2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Operation IceBridge

no photo available


Event Number:
NASA/NSF Agreement

Program Manager:

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Elizabeth Kauffman / Chad Naughton

Principal Investigator

Dr. Nathan T Kurtz

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center, Oceans and Ice
Greenbelt, Maryland

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: On station / Phoenix Runway


Operation IceBridge makes airborne altimetry, radar, and other geophysical measurements to monitor and characterize the cryosphere. IceBridge data will improve knowledge of the contribution of the major Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets and sea ice to sea-level rise. Major goals include: (1) Make airborne altimetry measurements of ice sheets and sea ice to extend and improve the observations begun by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat); (2) Link measurements made by historical airborne laser altimeters, ICESat, ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2, to allow accurate comparison and production of a long-term ice-altimetry record; (3) Monitor key, rapidly changing areas of Arctic and Antarctic ice to maintain a long-term observation record; and (4) Provide data to improve understanding of ice dynamics and better constrain predictive models of sea-level rise and sea-ice cover conditions.

Field Season Overview

Team members will live on station and make day trips by Mattrack and pickup truck to Phoenix runway to conduct site surveys for future work.

Deploying Team Members

  • Nathan Kurtz (PI)