Advanced discovery, processing, and visualization services for ICESat and ICESat-2 altimeter data

Data Availability

Legacy ICESat data are available for the entire mission. Data for the new ICESat-2 mission were released to the public on May 28, 2019 and have limited availability. OpenAltimetry provides access to all ICESat-2 data for which there is a complete set of data products. This dataset will continue to expand as ICESat-2 collects new data in the years to come.


OpenAltimetry is a cyberinfrastructure platform for discovery, access, and visualization of data from NASA’s ICESat and ICESat-2 missions. These laser profiling altimeters are being used to measure changes in the topography of Earth’s ice sheets, vegetation canopy structure, and clouds and aerosols. A new paradigm for data access was required to serve the needs of a diverse scientific community seeking to take advantage of these unique observations. OpenAltimetry, which is the product of a collaboration between the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), UNAVCO, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, was custom-built to meet these needs.