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  • CloudSat - Home
    AUGUST 2012 CloudSat Overpass Tropical Storm Florence CloudSat overpass of Tropical Storm Florence 26 JUNE 2012 CloudSat Overpass CloudSat overpass of Tropical Storm Debby CloudSat overpasses Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico 22 JUNE 2012 CloudSat Overpass CloudSat overpass of Typhoon Guchol CloudSat completes a near eye overpass of Typhoon Guchol in the West Pacific 14 JUNE 2012 CloudSat Data Products CloudSat Cloud Classification part of new dataset New Multi Sensor Water Vapor Climate Data Record Using Cloud Classification More CloudSat News CloudSat is an experimental satellite that uses radar to observe clouds and precipitation from space CloudSat orbits in formation as part of the A Train constellation of satellites Aqua CloudSat CALIPSO PARASOL and Aura Orbital elements two line elements or TLEs for CloudSat are available here CloudSat DPC CloudSat ground tracks may be predicted using tools located on this NASA LaRC page Orbital elements at the LaRC page are updated regularly but use the DPC link for the very latest TLEs For an overview document PDF of science and research themes click here The BAMS 2002 article PDF describing the CloudSat mission is available here Status Update 8 NOVEMBER 2012 The CPR and spacecraft are operating

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/ (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Overview: Home
    more than the anticipated changes in greenhouse gases anthropogenic aerosols or other factors associated with global change Changes in climate that are caused by clouds may in turn give rise to changes in clouds due to climate a cloud climate feedback These feedbacks may be positive reinforcing the changes or negative tending to reduce the net change depending on the processes involved These considerations lead scientists to believe that the main uncertainties in climate model simulations are due to the difficulties in adequately representing clouds and their radiative properties CloudSat was selected as a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder satellite mission in 1999 to provide observations necessary to advance our understanding of cloud abundance distribution structure and radiative properties Since 2006 CloudSat has flown the first satellite based millimeter wavelength cloud radar a radar that is more than 1000 times more sensitive than existing weather radars Unlike ground based weather radars that use centimeter wavelengths to detect raindrop sized particles CloudSat s radar allows us to detect the much smaller particles of liquid water and ice that constitute the large cloud masses that make our weather CloudSat was co manifested with the CALIPSO Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations satellite aboard a Delta II rocket for its launch on 28 April 2006 In a series of maneuvers CloudSat and CALIPSO joined three satellites already in orbit Aqua PARASOL and Aura to form a constellation of satellites known as the A Train on 1 June 2006 The satellites fly in a nearly circular orbit with an equatorial altitude of approximately 705 km The orbit is sun synchronous maintaining a roughly fixed angle between the orbital plane and the mean solar meridian CloudSat maintains a close formation with Aqua and a particularly close formation with CALIPSO providing near simultaneous and

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/overview (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Mission: Home
    The Delta launch vehicle features a liquid fueled first stage with four strap on solid fuel boosters and a second stage liquid fueled engine With its payloads the vehicle stood 39 meters 128 feet tall The first stage of the Delta II uses a Rocketdyne RS 27A main engine The engine provides nearly 920 782 newtons 207 000 pounds of thrust by reacting RP 1 fuel thermally stable kerosene with liquid oxygen The four solid rocket motors are 102 centimeters 40 inches in diameter and fueled with enough hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene solid propellant to provide about 431 478 newtons 97 000 pounds of thrust each The Delta s second stage is powered by a restartable Aerojet AJ10 118K engine which produces about 42 703 newtons 9 600 pounds of thrust The engine uses a fuel called Aerozine 50 which is a mixture of hydrazine and dimethyl hydrazine reacted with nitrogen tetroxide as an oxidizer Launch Timing Unlike spacecraft sent to other planets comets or asteroids the launches of Earth orbiting satellites such as CloudSat and CALIPSO do not need to be timed based on the alignment of the planets The launch date is based only on the readiness of the satellites the Delta launch vehicle and the launch range at Vandenberg Air Force Base Earth orbiting satellites do however need to be launched during particular windows within any given 24 hour day in order to get into the proper orbit around Earth CloudSat and CALIPSO were launched into a sun synchronous orbit flying close to Earth s north and south poles In order to achieve this orbit the satellite could only be launched during a daily near instantaneous launch window On the actual launch date 28 April 2006 launch occurred at 3 02 16 721 AM PDT 10 02 16

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/mission (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Instrument: Home
    a minimum detectable reflectivity factor of 30 dBZ along track sampling of 2 km a dynamic range of 70 dB 500 m vertical resolution and calibration accuracy of 1 5 dB The minimum detectable reflectivity factor requirement was reduced to 26 dBZ when the mission was changed to put CloudSat into a higher orbit for formation flying To achieve sufficient cloud detection sensitivity a relatively low frequency i e 94 GHz radar would require an enormous antenna and high peak power At frequencies much greater than 100 GHz a large antenna and high peak power are also needed due to rapid signal attenuation through cloud absorption Furthermore technologies at such high frequencies are less well developed The 94 GHz frequency chosen by CPR offers the best compromise meeting performance within the spacecraft resources In fact most existing airborne cloud radars operate at 94 GHz These airborne radars provide extensive heritage for CPR on instrument design and technology data processing and retrieval algorithms A primary frequency allocation of 94 GHz for spaceborne cloud radar sensing has been formally approved at the 1997 World Radio Conference CPR System Characteristics Nominal Frequency 94 GHz Pulse Width 3 3 sec PRF 4300 Hz Minimum Detectable Z Data Window 0 25 km Antenna Size 1 85 m Dynamic Range 70 dB Integration Time 0 16 sec Nadir Angle since 15 Aug 2006 0 16 deg Vertical Resolution 500 m Cross track Resolution 1 4 km Along track Resolution 1 7 km Data Rate 20 kbps Equivalent radar reflectivity that gives a mean power equal to the standard deviation after integration and noise subtraction Atmospheric attenuation is not included The along track resolution is based on averaging the instantaneous footprint over the integration time Based on purely geometric arguments the along track resolution would be approximately

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/instrument (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - News: Home
    2009 2010 2011 Data Cloud Art Publications Education Science Team Partners Contacts Ventures News Home See the CloudSat home page for the latest CloudSat news View previous news events by clicking on the yearly archives located on the left hand side under the News menu Please contact the webmaster www cloudsat atmos colostate edu for any questions about news events copies of images or other general questions about the CloudSat

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/news (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Data: Home
    Products may be obtained here CloudSat DPC site Product ID Product Name Responsible Persons 1B CPR FL Radar Backscatter Profiles First Look Steve Durden 1B CPR Radar Backscatter Profiles Steve Durden 2B GEOPROF Cloud Geometrical Profile Jay Mace 2B CLDCLASS Cloud Classification Zhien Wang 2B CWC RO Cloud Water Content Radar only includes liquid and ice Norm Wood 2B TAU Cloud Optical Depth Igor Polonsky 2B CWC RVOD Cloud Water

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/data (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Cloud Art: Home
    the menu items to the left The Story of Clouds etc Noble Clouds Under Variable Light It was Ruskin a noted art critic of the 19th century who commented on the appearance of clouds in art and recollected that There has been so much fog and artificial gloom besides that I find it is actually some two years since I last saw a noble cumulus under full light These paintings

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/cloud_art (2012-11-11)
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  • CloudSat - Publications: Home
    These are publications by NASA regarding CloudSat s mission and scientific goals Journal articles can be found in the new Journal Articles section to your left Documents CloudSat CALIPSO Brochure PDF NASA Facts The Importance of Understanding Clouds PDF NASA Facts The Balance of Power in the Earth Sun System PDF CloudSat Fact Sheet PDF A Train Fact Sheet PDF Presentations Presentation by Graeme Stephens at the Gordon Conference August

    Original URL path: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/publications (2012-11-11)
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