NASA's UAVSAR Team Completes Arctic Ice Radar Mission


image Image: The blue lines superimposed over a Google Earth image of Iceland shows the tracks flown by NASA's Gulfstream III science research aircraft during one of the Arctic Ice Radar Mission flights flown during the second week of June 2009. Larger image

By June 8, NASA's UAVSAR team had completed all the objectives of the Arctic Ice Radar Mission in Greenland and flew to Keflavik International Airport to measure the topography and 3D surface velocities of the temperate ice caps of Iceland.

Between June 10 and June 14, NASA's Gulfstream III science research aircraft flew five repeat data flights over Iceland. Using the onboard L-band radar enclosed in the UAVSAR pod mounted on the aircraft's belly, Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers collected 59 data lines and recorded approximately 1.28 terabytes of data during the five-day mission. The data will provide important mission design constraints for future remote sensing satellites by testing how temperate ice behaves over different time intervals when measured by an interferometric L-band radar.

Using these data, scientists would also be able to measure the speed, direction and topographic height of ice caps whose sub-glacial bedrock topography is already mapped - thereby providing critical information that can be used to improve models of glacier mechanics.

After completing all the science objectives on June 14, the Gulfstream III flew back to Bangor, Maine, to continue its remaining Everglades, Aanstoos site and Gulf Coast missions.

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