ESA is changing the orbit of its CryoSat-2 satellite to periodically align with NASA's ICESat-2. This will provide radar and lidar measurements of the same ice, at nearly the same time. The campaign, dubbed #CRYO2ICE, will be taking place between 16 and 31 July and is the first of its kind.
The new data resulting from the campaign will allow scientists to measure snow depth from space on both sea and land, improving the accuracy of sea ice thickness measurements and ice-sheet elevation time series. The measurements will also help map snow over the poles and advance our understanding of currents in polar oceans, with further applications expected in the study of inland waters and the atmosphere.
Facts and figures
Full name: CryoSat-2/ICESat-2 Resonance Campaign
Collaboration between: ESA and NASA.
Objectives: Through a small orbit change, CryoSat-2 and ICESat-2 will pass over the same areas nearly simultaneously, providing radar and lidar measurements of the same ice.
Scientific impact: The resulting measurements will allow scientists to calculate snow depth from space on both sea and land, improving the accuracy of sea ice thickness measurements and ice-sheet elevation time series. The new data will also help map snow over the poles and advance our understanding of currents in polar oceans and is expected to have further applications in the study of inland waters and the atmosphere.
Campaign start date: 16 July 2020.
Campaign duration: 2 weeks.
Orbit change: Approximately 900 metres.
Who: ESA's Flight Dynamics team and Mission Control at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, will plan and execute the manoeuvres with support from the ESA Space Debris Office (SDO) and the Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS).
Instrument impact: CryoSat-2's SAR Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) will be put in standby for a few hours before and during manoeuvres. It's not expected to significantly impact CryoSat-2 overall data collection.
CryoSat-2/ICESat-2 Resonance: CryoSat-2 and ICESat-2 will pass over coincident polar areas at approximately the same time every 19 orbits, roughly every 31 hours.
Find additional information about the CRYO2ICE campaign through mission documentation, presentations and technical papers.
Find up-to-date information about the status of CryoSat SIRAL data:
- Download CryoSat Orbit Raising Campaign QA4EO Data Quality Control Summary
- Details about all periods of planned and unplanned unavailability of SIRAL data
- Daily data quality results available in CryoSat Daily Performance Reports
Visualise and download the CryoSat-2/ICESat-2 spatial intersections for a given time window with the CRYO2ICE Coincident Observations Explorer.