Research Title: Payload/Instrument Development
Funding Level (millions of dollars):
Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Committee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate Change (100%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure and function: Observations (100%)
Flight Systems Division
Office of Mission to Planet Earth
Washington, DC 20546
Point of Contact:
To develop advanced scientific instruments which can make important scientific contributions in their own right but also provide validation of technological, engineering, and scientific concepts in support of future space borne solid earth and atmospheric instrument development.
The Payload/Instrument Development program is comprised of two major areas: Solid Earth and Atmospheric. The Solid Earth area includes Shuttle Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C), Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIR) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), and the Large Format Camera.
The Atmospheric area encompasses the Shuttle and Aircraft Instruments Program and includes Atmospheric Trace Molecules Observed by Spectroscopy (ATMOS), Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR) reflight, Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) support, Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS), Solar UV Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV), Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE), Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE), Geoscience Laser Altimetry System (GLAS), Experiment of the Sun for Complementing the ATLAS Payload and for Education (ESCAPE), and Diffuser Calibration Facility(DCF).
The Shuttle and Aircraft Instrument Program is charged with the responsibility of developing advanced scientific instruments specifically designed to take advantage of the unique characteristics of the U. S. Space Shuttle and NASA aircraft. The primary goal of the ATLAS program is to assist in characterizing the chemical constituents, physical components and energies of sunlight that effect the middle part of the Earth's atmosphere. ATLAS includes the following instruments: ATMOS, ACRIM, SUSIM, MAPS, SOLSPEC, and SOLCON. The SSBUV instrument measures solar UV irradiance and radiation backscattered from the Earth's atmosphere. Its primary function is to monitor the Earth's ozone status and provide calibration data for NOAA ozone instruments. MAPS measures the amount of carbon monoxide in the earth's atmosphere. LITE is an instrument developed to determine the maturity of LIDAR technology. There are no plans to fly LITE after this instrument will measure tropospheric water vapor and aerosols. GLAS will provide highly accurate measurement of earth and ice profiles. The ESCAPE instruments will measure soft x-ray, the extreme ultraviolet, and the far-ultraviolet and photograph the full solar disk at the hydrogen Lyman wavelength.
The instrument investigations listed above interface with and directly contribute to the Earth Observing System (EOS) program mission objectives.
The ATLAS ended with the ATLAS-3 mission in November 1994. The SSBUV program will continue with flights scheduled on approximately 12 month centers through 2001. The aircraft instrument development program will continue at its present level with a new instrument solicitation planned for 1995.
A better understanding of the extent, causes, and regional consequences of global climate change.