P-3 Orion 04/26/13

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Flight Number: 
2013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1516
Payload Configuration: 
2013 Operation IceBridge Arctic
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
7.1 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:04/26/13 11:04 Z Finish:04/26/13 18:07 Z
Flight Time:7.1 hours
Log Number:13P001PI:Michael Studinger
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Comments:Successful data flight flown in support of Operation IceBridge Thule deployment. Data flight plan was a shortened version of the North Glaciers 01. Flight was shortened to accomodate the normal shorter Friday workday observed by Thule flight operations. No squawks on the aircraft. Next flight tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 27.
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS255
Total Used211.6
Total Remaining43.4
13P001 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
03/14/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1447Check0.80.8254.2
03/14/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1449Check2.12.9252.1
03/15/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1448Check46.9248.1
03/18/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1450Transit7.914.8240.2
03/20/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1468Science6.321.1233.9
03/21/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1456Transit8.529.6225.4
03/22/13 - 03/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1474Science8.237.8217.2
03/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1470Science7.845.6209.4
03/24/13 - 03/25/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1469Science8.454201
03/26/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1475Transit8.662.6192.4
03/27/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1476Science7.970.5184.5
03/28/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1477Science3.373.8181.2
04/02/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1486Transit6.480.2174.8
04/04/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1484Science8.188.3166.7
04/05/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1489Science7.896.1158.9
04/06/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1487Science8104.1150.9
04/08/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1491Science7.5111.6143.4
04/09/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1493Science6.4118137
04/10/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1493Science6.6124.6130.4
04/11/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1495Science7.4132123
04/12/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1496Science6.2138.2116.8
04/15/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1502Science7.9146.1108.9
04/18/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1504Transit5.2151.3103.7
04/19/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1505Science7.4158.796.3
04/20/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1508Science6.8165.589.5
04/22/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1512Science7.8173.381.7
04/23/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1513Science7.718174
04/24/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1514Science818966
04/25/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1515Science7.5196.558.5
04/26/132013 Operation IceBridge Arctic #1516Science7.1203.651.4
05/02/132013 Operation IceBridge ArcticTransit7.5211.143.9
05/02/132013 Operation IceBridge ArcticTransit0.5211.643.4

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 04/26/13 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

F26 North Glaciers 01 (shortened)


  • Low-altitude survey (1,500 ft AGL) over the Greenland Ice Sheet.
  • ATM, snow, Ku-band, accumulation, MCoRDS radars, and DMS were operated on the survey lines.
  • Ramp pass at Thule Air Base at 3,000 ft AGL for ATM and radar calibration.
  • Satellite Tracks: ICESat #0278.
  • Repeat Mission: 2002 (parts) and 2011.
Instrument Operated Data Volume Instrument Issues/Comments
ATM yes 58 GB None.
DMS yes 121 GB None. Collected 15,794 frames on primary system.
Snow Radar yes 327 GB None.
Ku-band Radar yes 327 GB None.
Accumulation Radar yes 170 GB None.
MCoRDS yes 853 GB None.
KT-19 yes 9 MB None.

Mission Report (Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist)

A low pressure system centered over the Davis Strait prevented us from flying any of the remaining high priority mission plans today. We had to stay over the northern most part of Greenland to avoid dense cloud cover and decided to fly North Glaciers 01. This mission is designed to resurvey historical ATM longitudinal surveys of several glaciers in northern Greenland, including Steensby, Ryder, and Hagen Glaciers. It also re-occupies ATM lines on the Flade Ice Cap, near Station Nord, and returns to Thule along the British North Greenland Expedition traverse line, which was also flown by ATM in 2002.

On Fridays we have to wait for fuel until the DC-8 rotator has been serviced and we need to be back on the ground one hour earlier than usual at 15:00 LT. This leaves us less than 7 hours for a mission. We had to shorten several of the glacier runs in order to save time. We also skipped waypoint A05 near NEEM and flew high for the transit from A03 to Camp Century to Thule.

Over the Flade Ice Cap we flew over a depression in the ice surface that must have formed over the past several years. Mike Willis had discovered this feature that is almost one hundred meters deep and a few kilometers in size. We slightly offset our planned survey line to collect data over this feature that seems to have similarities with sink holes. A photo and preliminary processed ATM data are attached to this report.

The weather in the survey area was good and we didn't have any issues with clouds as expected.

Low-altitude data collection started 11:11 UTC and ended at 17:20 UTC. 6.1 hours. We also collected an addition 30 minutes of data from high altitude at the end. In total we collected 6.6 hours of science data.


Today's flight plan in yellow.

Photo of the ice surface depression or sink hole on Flade Ice Cap

Preliminary elevation model over the sink hole on Flade Ice Cap