• For the first time, a NASA airborne campaign will measure changes in the height of the Greenland Ice Sheet and surrounding Arctic sea ice produced by a single season of summer melt.

    Airborne Campaign to Map Greenland Ice Sheet Summer Melt Begins

    Operation IceBridge will carry out a first-ever campaign to gather data on changes in Greenland's ice following the summer melt season.

  • NASA's Global Hawk 871 lifts off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on its return trip to its home base at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Sept. 25, 2013.

    NASA Airborne Science Aircraft Complete Summer Deployments

    Several NASA Airborne Science aircraft that were deployed for science missions during the summer of 2013 to study subjects from hurricane formation to forest fires have returned to their home bases at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Dryden Aircraft Operations Center in Southern California.

  • High-flying, long-range aircraft mark milestone Sept. 17 while flying over the Atlantic on the HS3 hurricane formation and intensification mission.

    NASA's Global Hawks Mark 100th NASA Flight

    High-flying, long-range aircraft mark milestone Sept. 17 while flying over the Atlantic on the HS3 hurricane formation and intensification mission.

  • Students and researchers from Millersville University, Penn State University and NASA are collaborating at Smith Point, one of the DISCOVER-AQ ground stations near Houston, Texas.

    Measurements Underway in Houston for DISCOVER-AQ

    Students and researchers from Millersville University, Penn State University and NASA are collaborating at Smith Point, one of the DISCOVER-AQ ground stations near Houston, Texas.

  • HS3 animation

    NASA HS3 Mission Animations Peer in and Outside of Tropical Cyclones

    NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel or HS3 mission is flying two unmanned aircraft to explore tropical cyclones and their environment.

  • NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a view of Tropical Storm Humberto (far right) and the remnants of tropical storm Gabrielle near the Bahamas on Sept. 9 at 7:45 a.m. EDT.

    NASA Investigates Gabrielle's Remnants and New Tropical Storm Humberto

    The remnants of the once-tropical-storm Gabrielle continued to struggle near the Bahamas as NASA's HS3 mission investigated.

  • The lines show the path of NASA's Global Hawk over Tropical Storm Gabrielle on Sept. 4 in this GOES-East satellite image.

    Global Hawk Data Used in National Hurricane Center Forecast of Gabrielle

    Data from the dropsondes that are dispersed from one of NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft assisted forecasters at the National Hurricane Center when analyzing the environment of newborn Tropical Storm Gabrielle at 11 p.m. EDT on Sept. 4.

  • Hidden for all of human history, a 460 mile long canyon has been discovered below Greenland's ice sheet.

    NASA Data Reveals Mega-Canyon under Greenland Ice Sheet

    A study using data primarily from NASA's Operation IceBridge has found a canyon in the bedrock beneath Greenland's ice sheet that is longer than the Grand Canyon.

  • This infrared image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Aug. 20 shows the Global Hawk crossing the low-level remnants of Erin. Erin's low-level clouds appear as a faint circulation. The green path is the direction the Global Hawk came from. The red line represents the path the aircraft would follow.

    NASA's HS3 Mission Analyzes Saharan Dust Layer Over Eastern Atlantic

    One of two of NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft flew over the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin and investigated the Saharan Air Layer in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 20 and 21.

  • The King Air on the tarmac at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

    Major NASA Air Pollution Study to Fly Over Houston

    A multi-year airborne science mission is on its way to Texas to help scientists better understand how to measure and forecast air quality from space.

  • View of McMurdo Station from Hut Point.

    Change of Venue for NASA's IceBridge Antarctic Operations

    For the first time ever, NASA's Operation IceBridge will fly scientific surveys out of McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

  • NASA Dryden test range operations technician Daniel Burgdorf explains the various flight test data parameters displayed on screens that are monitored by flight test engineers to AREE program teachers in one of Dryden's control rooms

    Learning by Doing: NASA's Airborne Research Experience for Educators

    A dozen teachers from across the country came to Southern California for a 10-day Airborne Research Experience for Educators workshop at NASA Dryden.

  • NASA's DC-8 preparing to fly on Aug. 12 from Ellington Field in Houston.

    Search On for Climate Clues Across Southern U.S. Skies

    NASA research aircraft began flights Aug. 12 from Houston's Ellington Field to investigate how the combination of summer storms and rising air pollution from wildfires, cities, and other sources can change our climate. Hoping to improve future predictions of climate change, scientists in the NASA study are using the skies over much of the southern United States as a natural laboratory this month and into September.

  • The HIWRAP dual frequency Doppler radar will hang under the Global Hawk. On the left, the golden disc is the antenna and on the right, the two small white discs are the radar beam transmitters, one for each of two frequencies. The whole apparatus spins while flying.

    Seeing Which Way the Wind Blows

    A new Doppler radar takes flight on this summer's HS3 mission.

  • A number of atmospheric probes are installed along the fuselage of NASA's DC-8 in preparation for the SEAC4RS study to learn more about how air pollution and natural emissions affect climate change.

    Airborne Campaign Preparing to Probe Pollution-Climate Link

    An eclectic assortment of sensors are installed on NASA's DC-8 and ER-2 aircraft to study how air pollution and natural emissions affect climate change.

  • Unmanned NASA Aircraft Crashes During Science Mission

    NASA is investigating the loss of a small unpiloted aircraft over the Arctic Ocean Friday, July 26, while it conducted research on sea ice. The Sensor Integrated Environmental Remote Research Aircraft (SIERRA) was about four hours into a planned six-hour flight when it experienced a problem that caused it to lose altitude and crash in the ocean. The incident occurred at 6:15 p.m. AKDT (10:15 p.m. EDT).

    The flight originated from Oliktok Point, off the northern coast of Alaska. The crash site is extremely remote, about 40 miles farther north in the Beaufort Sea. No one on the ground was injured. Environmental impacts at the crash site are expected to be minimal because of the aircraft’s small size. At the time, SIERRA had less than six gallons of fuel and oil aboard. A mishap investigation is underway.

    The aircraft was one of three unmanned aerial vehicles taking part in a science experiment called the Marginal Ice Zone Observations and Processes Experiment (MIZOPEX). Mission objectives were to probe the ocean's role in recent declines in Arctic sea ice using a sophisticated set of radars and other instruments.

    SIERRA was a medium-class, unmanned aircraft system with a wingspan of 20 feet and a weight of 400 pounds. It was designed to perform remote sensing and atmospheric sampling missions in isolated and often inaccessible regions, such as over mountain ranges, the open ocean, or the Arctic and Antarctic regions. NASA acquired SIERRA from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in 2006 and conducted its first mission surveying sea ice off the coast of Svalbard, Norway, in 2009. The vehicle was valued at $250,000.

    For more information about SIERRA, visit:



    For more information about the MIZOPEX mission, visit:



    Ruth Marlaire

    Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.



    J.D. Harrington

    Headquarters, Washington           


  • Don Blake, (second from left) professor of chemistry and Earth system science at the University of California - Irvine, briefs Student Airborne Research Program interns on the components of the Whole Air Sampler instrument.

    NASA's Student Airborne Research Program: Learning by Doing

    32 college students in the 2013 Student Airborne Research Program were involved in every aspect of a NASA science mission over California.

  • Image of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf from the German Aerospace Center Earth monitoring satellite TerraSAR-X captured on July 8, 2013.

    Antarctic Glacier Calves Iceberg One-Fourth Size of Rhode Island

    This week a European Earth-observing satellite confirmed that a large iceberg broke off of Pine Island Glacier, one of Antarctica's largest and fastest moving ice streams. The rift that led to the new iceberg was discovered in October 2011 during NASA's Operation IceBridge flights over the continent.

  • Numerous instrument probes protrude from NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science flying laboratory as it flies an instrument checkout flight.

    NASA's DC-8 Flight Helps Validate New Technologies

    Flying laboratory carries several instruments testing new technologies that could aid Earth science missions, GPS accuracy and aviation safety.

  • A well-defined plume of dust swept across the entire Atlantic Ocean on June 24, 2009

    NASA's 2013 HS3 Mission to Delve into Saharan Dust

    NASA's 2013 HS3 mission will investigate whether Saharan dust and its associated warm and dry air, known as the Saharan Air Layer favors or suppresses the development of tropical cyclones.

  • Students climb onboard the NASA DC-8

    College Students Study The Earth From NASA's DC-8 Flying Lab

    College students in NASA's Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) will measure pollution and air quality, study forest ecology and ocean biology around California.

  • NASA SEAC4RS Mission Targets How Pollution, Storms And Climate Mix

    NASA's DC-8 and ER-2 science aircraft will take to the skies over the southern United States this summer to investigate how air pollution and natural emissions, which are pushed high into the atmosphere by large storms, affect atmospheric composition and climate.

  • The MASTER instrument on NASA's ER-2 high-altitude science aircraft captured this infrared image of the Powerhouse wildfire

    California Powerhouse Fire Image from NASA ER-2

    The MASTER instrument on NASA's ER-2 high-altitude science aircraft captured this infrared image of the Powerhouse wildfire in the Angeles Forest near Lake Hughes, Calif., during a nighttime flight May 31-June 1.

  • graphical representation of Antarctic bedrock (vertical scale exaggerated)

    IceBridge Contributes to New Map of Antarctica

    The new map's improved precision will lead to better calculations of Antarctic ice volume and its potential contribution to sea level rise.

  • Technicians securing NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in the aircraft hangar

    NASA’s HS3 Mission Aircraft to Double Team 2013 Hurricane Season

    NASA's HS3 airborne mission will revisit the Atlantic Ocean to investigate storms using additional instruments and for the first time two Global Hawks.

  • MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a clear view of the Cape Verde islands

    HS3 Mission May Target Cape Verde Island Hurricanes in 2013

    NASA's multi-year Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission may explore tropical cyclones of Cape Verde origins when it takes to the skies again this August.

  •  NASA's two Global Hawks line up nose-to-nose on the ramp at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center

    NASA, Northrop Grumman Continue Partnership For Science

    NASA and Northrop Grumman extend a no-cost agreement enabling NASA to continue Earth science research with the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system.

  • Teachers Mark Buesing and Jette Poulsen aboard the NASA P-3B during an IceBridge survey flight

    Science Teachers See NASA IceBridge Research

    NASA's Operation IceBridge hosted three science teachers during their recent Arctic field campaign, giving these educators a first-hand polar science experience that they could use to teach and inspire their students.

  • NASA Wallops Aircraft Office flight engineer Brian Yates meets his children after the P-3B returned from Operation IceBridge’s Arctic campaign.

    NASA IceBridge Returns Home

    The IceBridge team has returned from the Arctic and have started processing collected data and planning for the Antarctic campaign coming up later this year.

  • Mt. Dana and Dana Plateau

    NASA Opens New Era in Measuring Western U.S. Snowpack

    A new NASA airborne mission has created the first maps of the entire snowpack of two major mountain watersheds in California and Colorado, producing the most accurate measurements to date of how much water they hold.