Lincoln Sea and Alert base

  Envisat Advanced Synthetic Apertur Radar image of the Lincoln Sea and Alert base, where sea-ice validation activities are now starting in support of ESA’s CryoSat ice mission.

Not your typical Saturday afternoon

From Seymour (UCL) at Resolute Bay, northern Canada on 9 April After yesterday’s rather gentle foray onto the ice in nice weather to lay out our two practice ground targets we returned to find out exactly where we had been thanks to our GPS readings. Google maps confirmed that we had indeed been ‘walking on water’ when walking between the two sites. Before embarking on our second day trip out, and after some lengthy discussion, we decided that it would be useful to be able to see one site from the other, not so easy given the terrain and various bits of trapped bergs in the way. Justin had a 3m pole...

Experiment preparations

From Katharine (UCL) at Resolute Bay, northern Canada on 8 April   After taking a look around the Polar-5 aircraft hanger Rosie, Justin, Seymour, Christian and I headed off to the warehouse to work out how we were going to build the stands for the corner reflectors. Corner reflectors are pieces of metal that provide a known target for the radar that will be flying over them. They are vital for us to be able to relate what the radar in the aircraft sees to what is measured on the ground. After lunch, we jumped on some skidoos and headed off to the edge of the sea ice to go and practice how...

Up and away

From Malcolm (ESA), NL on 8 April Just leaving ESA in the Netherlands for my flight to Alert in northern Canada to start the campaign – which has to be one of the biggest I’ve organised in my 10 years at ESA. The two planes we have dedicated to the campaign will arrive this weekend along with other team members from Europe and Canada. So, hopefully we’ll be kicking off with the first flights on Monday. We’ve got a Twin Otter arriving from the Technical University of Denmark that carries the ASIRAS instrument. ASIRAS is an airborne instrument that was developed specifically to mimic the radar altimeter on the CryoSat satellite. In...