Título: A Computational Software Tool for Satellite Laser Altimetry Data Processing, Analysis and Visualisation
Autor: Bruno Miguel Pereira da Silva
Local: Sala de Documentação do CEE e Sessão Zoom 86148630600 (senha 593868)
Dia/Hora: 2 de junho de 2021, 14:30
NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), the first global laser altimetry satellite, was operated between 2003 and 2009 with the primary mission objective of measuring Earth’s ice sheet mass balance, namely sea-ice thickness and ice sheet elevations. In addition to polar region coverage, around the globe data about cloud propriety information, vegetation canopy structure and topographic data were also recorded. It has proven to be a very successful mission, operating beyond its initial 5-year goal and saw its data applied effectively in many scientific models outside its initial application scope.
The ICESat-2 satellite, the follow-up of the ICESat mission, with a more capable light detection and ranging (LIDAR) instrument, was launch in 2018  and advances the laser technology from the first ICESat mission, firing laser pulses at 10 kHz rate, instead of the previous 40 Hz . This fast-firing laser technology allows the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) to take measurements approximately at every 0.7 meters along the satellite’s track on Earth’s surface, from the previous 170 meters on the ICESat mission. Also, each transmitted laser pulse is split into six individual beams, arranged in three pairs (each pair having a strong and a weak beam) and separated by 3 km apart, providing a multi-beam profiling of the surface.
The main objective of this thesis was the development of a software tool, called ICEComb, that allows scientists and researchers to visualise and process, in a suitable way, the available altimetry data from the ICESat mission, which worked from 2003 to 2010, and the ICESat-2 satellite, a followup of the previous mission, which was launched on the 15th of September 2018 and is currently operational.
ICEComb is a web-based software tool that offers its users the ability to access the available data from both missions, visualise them interactively on a geographic map, store the data products locally, explore data in a detailed, efficient and meaningful way, and provide satellite altimetry data processing by implementing different algorithms and statistical procedures, thus providing an easy-to-use environment for analysis, interpretation and processing of satellite laser altimetry data.
The developed tool was built using well-known and well-documented technologies in order to facilitate the incorporation of new functionalities and features to it and allow to extend its application to data obtained from other satellite altimetry missions.