Full Name Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Status No longer operational
Instrument Agencies NASA Maturity
Instrument Type Lidars Geometry Nadir-viewing
Instrument Technology Lidar altimeter Sampling Imaging
Data Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications Provision of data on ice sheet height/thickness, land altitude, aerosol height distributions, cloud height and boundary layer height.
Resolution Summary 66 m spots separated by 170 m
[Best Resolution: 66m]
Swath Summary
Accuracy Summary Aerosol profile: 20%, Ice elevation: 20 cm, Cloud top height: 75 m, Land elevation: 20 cm, geoid: 5 m
Waveband Summary VIS - NIR: Laser emits at 1064 nm (for altimetry) and 532 nm (for atmospheric measurements)
VIS (~0.40 µm - ~0.75 µm)
NIR (~0.75 µm - ~1.3 µm)
Instrument Measurements
Measurements Overview
AerosolsAerosol Extinction / Backscatter (column/profile)
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud optical depth
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud type
Ice sheet topographySea-ice sheet topography
Landscape topographyLand surface topography
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice thickness
Thematic Links Global Climate Observing System Essential Climate Variables (GCOS ECVs)
ECVDescriptionProduct(s)ECV Inventory 3.0 Record(s)
Aerosols properties click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Cloud Properties click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Sea Ice click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Instrument Missions
ICESat - Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (2003 - 2010)