MABEL photon-counting laser altimetry data in Alaska for ICESat-2 simulations and development

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Kelly M Brunt1,2, Thorsten Markus2, Tom Neumann3, Jason M Amundson4, Jeffrey L Kavanaugh5 and William B Cook6, (1)University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr., Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, AK, United States, (5)University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, (6)NASA Goddard SFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) is scheduled to launch in 2017 and will carry the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), which is a photon-counting laser altimeter and represents a new approach to space-borne determination of surface elevation. Given the new technology of ATLAS, an airborne instrument, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), has been deployed to both Greenland (April 2012) and Alaska (July 2014) to provide data needed for: 1) satellite algorithm development; 2) to simulate key elements of this photon-counting sampling strategy; and 3) to assess elements of this sampling strategy that may vary seasonally. Here, we compare seasonal aspects of the two datasets, with a focus on results from the latter campaign, where in situ observations in southeastern Alaska help to assess instrument performance in summer conditions and in the presence of glacier melt ponds.