National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility

OIB in Tasmania

Welcome to the final set of OIB ATM sitreps for the IceBridge era!

Hard to believe that the first OIB ATM sitrep I sent out was Sept 20, 2008 (over 11 years ago), and also that I’ve been sending ATM sitreps for about 23 years for both OIB and previous ATM deployments!

Things are falling into place for the upcoming 2019 OIB Antarctic deployment. The Gulfstream V (GV or NASA 5 or N95NA) returned to Houston with the Space Station astronauts, and the JSC aircraft and OIB science instrument teams did a great job in both servicing the GV and quickly re-installing the OIB instruments and adding the CReSIS MCoRDS radar and the LDEO gravimeter to the previous OIB GV instrument suite. Two calibration missions were conducted in Texas last week, and the GV aircraft is currently in transit to Hobart Australia. The OIB science teams are also flying here commercially (some of us traveling the ~17 hour Dallas to Sidney flight as part of our journey). By Tuesday evening (I’ll be using Hobart Australia local time for the sitreps; we’re 15 hours ahead of the US east coast time zone), the GV and the OIB teams should all be in Hobart. We’ll take a rest day on Wednesday, and hopefully make our first OIB science mission on Thursday.

Basing from Hobart, OIB will be flying over some new Antarctic science sites and hopefully under-flying ICESat2 frequently.

As usual:

The sitrep “ground rules” are the same as always: 

Normally we send two sitrep emails a day, a brief sitrep in the morning before we launch a mission and a longer sit rep (normally with the usual photos of the airplane, snow, sea ice and rocks) following the mission. On days we do not fly, we may only send one sitrep. Occasionally on a “no fly” rest day we may not send a sitrep. 

The information conveyed in these emails is unofficial. We try to be accurate, but the information contained in sitreps is from our point of view, usually written quickly, often during many long, stressful and tiring missions, subject to misunderstandings,  and may not reflect other realities. NASA maintains an official collection of NASA mission reports available by other means. 

An official NASA site for Operation IceBridge is:

or follow along at:

or thru twitter


The writing, photos, and data plots may be used in other forums (tweets, blogs, websites, etc.). Should higher resolution images be desired, let me know and we’ll provide (time and bandwidth permitting). All field-produced data plots should be considered preliminary data products and not used for analytical scientific analysis. Unless otherwise noted, the information should be credited to ATM team/NASA.

The interior of the NASA Gulfstream V cabin looking forward toward the ATM instruments.

The ATM T6 wide scan elevation data over the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport ( LBX ). Hangars show as higher elevations in red colors, and the taxiways in lower light blue color. The white box shows the ATM ground vehicle calibration area that was the target of the ATM cal flight.