UT Austin Scientists Help NASA With Global Ice-Measuring Satellite

Illustration of NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), a mission to measure the changing height of Earth's ice. NASA

Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin (ARL:UT) is partnering with NASA on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission set to launch Saturday, Sept. 15.

ICESat-2 is a follow-on mission that will provide global elevation measurements, with a focus on the changes in the polar regions and the impact to sea-level rise. The satellite will also provide data to support scientific discovery for terrestrial ecology, oceanography and atmospheric applications.

ARL:UT’s Geospatial Laser Applications and Measurements group supports this mission through several team members:

  • Research Scientist Lori Magruder leads the Science Definition Team (SDT), a group of competitively selected scientists who provide guidance to the ICESat-2 project to ensure the mission meets its science requirements.
  • Research Scientist Amy Neuenschwander serves on the SDT and leads the development of the satellite land and vegetation product.
  • Research Associate Sungkoo Bae is the technical lead for the Precision Pointing Determination team.

The spacecraft will lift off Saturday, with a 40-minute launch window opening at 8:46 a.m. EDT, from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on the final launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Broadcast coverage will be on NASA Television and the agency’s website.