ICARE Highlights

Public release of Megha-Tropiques SAPHIR and ScaRaB
Level-1A and Level-1A2 data – January 2013


ISRO and CNES have announced the public release of Level-1A and Level-1A2 products of Megha-Tropiques SAPHIR and ScaRaB. Version v1.05 of these data are routinely transmitted to ICARE since January 24, 2013 and are available as "orbit-wise" as well as "segment-wise". This new version includes the latest calibration revisions for both sensors and is currently under evaluation.
Although earlier versions (v1.02, v1.03, v1.04) are also available from the beginning of the mission (from October 13, 2011), they are based on interim radiometric and geometric calibrations and should be used with caution and primarily for qualitative use.

Public release of CALIPSO expedited data products
January 2013


The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center, in collaboration with the CALIPSO mission, announces the release of new expedited CALIPSO Lidar and IIR products (Level 1 and Level 2), and WFC products (Level 1). Expedited data products are intended to support near real-time operations and measurement field campaigns. These daily products have a processing latency of 12 hours (±6 hours) from data acquisition. They use the most current (yet not definitive) attitude and calibration information, ancillary and meteorological data available at the time of processing. Therefore, science investigations to be published in research journals should use the higher quality standard data products rather than the expedited data products. The expedited products will be available for a period of 30 days, at which time the standard products will be available. CALIPSO expedited data are also available from the ICARE on-line archive, along with the standard products.

Data release announcement
Megha-Tropiques SAPHIR Level-1 data now available
July 2012

Starting July 6, 2012, SAPHIR Level-1 data (MT1SAPSL1A "dump-wise" products) are routinely transmitted to the ICARE Data and Services Center from the Indian mission center ISSDC. The software used to produce the Level-1 data has been validated by CNES and ISRO. In accordance with the agreement signed by CNES and ISRO, access to these early data sets is restricted to the French and Indian mission teams and to scientists selected through the 2009 Megha-Tropiques International announcement of opportunity during a 6-month period. During this period, CNES, ISRO and the science team will continue their calibration and validation effort. So far the products are provisional and the calibration (radiometric and geometric) is only tentative.

Drift of PARASOL overpass time is accelerating


The Parasol project team informs the scientific community that the overpass time of the PARASOL mission is departing more and more rapidly from its original value (1:30 pm). The mission has gone well beyond its expected duration and the inclination of the spacecraft has not been maintained for years causing the drift to increase rapidly in the afternoon. Parasol is currently crossing the equator at approximately 3:00 pm local time. This drift does not significantly affect the quality of the products, but leads to a significant modification on solar geometries during acquisitions.

Furthermore, please be reminded that since February 2012 there is no more overlapping at the equator with the other sensors of the A-Train constellation.

Journée Thématique du Programme National de Télédétection Spatiale
"Problèmes et Méthodes Inverses en Télédétection"
PNTS Workshop on Inverse Problems and Methods in Remote Sensing
14 November 2012, CNES, Paris

Le Programme National de Télédétection Spatiale organise le 14 novembre 2012 une journée thématique consacrée aux " problèmes inverses " en télédétection spatiale dans le but de favoriser les échanges entre chercheurs sur cette thématique pluridisciplinaire. La journée s'articulera autour de 6 présentations invitées de 30 min qui permettront aux participants d'échanger sur leurs expériences, d'identifier les défis scientifiques à relever pour une exploitation optimale des observations de télédétection spatiale notamment en milieux complexes, de présenter les techniques employées et de discuter des dernières avancées dans les domaines concernés.

The PNTS (French Spatial Remote Sensing Program) is organizing a workshop on Inverse Problems and Methods in Remote Sensing. The aim of the workshop is to foster exchanges between research scientists from multiple disciplines to identify current issues arising when using remote sensing data to derive geophysical parameters from spatial observations. Existing methods and tools will be reviewed and recent advances in remote sensing techniques will be discussed.


CALIPSO/CloudSat/EarthCARE Joint Workshop:
"The Role of Clouds and Aerosols in Weather and Climate"
18-22 June 2012, Paris, France

A joint workshop of the NASA/CNES CALIPSO, NASA/CSA CloudSat and the ESA/JAXA EarthCARE satellite missions will be held in Paris, France, 18-22 June 2012. CALIPSO is a joint NASA/CNES satellite mission and CloudSat a joint NASA/CSA satellite mission. They have been in operation since 2006 as part of the A-Train constellation of satellites. CALIPSO and CloudSat are collecting information about the vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols and contribute to improve our understanding of the role they play in regulating the Earth's climate. EarthCARE is a joint ESA/JAXA satellite mission scheduled for launch in 2015. It will collect global observations of clouds, aerosols and radiation with comparable instrumental capabilities. The workshop aims at reviewing the current status and future developments of these missions.

Release announcement for SODA products and documentation
January 2012


ICARE is pleased to announce the public release of the product suite developed as part of the SODA project, which originates from the collaboration between IPSL/LATMOS, NASA LaRC, and ICARE Data and Services Center:
  • SODA, the optical depth at the CALIPSO/CALIOP 333m native horizontal resolution,
  • SODA_5km, a 5km-averaged SODA product with a thin-cloud/aerosol separation,
  • SODA_L3, a 2.5-degree monthly mean SODA product
All products are publicly available and can be accessed by all ICARE registered users.

CNES processes ScaRab data acquired onboard Megha-Tropiques satellite
December 2011

Image credit: CNES

CNES has processed the ScaRaB 4 channels to generate an example of level 1A geolocated data in the solar and thermal channels. ScaRaB (Scanner for Radiation Budget) is a broadband radiometer to measure shortwave and longwave outgoing fluxes at the top of the atmosphere and is one of the 3 radiometric instruments onboard the Megha-Tropiques satellite. The image shows one orbit of light reflected or emitted by the Earth and the atmosphere, passing over (from left to right) the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Sea, India, Malaysia, followed by night time data, then Eastern Africa and back again to the Arabian Peninsula.

Photo credit: CNES

Megha-Tropiques satellite acquires first MADRAS and SAPHIR images on October 25, 2011

The MADRAS and SAPHIR instruments onboard the Megha-Tropiques satellite have captured their first image on October 15, 2011. The CNES has processed the MADRAS 9 channels and SAPHIR 6 channels to generate geolocated brightness temperature on one orbit.

This image is an example taken by the MADRAS instrument (Microwave Analysis and Detection of Rain and Atmospheric Structures). It shows one orbit of brightness temperature passing over Central Africa, Northern Australia, and Central America.

Photo credit: ISRO

Successful launch of the French-Indian Megha-Tropiques satellite
October 12, 2011

On October 12, 2011, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched the Megha-Tropiques satellite on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Sriharikota launch base. The Megha-Tropiques is a joint project between the ISRO and the French government space agency CNES.

Megha-Tropiques is the first satellite dedicated to advancing our understanding of the water cycle contribution to the climate dynamics in the tropical atmosphere. It is equipped with 4 instruments: MADRAS (CNES and ISRO), to track the distribution and dynamics of rain and clouds; SAPHIR (CNES), to produce humidity profiles; ScaRaB (CNES), which will measure energy fluxes; and ROSA, which will supply humidity and temperature profiles.

The ICARE Data and Services Center is responsible for data processing and distribution of the derived science products to the French research community, while IPSL is responsible for the science product algorithms.