ICESat-2 orbiting Earth: starting with global view building up ground track, then riding the satellite view, then back to a global view with full ground track
ICESat-2 is a spacecraft designed to accurately measure land and ice elevations on Earth. By comparing observations from different times, scientists will be able to study changes in elevations. ICESat-2 will be in a polar orbit which will provide high coverage near the poles where ice elevations are changing relatively quickly. This visualization shows ICESat-2's polar orbit from afar, then closer up. As we get close to the satellite, the 3 pairs of ICESat-2's ATLAS lidar laser beams begin to resolve. A ground track shows ICESat-2's global coverage which repeats about once every 90 days.
The ATLAS lidar on ICESat-2 uses 3 pairs of laser beams to measure the earth’s elevation and elevation change. As a global mission, ICESat-2 will collect data over the entire globe, however the ATLAS instrument is optimized to measure land ice and sea ice elevation in the polar regions.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 220.127.116.11.0