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CryoVEx KAREN 2016 Fall


What was the purpose of the CryoVEx-KAREN 2016 Fall Campaign?

Ice sheet
Scientists studying the ice sheet. Credit: A. Shepherd (University of Leeds)

The main objectives of the campaign were to:

  • Fly new Ka-band radar technology radar altimeter
  • Collect simultaneous Ku-band radar altimeter data with ASIRAS and ALS data, to study penetration of radar signals into the ice sheet
  • Repeat of the earlier flown EGIG-line to detect ice sheet changes
  • Surface measurements (shallow ice cores and ice densities) on the ice sheet inland of Ilulissat at T1, T4 and T5 on EGIG-line and in the Ilulissat glacier region using helicopter
  • Investigate dependencies of SARIn phase information from coincident measurements of KAREN and ASIRAS in high-altitude mode

What was the outcome of the CryoVEx-KAREN 2016 Fall Campaign?

Airborne data was acquired over the Greenland Ice Sheet along the EGIG-line at different altitudes representing both the ablation, percolation and the dry snow zone. This data set along with the in-situ observations of density profiles from shallow ice cores and SnowMicroPen adds valuable information of the seasonal behaviour of the radar signals, which has so far only been obtained in the spring during previous CryoVEx campaigns.

The horizontal location of the KAREN and ASIRAS reference points from the post-processed data are within the expected accuracies of their physical displacement. Comparison of phases of coincident SARIn acquisition from KAREN and ASIRAS data show no direct dependencies. However, the phases seem to be anti-correlated, which is currently being investigated.

As expected, KAREN show primarily surface scattering with little penetration, whereas ASIRAS show primarily surface scattering in the percolation zone and penetration down to about 15 m in the dry snow zone with several visible melt layers.

Download the CryoVEx-KAREN 2016 Fall Campaign Final Report

Campaign Summary
Data Coverage (Year)2016
Thematic areaCryosphere/Land ice
Geographic SiteGreenland
Data Size15 GB

Digital Object Identifier: - CryoVEx-KAREN 2016 Fall Campaign: "ESA CryoVEx/KAREN 2016 fall Campaign - First airborne field campaign with combined Ku/Ka-band radars over the EGIG-line with coincident in situ measurements"


The campaign data is available online via FTP upon submission of a data access request. An active EO Sign In account is required to submit the request.

Data from the campaign are also available to download from the CS2EO portal.

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