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ICESat-2: News Archive

ICESat-2: News Archive

A Laser Beam's Path Through NASA's ICESat-2

Before beaming 300 miles to Earth's surface, bouncing off the ground and travelling another 300 miles back into space, the laser photons on NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 first have to complete a 7 and 1/2 foot obstacle course inside the satellite's instrument. Read more here!

ICESat-2: Now One ATLAS

The ATLAS team brought together two major components of the ATLAS Instrument, box structure and optical bench. Chris Kolos, Andy Scharmann, Chris Ross, Lydsey Gwilliam, Jenny Young, Karl Schuler, Mike Schoolman, Harry Willems, Sito Balleza, Nick Virmani, Bill Newell, Wendy Chillemi, Brian Simpson, Jeffrey Twum, Felix Nicolas, Tyler Evans, Mike Hersh, Randall Brown, Steve Vincent, Scott Brody. The team is made up of mechanical, thermal and optical engineers, quality assurance engineers, and safety engineers.

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Click here for time lapse movie!

NASA's ATLAS Thermal Testing: You're Hot, Then You're Cold

Once in orbit, the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 will go from basking in the heat of the sun to freezing in Earth's shadow every 90 minutes. And every second in that orbit, it will need to take thousands of precise measurements of the height of the surface below. Click here to read more!

See ICESat-2 on Hulu!

ICESat-2 is one of the satellites featured on Xploration Outer Space - Satellites. Click here to watch.

Xploration Outer Space

ICESat-2 Laser Focus

ICESat-2's instrument - ATLAS - is designed to measure heights on Earth. ATLAS has three main tasks: transmitting a pattern of six laser beams, collecting the laser photons that return to the satellite after reflecting off Earth, and recording the travel time of those photons. First up - transmitting the laser. In this video, optical engineer Tyler Evans illustrates how the laser is transmitted from the ATLAS instrument to the ground. Click here to watch.

ICESat-2 Laser Focus

See the New ICESat-2 Beauty Shot!

ICESat-2 Laser FocusClick here to view.

Lining up ICESat-2's Laser-catching Telescope

To catch individual laser photons that have travelled more than 600 miles from a satellite to Earth and back, the satellite's telescope needs to be perfectly positioned. To find out how click here.

ATLAS Image Credit: Debbie McCallum/NASA

See how NASA Builds a Space Laser!

To build a satellite that will measure all the bumps and dips of our dynamic Earth, engineers started with a black box. Learn how ICESat-2's ATLAS instrument is being built here.

ATLAS Image Credit: NASA/
Kate Ramsayer

Penguin Naming Contest Winner!

The penguin mascot for NASA's upcoming ICESat-2 mission now has a name! The mission's feathered friend will be called ...
Click here to find out

ICESat-2 penguin

MABEL: Welcome to Fairbanks!

The ER-2 Team, along with NASA scientists, engineers, and others, are here in Fairbanks to fly a laser altimeter - MABEL - over melting summer sea ice, glaciers, and more. Follow their adventures here.

MABEL Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Applications News

 Submission deadline for the 5th call of Early Adopters is February 29, 2016. Read more here.

 Join us for the ICESat-2 Inland Water Focus Session on November 18, 2015. Read more here.

 Join us at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Read more here.

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