Data Set ID:

GLAS/ICESat L1A Global Engineering Data, Version 33

The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) provides global measurements of polar ice sheet elevation to discern changes in ice volume (mass balance) over time. Secondary objectives of GLAS are to measure sea ice roughness and thickness, cloud and atmospheric properties, land topography, vegetation canopy heights, ocean surface topography, and surface reflectivity.

GLAS has a 1064 nm laser channel for surface altimetry and dense cloud heights, and a 532 nm lidar channel for the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols.

Level-1A global engineering data (GLA03) include satellite housekeeping data used to calibrate data values for GLA01 and GLA02. Data are in scaled integer binary format, big-endian (Unix) byte order, and are available via FTP.

Version Summary:

For information about Version 33, see the NSIDC ICESat Description of Data Releases page.

Get Data

Reverb: NASA search and order tool for subsetting, reprojecting, and reformatting data.

Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 86, S: -86, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
  • 60 m to 70 m x 60 m to 70 m
Temporal Coverage
  • 2003-02-20 to 2009-10-11
Temporal Resolution:
3 hour
  • Sensor Characteristics > Total Temperature
Data Format(s):
  • Binary
Data Contributor(s): H. Zwally, Robert Schutz, James Abshire

Data Citation

As a condition of using this data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Zwally, H. J., R. Schutz, and J. Abshire. 2011. GLAS/ICESat L1A Global Engineering Data, Version 33. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. [Date Accessed].

Questions? Please contact:

NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199
Fax: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA