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IceSAT

The NASA’s Ice, Clouds, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was launched in January 2003 with the main objectives of monitoring changes in cryosphere, vegetation, and atmosphere. ICESat is characterized by a laser altimeter, which guarantees a higher resolution on the Earth’s surface with respect to a conventional altimeter. Moreover, the laser’s green and infrared lights allow cloud and aerosol observations. ICESat operated in a near-polar LEO orbit, with latitude coverage of ±86°. During the first 120 days, ICESat flew with a repeat cycle of 8 days, which allowed validation operations and measurements on specific locations. Afterwards, the repeat cycle became of 91 days for mapping operations. The mission ended in February 2010, with a final de-orbit completed by August of the same year.


Satellite Parameter

AgencyNASA
Launch date2003-01-13
EOL date2009-10-11
Mass970 kg
IceSATNASA

Orbit elements

IceSAT
Repeat cycle91 days
Semi major axis6970000 m
Eccentricity0.0013
Inclination94 °
List of cyclesLink