A new ESA campaign called KAREN has just started in Ilulissat, Greenland. The goal is to collect unique measurements to help us better understand how snow and ice on the Greenland ice sheet is changing over time, and help ESA design future space missions to monitor the changing climate in our polar regions.
Air Greenland AS350 Écureuil helicopter jammed full with equipment departing for a day of measurements on ice sheet with Andy Shepherd and Anna Hogg aboard. (ESA)
Over the coming days an international team of researchers led by Andy Shepherd and Anna Hogg from Leeds University in the UK, Henriette Skourup and Sebastian Simonsen from the Danish Technical University and Alex Coccia from MetaSensing will be criss-crossing the ice sheet by air and on the ground.
The late October weather is cold as fierce winds pour down from the ice sheet onto the small local airport hosting the Twin Otter airplane and Greenland Air helicopter that we are using in the campaign.
As the study team made final preparations of their equipment (including a remarkable instrument called a SnowPen, which measures the density of surface snow), the sleek Air Greenland AS350 Écureuil helicopter departed at crack of dawn ...