The CALIPSO satellite mission is a joint mission between NASA and CNES, the French space agency that launched on April 28, 2006. CALIPSO uses an innovative lidar instrument to see small particles such as dust, smoke, pollution and thin clouds that are often invisible to radar and the human eye. The lidar sends a series of short light pulses down through the atmosphere, and a fraction of them return to the satellite.
+Learn more about CALIPSO on the official website here.
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60%-70% of the Earth is covered by clouds.
At any given time, about 60%-70% of the Earth is covered by clouds. What areas experiences the most cloud coverage
? Students can investigate this questions using the CALIPSO cloud
data on the LAS.
Dust Dominates Overseas
NASA and university scientists estimate that 64 million tons of dust, pollutants, and other particles cross the oceans and mix into the air over North
America each year. That’s nearly as much as the estimated 69 million tons of aerosols produced domestically by natural processes, transportation, and industrial sources. Learn more at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78742
Graphing the Impact of Wildfires
CALIPSO Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations
CALIPSO uses a lidar to peer through layers of the atmosphere, allowing us to see vertical features, such as clouds and aerosols. CALIPSO sends a series of short light pulses down through the atmosphere, and a fraction of them return to the satellite. The strength of the returned signal reveals the characteristics of the cloud and aerosol layers that lie below. The time required for the signal to travel down through the atmosphere and return to the satellite is used to construct a vertical map showing locations of clouds and aerosols. The data provided helps us to better understand Earth’s weather
, and air quality
. Learn more at: http://www-calipso.larc.nasa.gov/
CALIPSO Data Seasonal Patterns of Aerosols
Are there seasonal patterns to aerosols? What are they and what is the source? Students can investigate these questions using the CALIPSO AOD data on the LAS.
Tracking Ash Plume of Icelandic Volcano
On April 17, 2010, NASA's CALIPSO satellite collected observations across Europe and captured this image of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano
ash cloud as it continued to drift over the continent. Unlike other satellites that provide a bird's-eye view of the ash cloud's horizontal spread, CALIPSO provides a vertical profile of a slice of the atmosphere. Learn more at: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/iceland-volcano-plume-archive1_prt.htm