Antarctic Season 2014





Science Plan

Pod Testing

Science Specifications

Science Instruments

From the Field

Antarctic Season



Project Personnel

Polar Geophysics Group

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


NYANG 109th






IcePod flies in the Southern Hemisphere

first landing Antarctica

IcePod team had a small team of six scientists and engineers in Antarctica for five weeks from the beginning of November through the first week of December 2014. During this time several missions of opportunity were flown as well as dedicated science missions. Along with the standard equipment in the pod (Radar -both DEEP and SIR-, Lidar, Infrared and Visible wave camera) testing was done to add a magnetometer and gravimeter (borrowed from New Zealand) inside the plane to collect an even richer suite of data.

Gravimeter bring loaded onto the LC130 by forklift.

Conditions: Take off and landings worked well from the Runways at McMurdo Station. Temperatures hoovered around 14°F (-10°C) on arrival but the instrument was tested in 0°F with a wind chill of -17°F and worked well.

Gravimeter: Each flight day the gravimeter was loaded onto the plane and at the end of the day unloaded with a forklift. This way it could be kept plugged in and warm in the 'Jamesway' service tent. The loading each day (roll-on/roll-off) was quick and efficient causing no additional delays to the flights.

Deployment Plan: There were a series of flights to determine the ease of dual use of the plane, including IcePod data collection on science support flights. Several South Pole flights showed the effectiveness of this approach. The data collection was successful with deep radar imaging the structure of the Ross Ice Shelf even flying at 21,000 ft. The IR camera was able to show the temperature differences in the different types of ice in the high plateaus and Bearmore glacier, and the gravimeter successfully collected profiles.

Calibration target at Willy Field, Antarctica

Equiment Checks: The 12 fr. square tarp painted to resember a checkerboard was placed next to the GPS and Magnetic base station on Willy Field.  Overflying this was used by the science team to determine the resolution of the cameras.

Data Size: Each flight collects 4 terrabytes of data.

Summary of Flights: The first deployment of IcePod to Antarctica was a success. The instruments collected data on 3 dedicated missions over the Ross Ice Shelf and over two Ross Sea ice polynyas in different stages of development, 4 opportune missions to Pole and 2 flights to the WAIS Divide Camp with the Icepod collecting data at high elevation. Magnetics and gravity data were collected, the pod flew into the deep interior of East Antarctica, surveyed two of the Dry Valleys, collected elevation data over the top of Mt Erebus and completed the demonstration grid over the ice shelf.  Gravity data over the Ross ice shelf shows the baythmetry below the ice shelf is more rugged and rougher than previously thought.

IcePod has proved to be a successful platform for data collection in both polar regions. A tremendous amount of data can be collected using a fully complement of instruments.



























This project is funded through NSF research grant #ANT 0958658 under the MRI initiative| contact us | web master
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