Prototype NASA Earth Camera Goes for Test Flight

A laboratory test version of the airborne prototype for the Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager camera. A laboratory test version of the airborne prototype for the Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager camera. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Larger image
  • submit to reddit

October 19, 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.

For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/Features/ER-2_Multiangle_Polarizing_Imager.html .
For more on AirMSPI, see: http://airbornescience.jpl.nasa.gov/airmspi/ .

Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Alan.buis@jpl.nasa.gov

2010-342



This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite. NASA Celebrates Earth Day with Public Events and Online Activities

› Read more

This artist's concept shows how the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) International Space Station to Beam Video via Laser Back to Earth

› Read more

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 NASA's OCO-2 Brings Sharp Focus on Global Carbon

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates