The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument aboard the Ice, Clouds, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) spacecraft provided multi-year elevation data for determining ice sheet mass balance, with polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. It also provided global topography and vegetation data as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar regions. ICESat/GLAS was the first in a series of planned missions to measure changes in ice sheet elevation along with the heights of clouds and aerosols. Subsequent missions examining elevations of glaciers and ice sheets include Operation IceBridge and ICESat-2.
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