From June 6-16, 2016 CORAL conducted its Operational Readiness Test (ORT) in Hawaii. The ORT served to guarantee coordinated efforts between the airborne data gathering and in-water validation activities. During this period, the University of Hawaii (UH) Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) served as the base for field operations for all three field teams (optics, metabolism and benthic cover). The G-4 airplane housing the PRISM instrument arrived in Hawaii on Sunday, June 19, 2016 and successfully completed flight lines over Kaneohe Bay (Oahu), a dark optics calibration/validation location, the NOAA MOBY buoy off Lanai, and Molokai.

 

Aerial view of flight line

A “quicklook” of a flight line during the ORT

 

While the weather was at times both unpredictable and uncooperative, all criteria for a successful ORT were met and both field and flight teams conducted debrief activities to ensure seamless deployment and operations during the next field campaign in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Take a peek at the benthic survey team at work in this NASA Earth video:

 

Now that the ORT is complete the images collected by PRISM will be processed through the JPL science data system to generate map products. The in-water data are being processed and quality controlled, after which they will be used to validate the map products. Below are two examples of in-water data products; specifically, high-resolution photo mosaics constructed from hundreds of individual photographs taken within survey sites that are defined larger than the 8x8m pixel as seen by the PRISM instrument:

 

ORT Photo Gallery

 

Where is CORAL Now?

The CORAL Flight Locator Tool can be used to track CORAL flights and access CORAL data once it becomes available (after an intensive QA/QC process, which is anticipated to last 6 months for each data set).

Stay tuned for photos of the ORT, additional media releases and blog posts from the NASA Earth Science Team. You can also visit the CORAL “In the Field” page and the CORAL Facebook Page for daily updates, as well as photos, videos and observations from the field.

NASA Earth Blog #6

CORAL Completes First Airborne Look at Coral Reefs Posted on June 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm by sreiny. A high five for a successful science flight. Michelle Gierach (left) greets Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) Project System Engineer Ernesto Diaz and Portable Remote...

NASA Earth Blog #5

The Puzzling Case of Kaneohe Bay Posted on June 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm by sreiny. Kaneohe Bay, with Moku O Loe island at right center. Dredge and fill operations in the bay expanded the island from 12 acres to 28 acres. Credit: NASA/James Round by Carol Rasmussen / OAHU,...

NASA Earth Blog #4

By Carol Rasmussen How We Became CORAL Scientists Posted on June 16, 2016 at 4:38 pm by sreiny. Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) scientists Michelle Gierach and Eric Hochberg identify reef locations for study at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawaii. Credit: NASA/James...

NASA Earth Blog #3

By Carol Rasmussen Looking for a Few Cloudless Hours Posted on June 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm by sreiny. Kaaawa Valley, near Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu, on an overcast day. Credit: NASA/James Round Most offices in Honolulu were closed Friday, June 10, for King...

NASA Earth Blog #2

By Carol Rasumussen In an Airborne Campaign, Why Boats? Posted on June 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm by sreiny.   As boat operations begin on Tuesday, June 7, Brandon Russell (University of Connecticut) drops the inherent optical properties “cage” into the water....

NASA Earth Blog #1

By Carol Rasmussen CORAL Mission Starts Work in Hawaii NASA EARTH·THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2016 Even in dark glasses, Eric Hochberg is squinting a little in brilliant sunlight glinting from a green ocean. He is driving a research boat across Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, on...

Traveling to Hawaii

By Ali Hochberg The Operational Readiness Test (ORT) officially begins tomorrow (Monday, June 6), which means that most members of the CORAL team are either already in Hawaii or on their way. Over the course of the next 10 days scientists involved in both the airborne...