Operation Ice Bridge: NASA Takes Up Largest Airborne Polar Ice Survey of Antarctica

by OldSailor on October 15, 2009

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NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge is underway with the largest airborne survey to study changes to Antarctica’s sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. Operation ice Bridge is currently in its sixth year as a NASA field campaign.

Some interesting features of airborne survey in Operation Ice Bridge are:Operation_Ice_Bridge

  • Seelye Martin of the University of Washington in Seattle with nearly 50 scientists and support personnel is to lead the mission.
  • The team is planning to conduct 17 flights over two main Antarctic targets: ice sheets and sea ice.
  • Researchers are to work from NASA’s DC-8, an airborne laboratory equipped with
    • Airborne Topographic Mapper, a laser altimeter developed by NASA.
    • Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder from the University of Kansas to measures ice sheet thickness and the varied terrain below the ice.
    • Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor, developed by NASA to maps large areas of sea ice and glacier zones.
    • A gravimeter from Columbia University to measure the shape of the ocean cavity beneath floating ice shelves in critical spots of Antarctica.
    • A University of Kansas snow radar to measure the thickness of snow on top of sea ice and glaciers.
  • Data collected from the mission will be used to predict how changes to the massive Antarctic ice sheet will contribute to future sea level rise around the world.

View a video clip from NASA Television: The Road to Antarctica

Read more from NASA – Operation Ice Bridge.

Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

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