• NASA Global Hawk

    NASA Global Hawk Ready for 2014 ATTREX Mission

    A NASA Global Hawk recently completed a checkout flight of science instruments to be used in the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment.

  • Glaciologist Lora Koenig (left) operates a video recorder that has been lowered into the bore hole to observe the ice structure of the aquifer in April 2013.

    Enormous Aquifer Discovered Under Greenland Ice Sheet

    Using data from NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne campaign, a large liquid water reservoir buried underneath compacted snow and ice in Greenland has now been mapped.

  • Spatial distribution of snow water equivalent across the Tuolumne River Basin from April 10 to June 1, 2013 as measured by NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory.

    NASA Snow Mapper Reaps Big Benefits for California

    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.

  • Members of the IceBridge team greet the NASA P-3 after its first landing on McMurdo Station’s sea ice runway.

    NASA Pilots Train for Antarctic Flying

    Before IceBridge's Antarctic campaign, NASA P-3 research aircraft pilots and flight engineers got extra training that simulated landing and taking off on a sea ice runway.

  • ER-2 pilot in cockpit at 70K ft

    Airborne Science Program Trailer

    The latest video on the ATTREX mission features footage taken at 70,000 ft from the ER-2 cockpit.  This and other videos on the mission can be found at

  • NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth's Ecosystems

    NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth's Ecosystems

    NASA's ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft wrapped up the fall 2013 series of flights during the first week in December for the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager, or HyspIRI, airborne campaign.

  • A MCoRDS’s underwing radar antenna arrays mounted beneath the wing of NASA’s P-3 aircraft at McMurdo Station’s airfield

    Airborne Radar Looking Through Thick Ice

    The bedrock hidden beneath the thick ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has intrigued researchers for years. Scientists are interested in how the shape of this hidden terrain affects how ice moves -- a key factor in making predictions about the future of these massive ice reservoirs and their contribution to sea level rise in a changing climate.

  • NASA Global Hawk

    NASA's HS3 Hurricane Mission Highlights

    NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of September, and had several highlights. HS3 will return to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

  • NASA P-3 flies over Antarctica

    IceBridge at McMurdo: A Year and a Half of Planning

    Making the current NASA Operation IceBridge campaign – the first to ever operate directly from Antarctica – a reality took a year and a half of planning and coordination, finishing with weeks of intense work both at home and in Antarctica.

  • Antarctic volcano Mount Erebus seen over the NASA P-3's right wing

    Three in a Row for NASA's IceBridge

    Researchers with NASA's Operation IceBridge kicked off this year's Antarctic campaign with three consecutive science flights.

  • Mt. Fuji was one of the Japanese volcanoes imaged by JPL's UAVSAR

    NASA Aircraft Images Japanese, Hawaiian Volcanoes

    NASA's C-20A Earth science aircraft carrying a specialized synthetic aperture radar system has wrapped up a short mission to image Japanese volcanoes.

  • P-3 in Antarctica

    IceBridge's First Antarctic Campaign from McMurdo Station

    The IceBridge mission will conduct daily survey flights through Nov. 26 on a NASA P-3 research aircraft from a base of operations at McMurdo Station.

  • U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft.

    IceBridge Prepares for Mission of "Firsts"

    Members of the IceBridge team arrived at McMurdo Station Nov. 12, 2013 aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft.

  • NASA DC-8 flying laboratory

    NASA's DC-8 Flying Lab Undergoes Major Maintenance

    NASA's DC-8 Flying Laboratory will soon undergo "C Check" major maintenance as part of the aircraft’s new Low Utilization Maintenance Plan.

  • 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