• his photo taken during the CARVE experiment shows polygonal lakes created by melting permafrost on Alaska's North Slope. As the frozen soil melts, it shrinks, leaving cracks that fill with water. In winter the water-filled cracks freeze into ice wedges.

    NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane

    Despite large temperature increases in Alaska in recent decades, a new analysis of NASA airborne data finds that methane is not being released from Alaskan soils into the atmosphere at unusually high rates, as recent modeling and experimental studies have suggested. The new result shows that the changes in this part of the Arctic have not yet had enough impact to affect the global methane budget.

  • Prior to getting underway with NASA researches working on Operation IceBridge, NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan and US Ambassador to Chile Michael Hammer joined the group for a pre-flight briefing in the team’s ready room at Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo airport in Punta Arenas, Chile.

    Visitors Fly with NASA’s Operation IceBridge

    NASA’s Operation IceBridge hosted two high-profile visitors, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Michael Hammer and NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan.

  • IceBridge collected some rare images on a flight out of Punta Arenas, Chile on Nov. 5, 2014, on a science flight over western Antarctica.

    USS Constellation and Thurston Island

    NASA’s Operation IceBridge collected some rare images on a flight out of Punta Arenas, Chile on a science flight over western Antarctica dubbed Ferrigno-Alison-Abbott 01.

  • NASA Global Hawk 872 is shown during an instrument checkout flight in late 2013 for the ATTREX mission conducted early this year. Image Credit:  NASA / Tom Miller

    Global Hawks Mark Five Years of NASA Science Flights

    NASA's pair of remotely operated Global Hawk Earth science aircraft marked a milestone on Oct. 23, the fifth anniversary of the first NASA flight by a Global Hawk aircraft.

  • 3-D printed wing part for the FrankenEye aircraft.

    It's Alive! Ames Engineers Harvest and Print Parts for New Breed of Aircraft

    It's more an engineer's dream than nightmare - to rapidly prototype and redesign aircraft using 3-D printed parts. That's just what a team of student interns and engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, got to do: custom-build aircraft by repurposing surplus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Grafting fuselages side-by-side adds more motors, propellers and batteries to improve power and performance capacity. By lengthening the wings, the team was able to improve aerodynamic efficiency and help extend the flight time of small, lightweight electric aircraft.

  • NASA’s DC-8 research aircraft will be flying scientists and instruments over Antarctica to study changes in the continent’s ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice.

    NASA Begins Sixth Year of Airborne Antarctic Ice Change Study

    NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent’s ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year’s airborne campaign, which began its first flight Thursday morning, will revisit a section of the Antarctic ice sheet that recently was found to be in irreversible decline.

  • The ARISE research team lines up in front of the NASA C-130 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a group photo

    ARISE Researchers Close out Alaska Field Campaign

    Data from ARISE will help scientists understand the relationship between ocean and ice surfaces and clouds and the role that relationship plays in the overall climate system. In addition, ARISE data will help researchers further improve methods of interpreting satellite data in the Arctic.

  • The constellation Ursa Major looms over a GPS-equipped survey vehicle and a ground station to its left at El Mirage Dry Lake. By comparing elevation readings from both GPS sources, researchers can build an elevation map to precisely calibrate the laser altimeter for ice thickness measurements.

    Preparing For Antarctic Flights in the California Desert

    NASA IceBridge scientists conduct GPS-guided ground tests at El Mirage to aid calibration of laser altimeter for precise readings over Antarctica.

  • NASA Global Hawk No. 872 is pictured on the ramp after landing at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, at sunrise following its 10th and final science flight Sept. 28 – 29 in the agency's 2014 Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission over the Atlantic Ocean.

    Global Hawk 872 Return Marks 100th NASA Flight

    High-altitude science aircraft hits milestone on its return to NASA Armstrong Sept. 30 after 10 science flights in NASA's 2014 HS3 mission.

  • NASA's HS3 Looks Hurricane Edouard in the Eye

    Scientists on NASA's HS3 mission got lucky on September 17 when the remotely piloted Global Hawk dropped a sonde that fell in Hurricane Eduoard's eye and spun all the way down to the surface

  • NASA Langley team members Richard Hare, left, and David Harper aboard Langley's UC-12. The team used an instrument called High Spectral Resolution Lidar, or HSRL-1, to collect data on the vertical distribution of phytoplankton in the Atlantic Ocean.

    NASA Langley Science Team ‘Delighted’ with Early SABOR Data

    A team of researchers from NASA's Langley Research Center recently spent almost three weeks testing the waters — literally — from an airplane as part of a collaborative field campaign called Ship-Aircraft Bio-Optical Research, or SABOR.

  • This image of the King wildfire in the California Sierras was captured by the MASTER spectrometer aboard NASA's high-flying ER-2 on Sept. 19. The towns of Placerville and Pollock Pines along Highway 50 are at lower left; Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City are at upper right.

    NASA ER-2 Captures Image of King Fire in Sierras

    MASTER spectrometer image overlaid on a Google Earth photo graphically depicts the fire's boundaries in the visible through thermal infrared spectrum.

  • Time lapse video created by Dave Fratello, HS3 payload manager of the NASA Global Hawk project at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

    HS3 Mission Time-lapse Video Highlights Storms

    NASA released a time-lapse video that highlights three different cameras aboard NASA's remotely piloted Global Hawk aircraft No. 872 as it investigated two tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean in early September 2014.

  • The second Cloud Physics Lidar built to fly on NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft. In this summer's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission, the CPL is studying the changing profile of the atmosphere in detail to learn more about how hurricanes form and strengthen.

    NASA HS3 Instrument Views 2 Dimensions of Clouds

    NASA’s Cloud Physics Lidar instrument is studying the changing profile of the atmosphere to learn more about how hurricanes form and strengthen.

  • Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Operation IceBridge.

    NASA Airborne Campaigns Focus on Climate Impacts in the Arctic

    Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been on the rise, and this warming is happening two to three times faster in the Arctic.

  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, has been monitoring active earthquake faults in California with a number of remote sensing and ground-based techniques.

    NASA Research Aids Response to California Napa Quake

    NASA data and expertise are proving invaluable in California’s ongoing response to the Aug. 24 magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley, northeast of San Francisco.

  • NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flew over Tropical Storm Dolly on Sept. 2 and gathered data. The plot shows wind speeds and wind barbs at 850 and 150 millibars.

    NASA's HS3 Mission Investigates Tropical Storm Dolly

    One of NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft number 872 surveyed Tropical Storm Dolly as part of NASA's latest hurricane airborne mission known as the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3 mission.

  • NASA's C-20A Earth science research aircraft with the UAVSAR slung underneath its belly lifts off the runway at Edwards Air Force Base on a prior radar survey mission.

    NASA Radar System Surveys Napa Valley Quake Area

    Sophisticated JPL airborne radar system scans earthquake fault displacements in Northern California's Napa Valley after major quake Aug. 24.

  • The NASA Global Hawk 872 lands at 7:43 a.m. EDT, August 27, at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia following a 22-hour transit flight from its home base at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

    Hurricane Mission Begins with Global Hawk Flight to Cristobal

    The first of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft landed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on Aug. 27 after surveying Hurricane Cristobal for the first science flight of NASA's latest hurricane airborne mission.

  • NASA’s C-130 aircraft will carry scientists over the Arctic starting this month from northern Greenland and Fairbanks, Alaska.

    NASA to Investigate Climate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

    A new NASA field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt.

  • NASA DC-8

    ASCENDS Scientists Test New Technologies in California Skies

    Scientists from NASA's Langley Research Center are in California testing new methods for measuring carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

  • NASA ER-2

    Three Radars are Better than One: Field Campaign Demonstrates Two New Instruments

    Never before had NASA flown more than two radar systems, tuned to different frequencies, to measure rainfall from a research aircraft.

  • Arctic snow

    Looking at Snow Depth with NASA Airborne Data

    New research using data from NASA's Operation IceBridge shows that snow depth on Arctic sea ice has been decreasing over the past several decades, a trend largely owing to later sea ice freeze-up dates in the Arctic.

  • NASA is flying airborne research campaigns during 2014 to look at U.S. air quality, hurricanes, and climate change impact on Earth’s polar regions.

    From Pole to Pole, NASA Flying Laboratories Study Our World

    NASA will fly a series of airborne research campaigns to take a closer look at U.S. air quality, hurricanes forming in the Atlantic, and the impact of climate change on Earth’s polar regions.

  • From the ER-2’s cruising altitude of 65,000 feet, the camera system snaps images of an area about 2.5 by 1.5 kilometers (1.6 by 0.9 miles). These melt ponds, formed by snowmelt on Alaskan glaciers, can range in size and shape

    Melt Ponds Shine in NASA Laser Altimeter Flight Images

    Even from 65,000 feet above Earth, aquamarine melt ponds in the Arctic stand out against the white ice sheets and sea ice.

  • Denis Steele sets up a video camera in the cockpit of the ER-2, 65,000 feet over Alaskan mountains and glaciers.

    A Pilot’s Life at 65,000 Feet over Alaska

    Valerie Casasanto blogs about NASA Armstrong pilots Denis Steele and Tim Williams flying the ER-2 over Alaska while confined in a bulky pressure suit.

  • Artist's concept of aircraft with HIRAD scanning a tropical cyclone.

    NASA's HS3 Mission Spotlight: The HIRAD Instrument

    The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through September 29.

  • Technician Richard Hare installs instruments on NASA's UC-12 aircraft at NASA’s Langley Research Center in preparation for the airborne portion of the SABOR field campaign

    NASA Field Campaign to Probe Ocean Ecology, Carbon Cycle

    NASA embarks on a coordinated ship and aircraft observation campaign off the Atlantic coast of the United States, an effort to advance space-based capabilities for monitoring microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain.

  • NASA ER-2

    High-Flying Laser Altimeter to Check Out Summer Sea Ice and More

    NASA’s high-flying laser altimeter begins a campaign to investigate differences between summer and winter sea ice.

  • Professor Donald Blake of the University of California—Irvine outlines procedures for installation of air canisters on NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory to students participating in NASA's 2014 Student Airborne Research Program.

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

    Thirty-two undergraduate students are immersed in NASA's Earth Science research during the 2014 Student Airborne Research Program.