Flying and preflight preparations
The instruments are mounted into a DORNIER 228-202K airplane, operated by Lufttransport AS, and normally used for transporting people and goods to Ny-Aalesund and Svea. A sliding door which can be opened in flight is used, allowing an unobstructed field of view sideways out of the plane.
Depending on the flight altitude, the swath-width will vary. Our primary objective is to cover Longyeardalen, and depending on the spatial resolution we want and the cloud cover, we have prepared three different flight plans.
Further it is necessary to note that the instruments at maximum tilt point 30deg off nadir. Therefore the actual flight path is offset from the target path. As a consequence of this viewing geometry, the reflection of the sun has to be taken into account. Since flying into the direction of the sun can produce unuseable overexposed data, when producing flight plans a set for pointing the instruments orthogonal to the solar azimuth was necessary (Longyeardalen stretches roughly north-south).
SvalTrack is a graphical calculation application developed by Fred Sigernes for doing this job. By entering the coordinates of our target line(s) and the nadir angle, it calculates two flight paths and logs their coordinates. This information is displayed in the tables and images in this document.
Note that the flight paths have been extended in "pretarget" part of the path. This is done to ensure that the plane is in position with the correct heading before data acquisition begins.
(Finished -RE 04.05.2005)