November 1-3, 2017 | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Ice Snow

About this workshop

The main goals of the workshop are to build a consolidated scientific case for spaceborne observations of Earth’s ice and snow, and to bring together the scientists and engineers who can lay the foundations for pursuing this idea towards a possible proposal to NASA. The quantification of geophysical variables necessary for improving projections of sea level rise (ice-sheet thickness, bed topography and basal conditions, snow accumulation, ice-shelf morphology and bottom melting, sea-ice thickness and its evolution affecting the energy balance at the surface of the ocean) has for the most part been realized by airborne surveys at varying spatial resolutions or inferred indirectly from other data sets. The proposed workshop therefore aims for the following outcomes:

  • Lay out the main science questions that can be addressed by space-based observations of terrestrial ice and snow.
  • Define the measurement objectives (science requirements) and technology needed to achieve those science objectives.
  • Discuss the outlines of a potential proposal to NASA to pursue the science objectives, including potential instrument configuration, measurement objectives, cost and technology readiness levels.
  • Produce a workshop report that will summarize the scientific questions, measurement objectives and technological insights, and provide a framework for a possible future proposal to NASA.

Other than the scientific, technical and programmatic aspects of the workshop, a main goal is to build community support for the mission concept. The data acquired would have broad impacts on the cryospheric sciences, and, to the best of our knowledge, no systematic attempt has been made to organize a concerted effort across disciplines towards the goal of sounding ice and snow from space at radio frequencies. This workshop will be a forum to begin that journey. This workshop is by invitation.