Operation IceBridge - Studying Earth's Polar Ice

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ARISE Flies Low and High

NASA pilot Jeff Chandler looks out at the sea ice during a flight in NASA's C-130› View larger
NASA pilot Jeff Chandler looks out at the sea ice during a flight in NASA's C-130 over the Beaufort Sea on Sept. 13, 2014. Credit: NASA / Patrick Lynch

After a day on the ground on Sept. 8, the ARISE team returned to the air with more satellite verification and studies of sea ice and the atmosphere.

Early on the morning of Sept. 9, ARISE mission planners returned to the weather office to prepare for the day’s flight. Weather conditions and satellite overpass schedules looked favorable for a low-altitude grid survey, this one slightly southeast of the Sept. 7 flight.

After takeoff, the C-130 traveled to the survey area to measure incoming sunlight and outgoing thermal energy, sample clouds and collect atmospheric data in a 100 kilometer by 100 kilometer region over varied broken sea ice. During this flight, the ARISE team coordinated measurements with overpasses by seven different satellites.

On Sept. 10, the ARISE team flew out of Eielson Air Force Base for a survey of sea ice going from the ice edge to areas of high concentration seen on satellite images. This portion of the flight consisted of two long adjacent legs flown back-and-forth. On these legs, the team measured surface conditions using the onboard laser altimeter as well as incoming and outgoing solar and thermal infrared radiation from the radiometers under cloud free conditions.

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Read more about the IceBridge 2014 ARISE campaign.

IceBridge Mission Statement

NASA’s Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of earth’s polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions.

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Page Last Updated: September 17th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell