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Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder


Project Summary

Status: Active

The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractory Observatory (CLARREO) aims to produce highly accurate climate measurements to test climate projections, improve weather models, and inform policy makers. The highly calibrated measurements will set a new standard in the Earth Science community; lowering the uncertainty and reducing the time required to meet the confidence levels needed to verify long-term climate measurements. Researchers at NASA Langley, the University of Colorado, NASA Goddard, JPL, NIST, DOE, and NOAA are collaborating to help provide these critical measurements. SMAB is specifically contributing to the Pathfinder instrument.

CLARREO Power sourceThe CLARREO Pathfinder instrument will be launched on a commercial vehicle and installed on the International Space Station (ISS). The instrument will be mounted to one of the external experiment stations on ISS, referred to as ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC), looking nadir towards the Earth. The instrument will take science data for 1 year aboard ISS, collecting high accuracy spectral reflectance and radiance measurements of the atmosphere. The instrument will be able to use its pointing and advantageous orbit to calibrate with the Sun and Moon frequently. This calibration is key to the mission objectives of providing SI-traceable observations and inter-calibration with other instruments and ground sites. SMAB is helping to analyze and quantify the inter-calibration events between the instrument onboard the ISS and ground sites around the globe. The analysis provided by SMAB will inform the science and mission planning teams in the CLARREO project.

A successful mission will provide open data to all researchers and the public. These data will feed into models and inform future prediction and decision making with respect to climate monitoring and change.

CLARREO will launch by 2023. From the information gained, Earth scientists will have a better idea of how Earth’s climate is changing – and how to respond.