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QualitySpec Trek Report - ASD Goetz Instrument Support Program

August 02, 2017

Written By Leena Leppänen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Research, Sodankylä, Finland. 2017 Winning Goetz Instrument Support Program Project Title: "Spectral reflectance of snow in Sodankylä, Finland" 

ASD's QualitySpec® Trek (QST) was used for reflectance measurements of natural snowpack in Sodankylä. A total of 163 spectrums were measured, including 6 test measurements in the beginning. Usually, measurements were made in Intensive Observation Area (IOA) where snow pit measurements are made weekly in addition to several automatic measurements of snow and meteorological properties (Figure 1).


Figure 1. IOA measurement field. Location of snow pit area is marked with red circle. Snow pits were made to the same area but different spot every measurement occasion. Snowpack is suspected to be homogenous in that area.

The manual snow pit measurements includes definition of layers and for each measurement of grain size and type, hardness and wetness, and density profile and specific surface area (SSA) profile with IceCube, snow depth and bulk snow water equivalent (SWE). Automatic snow measurements at the site are snow depth, SWE, snow temperature profile every 10 cm, and snowfall intensity with particle size. More information about snow pit measurements and snow conditions in Sodankylä can be found from Leppänen et al. 2016.

Vertical profiles from snowpack were measured with QST to research vertical variability of reflectance in snowpack (Figure 3a). Measurements were made approximately every 2-3 cm, and 4-5 cm in depth hoar layer where coarse grains existed. Snowpack surface was measured also from top (Figure 3b). Forest snow pit profiles were measured for research of horizontal spatial variability (Figures 2a, 2b).

The Girls on Ice Program learns about spectroscopy: Gulkana Glacier, Alaska

October 27, 2015

Former Goetz Instrument Support Program participant Ulyana N. Horodyskyj, Ph.D. Research Associate, National Snow and Ice Data Center, provides us with this recap from her recent trip to Alaska where she worked with the Girls on Ice program.

Using a FieldSpec 4 to measure the optical properties of ice and snow

October 16, 2014

I recently returned from China where I participated in a series of remote sensing workshops. At several of these workshops, I was asked about using the FieldSpec 4 spectroradiometer for measuring the optical properties of ice and snow.

Expert Tip: What is a remote cosine receptor and when would I use it?

February 05, 2014

Remote Cosine Receptors (RCR) are utilized for full hemispherical absolute energy measurements. This allows the spectroradiometer to directly measure the total full hemispherical irradiance being emitted by the sun or an artificial light source as well as the corresponding full hemispherical reflectant radiance.

Arctic Snow Reflectance and Albedo Affected by Black Carbon - A Goetz Program Summary

November 14, 2013

Past Goetz Instrument Support Program recipient Outi Meinander, a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki in Finland, summarizes her use of the HandHeld 2 portable spectroradiometer to study the reflectance and albedo of snow.

Landsat 8 Successfully Launches - Is Your FieldSpec 4 Ready?

February 11, 2013

NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) launched today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission, LDCM will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth's surface as viewed from space. LDCM is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series.

Quantifying Spectral Diversity within a MODIS Footprint – Goetz Recipient Research in the Himalayas

January 22, 2013

Guest blogger and 2013 Goetz Instrument Support Program winner Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj, PhD candidate, University of Colorado Boulder, shares her story about using the FieldSpec 4 spectroradiometer to help quantify spectral diversity within a MODIS footprint on the Ngozumpa and Rongbuk Glaciers:

NASA makes Exciting Discovery in Artic Waters using FieldSpec Spectroradiometer

August 01, 2012

NASA recently announced the surprising discovery of artic bloom in Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The team of researchers used ASD’s FieldSpec®3 portable spectroradiometer in the NASA shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems.  The ICESCAPE mission ("Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment") set out with the objective to validate data NASA was observing from a satellite. The notion that biological growths like phytoplankton could only occur after summer had caused the thick ice to retreat has been found to be incorrect, at least in this study. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011.

Researchers found evidence that thinning, and younger ice in the area was allowing plant life to grow in the waters.

Generally, the Artic Ocean is one that you wouldn’t expect to be booming with plant life. It was thought that Artic sea ice was too thick to allow the necessary sunlight into the waters below to nurture phytoplankton growth. The expedition led and funded by NASA dispelled that common belief when they found microscopic plant life under Artic ice in networks of pools connected to younger and thinner ice. The real value of the research led to questions of carbon cycles and consumption now year round in the Artic waters.

Once again, the FieldSpec 3 portable spectroradiometer participated in yet another unlikely application.

Available in the journal Science and on the NASA website, you can get more information on the research and its results. View more pictures of the ICESCAPE team research efforts.

For more information on the FieldSpec 3 portable spectroradiometer, contact ASD.

Image credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen

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