LVIS and ICEsat

LVIS: NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (a.k.a. the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor)

LVIS is similar to ICESsat, which flew from 2003 to 2009.  The sole instrument on ICESat was the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), a space-based LIDAR. GLAS combined a precision surface LIDAR with a sensitive dual-wavelength cloud and aerosol LIDAR. The GLAS lasers emit infrared and visible laser pulses at 1064 and 532 nm wavelengths. As ICESat orbited, GLAS produces a series of approximately 70 m diameter laser spots that are separated by nearly 170 m along the spacecraft's ground track.  The ICESat mission was designed to provide elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. It provides topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The satellite was found useful in assessing important forest characteristics, including tree density.  ICEsat had three lasers, but they failed prematurely and the satellite did not collect as much data as anticipated. ICESat-2 is scheduled for launch in 2018.


Last revision 4/24/2018