Earth  ID: 13440

Operation IceBridge - Antarctic Airborne Topographic Mapper

The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), developed at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., is a scanning laser altimeter that measures changes in ice surface elevation. It accomplishes this by reflecting lasers off the ice surface and measuring the time it takes light to return to the aircraft, usually flying between 1000 and 2000 feet above the ground. By combining this timing data with detailed information about the aircraft’s position and attitude from GPS and inertial navigation systems, ATM can measure topography to an accuracy of as small as four inches. By flying ATM over the same swath of ground previously covered by ICESat, researchers can maintain a record of changes.

In addition, the precise data from ATM’s navigation system can be fed to pilot displays in the cockpit or even electronically sent to the automatic pilot system, keeping the aircraft aligned with the planned survey track. This keeps the aircraft along the planned ATM survey swath and also benefits the other IceBridge instruments by minimizing aircraft roll and horizontal acceleration.




For More Information

https://icebridge.gsfc.nasa.gov/


Credits

Jefferson Beck (USRA): Lead Videographer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13440

Mission:
Operation IceBridge

Keywords:
SVS >> Antarctic
SVS >> Antarctic Ice Sheet
DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> Instrument
SVS >> Sea Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice
SVS >> Climate Change
SVS >> Operation IceBridge
NASA Science >> Earth

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 8.0.0.0.0