The ICESat-2 Mission: Global Geolocated Photons, and Surface-Specific Data Products
Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science IV: Altimetry for Cryosphere and Hydrology
Presentation type: Type Poster
The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite – 2 (ICESat-2) observatory was launched on 15 September 2018 to measure ice sheet and glacier elevation change, sea ice freeboard, and enable the determination of the heights of Earth’s forests. ICESat-2’s orbit inclination allows the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument to collect data between 88 degrees north latitude and 88 degrees south latitude from nominally 500km elevation above Earth's surface. ATLAS uses green (532 nm) laser light and single-photon sensitive detection to measure elevation along each of its six beams ten thousand times per second. In this presentation, we describe the major components of the observatory and the ATLAS instrument. We summarize the first year (!) of on orbit data collection and present the status of the observatory and the ATLAS instrument. We present on the status of the lower-level data products including the Level-2A data product (ATL03), which provides the geodetic location (i.e. the latitude, longitude and elevation) of the ground bounce point of photons detected by ATLAS. The ATL03 data product is the primary product used for higher-level (Level 3A) surface-specific data products such as glacier and ice sheet elevation (ATL06), sea ice elevation (ATL07) and freeboard (ATL10), land elevation and vegetation canopy height (ATL08), ocean surface topography (ATL12), and inland water body elevation (ATL13). This presentation will also present the plans for future data collection, the geolocation uncertainty of the ATL03 global geolocated photon data product, the status of data product availability, and plans for data reprocessing.