A sample of preliminary data ATM flight from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). It shows a swath of relatively thick sea ice measured during a sea ice flight on March 26. Also this image contains preliminary data and is not for scientific analysis. Credit: Rob Russell/ATM team
The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), developed at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., is a scanning laser altimeter that measures changes in ice surface elevation. It accomplishes this by reflecting lasers off the ice surface and measuring the time it takes light to return to the aircraft, usually flying between 1000 and 2000 feet above the ground.