OIB ATM sitrep March 1, 2017

Preparations for the upcoming 2017 IceBridge Arctic deployment have been underway at WFF over the last few weeks. IceBridge is back on our NASA WFF P3 this time, following a three year IceBridge absence. NASA 426 was undergoing a wing replacement refurbishment and other modifications which should extend its lifetime as a NASA airborne research platform. 

With such a long absence, the instrument teams had some challenges during installation. Most IceBridge instruments undergo modifications to improve performance between deployments. The new P3 aircraft wings were not identical to the old, so the MCoRDS radar antennas which mount to the wings needed attention, as well as the other CReSIS radar horns that mount in the forward bomb bay. The ATM lidar transceivers have been upgraded since the last NASA P3 installation, along with a new FLIR data camera and an experimental multispectral camera (HeadWall).  NASA 426 has a new gravity instrument package onboard, as well as the Digital Mapping System (DMS) camera system.
The Wallops aircraft team did an outstanding job in this essentially "new" OIB P3 installation, and had the aircraft ready for test/calibration flights on Sunday (Radar) and Monday (GPS/ATM/DMS). 
Both test/calibration missions went well with instruments reporting ready for deployment. Some photos and ATM laser elevation plots are shown below.
The aircraft team conducted pilot and aircrew training flights yesterday. For the remainder of this week, we'll all be preparing and packing the P3 for our departure on Monday morning with a scheduled takeoff at 0630.
ATM operators Matt Linkswiler and Alexey Chibisov enjoying the ATM calibration mission at the ATM T6 station (photo Michael Studinger)

P3 at D1 hangar following flight               

Wallops Island UAV runway with WFF in background right.

ATM T6 elevation data (using new 10 kHz laser) for all the calibration passes  for the ATM calibration mission over the Building N159 calibration site. Hangar N159 is the building in the lower center and the calibration site is the ramp to the northeast (right) of the hangar.
A reference image from Google Earth as perspective on the ATM plot above.

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