BALTIMORE -- Scientists flying high above the South Pole have made the first high-altitude radar measurements of the snow and ice beneath the pole's Scott-Amundsen Research Station.
A radar beam transmitted from a four-engine NASA jetliner flying at 39,000 feet penetrated nearly 3 kilometers of ice to the bedrock, then returned to the plane. The radar echoes were converted into a shadowy profile of the layered ice and the bedrock.
The feat was part of the second season of Operation IceBridge. It's a six-year NASA mission to measure changes in Antarctic sea and land ice, led by Michael Studinger of the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.