National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility

Racetrack Central

OIB completed the sea ice mission “Racetrack Central” today in sunny calm conditions.

This mission is designed to fly three circuits of a “racetrack” pattern along a low-latency ICESat-2 ground track. The two legs of the racetrack are the “D” and “F” (strong TEP beams) of the selected RGT. The three circuits are designed to widen the composite swath of each leg, to improve the changes of coincident OIB and ICESat-2 measurements in the presence of ice drift.

The low wind conditions minimized any aircraft track corrections, ideal conditions for this ICESat2 comparison mission. All OIB instruments reported good data collection again today.

Tomorrow is a “hard down” day for crew rest.

Detail of the race-track flight track- 3 overlapping ATM swaths (flown at 3000’ above the ice) al;ong two of the ICESat2 strong beam ground tracks

Below photos and plots by Matt Linkswiler (NASA)

An attempt at including a animation of a series of sea ice photos as the GV overflew the science lines.

An iceberg floating in the sea ice

A variety of sea ice

An open lead in the sea ice

Another open lead

ATM T6 wide scan elevation plot of sea ice 4 meter full scale

ATM T6 wide scan elevation plot of sea ice 4 meter full scale

ATM T6 wide scan elevation plot of sea ice showing a composite of three ATM swaths.