ICESat-2’s Laser Fires for First Time


ATLAS, the laser instrument that launched into orbit on Sept. 15 aboard ICESat-2, fired for the first time Sept. 30. By the morning of Oct. 3, the satellite returned its first height measurements across the Antarctic ice sheet. The first photon cloud generated by ICESat-2 shows a stretch of elevation measurements from East Antarctica, passing close to the South Pole at a latitude of 88 degrees south, then continuing between Thwaites Glacier and Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. Next up for ICESat-2 is a suite of procedures to optimize the instrument.

To learn more about ICESat-2’s first measurements, click here.