National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility

“Langrangian Racetrack West” and “IS-2/North Glaciers”

Today turned out to be a bit of a “Friday the 13th” mission from the science perspective.

The medium priority sea ice mission “Langrangian Racetrack West” was selected this morning based on the available images and information and also the earlier (12 hours prior) MODIS image show clear enough conditions (the forecast was for no change). As this OIB deployment only flew one prior sea ice mission (and the deployment ending this weekend) , it was deemed “worth a try” at attempting this sea ice mission. After transiting west to the sea ice science site, an unexpected low stratus deck had developed over the entire line (perhaps due to overnight cooling), As the GV could not descend through the layer to get optical data (the snow radar did get data) after one loop around the science racetrack, a real-time decision was made to abort the sea ice mission and head back east to fly portions of science lines from the newly created (in transit) land ice “IS-2/North Glaciers “ mission.

From Matt and the ATM team in the field: “All of the OIB instrumentation operated well, and we are ready to go for our final OIB Greenland flight tomorrow. “

Thanks to John Sonntag and the Gulfstream V pilots for being flexible and adapting to today’s weather driven flight line design “on the fly” mode of operation. Getting data is almost always preferable to an early landing.

Today’s “Friday the 13th” flight track

ATM T6 wide scan elevation plot of crevasses and drainage channels in land ice (Preliminary data- not for research purposes)