Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) of University College London
In the Earth Sciences Decadal Survey carried out by the US National Research Council, tropospheric winds are identified as “the number one unmet measurement objective for improving weather forecasts”. Current and planned methods for measuring winds from space have limitations in their ability to provide full global coverage at sufficient spatial resolution, in both day and night. Proposed missions such as NASA’s WindCam could dramatically increase the number of accurate measurements of cloud-top heights and winds, especially when compared against the proposed Doppler lidar wind measurements (from for example, ADM-AEOLUS). However they would still be limited to measurements from cloud-top surfaces in daylight.
This CEOI project undertaken by a team at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) of University College London explores a concept known as MISRlite. It is based on the MISR (Multi-Angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer) instrument on the NASA Terra satellite but uses a single set of optics and no in-flight calibration. It explores the optical and sensor design issues associated with building an instrument incorporating linear pushbroom technology, preferentially using uncooled thermal IR system of very low mass. It will permit cloud-top height and wind measurements to be made both day and night. Such instruments carried on a constellation of some 3 micro-satellites will provide daily coverage and with 12 micro-satellites can provide synoptic 6-hourly coverage.
Contact point for further information: Jan-Peter Muller, UCL/MSSL