On Thursday, April 21, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and the French Space Agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the launch of CALIPSO, or the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation satellite mission.
NASA Langley Marks a Decade of Atmospheric Science From CALIPSO
A pioneering research partnership between NASA Langley and CNES, CALIPSO launched on April 28, 2006 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, with the CloudSat satellite, another NASA Earth observing mission to study clouds and aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the air.
For 10 years, CALIPSO has orbited the Earth and taken more than 5.7 billion lidar (light detection and ranging) measurements that probe the vertical structure and properties of clouds and aerosols such as dust, sea salt, ash and soot. CALIPSO is adding to scientists’ understanding of how changes in clouds and atmospheric aerosols shape the Earth’s weather, climate and air quality.
Ball Aerospace built the lidar, wide-field camera instrument, the communications equipment and integrated the payload on the spacecraft.