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GCPEx: GPM Cold-season Precipitation Experiment

January 20th, 2012 by Kevin Ward

GCPEx Logo

The GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) Cold-season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx) will be conducted in cooperation with Environment Canada in Ontario, Canada from January 17th to February 29th, 2012. The overarching goal of GCPEx is to characterize the ability of multi-frequency active and passive microwave sensors to detect and estimate falling snow through the collection of microphysical property data, associated remote sensing observations, and coordinated model simulations of falling snow. Through collection of these unique datasets, GCPEx will seek to improve the GPM snowfall retrieval algorithms.

The GCPEx experiment will use instrumented aircraft (NASA DC-8, NASA-funded University of North Dakota Cessna Citation, and Canadian National Research Council Convair 580) for flights over heavily-instrumented ground sites located in and around the Environment Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments (CARE) located in Egbert, Ontario. The DC-8 aircraft will fly high above clouds and precipitation with instruments similar to those on the GPM Core satellite. The Citation and C580 aircraft will fly through snowing clouds to measure snowflake properties in situ. Ground-based equipment such as radars and surface particle and snow water equivalent measurement instrumentation will connect airborne measurements of snowfall to what is measured at the ground. Data from the experiment will be used to develop and validate snow and frozen precipitation retrieval algorithms used in the generation of data products for GPM, CloudSat and future polar precipitation missions planned by the European Union.

For more information about GCPEx:

GCPEx Overview

GCPEx Campaign Blog

Ground Validation Image Gallery (recent images from GCPEx)

You can also follow this campaign and other NASA precipitation measurement missions on Facebook

Operation IceBridge 2010 Antarctic Campaign

February 15th, 2011 by Kevin Ward

Test post.

Archaeology and NASA

August 26th, 2010 by Christina Coleman and Melissa Quijada

Two NASA Earth scientists have traded in their air-conditioned offices for the uncomfortably arid fields of central Turkey. Toiling nine or more hours per day, seven days a week, they walk up to 10 miles a day searching ancient Turkey archaeological grounds for bone fragments, pottery and tombs. But they aren’t using shovels, picks, and brushes to do the job.

Read more [via NASA.gov]

Cruising the Arctic

June 14th, 2010 by Rebecca Lindsey

On June 15, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (photo above) will depart Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for its 5-week-long journey north through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Along the way, forty-three NASA-funded scientists will study how climate change is affecting the ecology of the Arctic. They will collect samples and even disembark for extended periods to work directly on the sea ice. They’ll study everything from the Arctic Ocean’s optical properties (how it reflects and absorbs light) to phytoplankton physiology.

To follow the expedition in coming weeks, please visit NASA’s ICESCAPE blog.

Dr. Robert Bindschadler reports on progress from his team’s work this past Antarctic summer. The project took a major step forward in 2010, although the work that was accomplished was completed far from the Pine Island area. The goal was to conduct field work together for the first time, try out as many techniques as possible and test as much equipment as we could. Looking forward to a return to Pine Island ice shelf in 2011-12.

Read more on the Pine Island Glacier site.

Practice drilling into the ice

Many hands are required to adjust hoses and couplings as the team practices the techniques they will eventually deploy at the Pine Island site.