Operation IceBridge Arctic 2014 Campaign video series

  • Released Thursday, April 24, 2014

IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.

Data collected during IceBridge will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) — in orbit since 2003 — and ICESat-2, planned for early 2016. ICESat stopped collecting science data in 2009, making IceBridge critical for ensuring a continuous series of observations.

All about NASA's IceBridge P-3B plane and its IceBridge retrofit. Upgraded with 21st century "special modifications", the aircraft is less a cold war relic and more like the Space Agency's Millennium Falcon.

For complete transcript, click here.

Determining whether polar ice quantities are growing or shrinking requires accurate and detailed measurements, year over year. To help make those measurements, IceBridge mission aircraft fire 3,000 pulses of laser light every second at the frozen landscape below. Scientists time how long it takes for the reflected pulses to make it back to the aircraft. That helps the team measure the ice's thickness determine if ice quantities are growing or shrinking.

For complete transcript, click here.

This video shows what the IceBridge team does on a day-to-day basis in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, the base of operations for the mission's April 2014 flights.

For complete transcript, click here.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, April 24, 2014.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:50 PM EDT.


This visualization can be found in the following series: