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EARTH OBSERVATION
Prototype NASA Earth Camera Goes For Test Flight

A laboratory test version of the airborne prototype for the Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager camera. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 21, 2010
A team of researchers and collaborators from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences in Tucson has successfully conducted the first test flight of a prototype science instrument for a next-generation satellite mission to survey the impacts of aerosols and clouds on global climate change.

The Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager, or MSPI, is a multi-directional multi-wavelength, high-accuracy polarization camera that is a follow-on instrument to the JPL-developed Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft.

It is a candidate instrument for NASA's Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission, an Earth satellite recommended by the National Research Council in its 2007 Earth Sciences Decadal Survey.

ACE mission objectives include characterizing the role of aerosols in changing Earth's energy balance (the balance between incoming solar energy and outgoing heat from Earth), especially their impact on precipitation and cloud formation.

An airborne prototype version of the instrument, the AirMSPI, was checked out Oct. 7 on one of NASA's high-altitude ER-2 Earth Resources aircraft during a two-hour flight from NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.



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EARTH OBSERVATION
TanDEM-X And TerraSAR-X Imaging Etna While Flying In Formation
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Oct 21, 2010
The TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite pair have acquired their first image of Earth's surface, synchronised to the microsecond, while flying over Mount Etna in Italy. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center have used the data to create a three-dimensional digital elevation model with an unprecedented elevation accuracy down to two metres. The image, taken while the satellites were flying ... read more







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