The NASA IceSat 2 (IS2) satellite is in orbit and taking science data following its Sept 15th launch. Today at 0847Z (about 8 hours before the DC8 arrived at today’s science site) IceSat 2 orbited along a line that crossed Antarctica, and today’s OIB DC8 mission under-flew that IS2 orbital track. The DC8 flight path alternated between two IS2 closely spaced beam pairs (IceSat 2 has 6 beams arranged in 3 sets of closely spaced dual beams) following one beam ground track for about 100 km, then shifting over to the other beam for 100 km, allowing comparison of the airborne OIB data to IS2 data, as well as providing crossing points between the beam paths to better calibrate the ATM lidar mounting biases. Today’s mission was very successful, sampling along the IS beam paths in a varied of sky conditions ranging from completely clear to various thin and thicker overcasts. All OIB airborne remote sensing instrumentation worked well again today.
The mountains were mapped in detail by the U.S. Geological Survey from ground surveys and U.S. Navy aerial photography, 1958-66. When it became evident that the mountains comprise two distinct ranges, the US-ACAN restricted the application of Sentinel Range to the high northern one and gave the name Heritage Range to the southern one; the Committee recommended the name of the discoverer for this entire group of mountains.