Operation IceBridge - Studying Earth's Polar Ice

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Antarctic 2014 Campaign News

IceBridge Campaign Starts With Sea Ice

NASA’s DC-8 taking off from the Punta Arenas, Chile, airport on Oct. 16.› View larger
NASA’s DC-8 taking off from the Punta Arenas, Chile, airport on Oct. 16, 2014. Credit: NASA / Kyle Krabill

Researchers with NASA’s Operation IceBridge got the mission’s 2014 Antarctic campaign off to a start with two surveys of sea ice and a science flight over the Antarctic Peninsula.

After a long flight from California to southern Chile and preparations on the ground, NASA’s DC-8 research aircraft took off for IceBridge’s first Antarctic survey flight of 2014 on Oct. 16. On the previous morning, none of the mission’s potential science targets had suitable weather, and during the Oct. 16 morning weather briefing, mission planners found clear conditions in the Weddell Sea, site of a high-priority sea ice survey.

This flight plan covered parts of the Weddell Sea previously measured in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Repeating these measurements over several years helps researchers build a more complete record of how ice is changing over the long term. Additionally, IceBridge would fly along a path that the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite had passed over a few hours before.

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Read more about the IceBridge 2014 Antarctic campaign.

ARISE 2014 Campaign News

Final Flights for ARISE

The ARISE research team lines up in front of the NASA C-130 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska› View larger
The ARISE research team lines up in front of the NASA C-130 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a group photo on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: U.S. Air Force / Eielson Air Force Base Public Affairs

NASA researchers completed two more science flights over the Arctic, collecting valuable data in spite of uncooperative weather.

On the morning of Sept. 21, the ARISE team took off for a survey of sea ice, clouds and solar and thermal energy that targeted an area close to the region flown two days earlier. After takeoff the team found that conditions were too cloudy for one part of the survey, a measurement of sunlight and thermal energy reflecting from the surface that required clear conditions. However, researchers were able to collect sea ice elevation data and study two cloud formations. The first one was on the eastern side of the planned survey area. During the flight, the ARISE ground team spotted the second formation, a deck of low clouds to the north, on satellite and directed the C-130 there.

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Read more about the IceBridge 2014 ARISE campaign.

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October 14 - November 23, 2014


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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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Follow IceBridge flights real-time using NASA's Airborne Science Program Asset Tracker.

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Page Last Updated: October 23rd, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell