ICESat-2 orbiting Earth: starting with global view building up ground track, then riding the satellite view, then back to a global view with full ground track
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.
ICESat-2 orbit with ground track (short version)
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
Datasets used in this visualization
Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)ID: 508Collected with MODIS
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
This dataset can be found at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/See all pages that use this dataset
Hipparcos Tycho Catalogue (Tycho 2 Catalogue)ID: 550Database Collected with Telescope
GEOS Atmospheric ModelID: 665Model NASA GMAO
ICESat-2 STK EphemerisID: 984Ephemeris
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.