National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility

Thomas-Jakobshavn 01

OIB completed the last high priority land ice mission “Thomas-Jakobshavn 01” in overcast conditions.  This mission was chosen because the forecast indicated an air outflow to the west over the ice sheet in the Jakobshavn region, meaning cold dry air blowing down the glacier basin would clear low clouds. A sea ice mission was not viable today due to winds blowing from the east in conjunction with a low pressure system, bringing  in warmer, moister air which created low clouds over the Arctic Ocean sea ice and no clear conditions over the Arctic Ocean science lines. 

All OIB remote sensing instruments on the Gulfstream V “NASA 5” reported good data collection today.  For the majority of the mission there were stratus clouds above the aircraft creating overcast conditions. Low clouds obstructed ATM during roughly 20% of data collection along the IS and IS-2 ground tracks. The low clouds occurred at the northernmost section of these tracks, however radar data was still collected and no low clouds were present to interfere with the OIB optical sensors further south.

From Matt Linkswiler in Thule “Today was a very smooth and successful flight in Greenland for OIB.  We flew 4 hours of data lines over the Jakobshavn basin from our base in Thule, and only ran into a clouds in the northernmost portions of the survey area.  All instruments reported successful operation and data collection, and we are happy to get this high priority flight in the books.

The weather outlook for the next two days isn’t great, but with a little luck, we are hopeful that we will be able to fly a mission or two in the same general region as today.”

“Thomas-Jakobshavn 01” is dedicated to the memory of Dr Robert “Bob” Thomas, who initiated the NASA Arctic Ice Mapping program in 1993, and passed away in 2015.

Today’s flight track to the south of Thule heading to the Jakobshavn Glacier basin.

The NASA OIB Gulfstream V team on the ramp in Thule Greenland (photo by Kyle Krabill’s camera)

Mission scientist John Sonntag taking photos out of the window of the G-V (Linette Boisvert/NASA)

ATM T7 narrow scan elevation data over the Jakobshavn calving front (Preliminary data- not to be used for research purposes)

ATM T6 wide scan elevation data over the same stretch of the Jakobshavn calving front (Preliminary data- not to be used for research purposes)

ATM T6 wide scan elevation data over Dundas Mountain near Thule just before landing.