Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tc-2016-214
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 Sep 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Assessment of NASA airborne laser altimetry data using groundbased GPS data near Summit Station, Greenland
Kelly M. Brunt1,2, Robert L. Hawley3, Eric R. Lutz3, Michael Studinger2, John G. Sonntag4,5, Michelle A. Hofton6, Lauren C. Andrews7,2, and Thomas A. Neumann2 1Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
3Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
4AECOM Corporation, Wallops Island, VA, USA
5Wallops Flight Facility, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Island, VA, USA
6Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
7Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Columbia, MD, USA
Abstract. A series of NASA airborne lidars have been used in support of satellite laser altimetry missions. These airborne laser altimeters have been deployed for satellite instrument development, for spaceborne data validation, and to bridge the data gap between satellite missions. We used data from ground-based GPS surveys of an 11,000 m long track near Summit Station, Greenland, to assess the surface elevation bias and measurement precision of three airborne laser altimeters, including the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), the Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS), and the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL). Data from the monthly ground-based traverses, which commenced in 2006, allowed for the assessment of 8 airborne lidar surveys associated with ATM and LVIS. Surface elevation biases for these altimeters, over the flat, ice-sheet interior, are less than 0.12 m, while assessments of measurement precision are 0.09 m or better. Results from the analyses of ground-based and airborne data provide guidance for validation strategies for ICESat-2 elevation and elevation-change data products.

Citation: Brunt, K. M., Hawley, R. L., Lutz, E. R., Studinger, M., Sonntag, J. G., Hofton, M. A., Andrews, L. C., and Neumann, T. A.: Assessment of NASA airborne laser altimetry data using groundbased GPS data near Summit Station, Greenland, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-214, in review, 2016.
Kelly M. Brunt et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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RC1: 'review of "Assessment of NASA airborne laser..."', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Nov 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
AC1: 'Response to Anonymous Referee #1', Kelly Brunt, 30 Jan 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
 
RC2: 'Review of Brunt et al.', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Dec 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
AC2: 'Response to Anonymous Referee #2', Kelly Brunt, 30 Jan 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
Kelly M. Brunt et al.
Kelly M. Brunt et al.

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Short summary
This manuscript presents an analysis of NASA airborne lidar data based on in situ GPS measurements from the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Results show that for two airborne altimeters, surface elevation biases are less than 0.12 m and measurement precisions are 0.09 m or better. The study concludes that two NASA airborne lidars are sufficiently characterized to form part of a satellite data validation strategy, specifically for ICESat-2, scheduled to launch in 2018.
This manuscript presents an analysis of NASA airborne lidar data based on in situ GPS...
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