Source: Airbus

Authors: Airbus

Published Date: Tue, 04/09/2024 – 12:54

Summary:

The EarthCARE satellite, launching in May, will study Earth’s clouds and their role in climate change using four advanced instruments assembled by Airbus. Developed for ESA and JAXA, EarthCARE aims to address climate challenges by collecting detailed data on clouds and aerosols. The instruments include Airbus’s lidar (ATLID), which creates 3D digital point clouds of clouds, and JAXA’s cloud profiling radar (CPR), which analyzes the internal structure of thick clouds.The multispectral imager (MSI) captures high-resolution images of clouds and particles, while the broadband radiometer (BBR) measures reflected solar radiation and terrestrial heat, crucial for understanding the Earth’s energy balance. These combined observations will enhance climate models.EarthCARE’s design includes a streamlined shape and unique white covering to withstand atomic oxygen at 400 kilometers altitude. Precision requirements posed significant challenges, particularly for the lidar’s optical components, which were rigorously tested for launch. As the most complex of ESA’s Earth Explorer satellites, EarthCARE will provide a comprehensive view of cloud, aerosol, and radiation interactions, offering new insights for climate research.

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