After an almost 10 and one-half hour transit flight from its deployment base in Keflavik, Iceland, NASA ER-2 pilot Stu Broce landed ER-2 806 April 27 at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif. The lengthy flight from Iceland included data collection by the MABEL instrument over a portion of broadleaf deciduous forest in Wisconsin. The ground support and science crew that supported the flights returned several days later.
The star of this high-altitude show was a small, boxy instrument — the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL) — tucked snugly inside the aircraft’s nose. In an effort led by the instrument team from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., MABEL made five flights last month to measure surface elevation over a series of targets across the U.S. Southwest.
The ER-2 flew more than 100 hours on 16 flights in the MABEL validation campaign, including 14 data collection flights over Greenland and surrounding sea ice areas and two transit flights between Keflavik and its home base in Palmdale. Several of the flights were conducted concurrently and on the same flight tracks as flights of other NASA environmental science aircraft involved in the Arctic IceBridge campaign in order to compare data being recorded by the MABEL with instruments on the other aircraft. more> http://is.gd/yuZx4V