News, June 6, 2006: First Images From NASA's CloudSat

I'm a space baby. During the 60s, I watched rocket launches from my bedroom window. Aside from my fascination with the technology, satellite imagery and data has transformed our recognition and understanding of earth systems. Think "ozone hole" for just one example.

I'm encouraged by news such as this. There is a strident minority in this country who would replace science and inquiry with fundamentalism and eisegesis. May they be left behind.

... The first-ever spaceborne millimeter wavelength radar, CloudSat's Cloud-Profiling Radar is more than 1,000 times more sensitive than typical weather radar. It can observe clouds and precipitation in a way never before possible, distinguishing between cloud particles and precipitation. Its measurements are expected to offer new insights into how fresh water is created from water vapor and how much of this water falls to the surface as rain and snow. ...
First Images From NASA'S Cloudsat Have Scientists Sky High

CloudSat is one of an internationally coordinated suite of satellites, the "A-Train" ("A" for "Atmosphere"?), which are orbiting over the same areas within 15 minutes of each other. CloudSat and CALIPSO, another U.S. satellite, will orbit within 15 seconds of each other:
CloudSat and CALIPSO will collect information about the vertical structure of clouds and aerosols unavailable from other Earth observing satellites. Their data will improve our models and provide a better understanding of the human impact on the atmosphere. Policy makers and business leaders will make more informed long-term environmental decisions about public health, the economy and better day-to-day weather predictions as a result of these missions.
Cloudsat Mission Overview

No comments: