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Proceedings Paper

Evolution of satellite imagers and sounders and for low Earth orbit and technology directions at NASA
Author(s): Thomas S. Pagano; Charles R. McClain
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Paper Abstract

Imagers and Sounders for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) provide fundamental global daily observations of the Earth System for scientists, researchers, and operational weather agencies. The imager provides the nominal 1-2 km spatial resolution images with global coverage in multiple spectral bands for a wide range of uses including ocean color, vegetation indices, aerosol, snow and cloud properties, and sea surface temperature. The sounder provides vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, water vapor cloud properties, and trace gases including ozone, carbon monoxide, methane and carbon dioxide. Performance capabilities of these systems has evolved with the optical and sensing technologies of the decade. Individual detectors were incorporated on some of the first imagers and sounders that evolved to linear array technology in the '80's. Signal-to-noise constraints limited these systems to either broad spectral resolution as in the case of the imager, or low spatial resolution as in the case of the sounder. Today's area 2-dimensional large format array technology enables high spatial and high spectral resolution to be incorporated into a single instrument. This places new constraints on the design of these systems and enables new capabilities for scientists to examine the complex processes governing the Earth System.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7807, Earth Observing Systems XV, 78070L (27 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.859047
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas S. Pagano, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Charles R. McClain, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7807:
Earth Observing Systems XV
James J. Butler; Xiaoxiong Xiong; Xingfa Gu, Editor(s)

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