NOAA is contributing to a very important NASA project monitoring ice-melt and variability in the marginal ice zone in the Arctic: The Marginal Ice Zone Observations and Processes Experiment (MIZOPEX). By studying the mechanism by which ice melts, we can improve our understanding of changes in the Polar sea ice extent and its role in climate change.
John Adler, Project Manager and NOAA Operational lead, is working with Principal Investigator James Maslanik, University of Colorado (CU), in the coordination and execution of the mission. Gary Wick of NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory is part of the science team studying spatial variability in the Sea Surface Temperature near the ice.
MIZOPEX is employing three Unmanned systems to take observations: NASA’s SIERRA; the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Insitu Scan Eagles; and CU's DataHawk, a micro-UAS. Further information about the project can be found at http://ccar.colorado.edu/mizopex/