Operation IceBridge Flight Paths - Antarctica Fall 2009 Campaign

  • Released Friday, October 2, 2009
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Early in the 20th century, a succession of adventurers and scientists pioneered the exploration of Antarctica. A century later, they're still at it, albeit with a different set of tools. This fall, a team of modern explorers will fly over Earth's southern ice-covered regions to study changes to its sea ice, ice sheets, and glaciers as part of NASA's Operation Ice Bridge.

Operation Ice Bridge is a six-year campaign of annual flights to each of Earth's polar regions. The first flights in March and April carried researchers over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. This fall's Antarctic campaign, led by principal investigator Seelye Martin of the University of Washington, will begin the first sustained airborne research effort of its kind over the continent. Data collected by researchers will help scientists bridge the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) — which is operating the last of its three lasers — and ICESat-II, scheduled to launch in 2014.

The Ice Bridge flights will help scientists maintain the record of changes to sea ice and ice sheets that have been collected since 2003 by ICESat. The flights will lack the continent-wide coverage that can be achieved by satellite, so researchers carefully select key target locations. But the flights will also turn up new information not possible from orbit, such as the shape of the terrain below the ice.

Six flights are scheduled along Antarctica's peninsula, one along the Getz Ice Shelf, two over the Pine Island Glacier, and two others along the Amundsen coast to include the Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers.

Scientists are flying this first route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica.

Scientists are flying this first route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica.

Scientists are flying this second route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica to measure the Amundsen Coast Glaciers.

Scientists are flying this second route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica to measure the Amundsen Coast Glaciers.

Scientists are flying this third route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica.

Scientists are flying this third route along the Amundsen Coast of Antarctica.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, October 2, 2009.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT.


Missions

This visualization is related to the following missions:

Series

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Datasets used in this visualization

  • Band Combination 3, 2, 1 [Landsat-7: ETM+]

    ID: 537
    Sensor: ETM+
  • LIMA (Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica) [Landsat-7: ETM+]

    ID: 599
    Type: Mosaic Sensor: ETM+

    Mosaicing to avoid clouds produced a high quality, nearly cloud-free benchmark data set of Antarctica for the International Polar Year from images collected primarily during 1999-2003.

    This dataset can be found at: http://lima.nasa.gov/

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • MOA (MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) Image Map) [Terra and Aqua: MODIS]

    ID: 627
    Type: Mosaic Sensor: MODIS

    Staff from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the University of New Hampshire have assembled two digital image maps of surface morphology and optical snow grain size that cover the Antarctic continent and its surrounding islands. The MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) image maps are derived from composites of 260 MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) orbit swaths acquired between 20 November 2003 and 29 February 2004. The MOA provides a cloud-free view of the ice sheet, ice shelves, and land surfaces, and a quantitative measure of optical snow grain size for snow- or ice-covered areas. All land areas larger than a few hundred meters that are south of 60° S are included in the mosaic, as well as persistent fast ice regions and some grounded icebergs present near the coast in the 2003-2004 austral summer. The MOA surface morphology image map is derived from digitally processed MODIS Band 1 data. The optical snow grain size image is compiled using a normalized ratio of atmospherically corrected, calibrated band radiance data from Bands 1 and 2.

    This dataset can be found at: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0280.html

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Operation Ice Bridge Flight Paths

    ID: 657

    NASA DC-8 Flight Path

    See all pages that use this dataset

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