Emergent selected as 2018 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year at NASA GSFC

Emergent was been selected as the 2018 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year by the Industry Assistance Office at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for its mission critical support to the ICESat-2 and GEDI missions on the Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy III contract. These cutting-edge missions will provide scientists with laser-based height measurements of the Earth’s glaciers, sea ice, and forests to quantify changes in ice-sheet mass and how this impacts future global sea level, as well as to improve understanding of carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat. Core services provided include: pre-flight mission design and analysis; precision orbit and pointing determination algorithm design, development and testing; laser altimeter geolocation algorithm design; GPS receiver systems engineering, integration and testing; Constraint Analysis & Monitoring System (CAMS) software design, development and sustainment; and post-launch operational orbit determination for science data processing. Examples of innovative engineering solutions included development of highly efficient predictive models of the ICESat-2 observatory’s attitude and positioning to avoid instrument health and safety constraints and to ensure the safety of other space assets from unintentional lasing. Emergent was also integral in the development of the geo-segmenting algorithm, which defines a fundamental coordinate system for the ICESat-2 science data products. Emergent staff are key developers of the GEDI Science Planning System and have developed innovative approaches to “driving” the instrument pointing control system for optimal science data collection. Emergent is also supporting development of the kinematic GPS positioning software for precise location of the GEDI instrument on the International Space Station.

The ICESat-2 spacecraft will use six laser beams to measure the height of the Earth’s glaciers and sea is. This requires precise geolocation of the laser beams footprint.


The GEDI instrument (highlighted in gold) is installed as a hosted payload in the Japanese Experiment Module – Exposed Facility of the International Space Station.



Emergent engineer and GGSG III Group Lead Jennifer Beall takes a break in the ICESat-2 Science Operations Center during launch activities.