P-3 Orion 03/26/14

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Flight Number: 
F11 - Zigzag West
Payload Configuration: 
Operation IceBridge
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.9 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:03/26/14 10:53 Z Finish:03/26/14 18:49 Z
Flight Time:7.9 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. Flew below CryoSat-2 space craft along ground track 3 hours after the space craft passed over it. A Basler BT-67 and a DHC-6 Twin Otter from the ESA sponsored CryoVEx campaign took off 1.5 hours after us from Alert and collected data long the same line a few hours after us. No significant issues with either aircraft or science instruments.
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 03/26/14 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F11 Sea Ice – Zigzag West


  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over sea ice in the Nares Strait and sea ice and glaciers on Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands.
  • ATM, Albedo, KT-19, snow, Ku-band, accumulation, MCoRDS and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Collected LiDAR, DMS, and MCoRDS data from high altitude to and from the survey area.
  • Coordinated CryoSat-2 underflight with BT-67 and DHC-6 Twin Otter for ESA's CryoVEx campaign.
  • Ramp pass at 2,000 ft AGL at Thule Air base before landing.
  • Satellite Tracks: CryoSat-2 ground track 21011.
  • Repeat Mission: 2012.


Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 103 GB None.
DMS yes 98 GB None.
Snow Radar yes 95 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 95 GB None.
Accumulation Radar yes 96 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 228 MB None. Collected test data for calibration data from high altitude.
KT-19 yes 9 MB None.
Albedo yes 4 GB None.


Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

Today's mission is to sample the thick multi-year ice near the Ellesmere coast as well as the gradient to thinner ice closer to the pole. A nearby ascending CryoSat-2 ground track was substituted for one of the tracks of the original plan. 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 Ellesmere Island and the poleward gradient towards thinner ice.

Today's flight also provided the opportunity for a coordinated CryoSat-2 underflight. The NASA P-3 flew CryoSat-2 orbit 21011 starting at 12:23 Zulu just a bit more than 3 hours after the spacecraft had passed overhead (09:07 Zulu). This was the closest orbit in time that we could reach from Thule today. While we were flying we received confirmation from Kyle Krabill on the ground in Thule at around 14:10 Z that the Basler BT- 67 and the DHC-6 Twin Otter stationed in Alert and collecting data for ESA's CryoVEx campaign had started to move on the flight tracker and where heading towards the survey line that we were on. Before the campaign we had equipped the Kenn Borek Basler with a sky tracking unit from NASA's Airborne Science Program which allows us to follow movements of the aircraft in real time during the campaign. The Norland Air Twin Otter was tracked through a commercial website. 

Science data collection was successful in clear conditions except for the northern ends of the zigzag. We were alble to collect additional high altitude data over Ellesmere Island and Greenland to and from the survey area.

LiDAR data collection started 03/26/2014 11:02 UTC and ended at 18:39 UTC. In total we collected 7.6 hours of science data. 4.6 hours were collected with ATM T4 from low elevation.


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