P-3 Orion 11/21/17

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Flight Number: 
OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #8
Payload Configuration: 
OIB - Ushuaia 2018
Nav Data Collected: 
Total Flight Time: 
9.4 hours
Flight Segments: 
Start:11/21/17 12:42 Z Finish:11/21/17 22:04 Z
Flight Time:9.4 hours
Log Number:18P006PI:Nathan Kurtz
Funding Source:Bruce Tagg - NASA - SMD - ESD Airborne Science Program
Purpose of Flight:Science
Flight Hour Summary: 
Flight Hours Approved in SOFRS151
Total Used156
Total Remaining-5
18P006 Flight Reports
Date Flt # Purpose of Flight Duration Running Total Hours Remaining Miles Flown
10/17/17OIB - Airworthiness Test FlightCheck1.11.1149.9
10/18/17OIB - Project Test FlightCheck3.54.6146.4
10/19/17OIB PTF - RadarCheck4.59.1141.9
10/23/17OIB - Transit leg #1Transit7.116.2134.8
10/24/17OIB - Transit leg #2Transit6.522.7128.3
10/25/17OIB - Transit leg #3Transit729.7121.3
10/29/17 - 10/30/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #1Science9.739.4111.6
10/31/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #2Science8.948.3102.7
11/03/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #3Science957.393.7
11/04/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #4Science9.366.684.4
11/12/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #5Science9.576.174.9
11/14/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #6Science9.885.965.1
11/16/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #7Science9.19556
11/21/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #8Science9.4104.446.6
11/22/17 - 11/23/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #9Science9.9114.336.7
11/24/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #10Science9.6123.927.1
11/25/17 - 11/26/17OIB-Ushuaia Science Flight #11Science9.5133.417.6
11/27/17OIB-Ushuaia SAWH-SCDA Transit FlightTransit7140.410.6
11/28/17OIB-Ushuaia SCDA-MROC Transit FlightTransit7147.43.6
11/29/17OIB-Ushuaia MROC-KNGU Transit FlightTransit6.3153.7-2.7
11/29/17OIB-Ushuaia KNGU-KWAL Transit FlightTransit0.8154.5-3.5
12/04/17OIB-Post Mission Calibration FlightScience1.5156-5

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 11/21/17 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: South Peninsula A (priority: high)

This is primarily a repeat flight, designed to assess dh/dt of four glaciers draining the Dyer Plateau.  These are the Fleming, Maitland, Lurabee, and Clifford. We also refly a portion of an established grid uphill from the grounding line on the west side, with grid lines spaced at 20 km. This grid is intended to assess dh/dt in this area, and on its south end it connects with a similarly-designed grid in the English Coast 03 flight. The Fleming Glacier lines in this mission are supplemented by a 10 km grid over Fleming in the Alexander-Fleming 01B flight.

Our four weather models this morning showed generally favorable, though not perfect, conditions across the central/southern Antarctic Peninsula, with some cloudiness persisting over southern portions of the Dyer Plateau, George VI Sound, and Alexander Island.  The models also predicted clearing conditions during the day, ahead of an oncoming front from the west (a typical, and thus believable, weather scenario in this area).  Visible and infrared NOAA HRPT satellite imagery, helpfully provided by our British Antarctic Survey colleagues at Rothera Station, confirmed that the northern portion of our survey area was clear, but also showed extensive clouds in the south, agreeing with the models.  So we launched this mission, and also developed a backup plan to fly the Fleming Glacier grid from the Alexander-Fleming 01B mission in lieu of the southern lines from South Peninsula A in the event the clouds there had not cleared.  As it happened, only the southernmost 20 nm of the outboard line was obscured by a thin stratus deck, and the rest of the mission was totally clear, so we did not exercise the option to fly the Fleming grid.  All in all we estimate better thann 98% successful data collection today.

All instruments performed well.  The ATM T6 (wide scanner) operator noticed some possible fluid contamination on that instrument's nadir window partway through the flight, but believes it had no significant effect on the instrument's data quality.

OIB - P-3 Orion 11/22/17 Science Report

Mission Summary: 

Mission: Sea Ice - TanDEM-X B (priority: N/A)

This is a coordinated flight with the TanDEM-X spacecraft, and is also similar to the baseline-priority Seelye Loop North flight.  It is intended both to improve spatial coverage of sea ice conditions in the west-central Weddell Sea, and also to gain additional near-synchronous data collection with TanDEM-X in coordination with the OTASC experiment.

A very persistent storm system in the eastern Weddell Sea has frustrated all of our efforts to obtain any sea ice coverage in that area, and it did so again today.  The entire Bellingshausen sector was clouded today as well, and weather over the northern Peninsula and Larsen-C was marginal.  However the western half of the Weddell Sea was almost entirely clear, with only a few cirrus clouds extending into the area from the storm system to the east.  Once again the HRPT satellite imagery provided by our friends at Rothera Station was extremely helpful in confirming this, as was our own MODIS Rapidfire imagery.  Thus well-informed, we launched this mission confident of obtaining science data over most or all of the flight line.  In the event we experienced excellent conditions throughout the flight, with just a few dozen miles of wispy fog near the south end which had little effect on the instruments.

Science instruments mostly performed well, but the snow radar apparently was degraded by incoherent noise for portions of the last 25% of the survey line.  ATM T7 experienced a few unplanned shutdowns, perhaps due to higher-than-normal cabin temperatures, but an insignificant amount of data was lost as a result.  Successful data collection over the entire line was very near 100%.
Data volumes
ATM T6:  58 Gb        
ATM T7:  66 Gb
FLIR:  7.0 Gb
Cambot: 20 Gb
KT19: 12 Mb
DMS: 45 Gb
MCoRDS: 0 Gb
Gravity/Magnetometer: 3 Gb
Accumulation radar: 154 Gb
Snow/Ku radar: 605 Gb
data on: 1655
data off: 1957