National Academies Press: OpenBook

Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade (2008)

Chapter: ICESat-II, Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite II

« Previous: HyspIRI, Hyperspectral Infrared Imager
Suggested Citation:"ICESat-II, Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite II." National Research Council. 2008. Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11952.
Page 19

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Earth Science and Applications from Space 19 ICESat-II Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite II Launch: 2010–2013 Mission size: Medium Orbit: LEO, non-SSO Agency: NASA Estimated cost: $300 million Areas of interest: Climate, Ecosystems, Water Instruments: Laser altimeter Benefits: Data on changes in ice sheet volume due to climate change to improve forecasts of sea-level rise Data on land carbon storage to understand responses of vegetation to changing climate and land use Laser altimetry is a proven method for measuring the height and inferring the volume of glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice. The topo- graphic data obtained by the ICESat mission since 2003 have led to the first basin-wide estimates of sea ice thickness, a critical measure for the Arctic Ocean in a warming climate. Although sea ice extent has been monitored by satellite since the 1970s, no comparable record exists for ice thickness. Laser altimetry is also the preferred tech- nique for measuring ice volume over large areas and long time periods. It has also proven useful for measuring the depth of forest canopies, an indicator of biomass. ICESat-II will extend the unique record of ICESat into the next decade to provide data that, together with the data provided by GRACE-II (see page 17), will enable scientists to monitor both the mass and the thickness of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and clarify their contributions to sea-level rise. ICESat-II will also complement the ice data from DESDynI (see page 13) and contribute to studies of vegetation. The payload will include a single- channel lidar with GPS navigation and pointing capability to allow for repeated high-accuracy sampling of ice elevation. Limitations to the lidar technology now being used in ICESat will be corrected in ICESat-II.

Next: LIST, Lidar Surface Topography »
Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade Get This Book
 Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade
Buy Paperback | $21.00 Buy Ebook | $16.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade brings the next ten years into focus for the Earth and environmental science community with a prioritized agenda of space programs, missions, and supporting activities that will best serve scientists in the next decade. These missions will address a broad range of societal needs, such as more reliable weather forecasts, early earthquake warnings, and improved pollution management, benefiting both scientific discovery and the health and well-being of society.

Based on the 2007 book, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, this book explores each of the seventeen recommended missions in detail, identifying launch dates, responsible agencies, estimated cost, scientific and public benefits, and more. Printed entirely in color, the book features rich photographs and illustrations, tables, and graphs that will keep the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike.


  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!