UAF Airborne Scanning LiDAR

UAF's scanning lidar instrumentUniversity of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) carries out surveys of glaciers in Alaska as part of Operation IceBridge. Their chief instrument is a compact scanning laser altimeter that can fly on smaller aircraft such as the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter. This laser altimeter collects 10,000 data points per second and has a scan angle of 30 degrees to either side from straight down, which gives a swath width roughly equal to aircraft height. This instrument is flown at a maximum of 1500 feet, though lower and slower flights can yield higher density swaths.

Ice on Antarctica's Ellsworth Mountains, 10/22/2012 Ice on the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica as seen from the IceBridge DC-8 on Oct. 22, 2012. The Ellsworth Mountains are home to Antarctica’s highest point, Vinson Massif (16,050 ft / 4,892 m). Credit: NASA / James Yungel