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Satnews Daily
May 26th, 2011

NASA... Lasers For Ice (Satellite)

Artistic rendition of ICESat-2
[SatNews] Laser systems will play an important role in this NASA satellite...

NASA has selected Fibertek of Herndon, Va., to design, develop, fabricate, test and deliver laser systems to be used for the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission scheduled to launch in 2016. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the ICESat-2 Project. The total estimated value of the cost-plus-award-fee contract is $26,083,242. The period of performance is from the date of award through launch plus 38 months. The contractor will provide four spaceflight lasers and one test laser for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System instrument on the ICESat-2 Observatory. The spaceflight laser systems consist of the optical, electrical, mechanical, material, wire harnessing, thermal control, flight software, flight firmware and support equipment. Work will be performed at the contractor's facility.

ICESat-2 is the second generation of the ICESat observatories. ICESat-2 will use precision laser-ranging techniques to measure the topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and the thickness characteristics of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. ICESat-2 supports NASA's Earth Science program by helping scientists develop a better scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural or human-induced changes.