A photo of ICESat-2 when it arrived at the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, NASA will send an advanced laser satellite to track changes in iceboxes. The Agency hopes to provide data and anticipate interest rates on how global warming contributes to rising sea levels. (1
NASA will monitor the changes on the ice that cover Greenland and Antartica with an exciting laser in space.
This week, the Space Agency announced Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 or ICESat-2, a project aimed at measuring the height increase / increase of ice, land topography and vegetation cover on earth as a response to the changing climate.
"The new observation technology of ICESat-2 – a top recommendation of the scientific community of NASA's first Earth Research Decade – will deepen our knowledge of how icecream in Greenland and Antarctica contributes to sea level rise," said the director of the Earth Sciences Department in NASA's science Directorate of Employment in a press release.
The laser instrument launches in space on September 15th from Vanderberg Air Force Base in California.
Advanced Laser Instrument
ICESat-2 is equipped with the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System or ATLAS, which is said to be the best of its kind. The laser instrument works by pushing back 10,000 pulses per second to the ground to measure the height based on how long individual images make a round trip from the spacecraft to the ground and back to the instrument.
ICESat-2 will be able to send hundreds of billions of photons back to earth to get the most accurate measurement of height. The new satellite can deliver better results than its predecessor, ICESat was launched in 2003 and was retired in 2010.
The advanced laser will track the earth from pole to pole and will be able to track changes within ice height four times a year or each season.
Predicting the future based on melting ice
Monitoring the level of ice in both the north and south poles melting because of the ever-heated planet can help scientists predict the rise of sea level. The hundreds of billions of ice ice melting in the garden annually are still a major contributor to the rising sea level that threatens to darker big cities around the world underwater.
Researchers believe that the sea rose 7 centimeters within 25 years. As the planet continues to warm up, sea level is expected to rise at a faster pace.
"As ICESat-2 will provide measurements of unmatched precision with global coverage, it will not only provide new insights into the polar areas but also unforeseen finds around the world," added Thorsten Markus, project researcher ICESat-2.
ICESat-2 can also monitor forests around the world. The same laser can be used to measure tops of trees and the ground below.
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