All flights involved NASA’s P-3 Orion plane, equipped with infrared, photographic, and radar-based imagery that provides researchers with an opportunity to determine temperatures, topographical changes, and more. This fresh information will be compared to previous flights’ data, which when put together will help scientists determine how ice cover has changed over time.
The briefest of looks at the project’s official website reveals how busy the program has been. Maps covered in multicolored lines reveal hotspots of research, including the Antarctic Peninsula and much of the entirety of the coastline of Greenland.
ICESat-2, the successor to the original, will begin operations this September, and these flights are to be the last to occur before then. Don’t fret, though; NASA aren’t going to suddenly just throw IceBridge in the dustbin of scientific history. At present, the 2009-launched project is funded through to 2020.