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Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry / Sea Ice and Polar Dynamics Science Team

Validation Experiments: CBSIT 2009

map: Envisat view of route, April 21, 2009

Envisat view of route: April 21, 2009

The joint NOAA-NASA Canada Basin Sea Ice Thickness (CBSIT) Experiment was completed in April, 2009 from Thule Air Base, Greenland. CBSIT was part of the NASA Arctic Ice Operation Ice Bridge.

  • April 21, 2009: NASA P3 flight and validation data collection along ~1000 km-long Envisat track in the Canada Basin (blue line on map). Second successful validation of Envisat altimetry data over sea ice. The first validation experiment was completed in 2006 (green line on map).
  • April 25, 2009: NASA P3 over-flight of the Danish GreenArc Ice Camp (joint collaboration with the Danish National Space Institute (DNSC) and the Cold Regions Research Laboratory (CRREL)), on sea ice north of Greenland (red line on map shows flight transect and red circle indicates ice camp location).

Instrumentation onboard the P3 included the ATM laser altimeter, a snow radar system, and nadir-looking digital cameras. In-situ measurements taken on the ice included snow depth, ice thickness, ice freeboard, and snow density.

Significance: CBSIT data enables satellite altimeter data (e.g., from Envisat, ICESat and CryoSat-2) over sea ice to be used for accurate retrievals of sea ice thickness, through comparisons with independent data collected from aircraft and on the ice itself.

photo: NASA P3 Aircraft, Thule Air Base, Greenland, April 2009

NASA P3 Aircraft, Thule Air Base, Greenland, April 2009

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photo: GreenArc Sea Ice Camp, Arctic Ocean, April 2009

GreenArc Sea Ice Camp, Arctic Ocean, April 2009