NASA 817 carried the OIB aircrew and science teams on another long transit today, about 2500 miles (a little under 5 hours) each way. The OIB science low altitude flight line (at the end of the transit) was an arc at 88S where each IceSat-2 orbit converges, making this 88S arc a very good calibration site. The weather was perfect, sunny blue skies over the flat white snow covered Antarctic Plateau. All DC8 OIB remote sensing instruments had another routine day, with 100% data coverage.
We’ll check the weather tomorrow morning and attempt another mission if possible.
DC8 flight path around the 88 degrees South arc.
Detail of the DC8 flight path around the 88 degrees South arc. The data start and stop locations are marked, and a data line crossing was performed at the beginning the arc to improve our ability to quickly process the airborne data for comparison with the IS2 satellite data
The Transantarctic Mountains as we traveled to 88S
The overall flat surface of the Antarctic Plateau
Snow drift patterns (Sastrugi)
Shadow of the DC8 on the surface
More mountains buried in snow as we returned to Punta Arenas.
ATM T6 wide scan snow surface elevation map (6 meter full scale)
ATM T6 wide scan snow surface elevation map (2.5 meter full scale) showing the surface snow drift patterns.