ICARE

The ICARE Thematic Center was created in 2003 by CNES, CNRS, the Nord-Pas-De-Calais Regional Council, and the University of Lille, to provide various services to support the research community in fields related to atmospheric research, such as aerosols, clouds, radiation, water cycle, and their interactions. ICARE's initial emphasis is the production and distribution of remote sensing data derived from Earth observation missions from CNES, NASA, and EUMETSAT. One of ICARE's main components is the Data and Services Center, located at the University of Lille, which develops science algorithms and production codes, building on the expertise from various partner Science Computing Facilities, and distributes products to the users community.

HIGHLIGHTS


1st circular
3rd International A-Train Symposium
4-6 March 2015, Southern California


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The A-Train is now celebrating its 8th anniversary. The 3rd International A-Train Symposium will be an opportunity to learn more about A-Train scientific breakthroughs and to highlight how Earth science has benefitted from multi-sensor data and the growing length of the data records. The 3rd Symposium follows on previous A-Train Symposia held in Lille, France in 2007 and in New Orleans in 2010. The Symposium will provide a forum for exchanging information on the latest scientific advancements made possible by multi-sensor measurements.




December 2013: Innovative atmospheric products
over 8 years of PARASOL observations


Time series of aerosol optical thickness observed by
PARASOL. Photo credit: CNES/LOA/LSCE/ICARE.

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During its life span of 9 years in orbit, the PARASOL mission provided 8 years and 7 months of global aerosol and cloud observations from mid-March 2005 to mid-October 2013 (see also the previous highlight on PARASOL). PARASOL was within the A-Train constellation during nearly 5 years, providing observations coincident with other instruments.

The scientific outcome of the mission fulfills and even exceeds the original objectives of the mission. PARASOL contributed to global characterization of aerosol and cloud radiative and microphysical properties. The image on the left (Click here for the full resolution image) shows global seasonal averages of aerosol optical thickness. Many other climatologies of aerosols, clouds, water vapor, and earth radiation budget have been produced and are publicly available (see PARASOL gallery). Moreover, the good quality of the measurements and innovative inversion methods led to unique science products. Thanks to polarization, it is possible to get the size of the droplets at the top of the clouds or information on aerosols even over bright surfaces. Also, the combination of POLDER observations with other observations from the constellation, such as the lidar and/or the radar, led to new parameters not envisioned at first, e.g. the macro-physical properties of clouds (altitude and geometrical thickness) or the presence and the quantization of aerosol plumes over cloudy areas.

The scientists are pursuing the improvement of the science algorithms using PARASOL data alone or combined with other data sets.

The full archive of PARASOL observations will be reprocessed in 2014 and the latest version of all products will be available at the ICARE Data and Services Center.




December 2013: The PARASOL mission ended
after more than 8 years of service


The last PARASOL images in natural and polarized light
above the Kamchatka Peninsula. Photo credit: CNES.

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These images are the last taken by PARASOL in natural (left) and polarized light (right) above the Kamchatka Peninsula. Click here for the full resolution image.

The PARASOL mission ended on December 18, 2013, exactly 9 years after it was launched on December 18, 2004. The PARASOL scientific mission started on March 12, 2005 after a 3-month commissioning phase. In December 2009, PARASOL left the A-train orbit but kept acquiring observations in science mode while slowly drifting toward later overpass times. The science mission ended on October 11, 2013, when the decommissioning phase begun. The satellite was shut down permanently on December 18, 2013.

The PARASOL mission is a success in demonstrating the usefulness of directional polarized measurements. Scientists now have to be patient and wait several years for polarization or directional measurements, until the 3MI mission onboard EPS-SG takes over.

The full archive of PARASOL observations will be reprocessed in 2014 and the latest version of all products will be available at the ICARE Data and Services Center.


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