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ICESat-2 Onboard Flight Receiver Algorithms: On-orbit Parameter Updates the Impact on Science Driven Observations
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  • Lori A. Magruder,
  • Ann R Reese,
  • Aimée Gibbons,
  • James T. Dietrich,
  • Thomas A Neumann
Lori A. Magruder
University of Texas at Austin

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ann R Reese
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Aimée Gibbons
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James T. Dietrich
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Thomas A Neumann
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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The ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2) photon-counting laser altimeter technology required the design and development of very sophisticated onboard algorithms to collect, store and downlink the observations. These algorithms utilize both software and hardware solutions for meeting data volume requirements and optimizing the science achievable via ICESat-2 measurements. Careful planning and dedicated development were accomplished during the pre-launch phase of the mission in preparation for the 2018 launch. Once on-orbit all of the systems and subsystems were evaluated for performance, including the receiver algorithms, to ensure compliance with mission standards and satisfy the mission science objectives. As the mission has progressed and the instrument performance and data volumes were better understood, there have been several opportunities to enhance ICESat-2’s contributions to earth observation science initiated by NASA and the ICESat-2 science community. We highlight multiple updates to the flight receiver algorithms, the onboard software for signal processing, that have extended ICESat-2’s data capabilities and allowed for advanced science applications beyond the original mission objectives.