours of science data. The lasers recorded 100% of the surface returns.


Figure 1: Mission plan of today's flight in yellow plotted over sea ice concentration data

Figure 2: Infrared satellite image available before takeoff