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Climate Variability & Change

The atmosphere, and more significantly, clouds and blowing snow present formidable challenges to high precision altimetry of ice sheets and sea ice from space. Both data loss and multiple scattering induced range delay are important factors to consider in the design of ICESat-II. The focus of this proposal is to quantify the spatial and temporal variability of cloud properties over the polar regions using GLAS, CALIPSO and MODIS data and use that information to predict both data loss as a function of laser energy, season and region and define the associated multiple scattering effects on the ICESat-II altimetry retrieval. Cloud properties can be obtained from the GLAS 1064 atmospheric channel of ICESat-I as well as CALIPSO and MODIS. Existing models can then be used to determine range delay as a function of instrument parameters and cloud properties. This will maximize the the value of the existing ICESat-I data set toward the design of the follow on ICESat-II mission.

Project PI: Stephen Palm/Science Systems and Applications, Inc.

Goddard Space Flight Center Code 613.1, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771

Email: stephen.p.palm@nasa.gov

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 14, 2011

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