Encyclopedia Astronautica

American earth weather satellite. One launch, 2006.04.28.

The Calipso Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations satellite 's mission was to carry out high-resolution observations of aerosols in the earth's atmosphere using a 1-meter laser lidar telescope and an imaging infrared radiometer.

Calipso was co-manifested with CloudSat satellite for launch aboard a Delta II rocket. CloudSat and Calipso joined three satellites already in orbit ( Aqua, Parasol, and Aura) to form a constellation of satellites known as the A-Train. The satellites flew in a nearly circular orbit with an equatorial altitude of approximately 705 km. The orbit was sun-synchronous, maintaining a roughly fixed angle between the orbital plane and the mean solar meridian. Calipso maintained a close formation with Aqua and a particularly close formation with CloudSat, providing near-simultaneous and collocated observations with the instruments on these two platforms.

The following lists the measurements needed to address the Calipso science objectives and indicates a number of the synergies available from combining Calipso observations with the additional measurements available from the other instruments of the constellation.

  • Science Objective Measurement: Calipso Constellation
  • Direct aerosol forcing Aerosol vertical distribution and extinction profiles: CALIOP
  • Aerosol optical depth: CALIOP Aqua-MODIS, PARASOL
  • Aerosol type information: CALIOP Aqua-MODIS, PARASOL
  • Aerosol absorption: Aura-OMI
  • Broadband radiances: Aqua-CERES
  • Indirect aerosol forcing Aerosol and cloud vertical distributions: CALIOP
  • Cloud reflectance and droplet size: Aqua-MODIS
  • Broadband radiances: Aqua-CERES
  • Long wave surface and atmospheric fluxes: Cloud height and thickness, multilayering: CALIOP (thin cloud) CloudSat-CPR (thick cloud)
  • Cloud ice/water phase: CALIOP (profiles) PARASOL, Aqua-MODIS (cloud-top only)
  • Cirrus emissivity and particle size: CALIOP + IIR + WFC Aqua-MODIS, AIRS
  • Other cloud properties: CloudSat, PARASOL, Aqua-MODIS, AIRS, AMSR/E
  • Broadband radiances: Aqua-CERES
  • Cloud radiative feedbacks: All elements of long wave surface and atmospheric fluxes plus: Cloud optical depth CALIOP Aqua-MODIS, PARASOL
The Calipso payload consisted of three co-aligned nadir-viewing instruments:
  • Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP): CALIOP was a two-wavelength polarization-sensitive lidar that provides high-resolution vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds. CALIOP utilized three receiver channels: one measuring the 1064 nm backscatter intensity and two channels measuring orthogonally polarized components of the 532 nm backscattered signal. Dual 14-bit digitizers on each channel provided an effective 22-bit dynamic range. The receiver telescope was 1 meter in diameter. A redundant laser transmitter was included in the payload. An active boresight system was employed to maintain co-alignment between the transmitter and the receiver. Ball Aerospace Corporation developed the instrument. Characteristics:
    • laser: Nd: YAG, diode-pumped, Q-switched, frequency doubled
    • wavelengths: 532 nm, 1064 nm
    • pulse energy: 110 mJoule/channel
    • repetition rate: 20.25 Hz
    • receiver telescope: 1.0 m diameter
    • polarization: 532 nm
    • footprint/FOV: 100 m/ 130 Árad
    • vertical resolution: 30-60 m
    • horizontal resolution: 333 m
    • linear dynamic range: 22 bits
    • data rate: 316 kbps
  • Wide Field Camera (WFC): The WFC was a modified version of the commercial off-the-shelf Ball Aerospace CT-633 star tracker camera. It was a fixed, nadir-viewing imager with a single spectral channel covering the 620-270 nm region, selected to match band 1 of the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on Aqua. Characteristics: wavelength: 645 nm; spectral bandwidth: 50 nm; IFOV/swath: 125 m/61 km; data rate: 26 kbps.
  • Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR): A three-channel IIR was provided by CNES with algorithm development performed by the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) in Paris. The IIR nadir-viewing, non-scanning imager had a 64 km by 64 km swath with a pixel size of 1 km. The CALIOP beam was nominally aligned with the center of the IIR image. The instrument used a single microbolometer detecter array, with a rotating filter wheel providing measurements at three channels in the thermal infrared window region at 8.7 mm, 10.5 mm, and 12.0 mm. These wavelengths were selected to optimize joint CALIOP/IIR retrievals of cirrus cloud emissivity and particle size. Characteristics: wavelengths: 8.65 Ám, 10.6 Ám, 12.0 Ám; spectral resolution: 0.6 Ám - 1.0 Ám; IFOV/swath: 1 km/64 km; NETD at 210K: 0.3K; calibration: +/- 1K; data rate: 44 kbps.

Gross mass: 587 kg (1,294 lb).
First Launch: 2006.04.28.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 7420-XC Three stage vehicle consisting of 4 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K with 3.05 m (10 foot) diameter composite fairing More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Alenia Italian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Alenia Spazio, Italy. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

Calipso Chronology

2006 April 28 - . 10:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7420-XC. LV Configuration: Delta 7420-10C D314.
  • Calipso - . Mass: 587 kg (1,294 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; CNES. Manufacturer: Alenia. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Calipso. USAF Sat Cat: 29108 . COSPAR: 2006-016B. Apogee: 703 km (436 mi). Perigee: 702 km (436 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.80 min. Summary: Calipso carried a 1-meter laser lidar telescope to study clouds and aerosols, and an imaging infrared radiometer..

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