Washington: Nasa will launch its most advanced laser instruments into space next month to measure the Earth's polar ice height in unprecedented detail.
Ice, Cloud and land altitude satellites2 (ICESat-2)
Land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica will be measured for an average annual elevation change within pencil width, capturing 60,000 measurements per second.
"The new observation technology of ICESat --2 -
The highest recommendation of Nasa's first ten-year survey of Earth science --
We will learn more about how ice fields in Greenland and Antarctica cause sea levels to rise, "said Michael Freilich of NASA's science mission. ICESat-2 -
Planned to launch in September 12-
Represents a major technological leap in our ability to measure the high change of ice.
Its advanced terrain laser height meter system (ATLAS)
Measure the height by timing how long it takes for a single photon to go from spacecraft to Earth and return.
Doug McLennan of ICESat said: "ATLAS requires us to develop new technologies to obtain measurements required by scientists to advance the Institute
Project manager at Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center.
"This means that we have to design a satellite instrument that not only collects very accurate data, but also collects 250 times more height measurements than its predecessor," mclunnan said . ".
ATLAS will launch 10,000 times a second, sending hundreds of billions of photons to the ground with six green lights.
Round trip of a single laser photon from ICESat
The time to 2 to the surface and back of the Earth is a fraction of a second to accurately measure the altitude.
When the earth goes from pole to pole,
2 Ice heights on the polar same path will be measured four times a year, providing seasonal and annual monitoring of changes in ice heights.
In addition to the pole, ICESat-
2 The height of the ocean and land surface, including the forest, will be measured.
ATLAS is designed to measure the top and the ground below the trees, where-
Combining existing forest range data sets-
It will help researchers estimate the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests.
The researchers will also investigate the data collected on waves, reservoir water levels and heights in urban areas. Because ICESat-
2 will provide unprecedented precision measurement on a global scale, which will not only generate new insights into polar regions, but will also produce unexpected discoveries on a global scale, "ICESat-
Goddard's project scientist