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  • Frits Westra
    Posted by : [UASR] Perry van den BrinkDavid E. Steitz Headquarters, Washington, DC April 30, 1999 (Phone:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 1999
      Posted by : "[UASR]> Perry van den Brink" <owner-uasr@...>

      David E. Steitz
      Headquarters, Washington, DC April 30, 1999
      (Phone: 202/358-1730)

      RELEASE: 99-57


      NASA will take a revolutionary, global look at clouds with a
      new spaceborne radar capable of peering deep into their interior
      to study their structure, composition and effects on climate.

      Cloudsat, which will fly in 2003, will use an advanced radar
      to "slice" through clouds to see their vertical structure,
      providing a completely new observational capability from space --
      current weather satellites can only image the uppermost layers of
      clouds. Cloudsat will be the first satellite to study clouds on a
      global basis.

      "A trio of satellites will provide unprecedented information
      on how clouds help transfer solar energy to and from our planet's
      atmosphere," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator for
      Earth Sciences, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. "The data from
      Cloudsat will help us understand changes in the Earth's climate on
      global, regional and local scales. An important contribution of
      Cloudsat is the way it will fly in formation with the Earth
      Observing System-PM and the PICASSO-CENA satellites."

      PICASSO-CENA, a cooperative mission between NASA and France,
      will study the role of transparent, thin clouds and aerosols,
      small atmospheric particles, and their effect on solar-energy

      The Cloud Profiling Radar of Cloudsat will study the three-
      dimensional structure of most clouds important to weather and
      climate. This capability complements an instrument aboard
      PICASSO-CENA, which will observe the vertical structure of thin
      clouds and aerosols. These two missions will provide critically
      needed satellite measurements that will help researchers
      understand how the Earth's solar energy and climate interact on a
      global scale.

      Cloudsat data also will complement the Earth Observing
      System-PM satellite, which will collect data on the dynamics of
      Earth's atmosphere, and the Triana mission, both to be launched in

      Dr. Graeme Stephens of Colorado State University, Ft.
      Collins, CO, will be principal investigator of the Cloudsat
      mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, will
      manage the international mission, which will include participation
      from the United States, Canada, Germany and Japan.

      The estimated cost of the Cloudsat mission is $135 million.
      NASA's contribution will be approximately $111 million, with
      additional funding provided by the Canadian Space Agency, the U.S.
      Department of Energy and the U.S. Air Force. The Canadian Space
      Agency also is developing key radar components and contributing
      scientific expertise. Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO, will build the
      Cloudsat spacecraft.

      The Cloudsat mission continues the strong commitment to Earth
      Systems Science undertaken by NASA's Office of Earth Science,
      which oversees a long-term, coordinated research enterprise
      designed to study the Earth as a global environmental system.
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