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ToSeek
2004-May-18, 04:19 PM
New Satellite to Assess the Health of the Earth's Atmosphere (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/aura_satellite_set_launch.html?1852004)


NASA is gearing up to launch its next satellite that will monitor the health of the Earth's atmosphere. Aura, which is currently scheduled to lift off on June 19, will carry four instruments designed to survey different aspects of the atmosphere, from the troposphere (where we live) to the high stratosphere. It will help determine the rate at which the ozone layer is recovering, and track the sources and processes that determine global air quality.

Several of my coworkers have been using a system I helped develop to support Aura.

ToSeek
2004-Jun-09, 03:52 PM
Earth's Air: NASA's Aura Spacecraft to Gauge Atmospheric Health (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/aura_techwed_040609.html)


"It truly is a chemistry lab in space," said Michael Tanner, Aura's lead engineer and the mission's program executive at NASA headquarters, of the spacecraft. "If it works for one day we will have more information on our air than ever seen from space."

Aura satellite to scan Earth's atmosphere (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99995083)


Computer models predict that we may be on the verge of rapid climate change, but there are still great uncertainties. The deluge of data from Aura, expected to start arriving six to nine months into the five year mission, will help improve the models.

In particular, the computer simulations are able to predict motions and changes on scales too small for current measurements to test. Aura will collect its data with a resolution of about one kilometre vertically and a few tens of kilometres horizontally.