NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the Polar Regions with the global climate system. IceBridge uses a specialized fleet of aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of science instruments ever assembled to gather data on sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. The data gathered today will allow future scientists to better understand and model climate change. It is no exaggeration to say that teachers, those who work in support of teachers, and parents are literally raising the next generation of scientists for whom this data will be critical. More information about the project can be found here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/icebridge/index.html
One of the instruments Operation IceBridge uses is a magnetometer which gathers data on the magnetic properties of the bedrock beneath the ice. Measuring the magnetic field strength helps scientists identify the type of rock present and knowing the type of rock helps scientists understand how the rock and ice interact.
The P-3 Orion aircraft is ideally suited for measuring magnetic fields as the Orion was originally designed as a submarine hunter and has a magnetic anomaly detector or MAD boom – sometimes called the "stinger". Once used to detect Soviet submarines, it’s now used to help determine what is under the ice.
- Learn how to use data acquisition software and hardware (Hall effect magnetic field sensor, Verier LoggerPro, and Microsoft Excel)
- Understand the nature of magnetic fields
- Construct a surface plot and interpret the plot
Follow the procedure in the attached worksheet
Mark Buesing, PolarTREC 2013. Tim Spuck (PolarTREC 2012) first came up with the idea of items in a box to simulate what Operation IceBridge's radar and lidar systems do. Tim's excellent activity can be found here: http://www.polartrec.com/resources/lesson/seeing-what-you-cant-see
Next Generation Science Standards
Subjects: Physics, Physical Science
Grade Level: 9-12
HS-PS3-5. Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction.
HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
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