Measuring 3-D forest structures and ground topography
Waveform-digitizing Lidar sensors such as LVIS directly measure canopy height and structure metrics as well as underlying topography on every footprint.
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Using Lidar to map Antarctica and Greenland
Operation IceBridge LVIS data are used to study seasonal and annual changes in land and sea ice.
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Lidar systems help in disaster scenarios
High-altitude Lidar systems measure surface topography to estimate surface displacements, evaluate landslide susceptibility, and document coastal change due to hurricanes.
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Forest floor
Aerial photo of icy surface
Volcanic island

LVIS Overview

NSIDC DAAC will archive and distribute data products from the NASA Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) Facility, an imaging LIDAR system for precise and accurate, large-area surface mapping and characterization. Primary products are surface elevation, height, and structure metrics and true 3-dimensional characterization of terrain overflown during airborne campaigns throughout the world. Data from the system are used in numerous applications, for example, those requiring ocean, land, sea ice, and ice surface topography, vegetation height and structure measurements, and man-made surface feature heights. Observations can be combined with other observations and model results to address questions about the Earth’s carbon and water cycles and biodiversity. The LVIS-Facility was developed by NASA/GSFC with support from NASA HQ to facilitate access to large-area LIDAR coverage.