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For more information contact:

Cynthia M. O'Carroll
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
(Phone: 301/614-5563)

FRIGID Live Web cast April 21 and 24

Internet links with more information, photographs and images are posted at:
http://www.radford.edu/
~rusmart/rufreezing


http://psc.apl.washington.edu/
northpole/

http://www.unis.no/

More information on the AERONET Program can be found by clicking on the link

For more on the GLOBE Program click on the link

Viewable Images

Caption for Image 1: A Russian An-74 lands on a sheet of sea ice at the North Pole. The An-74 is a medium sized transport aircraft uniquely designed to be capable of operating out of smaller airstrips by mounting its two jet engines above the elevated wing so that their thrust provides additional lift on the wing surface. Credit: Centre Pole, a non-profit Russian Support organization for Educational and Scientific Polar Expeditions

Caption for Image 2: Typical accommodations at the North Pole include heated tents where people can eat, sleep, and socialize. Credit: Centre Pole, a non-profit Russian Support organization for Educational and Scientific Polar Expeditions

Caption for Image 3: Investigators measure the sea ice thickness at the North Pole using the EM-31 instrument. Credit: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Labs, New Hampshire

Caption for Image 4: The National Ice Center and NASA enlisted RADARSAT to identify ice flows that can survive for at least two years in the Arctic Ocean as candidates to support a permanent ice station at the North Pole (indicated by the red circles). Credit: National Naval Ice Center, Suitland Maryland

Caption for Image 5: The only way to acquire Internet connectivity at the North Pole is using NASAís Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). Thanks to Dave Israel and Roger Flaherty, both of NASA GSFC, we are able to send data from North Pole using the portable TDRS ground station called TILT (TDRS Internet Link Terminal). The data will be received by NASAís TDRS-F1 and relayed down to a receiving station located at White Sands, NM. From White Sands the signal is sent via the Internet to Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland where the data is encoded and loaded onto servers to be accessed by computers all over the world. All of this takes place in a matter of seconds. Credit: Michael Comberiate, GSFC

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April 18, 2003 - (date of web publication)

NASA AND NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENTS EXPLORE NORTH POLE VIA LIVE WEBCASTS

 

A Russian An-74 lands on a sheet of sea ice at the North Pole.

Image 1

 

Secondary and college classrooms are invited to explore the frozen ice sheets of the North Pole through live webcasts on April 21 and 24 with scientists from NASA and Native American students from the Bay Mills Community College in Brimley, Mich. The team will be gathering data about the nature and thickness of the sea ice on a moving ice floe and measuring the concentration of aerosols or pollutants in the Arctic under the AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) program with NASA scientist Brent Holben.

The Field Research Investigating Geophysical Interface Dynamics (FRIGID2003) project will run from April 19 - 26 with live 2-hour webcasts scheduled for Monday April 21st from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. EDT and April 24 1:30-3:30 p.m. EDT. To access the webcast log onto: http://spioffice.gsfc.nasa.gov/frigid2003/

 

Typical accommodations at the North Pole include heated tents where people can eat, sleep, and socialize.

Image 2

 

The webcasts are possible because NASA has the unique ability to point the 16-ft. antenna on its 20-year old Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1 at this remote location, Ice Station Borneo at the North Pole, enabling a high-speed Internet connection.

This joint scientific adventure provides the Bay Mills' students with an unprecedented opportunity to perform hands-on field data collection activities in a remote icy location in accordance with established scientific procedures. Students participating in the webcast will have a unique opportunity to share the experiences of the research team performing measurements on the ice. They will also have the ability to participate in the exchange of dialog between the scientists and the students in the field.

 

Investigators measure the sea ice thickness at the North Pole using the EM-31 instrument.

Image 3

 

The researchers involved in the webcasts are Dr. Brent Holben of the Biospheric Sciences Branch of the NASA Goddard's Lab for Terrestrial Physics; Dr. Rhett Herman, professor of physics at Radford University located in Radford, Va.; and Mr. Austin Kovacs, retired from the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The primary audience for the first live webcast from the Pole is a group of Tribal and mainline colleges in the U.S.A. and Norway, including George Mason and Radford in Va., Yale in Conn., Michigan State, American International College in Boston, and The University Centre on Svalbard, Norway. A second live interactive webcast will be from Longyearbyen, Norway, with the prime audience a secondary school (grades 5-12) science classroom.

 

The National Ice Center and NASA enlisted RADARSAT to identify ice flows that can survive for at least two years in the Arctic Ocean as candidates to support a permanent ice station at the North Pole (indicated by the red circles).

Image 4

 

Both of the 2-hour webcasts will be web-archived and video-indexed for long-term access with content aligned to National Science Education Standards. The webcasts will include demonstration and explanation of the scientific protocols used for monitoring sea ice thickness, and a series of Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program atmospheric protocols.

The research done by the students of Bay Mills Community College is sponsored by the Department of Defense through various grants. The purpose is to inspire Native American students to seek out careers in technology and science by allowing them to work hand-in-hand with scientists in unique locations. With the help of NASA scientists, the students will collect over 1500 ice thickness measurements in a 3 km (1.86 miles) grid area. They are using the same Electromagnetic Induction devices that are used by NASA researchers throughout the Arctic.

 

We are able to send data from North Pole using the portable TDRS ground station called TILT (TDRS Internet Link Terminal).

Image 5

 

Using GLOBE protocols, the students and teachers will also be measuring the concentration of aerosols and their specific properties of size and absorption of sunlight. The amount of sunlight that aerosols absorb is very important as it will help scientists better understand how they contribute to trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the Earth.

The goal of the AERONET program is to study the energy that aerosols absorb and reflect and confirm the accuracy of aerosol satellite data. Holben will be setting up a station as well as training the students and teachers on the trip in the use of sun photometers. Some aerosols or pollutants transported from Earth's mid-latitudes may reach the Arctic's polar vortex (spinning winds around the poles) and are trapped there for months.

This Arctic site will be the northernmost AERONET site in the polar vortex that will compliment NASA's Barrow, Alaska. site and lay the groundwork for a future collaboration with the Russians at Ice Station Borneo.

The data gathered directly by the FRIGID 2003 team will provide an extensive survey of a large area of sea ice. This extensive area survey can be related to 5 or 6 scientific buoys that various scientific institutions are placing on the same floe. These buoys each have a satellite link that transmits data on their local changes every day. By correlating those spot measurements with the larger area now, the larger area changes can be extrapolated from the spot changes. The only effective way to monitor sea ice changes over the entire Arctic Ocean is with satellites. Currently ground teams play a crucial part in validating the satellite instruments. The ground truth areas surveyed must be large enough for airborne instruments to scan with multiple pixels. Aircraft measurements calibrated and validated in this fashion are then used to extend the calibrate footprints to a size large enough to calibrate/validate satellite instruments.

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