ICESat-2 Beam Pairs

  • Released Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:19AM
  • ID: 12141

The ATLAS lidar on ICESat-2 uses 6 laser beams to measure the earth’s elevation and elevation change. By arranging the beams in three pairs of two, scientists can also determine the slope between the two beams, a key component of determining elevation change along the Reference Ground Track. Each time ATLAS collects data along a particular track, onboard software aims the laser beams so that the Reference Ground Track is always between the two beams, as shown in the animation. This allows scientists to combine the elevation and slope information from two different passes to determine elevation change along the Reference Ground Track.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions: