On Aug. 22, 2012, the ER-2 took off from Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. One of the instruments on board would later fly with the PODEX experiment. Credit: NASA/Matteo Ottaviani

PODEX experiment to reshape future of atmospheric science

January 16, 2013

NASA scientists and engineers are working now to lay the groundwork for the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission, a satellite that will dramatically change what we can do from space to learn about clouds and aerosols.

Satellite Earth science missions don’t start at the launch pad or even in orbit. They start years before when scientists test their new ideas for instruments that promise to expand our view and understanding of the planet. NASA scientists and engineers are working now to lay the groundwork for the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission, a satellite that “will dramatically change what we can do from space to learn about clouds and aerosols,” said ACE science lead David Starr of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

How should the satellite’s instruments be designed, and how can the data be turned into useful information for research? To find out, three teams have each developed prototype instruments that will be put to the test this month during the Polarimeter Definition Experiment (PODEX) in Southern California.

Read more: PODEX experiment to reshape future of atmospheric science — phys.org.

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