ICESat-2 Orbit

  • Released Friday, November 3, 2017

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.

For more information on ICESat-2 click here.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, November 3, 2017.
This page was last updated on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 12:07 AM EDT.


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