Know Your Earth 3.0: ICESat
About Tom Neumann
Tom Neumann is a cryospheric scientist who focuses on the development of Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), a next-generation laser altimeter scheduled for launch in 2016. His research includes both theoretical and experimental studies of the chemical, physical and thermodynamic properties of polar snow and ice. He has been involved extensively in fieldwork on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, leading four expeditions and participating in five others between the two poles. Recent work has involved studies of snow chemistry on the East Antarctic plateau and calibrating ICESat altimetry data using ground-based GPS surveys in Antarctica.
Neumann joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. in October 2008. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor in the Geology Department at the University of Vermont. He remains an affiliate assistant professor in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. He earned a B.A. in geophysical science from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Washington, Seattle.
ICESat-2 is the second-generation of the laser altimeter ICESat mission (Jan. 13, 2003, to Aug. 14, 2010). ICESat-2 is scheduled for launch in early 2016. ICESat-2 will use a micro-pulse multi-beam approach. This provides dense cross-track sampling to resolve surface slope on an orbit basis.
The sensor will have a high pulse repetition rate that may be at 10 kilohertz that generates dense along-track sampling of about 70 centimeters. This concept has advantages over ICESat of improved elevation estimates over high slope areas and very rough (e.g. crevassed) areas and improved lead detection for sea ice freeboard estimates.
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