Operation IceBridge, ICESat-2 join forces to survey Antarctica


NASA’s decade-long airborne survey of polar ice, Operation IceBridge, is once again probing Antarctica. But this year is different: it is the first time that the IceBridge team and instruments survey the frozen continent while NASA’s newest satellite mission, the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), studies it from space.

After successfully flying over the Bailey Ice Stream and Slessor Glacier in East Antarctica on Oct. 10, IceBridge will spend the next five weeks measuring changes in Antarctic sea and land ice while precisely flying under orbits of ICESat-2 to compare measurements.

IceBridge began flying in 2009 to maintain continuity of laser-altimetry measurements between NASA’s ICESat missions. The original ICESat mission ended in 2009, and its successor, ICESat-2, was launched this past Sept. 15. Since then, ICESat-2 has successfully collected its first height measurements across the Antarctic Ice Sheet on Oct. 3.

“After a decade of flying both poles every year, we’re finally bridging the two ICESat satellite missions,” said Joe MacGregor, IceBridge’s project scientist and a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s hugely satisfying to be part of building this key observational record of change in the polar regions.”

Original Title: Operation IceBridge, ICESat-2 join forces to survey Antarctica
Full Text of the Original Article: https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2818/