CloudSat gets a slice of Typhoon Yutu's eye

NASA's CloudSat satellite captured a stunning image of Typhoon Yutu as it passed over the eye of the storm. The storm has since weakened to a tropical storm.

NASA study untangles smoke, pollution effects on clouds

A new NASA-led study helps answer decades-old questions about the role of smoke and human-caused air pollution on clouds and rainfall. Looking specifically at deep convective clouds—tall clouds like thunderclouds, formed ...

CloudSat exits the 'A-train'

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this week lowered the orbit of the nearly 12-year-old CloudSat satellite following the loss of one of its reaction wheels, which control its orientation ...

CloudSat slices into Super Typhoon Atsani

NASA's CloudSat Satellite passed over Super Typhoon Atsani as it moved through the western North Pacific Ocean. CloudSat looked at the super typhoon from the side, revealing heavy rainfall in a sloping eyewall.

CloudSat analyzed the eye of Typhoon Dolphin

When Dolphin was a typhoon on May 16, NASA's CloudSat satellite completed a stunning eye overpass of Typhoon Dolphin in the West Pacific at 0412 UTC (12:12 a.m. EDT). By May 22, Dolphin's remnants were moving through the ...

Three NASA satellites dissect powerful Typhoon Neoguri

NASA's Aqua, TRMM and CloudSat dissected powerful Typhoon Neoguri as it moved through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and affected southern Japan. The three satellites gathered data on rainfall, cloud heights, cloud extent, ...

OCO-2 takes the A-Train to study Earth's atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Every day, above our planet, five Earth-observing satellites rush along like trains on the same "track," flying minutes, and sometimes seconds, behind one another. They carry more than 15 scientific instruments ...

NASA Examines Hurricane Sandy as it Affects the Eastern U.S.

On Monday, Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy was ravaging the Mid-Atlantic with heavy rains and tropical storm force winds as it closed in for landfall. Earlier, NASA's CloudSat satellite passed over Hurricane Sandy and its radar ...

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CloudSat

CloudSat is a NASA Earth observation satellite, which was launched on a Delta II rocket on 28 April 2006. It uses radar to measure the altitude and properties of clouds, adding to information on the relationship between clouds and climate in order to help resolve questions about global warming. CloudSat flies in formation in the "A Train", with several other satellites (Aqua, Aura, CALIPSO and the French PARASOL).

The mission was selected under NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program in 1999. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, designed and built the spacecraft.

The main instrument on CloudSat is the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR), a 94-GHz nadir-looking radar that measures the power backscattered by clouds as a function of distance from the radar. The radar instrument was developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in Pasadena, California, with hardware contributions from the Canadian Space Agency. The overall design of the CPR is simple, well understood, and has a strong heritage from the many cloud radars already in operation in ground-based and airborne applications. Most of the design parameters and subsystem configurations are nearly identical to those for the Airborne Cloud Radar, which has been flying on the NASA DC-8 aircraft since 1998.

The CPR capitalizes on existing radar expertise and experience at JPL. Other radars already flown successfully or being developed by JPL include the Seasat SAR, SIR-A, SIR-B, SIR-C, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Cassini Radar, NSCAT, QuickScat, and SeaWinds.

CloudSat's primary mission was scheduled to continue for 22 months in order to allow more than one seasonal cycle to be observed. Based on radar lifetime data, NASA expects the radar to operate for three years with a 99 % probability.

CloudSat is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Colorado State University provides scientific leadership and science data processing and distribution. The cost of this project is approximately 200 million dollars.

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