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ICESat-2 early mission synopsis and observatory performance
  • Lori A. Magruder,
  • Thomas A Neumann,
  • Nathan Timothy Kurtz
Lori A. Magruder
University of Texas at Austin

Corresponding Author:magruder@arlut.utexas.edu

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Thomas A Neumann
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Nathan Timothy Kurtz
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimetry System (ATLAS) onboard the NASA Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) is the newest and most recent Earth observing satellite for global elevation studies. The primary objectives for ICESat-2 follow that of its predecessor, ICESat, and focus on providing cryospheric measurements to determine ice sheet mass balance, and monitor both sea ice thickness and extent. However, the global observations support secondary science objectives such as biomass estimation, inland water elevation, sea state height and aerosol concentrations. In all, ATLAS measurements support 7 along-track geophysical products with multiple gridded products to provide regional and global change detection for seasonal and annual cycles. Since the launch of ICESat-2, the instrument has operated nominally and collected more than a trillion measurements. This paper provides an overview of the mission, a description of the operational components that support the altimeter products for science discovery and on-orbit observatory performance.
May 2021Published in Earth and Space Science volume 8 issue 5. 10.1029/2020EA001555