The L-band radar aboard the JSC G-III is in the midst of the SnowEx campaign, where we have been imaging a dozen instrumented sites in Western U.S. to study the utility of repeat-pass L-band InSAR for monitoring snow water equivalent in several snow climates in California, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. We will conduct weekly observations whenever possible through the end of March, then bi-weekly observations through early May.
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We have successfully completed the ISRO L/S-band Airborne SAR (ASAR) Alaska deployment aboard the AFRC C-20A jet. Thanks to the outstanding flight planning by the JPL and AFRC UAVSAR team and the excellent flight crew support, we were able to conduct 7 flights in 8 days and successfully acquired all but one flight line due to a minor recording issue. We have now concluded phase 1 science campaign in the US, acquiring L and S-band radar data over glaciers, sea ice, lava flow, landslides, volcanoes, and terrestrial ecology sites, giving ISRO NISAR science team as well as the NASA ASAR science team the data they have requested for algorithm calibration/validation in preparation for the NISAR mission.
The Airborne Precipitation and cloud Radar 3rd Gen (APR-3) successfully completed the 2019 deployment onboard the NASA P-3 for CAMP2Ex (Clouds Aerosol Monsoon Processes – Philippines Experiment).
The APR-3 has successfully completed the field deployment phase of CAMP2Ex (Clark, Philippines) on board the NASA P-3 from August to October 2019. APR-3 operated successfully in all of the 19 CAMP2Ex science flights.
This field experiment focused on cloud systems ranging from non-precipitating Planetary Boundary Layer cumulus clouds to cumulus congestus on the verge of turning to deep convection, and how they interact with the aerosol and synoptic environment. The latter spanned from monsoonal environment to the outskirts of typhoons, and the resulting systems spanned the whole spectrum of cloud organization. The APR-3 contributed to the experiment by observing at high resolution the three dimensional nature of the individual clouds and convective cells, including their dynamics. Of particular interest are the observations of processes resulting in extremely high precipitation rates despite relatively low vertical cloud development, and those showing the small scale 3-D features of convective processes which directly inform entrainment and detrainment rate estimation as well as convective transport and scavenging. The wide range of cloud and precipitation conditions highlighted the advantages of having all 3 bands, which complement each other, and thus provide jointly a holistic view of these systems where a single one could not.
On 5 October, ASO collected lidar and imaging spectrometry data for the Merced River Basin to provide an improved snow free baseline dataset for the California Department of Water Resources. On 7 October, ASO collected lidar and imaging spectrometery data for the Walker Fire are in the Plumas National Forest in Northern California. At 50,000 acres, the Walker Fire was the largest wildfire in California in 2019. ASO collected pre-fire data in the same area in fall 2019. All of these datasets are currently being processed by the ASO team.
The 2019 AXCTD (Airborne eXpendable Conductivity Temperature Depth) Campaign for OMG is complete. Yesterday we finished the 2019 ocean survey with a spectacular flight to the north. We got data at Humboldt glacier and also in front of Tracy, where we had to drop right between two huge icebergs. All together we dropped 285 probes this year.
AirMSPI just completed deployment in the FIREX-AQ/ER2 field campaign flying on the NASA ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft. A total of 12 flights occurred between 1 August and 21 August over fire and smoke targets in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Utah, and Arizona, as well as the Railroad Valley calibration site in Nevada. A number of these flights were coincident with the NASA DC-8 aircraft and a NOAA Twin Otter aircraft that flew sampling missions into the smoke. Other objectives were coordination with NASA and NOAA satellite overpasses and overflights of ground-based sampling sites.
On 16 August, AirMSPI acquired images of pyrocumulus clouds over the smoke from the Sheridan Fire in Arizona that to date has burned over 13,000 acres in central Arizona near the city of Prescott. The three AirMSPI quicklook images show the smoke and clouds in both intensity and polarized light. The left image shows the scene as it would appear to the human eye, with the brown smoke to the top of the image and white clouds forming over the smoke to the bottom of the image. The middle image incorporates the near infrared band, which can see through some of the smoke to the fire below, which appears as bright red. The right image shows the degree of linear polarization (DoLP) of light in the three polarized AirMSPI spectral bands in the blue, red, and near infrared. In this case the smoke appears greenish-yellow because the small particles in the smoke highly polarize the scattered sunlight. The larger liquid water particles in the cloud do not polarize the scattered light very much in this viewing geometry, so the cloud appears black. AirMSPI’s multi-angle views can also be used to reconstruct the vertical structure of the smoke and the cloud using stereophotogrammetric techniques.
AirMSPI images from the Sheridan Fire in Arizona on 16 August.
(Left) True color (red-green-blue) image
(Middle) Enhanced color (near ir-green-blue) image
(Right) Degree of linear polarization in near ir-green-blue
OMG had another successful week of flights. The Basler (N131PR) was based in Kangerlussuaq for Airborne eXpendable Conductivity and Temperature Depth probe (AXCTD) drops in the SE region. The aircraft then flew to Constable Point for AXCTD drops in the NE, and then flew onto Svalbard Norway. After a few days in Svalbard, and 2 science flights, the aircraft flew to Thule Greenland. In Thule the team accessed the 144 probes that were pre-positioned there via a DOD cargo ship in July. To date, the mission has dropped 154 AXCTD probes.
The media coverage of OMG continues with these news segments:
CBS This Morning, broadcast August 19, 2019
CBS Evening News, broadcast August 20, 2019
AFP news agency, published August 25, 2019
CNN Go There, Episode 22
Warm waters are 'supercharging' Greenland's glacier melt, scientists say
OMG has been deployed to Greenland for the 2019 Airborne expendable Conductivity and Temperature Depth-probe (AXCTD) campaign. The flights are occurring on the AIRTec/Basler BT-67 aircraft (Tail Number N131PR). To date, 100 AXCTD probes have been dropped in Eastern Greenland, and 10 probes dropped in Southwest Greenland. The week of 12 August was OMG media week in Kulusuk Greenland. Eight international media outlets participated in the flights from Kulusuk, including NBC/Today, CNN, CBS, AP, AFP, ITN, CBS and National Geographic. On 20 August, the aircraft departed Kulsusuk and headed for Kangerlussuaq for drops on the SW coast of Greenland. The following coverage has been posted:
The mission can be tracked at https://airbornescience.nasa.gov/tracker/.
AirMSPI continues to support the FIREX-AQ/ER-2 field campaign. To date, about 40 hours have been flown resulting in many good fire acquisitions including the Williams Flats Fire near Spokane, WA. Coordination between the ER-2 and the NASA DC-8 aircraft has also been achieved as both aircraft worked this fire last week.
The 2019 OMG Airborne eXpendable Conductivity and Temperature Depth Probe (AXCTD) campaign is underway in Greenland. The AIRTec Inc. On 10 August the aircraft departed Goose Bay and arrived in Greenland. Science operations began on 12 August with a successful day of 10 AXCTD drops, and ITN/Channel 5 participated in the flight as part of the media event. Al Roker from The NBC Today show flew on the 13 August science flight. The Weather Channel and Associated Press will fly on 14 August. There have been 30 AXCTD probes dropped as of 13 August.