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The L-band radar aboard the JSC G-III has successfully completed the last of the weekly SnowEx observations today (March 22).  In all we conducted 10 weekly observations, missing only one week in mid-February when extreme freezing temperatures in Texas causing widespread power outage throughout the state, where UAVSAR is currently based.  The UAVSAR processing team back at JPL has been generating polarimetric interferograms of data acquired on adjacent weeks.  Attached is an example interferogram over Lowman, Idaho of data acquired on February 3 and 10 respectively.  The interferometric phase maintained pretty high coherence over the 7-day temporal separation.  The color variation is a result of difference in snow accumulation between the mountain ridges and the valleys.


Delta-X has started the Spring 2021 high discharge campaign in the Mississippi River Delta.  The campaign comprises 3 airborne instruments (AVIRIS-NG, AirSWOT, UAVSAR) and multiple in situ ground teams.   The campaign began on March 21, 2021 with the Delta-X Vegetation Team made up of team members from Louisiana State University and Florida International University.  AVIRIS-NG, AirSWOT, and UAVSAR will begin Delta-X science flights around March 27, pending favorable weather conditions.  The Delta-X Spring campaign will continue through mid-April 2021.


The L-band radar aboard the JSC G-III has been conducting weekly SnowEx observations since January 15.  Each weekly observation consists of a 9-hour flight with a fuel stop in Idaho in order to visit 6 sites in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana respectively.  So far we have successfully executed 7 flights, missing only one week in mid-February when extreme freezing temperatures in Texas causing widespread power outage throughout the state, where UAVSAR is currently based.  We expect to conduct 2-3 more flights before we wrap up the SnowEx campaign.


Friday’s long flight day over the Rockies covered 6 sites: Little Cottonwood in Utah, Cameron Pass, Fraser, and Senator Beck in Colorado, and Central Agricultural Research Center (CARC) in Montana.  Both the aircraft’s PPA (platform precision autopilot) and the radar performed well and the aircraft landed at Ellington Field, TX with a fuel stop in Idaho.  The aircraft will be based out of Ellington Field to conduct the weekly SnowEx observations from now through mid-March.  Nominally the SnowEx observations will be conducted on Wednesdays, with Thursdays and Tuesdays as backup days.  The radar operator will be stationed in Houston for 3 weeks at a time to minimize commercial travel to/from Houston and Los Angeles.


The L-band radar is being installed on the JSC G-III this week in preparation for the SnowEx campaign.  Engineering/Rosamond Corner Reflector Array calibration flight is scheduled for Wednesday (1/13) and science flights will begin this Friday from Palmdale, CA en route to Houston, TX.  The SnowEx campaign will consist of weekly observations of snow accumulation over field sites in the Rockies with different terrain and snow types through mid-March, where each observation consists of a ~9 hour flight based out of Houston, TX with a refuel stop in Idaho.  In all there are 7 sites in 3 states: Little Cottonwood in Utah, Cameron Pass, Craser, Senator Beck, and Grand Mesa in Colorado, and Central Agricultural Research Center (CARC) in Montana.  The imaging swaths are shown in the attached graphic.


The SAR-Fusion QUAKES-I side imaging SWIR camera was flown over the northern California LNU Complex, River CZU, and Bobcat fires with the UAVSAR flights on September 3, 9, and 18, 2020 respectively. Optical images were collected out the left window with a full frame camera. The 12.5 km altitude flown for UAVSR and side imaging are useful for situational awareness above the firefighting aircraft. Visible images show the smoke plume while short wavelength infrared (SWIR) imagery sees through the smoke and shows the fire hotspots. An optical science window was installed for the Bobcat fire flight and optical images taken through the plexiglass and optical windows show the improved quality for the optical window.


Mission Accomplished! OMG completed its flights in Greenland on September 11, 2020. On their final survey day, 22 additional AXCTD probes were dropped which brings the grand total to 321 for the 2020 campaign. They also deployed 3 APEX floats that can return hundreds of profiles and last over a year.


The L-band radar aboard the AFRC C-20A jet successfully completed the first California wildfire response flight on Thursday, September 3.  We imaged the area north of San Francisco where the LNU Lightning Complex Fire is burning, as well as Oroville Dam site (spillway failure in 2017) and the Camp Fire scar (major fire in 2018, burned the town of Paradise, CA) and Atlas Fire scar (major fire in 2017, burned through Napa and Sonoma Counties).  We had a perfect flight, with no repeat flight lines.  Friday’s California wildfire response flight was scrubbed due to an aircraft maintenance issue (fuel gauge indicator).  This plan will be flown tomorrow (Wednesday, September 9), where we will image fires North of Santa Cruz and the Carmel Fire and River Fire south of Monterey.

Thursday’s data were processed according to the rapid response workflow, where we generated PolSAR products in 24 hours and InSAR products in 48 hours after receipt of raw radar data.  The attached viewgraph shows the LNU and Atlas fire scars in the PolSAR images. The InSAR products are being analyzed by the ARIA team (led by Sang-Ho Yun) to generate Damage Proxy Maps for the National Guard.


OMG is continuing its campaign in Greenland. They are flying in the eastern Greenland coast, and have dropped a total of 229 AXCTD probes to date.