Tag Archives: DTU

Scientists head to the loneliest place on Earth for ESA...

From Tȃnia (ESA-ESTEC), Noordwijk, the Netherlands Over the next few weeks we will be carefully following two intrepid scientists as they carry out an extensive airborne campaign, called DOMECair, in the far reaches of Antarctica to support two ESA missions. The reason why Steen Savstrup from the DTU National Space Institute and Daniel Steinhage from the Alfred Wegner Institute (AWI) have headed out to arguably the loneliest place on Earth is to collect measurements that will validate ESA’s SMOS and GOCE missions. Not only will the harsh environment of East Antarctica’s polar plateau where summer temperatures drop to –40°C be challenging, but also the long flights over the vast expanse of nothing...

IceSAR: April flights

From Jørgen Dall and Anders Kusk (DTU Space), Kangerlussuaq, 22 April From Thursday to Saturday (19–21 April), a Twin Otter aircraft was flown over the K-transect, a line starting at the Russell outlet glacier near Kangerlussuaq and stretching some 150 km into the ice sheet. The Twin Otter carried a radar called POLARIS, developed for ESA by the Technical University of Denmark. Asa Tania’s earlier post mentioned, the objective was to assess one of the secondary objectives of ESA’s Biomass Earth Explorer candidate mission: ice mapping. The direction of the antenna pattern can be steered by means of electronic beamforming, and looked to the left, to the right and straight down with...

It’s a wrap – airborne measurements of ice ...

From Henriette (DTU-Space), Denmark, 12 May We ended our DTU-Space part of the CryoVEx campaign on 9 May. The Norlandair Twin Otter has flown about 85 hours, covering about 20 000 km. This is about the same distance as half way around the world at the equator.  The map below shows our flight tracks. We have been able to underfly several CryoSat passes. A few of them were in formation flight with the AWI Polar-5. We have visited five main validation sites, circled in red on the map: Devon ice cap, Austfonna ice cap, the EGIG line Greenland interior, as well as sea ice north of Alert and sea ice around Svalbard...

Mapping sea ice up close with ASIRAS

From Malcolm (ESA), Alert, 16 April As an ESA campaign coordinator, I sometimes fly along with airborne scientists and observe how data are collected and how the different instruments on the plane are run. This part of my work has always been fascinating and of great value in understanding how to run campaigns together with participants. Today, I was a guest on the Norlandair Twin Otter at Alert, Canada, carrying the CryoSat airborne simulator ASIRAS. Its cramped interior is packed with instruments and, thankfully, the odd seat for the scientists operating the instruments. In the past few days, the ASIRAS team members – guided by their friendly and experienced scientist Henriette Skourup...