ICESat-2: An overview of science objectives, development status, expected performance, and data products

Thursday, 17 December 2015: 16:00
3007 (Moscone West)
Thorsten Markus1, Tom Neumann2, Martino Anthony1 and ICESat-2 Science Definition Team, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr., Greenbelt, MD, United States
NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2’s (ICESat-2) mission objectives are to quantify polar ice sheet contributions to sea level change, quantify regional signatures of ice sheet changes to assess driving mechanisms, estimate sea ice thickness, and to enable measurements of canopy height as a basis for estimating large-scale biomass. With a scheduled launch date of October 2017 most of the flight hardware has been assembled and algorithm development for its standard geophysical products is well underway. The spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK, is completed and is undergoing testing. ICESat-2’s single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), is built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and by the time of the Fall Meeting will have completed optical alignment and integration, and will start with its final testing. At the same time, airborne laser altimeter data are being used for algorithm development. This talk will give an overview of the design of ICESat-2, of its hardware and software status, as well as examples of ICESat-2’s coverage and what the data will look like.