Video Descriptive Text for Leaders in Lidar | Chapter 4: All the Easy Missions Are Done

Narration: Lauren Ward


00:00 Old film footage of an Apollo spacecraft flying over a large crater on the Moon

00:02 Snowy and rocky mountain ranges with a glacial valley between them sit on an ocean of ice

00:05 Aerial of a coniferous forest

00:07 A long shore with an ocean to the right and facility buildings along the coast to the left

00:08 Old footage of an astronaut walking on the moon

00:09 The red surface of Mars, a large crater in the center

00:10 Jim Garvin in front of a colorful topographic map of Mars

00:12 Aerial view of red, green, and yellow trees

00:16 Aerial of broken-up ice floating on water. It’s foggy

00:19 An engineer in a white cleanroom suit and blue gloves holds up spacecraft component. He’s centered in a circular piece of a larger part and is surrounded by wires

00:21 The same man attaches the piece he’s holding to the larger part

00:22 Another engineer in a cleanroom suit looks down at an optics bench with a flashlight

00:24 Two engineers in cleanroom suits have their backs to the camera, looking at a large elevated cube with a large tube opening at its center. This is the ATLAS instrument in a testing phase.

00:26 The camera racks focus from the secondary smaller mirror to several green laser dots on the circular primary mirror that is part of the GEDI instrument.

00:29 Fullscreen graphic of series and episode title reading “Leaders in Lidar, Chapter 4: All the Easy Missions are Done” in a yellow blocky glowing font. The background is a blue grid with multicolored laser beams flying toward the camera and various images of people and instruments

00:34 A timelapse at sunrise. A tall tower is barely lit up by small orange lights. People race around at the base of the tower

00:36 A tall, blue rocket stands in the background, lit up from lights on the ground

00:38 The top of an upright rocket seen high above the swampy ground. A large square building is seen in the background surrounded by patches of water and land

00:39 Side by side of two rockets launching - the left during the day, and the right at night

00:43 Top-down of a rocket launching, water and land are seen below it getting further and further away

00:44 In old footage, two engineers in white cleanroom suits look closely at the Mars Observer spacecraft. It’s about two times their height

00:46 The shiny silver MOLA-2 instrument sits atop the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in a cleanroom as the entire spacecraft slowly rotates.

00:48 Old footage of a close up of an airborne lidar instrument with green glowing laser and spinning moving parts inside an aircraft

00:49 Old footage of the camera zooming out from the large telescope of the GLAS instrument revealing bronze blanketed components.

00:50 Four engineers are in a cleanroom preparing the installation of the LOLA instrument

00:51 Two hands adjust with wires in a box, the camera tilts to Bryan Blair

00:53 A side view of the telescope of the ATLAS instrument inside a cleanroom. A large circular dish on bottom with a thin black tower protruding from the center.

00:54 Engineers working inside the large aperture of ATLAS as the camera dollies to the left.

00:55 Engineers rotate a twin bed sized instrument, known as CATS, with a circular telescope in the center.

00:57 A person uses a desktop computer where two wave graphs meet the bottom and left edges of a square with a glowing circle at the center

00:58 Six engineers in cleanroom suits each work on the GEDI instrument inside of the anechoic chamber

00:59 In a spacewalk, an astronaut works on part of the ISS over Earth, the word “GEDI” appears in blocky yellow letters above a piece of the spacecraft to the right of the image

01:09 A man sits in an office, a graphic appears that reads “Ralph Dubayah, GEDI principal Investigator, University of Maryland”

01:14 An old photograph of four men standing in front of a plane. Jack Bufton is spotlighted.

01:17 An old photograph of three men crouched down and smiling at the camera. Bryan Blair is in between the other two and is spotlighted

01:18 Split screen, on the left Ryan Blair wears a headset and sits in a chair surrounded by wires. On the right, a device labeled “SLICER” with an asterisk reading “temporary location” is stood up on a chair. Across the bottom of the image is a yellow line with three circles equally spaced. One is labeled SLICER, the next VCL, and the last LVIS. SLICER is boldened and larger than the other three.

01:22 A montage of graphs flash across the screen showing the data taken by SLICER over a green background.

01:27 Old footage of the Space Shuttle in orbit as Earth is seen at the top of the image, and at the bottom is a large white bay with a large bronze circular component at the center of it

01:29 We switch angles to see the other side of the Shuttle bay. A hatch over a cylindrical opening raises slowly. A graphic appears that reads “Shuttle Laser Altimeter” in yellow block letters

01:31 A graph labeled “Vegetation Height Measurements in the Amazon” in a yellow blocky font. Y-axis is labeled “elevation in meters” and the x-axis is “laser shot number” The top line on the graph is the Canopy top, which starts at roughly 275m on the y-axis and 160 on the x-axis. It slopes downward over time. The bottom line is the Underlying Terrain which starts at 245 meters and 165. It also slopes downward over time

01:34 A new graph with the same x and y axes. This one is titled “SLA First Return & Last Return Profiles, Congo Basin.” The canopy top line starts at 130 on the y-axis and 6200 on the x-axis. A new line, labeled Ground line, starts at 110 and 6200. Another new line labeled Canopy Height starts at 10 and 6200. The first two lines slope downward over time, and the canopy height line goes up and down.

01:37 New graph with the same x and y axes. There are two unlabeled red lines that both slope downward and the space between them is filled in with green indicating tree density.

01:40 Old photo of Bryan Blair and David Rabine sitting in office chairs with a computer between them. They smile at the camera

01:42 Three men sit in office chairs in front of computers. Two face away from the camera, and Jack Bufton looks directly at camera

01:44 Old footage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour slowly rotating away from camera with Earth in the background.

01:47 A flat map of Earth with continents in bright green and blue outlines. A crisscrossing lattice of red data covers the middle latitudes of Earth

01:52 A computer rendered satellite with a cylindrical body and two wing-like panels to the sides. The illustration is labeled “Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) Laser Transmitter.” The same yellow line as before appears at the bottom of the screen, except this time VCL is boldened and enlarged

01:57 Back to Ralph Dubayah in his office

02:02 A zoomed-in document with scientific writing. The sentence “measure the volume and structure of the Earth’s vegetation” is highlighted in green

02:05 A forest with sunlight barely shining through

02:11 Back to Dubayah in his office

02:13 A small patch of rendered trees in a circle of purple light, spinning. Green lines start to mark the canopy and orange lines mark the ground. They are labelled canopy and ground respectively

02:17 The purple light and the trees go away and only the green and orange lines remain

02:19 Zoomed in document with scientific writing. The sentence “laser diode arrays would continually heat up while operating until reaching a predetermined cutoff temperature,” is highlighted in green

02:24 Old black and white photo of a large satellite dish

02:29 Back to Dubayah in his office

02:33 An old photo of many colorful wires connecting to one of two blue panels. The yellow bar appears at the bottom again. This time the acronym LVIS is boldened. Two new acronyms appear on the right, DESDynI and GEDI. SLICER and VCL have been removed from the timeline

02:36 Old footage of LVIS, a large metallic instrument with a connected piece moving back and forth

02:39 Old footage of a different angle of LVIS

02:43 Aerial topographic map of Costa Rica colored with orange, yellow, blue and green. The graphic at the top left reads “LVIS Data, Costa Rica,” in yellow letters

02:52 A man sits in a home office. A graphic reads “Bryan Blair, GEDI Deputy PI & Instrument Scientist”

02:54 A silver attachment that looks like the top of a spoon spins back and forth from a black tube bolted to a table

02:59 A young Bryan Blair follows behind a colleague who pushes a rolling cart with an instrument on it

03:03 Back to Blair on a video call

03:06 A plane takes off

03:08 Old footage of the Airborne Topographic Mapper, a red device sits on two metal beams like tracks. It has green lights on top of it and a white board sits beneath it.

03:10 Old footage with an aerial view of a beach

03:11 A graph on a computer screen. Yellow lines make a wave on the graph which moves like a wave up and down

03:15 An old photo of eight men standing on a tarmac in front of two planes. Jack Bufton is at the top left.

03:18 Old photo with an aerial view of mountains from a plane. A graphic in the bottom left reads “Voice of Jack Bufton, MOLA Lead Engineer” in yellow

03:20 An old photo of Blair and another colleague wearing blue flight suits with the NASA logo. They’re in a small plane cabin. Bryan writes in a pad of paper

03:21 Old photo of four people in a plane cabin wearing green jumpsuits. Dubayah looks out the plane window, another reads in the back. The woman in the front holds a notebook to her chest with Blair seated.

03:23 Old photo of Jim Garvin in a plane cabin surrounded by equipment and wires. A sign is lit up that reads “Signal Kit 2” next to him

03:26 An old photo of Jack Bufton sitting in a chair facing two old computer screens on a plane

03:28 An old photo where Bufton kneels under a plane with a panel open

03:31 Graphics on an old computer screen inside an aircraft. There’s a graph on the left and data points on the right

03:35 Back to Blair on a video call.

03:37 A man sits in front of a green screen showing a picture of a satellite over Earth. The graphic in the bottom left reads “John Cavanaugh, Instrument Systems Engineer” in yellow

03:40 An old picture of a group of eight men standing in front of a plane, a young John Cavanaugh is spotlighted.

03:43 Cavanaugh, Blair and Dave Rabine stand next to a plane wing while a plane takes off behind them

03:45 Back to Cavanaugh talking

03:48 Back to Blair on a video call

03:50 An old photo. Three men stand around a plane with the NASA logo. Two of them talk to each other to the left and the third walks to the right

03:54 Back to Blair

03:57 Old photo of Dubayah, Rabine and others standing over Blair who looks at an old computer inside an airplane.

03:59 Blair makes a funny face at the camera. He holds a notepad and sits next to Dubayah and Michelle Hofton in an aircraft.

04:01 Two computer screens in the dark showing graphs

04:03 Animation of a satellite in space with a dish and one panel coming off the top. The yellow line appears at the bottom, this time DESDynI is bolded.

04:07 Animation of a satellite over Earth. It has a tubular body and two wing-like circular panels jut out from the sides

04:10 Collage of news headlines. The one in the center is a headline reading “Two High Priority Climate Missions Dropped From NASA’s budget plan.” The top’s headline reads “Slower Growing Earth Science Budget.” The bottom is text from one of the articles

04:14 Visualization of a globe with Earth-observing satellites circling it

04:16 Static is placed over the same globe and like a TV turning off, fading out the image

04:18 Dubayah in his office on a video call

04:24 Forest foliage, very little light shines through

04:39 Four people in a forest, one hugs a giant redwood tree

04:33 Dubayah in his office

04:37 Image of Dubayah superimposed into a forest with a large yellow graphic that reads “The End.”

04:39 Dubayah and Hofton wear GEDI shirts and stand in a forest near a lidar instrument on a tripod

04:44 The International Space Station orbiting.

04:48 The yellow line appears at the bottom, GEDI is boldened. Behind it, an engineer works on a computer to the left in a lab. GEDI comes into frame as the camera pans. It’s a large silver circle that is attached to a smaller aluminum circle to make a cone.

04:52 Dubayah and Blair stand in front of a large screen for a press briefing. Dubayah talks

04:56 A wide shot of Dubayah and Blair talking in front of multiple screens showing GEDI over Earth. A crowd is in the foreground

04:58 A rocket launches and a panel at the left shows the speed and altitude which increase quickly as the rocket leaves

05:03 Animation of illustrated trees and land. Rendered red lines from lasers make lines across the terrain. A white line cuts across them in the opposite direction and is labeled 4.2 km to show the spread of the GEDI lasers

05:09 Animation of trees in a forest. An array of lasers shine down on one of the taller trees and a graph appears to show the canopy height of the tree just measured by the laser.

05:19 Data visualization of trees on each continent are very prominent and the shades of green vary slightly. In the bottom corner, a key shows that darker greens are trees that are closer to the ground and lighter green is the opposite.

05:30 Blair on a video call

05:33 Visualization of the U.S Northeast. Grids of trees appear over time in quick succession

05:37 Visualization of the West Coast forests

05:43 Aerial footage of palm trees in a haze

05:46 Split screen. An engineer tests a laser to the left and a close up of the same laser is on the right

05:49 Split screen. To the left is ICESat-2 in production, and to the right is the GLAS instrument on ICESat

05:51 Old footage of Jim Garvin talking to the camera. Scientists observe something in the background

05:55 Old footage of Jay Zwally standing in front of a black curtain and talking into a microphone

05:57 Tom Neumann in front of a blue background talks to an interviewer offscreen

06:00 A computer screen in a dark room shows data that is correlated to a laser in the foreground being tested by a scientist by covering it with paper

06:04 Animation of a satellite with a tubular shape and one long rectangular panel protruding from the left. It points a laser down to Earth. The laser reaches Earth and rendered ice and water are seen

06:11 Animation of ICESat-2’s instrument panel opening

06:15 Visualization of the globe with green lines across the Northern Hemisphere showing the path of ICESat-2

06:16 Water flows across a terrain of ice

06:20 Seven engineers wearing cleanroom suits are in a lab. Four lift a box up that was covering a reflective dish

06:21 An engineer in a cleanroom suit uses a small tool like tweezers to make small tweaks to a part of machinery

06:22 A engineer in a cleanroom suit looks up at a rectangular piece covered in dangling wires

06:23 A handful of engineers work to position a medium aluminum rectangle into a slot on a larger instrument

06:25 Engineers stand around the ATLAS instrument, one of whom is on a ladder, making adjustments to different components.

06:26 An engineer walks in front of ICESat-2 in a cleanroom.

06:30 Tom Neumann sits in front of a screen and a NASA logo. The graphic at the bottom right reads “Tom Neumann, ICESat-2 Project Scientist”

06:42 Two engineers test a panel on ICESat-2 in a lab

06:45 Three engineers work to adjust the same panel

06:47 A series of slides illustrating a satellite shining one red laser to the ground. The title reads “Single Beam: 1 Main Laser Beam (GLAS class)”

06:49 Same satellite drawing, this time with four red lasers pointed to the ground. This title reads “CTC Option A: multiple laser beams (GLAS class).”

06:51 Same satellite drawing with one main red laser split up into sixteen green beamlets. The title reads “CTC Option B: 1 main laser beam (GLAS class) 1CTC laser split up into 8 to 16 beamlets”

06:53 Same satellite, 16 green lasers pointed at the ground. The title is “CTC Option C: 1 CTC laser split into 8 to 16 beamlets”

06:55 Four men with prortective goggles are in a room filled with instruments emitting green light

06:59 A man on a couch, the graphic in the bottom right reads “JP Swinski, ICESat-2 Software Engineer”

07:06 Animation of ICESat-2 satellite in space emitting green lasers

07:11 Back to Swinski talking

07:14 A woman sitting in front of a wood-paneled wall. The graphic in the bottom left reads “Jan McGarry, ICESat-2 Reciever Algorithms Lead”

07:16 Two engineers in cleanroom suits examine and adjust parts on a metal instrument in front of them

07:20 An engineer lifts a thick sheet off three small aluminum parts

07:24 Seven engineers in cleanroom suits confer over a sheet of paper in one of the scientist's hands

07:27 Back to Swinski talking on the couch

07:35 Back to Neumann

07:38 Animation of six green lasers travel across icy terrain

07:43 Animation of ICESat-2 in space emitting lasers

07:47 Back to McGarry talking

07:50 Multiple flow charts flash across screen followed by data points and equations from the algorithm developed by McGarry

07:58 McGarry sits at a table talking to a small team

08:06 Back to McGarry in front of the wood wall

08:10 An office sign for “Room 158, Jan McGarry.” The camera pans to McGarry working at her computer

08:16 Visualization of an orbit line labeled “ICESat-2” travels over aerial views of dark icy terrain quickly

08:30 Fullscreen graphic of a drawing in front of a blue grid. An illustrated ICESat-2 is in the top left, A GPS Satellite is in the bottom left and a corner of Earth is in the bottom right labeled “Reference Ellipsoid.” A wavy line along the outer edge of Earth is labeled surface. A yellow line appears between Earth and ICESat-2 labeled “position” and a dotted pink line appears between the GPS and ICESat-2. The illustration of ICESat-2 turns back and forth and a pink half-circle facing Earth appears around it labeled “Pointing.” Lastly, a green line from ICESat-2 to Earth appears above the yellow line, labeled “Range Measurement”

08:45 A flat grey wireframe surface. White and green illustrated ice ranges of varying height appear across the surface indicating the elevation of a section of Antarctica

08:55 The ATLAS instrument completely blanketed in silver is lifted by a crane in a cleanroom.

08:58 A green rocket is being lifted off the back of a semi-truck. A crowd in hard hats watches

08:59 A close up at the top of the green rocket, now standing upright. The ICESat-2 and NASA logos are visible on it

09:01 Back to McGarry in front of the wood wall

09:06 ICESat-2 launches in the dark

09:09 A visualization of Antarctica on the globe. It’s colored with whites, blues and reds. A key in the bottom left explains that the darker the red, the greater the ice lost, and the darker the blue, the greater the ice gain

09:14 Visualization of the Arctic on a globe colored in gradients of purple. The key in the upper left shows that the darker the purple, the greater the sea ice thickness

09:18 Visualization showing data taken under the surface of the ocean, or bathymetry. The y-axis is the elevation in meters, the x-axis is not labeled. The graph slants downward, starting at 30 meters and plateauing at 10 meters. This slope is labeled “Forested Hillside”

09:22 Close up on two lines on a graph. The top line is flat, labeled “Ocean Surface.” The bottom line is wavier up and down, labeled “Carbonate Platform”

09:26 A group photo with more than 50 people. The people in the front hold a banner that reads “Congrats ICESat-2 ATLAS Team”

09:31 A graphic appears on the screen that reads “Coming Up Next” in yellow block letters

09:35 Xiaoli Sun in his home office talks to the camera on a video call

09:38 Old footage of scientists collaborating in an office room

09:39 Old photo of McGarry and Abshire in a plane cabin, one wears a headset

09:40 Blair adjusts wires in a lab

09:41 Tom Neumann standing in a parking lot in front of a rocket tower

09:42 The NASA logo, a blue circle with a red stylized arrow and a white orbit path around white letters reading “NASA”