The Polar Pumpkin
Art Mortvedt will fly a single engine Cessna 185 known as the "Polar Pumpkin" across the Canadian Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territory, and the Province of Nunavut to the North Pole and return.
Red, green, and blue lasers will be mounted onto the plane to find microscopic life living in the ice and snow.
This is the first attempt to monitor the contribution of the ecosystems of Earth's cryosphere to the carbon budget of our planet.
The Polar Pumpkin landed at the South Pole on November 22, 1999. Read more about Art Mortvedt's 2010 Antarctic expedition at TawaniFoundation.org
NASA'S Hyperspectral Imager
The Polar Pumpkin will become a flying laboratory as I fly across the Arctic Ocean. One of the primary instruments that I will be carrying is a Hyperspectral Imager, owned by NASA. After I returned from Russia, Mr. Joe Casas from Marshall Space Flight Center and Mr. Ken Copenhaver from the University of Illinois, came to Alaska for the installation of the hyperspectral imager. With the help of my excellent mechanics, we completed the installation quickly; and then proceeded to do test flights. The instrument worked well; and, over the course of the Spring, I continued the testing, flying at varied altitudes and conditions. Another instrument that will be on board the Pumpkin is a Sun Photometer, also owned by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.