MABEL’s Second 2011 FlightMarch 28th, 2011 by Kelly Brunt
MABEL: Flying on a high-altitude aircraft at the brink of space, the MABEL instrument is helping scientists to simulate measurements from NASA’s next ice-observing satellite, ICESat-2.
Palmdale, Calif. – MABEL had a very successful second flight on March 24!
Taking off from NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., we flew a second flight over the region for what we call our ‘shakedown’ mission.
This time, we flew targets in reverse direction to ensure that we had quality data over the open ocean. Our pilot flew southwest over the ocean until he found breaks in the morning marine layer, typical off of the coast of California. Once MABEL was back over land, the pilot reported that the weather was completely clear for the rest of the mission, which extended as far east as Lake Mead.
For this flight, we are testing some of MABEL’s unique capabilities, such as her variable field of view. This ‘shakedown’ mission is allowing us to assess that capability.