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The 3-day Gulf Coast deployment was successfully completed last week for coastal subsidence studies and oil spill recovery monitoring. At the IGARSS conference in Australia, the GLISTIN A PI, Delwyn Moller, presented a UAVSAR instrument status paper on our behalf to share initial results from the P-band radar (AirMOSS mission) and Ka-band radar (GLISTIN-A).
  • Science Team Meeting, October 23-25 in Austin, TX

Two engineering flights were conducted: one to check out the new Precision Platform Autopilot and the other to check out the L-band radar. We then flew our routine Sacramento Delta levee monitoring flight before heading out to the Gulf Coast on Tuesday for coastal subsidence studies and oil spill recovery monitoring. Initial assessment of engineering/calibration data showed that the radar is in good health.


The P-band radar successfully completed its Houston, TX deployment on July 23. We conducted 3 observations each over Walnut Gulch, AZ (desert shrubs) and MOISST, OK (temperate grasslands and SMAP cal/val site). Both radar and aircraft performed nominally. The JSC G-III and P-band radar are headed to Montana on Friday for the second summer campaign over Metolius Pine, Oregon and BERMS, Saskatchewan. The JPL radar team began delivery of L1 radar data from campaigns in February through June. Science team members continue to process higher level products. The PI is at IGARSS this week presenting soil moisture retrieval results from last Fall's campaigns.


The CARVE flight crew returned from Alaska and are taking well deserved vacations.

In the meantime, CARVE was recently featured on KNBC.

July 2-7, CARVE flew five missions over Alaska totaling approximately 25 science flight hours; locations included: Barrow, Dead Horse, Fort Yukon, and Minto Flats. Enhanced methane was observed at all of these locations.
On July 6, CARVE exceeded its Program Level Requirements and Investigations Success Criteria Threshold Science Requirement of 320 science flight hours (PLRA 4.1.2.d) during the flight to Barrow, Alaska! The 320 science flight hours were completed from May 2012 to July 2013.

On July 9, the L-band radar was removed from AV-1 without accomplishing the engineering flight because HS-3 is waiting to use the aircraft. Obviously this was a very disappointing development as the radar was successfully integrated to the aircraft and ready to fly two weeks ago. The Combined Systems Test on June 25 was terminated due to an aircraft engine fault. Dryden and Northrop Grumman teams spent a week troubleshooting the fault condition and determined the probable cause to be the Vehicle Test Computer on the ground and not the aircraft engine or computer. The team was hoping to get a flight off on July 11, but the window of opportunity on the aircraft had expired, and the team was instructed to pack the radar and return home. The next window of opportunity for UAVSAR flights is in October 2013, after the HS-3 mission.

The P-band radar completed its calibration flights at Rosamond on June 30 and is now on deployment in Harrisburg, PA. This deployment is the second set of observations of the year over Duke Forest, Harvard Forest, and Howland Forest. So far, the team has conducted two flights over Duke Forest and one flight over Harvard/Howland Forests; both radar and aircraft performed nominally. There has been a fair amount of rain in the east coast lately and the ground conditions were quite moist. Purdue's ALAR aircraft is also making airborne measurements of gas fluxes at Duke Forest this week. Science team members from JPL were at Duke Forest collecting ground sampling data while Harvard team members were at Harvard Forest on July 10.
The Radar team has begun delivering level-2 products from the spring 2013 campaigns to the science team. Higher level products are being generated as well.

AirMOSS has completed two (2) MOISST, Oklahoma flights and two (2) Chamela, Mexico flights. Last week, ground Built-In Test revealed an issue with the P-band RF electronics which was traced to a faulty Low Power Switch Network; the box had endured water damage, was replaced with a flight spare, and flights were resumed. The team is investigating the source of the water leak. In the meantime, the flight spare unit was sealed properly to prevent any water from entering the box. When AirMOSS returns to Ontario, the team plans to install humidity sensors to monitor the humidity of the nosecone to determine when water might have entered the pod.

Methane Remote Sensing investigators from JPL and LANL are making final preparations for the 2013 field campaign at RMOTC. The objectives of this experiment are:
  • What is the performance of existing NASA passive airborne remote sensing instruments HyTES, CARVE, and AVIRIS-ng, with respect to detection of ground-sourced methane?
  • How well do high-resolution (≤10 m) numerical dispersion models predict methane concentration profiles as a function of meteorological conditions, surface topography/roughness, and gas flux?
  • How well do small unmanned air vehicle (sUAV) in situ methane sensors map methane plumes resulting from point source releases?
The CARVE C-23, the CHASE Procerus Quadrotor, and the DHC-6 Twin Otters have arrived at Casper, WY. AVIRIS-ng and HyTES have been installed on separate DHC-6 Twin Otters. The three remote methane ground release sites and coincident in situ sensor towers have been installed and checked out. All four Flight Readiness Reviews and campaign Mission Readiness Reviews have been completed successfully with no outstanding liens. The integrated field campaign began June 20 and will continue through June 26.

CARVE flew 14 flight hours, with flights over Alaska to Minto, Innoko, Deadhorse, and Barrow. CARVE concluded the very successful June campaign on June 19.