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Alaska Permafrost (L-band)
Aug 12, 2016 - Aug 21, 2016

Aircraft: Gulfstream-III (AFRC)
Location: Alaska, USA
Airports: PAFA
Flight Requests: 16G023

Permafrost is frozen soil that occurs predominantly in high latitudes and contains high amounts of stored carbon. Melting permafrost releases CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. Thus, permafrost freeze-thaw dynamics needs to be accurately quantified in order to predict the impact of climate warming in the Arctic. In this deployment, researchers will employ Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery to study permafrost dynamics at regional scales and at different depths.

OMG (Ka-band)
Mar 10, 2016 - Apr 3, 2016

Aircraft: Gulfstream-III (JSC)
Location: Greenland
Flight Requests: 16G002

The Oceans Melting Greenland mission will study the effect of the ocean on the rate of melting of Greenland glaciers. The team will employ a suite of airborne instruments to measure surface topography at the land-ice interface. Data from the GLISTIN-A radar will be used to create maps of glacier elevation and to quantify ice volume loss.

AfriSAR (L-band)
Feb 17, 2016 - Mar 11, 2016

Aircraft: Gulfstream-III (AFRC)
Location: Gabon, Africa
Flight Requests: 16G043, 16G048

Terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon cycle, removing 2.7 pentagrams of carbon per year (28% of atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel emissions) and emitting 1.0 pentagrams of carbon per year as a result of land-use change. These estimates carry the largest uncertainty (30-50%) of all carbon budget components, and there is no consensus on the location of terrestrial carbon sources and sinks. Such uncertainty can be attributed to technical difficulties in mapping forest aboveground biomass (AGB) at continental scales, under persistent cloud cover, and with fine spatial resolution. Over the last 20 years, active sensors have emerged as important tools for mapping forest structure and estimating terrestrial carbon stocks. The AfriSAR campaign will support algorithm development studies employing two active sensors - radar and lidar - to estimate tropical forest AGB. When applied to satellite data, such algorithms will fill important knowledge gaps and elucidate how carbon sinks respond to climate, anthropogenic emissions, land use patterns, and governmental policies.