Mapping the ice at the North Pole: Trying to find Santa's Workshop

Dec 17, 2018, 03:57 PM

Researchers at the Kansas City National Security Campus may have gotten one step closer to finding Santa’s workshop. As part of our partnership with the University of Kansas, we are a member of a Radar Consortium to test Radar technology. Their most recent study investigated the snow and ice sheet thicknesses in the Arctic, Greenland, and the Antarctic. This year’s flight measured and charted the snow sheet thickness over 89.993º North at an altitude of 1,500 feet.

This flight was a high-priority mission over sea ice and a repeat of a flight line surveyed yearly since 2013. The benefit to KCNSC was learning more about the application of some of the newly-developed Radar Consortium technology such as miniaturization and increased power.

The actual flight path did not cross the North Pole (90.000000º North), but rather had the closest approach of about 575m away from the actual pole, as verified by a NASA GPS navigational engineer. The plane’s native navigation system has some numerical challenges when flying in the vicinity of either Pole, a common factor of most navigation systems. For that reason, the flight plan was purposely slightly off from a direct Pole crossing. However, popular belief has it that the true reason for not flying directly over the North Pole is due to a no-fly-zone over Santa’s workshop!