Earth  ID: 13463

Operation Ice Bridge - Arctic 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.

The ATM has been participating in NASA's Operation IceBridge since 2009.

For More Information

https://icebridge.gsfc.nasa.gov/?page_id=118


Credits

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

Short URL to share this page:
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13463

Mission:
Operation IceBridge

Keywords:
DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> Instrument
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere
GCMD >> Location >> Arctic
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