The Airborne Snow Observatory has started collections for snow-off baseline data sets. This past week the plane has collected glacier targets in CA and then transited to CO where the team surveyed the Grand Mesa and Senator Beck in support of the SnowEx campaign.
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Last week the next generation Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-ng) was continuing flights for the California Methane Campaign on the Dynamic Aviation King Air aircraft. Over the weekend there was a vicarious calibration experiment over the Ivanpah Playa at the CA and NV border as part of the ongoing AVIRIS calibration and validation efforts. A team from JPL was deployed to make in-situ surface spectral measurements along with atmospheric column measurements. On Monday the sensor and aircraft was tasked to fly from CA to FL to participate in the survey for Falcon 9 debris at KSC. The SpaceX team at KSC has setup a large FTP data pipe to transfer the AVIRIS-ng data from KSC to JPL. The aircraft is scheduled to return to CA over the weekend to resume the CA Methane Campaign.
The CARVE project has officially ended at the end of FY’16. The project has met or exceeded their level 1 requirements and completed all milestones on cost and schedule.
The AIRMOSS Project has officially ended at the end of FY’16. The project has met or exceeded all level 1 requirements and completed the task on schedule and budget.
Science Team: On September 20, the benthic cover team visited five (5) sites, two (2) in the middle of the lagoon, one (1) off a mooring on the south side, and two (2) on the reef flat. The benthic cover team also conducted in-water spectroscopy at the mooring site. The optics team conducted a third IOP/AOP sensitivity study during a tidal cycle on the northern end of Heron Island. The metabolism team set-up instrumentation for gradient flux measurements at two reef slope sites on the south side.
On September 22, the benthic cover team completed six (6) sites; they finished up the south side moorings with three (3) on the reef slope and one (1) just on the edge of the flat, then went into the lagoon and did two (2) macro-algae sites. The benthic cover team also conducted spectroscopy measurements at one of the moorings. The optics team completed five (5) sites; they went to the lagoon to visit targeted sites that included shallow live coral, deeper turf algae, and algae–covered coral. The metabolism team obtained water samples at the Lagrangian transect, retrieved gradient flux A from the north fore reef, retrieved gradient flux B and redeployed on the north fore reef, and retrieved all Lagrangian instruments. Today concludes the in-water validation at Heron Island.
Aircraft Team: On Friday, September 23, the weather held out and the sixth (GBR06) science collection flight over the southeast Coral Sea was made, followed by completing the missing lines over Mackay region (clouds had rolled in toward the end of the first science flight). Weather at Townsville simply did not pan out. The team collected nineteen (19) flight lines, under mostly clear conditions. This flight completes the coast-to-offshore transect.
On Saturday, September 24, during the six (6) hour flight, a total of seventeen (17) science data lines were collected.
The next generation Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-ng) had a successful week of flights on the King Air for the California Methane Survey. There were flights in the LA Basin, the Inland Deserts, and the San Joaquin Valley. During the collection of one of the methane lines over the Ballona Wetlands on September 15, a team from SpaceX deployed parts to simulate debris from the Falcon 9 explosion. The AVIRIS-ng team coordinated the collection with SpaceX team fieldwork. On September 16, the parts were brought to JPL for a second collection in the Hahamonga Watershed Park/ The SpaceX Falcon 9 parts are now in the AVIRIS lab in 171 for measuring laboratory spectra of the parts. Analysis of the data is ongoing.
What a difference a week makes. The weather has started to cooperate and we have now covered four of the nine flight areas. In addition, we also have concurrent measurements over both in-water calibration sites: Lizard Island and Heron Island.
The science team began the in-water validation at Heron Island on September 17 at approximately 8:00 am. Cloud and water conditions were optimal. The benthic cover team visited seven (7) sites and the optics team five (5) sites of varying coral reef condition (i.e., sand, algae, and coral). The optics team also visited one (1) site in optically deep waters. The reef metabolism team deployed their Lagrangian (upstream and downstream) instrumentation, which will remain in this location for several days. The benthic cover and optics team continue to sample a variety of coral reef conditions, and the reef metabolism team began their gradient flux approach.
In the image below, the optics team shows the six (6) science sites where optical measurements were taken as the Tempus Gulfstream IV, with JPL’s Portable Remote Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (PRISM) on board, was flying overhead.
With the successful completion of the September 17 PRISM matchup on Heron Island, the science teams (benthic cover, optics, and reef metabolism) continued to sample a variety of coral reef conditions on September 18 and 19. Skies were overcast, but water conditions were generally good.
On September 18, the benthic cover team visited seven (7) sites, three (3) in the reef flat and four (4) on the lower and upper reef slope. The optics team conducted an Inherent Optical Properties (IOP) sensitivity study during a tidal cycle on the northern end of Heron Island. The metabolism team set-up instrumentation for gradient flux measurements near the Lagrangian transect deployed on September 17 in the lagoon.
On September 19, the benthic cover team visited three (3) sites on the upper and lower reef slope (the number of sites visited was limited due to the boat being reserved in the morning by another group at the research station). The optics team conducted a second IOP sensitivity study during a tidal cycle on the southern end of Heron Island. The metabolism team set-up a second set of gradient flux measurements near the Lagrangian transect. Stacy Peltier and Yvonne Sawall, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), received a tutorial from Stuart Phinn and Chris Roelfsema, University of Queensland, on their hand-held Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD) field spectrometer, which will be loaned to the CORAL benthic cover team for the remainder of the Heron Island field campaign (September 20 - 23).
Aircraft Flight Team: On September 15, the flight team flew to and collected data over the Mackay region (~4.5-hour flight), collecting 13 lines.
On September 17, the flight team (Diaz, Nolte, and Bender) flew to and collected data over the Heron Island and the Gladstone region (~5.8-hour flight), collecting 17 lines. The Heron Island data lines were particularly cloud free.
On September 19, the flight team (Diaz, Nolte, and Bender) flew to and collected data over the North Coral Sea (~5.1 hour flight), collecting 16 of 22 lines. The early lines were particularly cloud free, but conditions degraded as the morning wore on.
OMG’s AXCTD mission in the last 5 days has flown 24 hours, and dropped 44 AXCTD probes.
Bathymetry element: Last week, Terasond (OMG Bathymetry contractor) surveyed 640 nautical miles of Greenland’s Eastern science area
The L-band UAVSAR has been directed to support a Space X request to locate Falcon 9 debris in Florida. Following a successful engineering flight on September 20, the Armstrong G-III flew to the Cape on September 21. The L-band UAVSAR is taking airborne measurements in areas specified by Space X and will return to California on September 23.
The ER-2 and the P-3 performed three coordinated science flights on September 16, 18, and 20. Multiple transects under, within, and above the distinct layers of low clouds and elevated biomass burning aerosols (i.e. soot) above the Atlantic were observed with both aircrafts to study their properties along spatial gradients.
AirMSPI quicklook images (RGB on the left, Degree of Polarization (DOLP) on the right) from Sunday Sept. 18's ORACLES flight. The DOLP image indicates the different physical properties of two distinct cloud layers.