ICARE Highlights

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.

Release announcement for DARDAR products and documentation
December 2010


ICARE is pleased to announce the release of the products developed as part of the DARDAR project, which originates from the collaboration between the IPSL/LATMOS, University of Reading, and ICARE Data and Services Center:
  • CSTRACK, multi-sensor extractions colocated with the RADAR footprints,
  • DARDAR_MASK, a CALIPSO/CLOUDSAT combined vertical categorisation mask,
  • DARDAR_CLOUD, cloud variables retrieved from RADAR/LIDAR measurements using a variational algorithm.
All products are publicly available and can be accessed by all ICARE registered users.

International Symposium on the A-Train Satellite Constellation 2010
ICARE Presentations are now available


The A-Train satellite constellation brings together a rich array of instruments to better understand Earth's changing climate and environment. The International Symposium on the A-Train Satellite Constellation 2010 is an opportunity to learn more about the A-Train system and to engage other colleagues with similar interests.

Release Announcement for
CALIPSO Lidar Version 3.01 Products (May 2010)

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite mission is pleased to announce the immediate public release of its version 3.01 cloud and aerosol data products. The new release includes all Level 1 and Level 2 products derived from the Cloud Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) measurements. At present, no new data products are being released for the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) and the Wide Field Camera (WFC). The quality and quantity of the information provided in the CALIOP version 3.01 data products are substantially improved over previous releases. These data products are presently available at the Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) (http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov) and at ICARE. CALIPSO is a joint mission between NASA and CNES.

Observation du nuage du volcan islandais Eyjafjöll par les chercheurs d'ICARE
Observation of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull Volcano ash plume by ICARE research scientists
April 2010

Observation à l'IPSL / Observation at IPSL

L'éruption du volcan islandais qui a cloué au sol l'aviation européenne a été observée par les moyens d'observations sol et aéroportés disponibles à l'Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace. Les chercheurs du LATMOS (CNRS/UPMC/UVSQ), du LMD (CNRS/UPMC/ENS/Ecole polytechnique) et du SIRTA ont analysé les observations récentes pour apporter des informations combinées sur l'évolution du panache de cendres consécutif à l'éruption, afin d'étudier sa distribution spatiale (à l'aide d'observation satellites) et de surveiller à quelle altitude les particules se déplacent (à l'aide de mesures sol et par satellite).
Ground-based and airborne instruments at the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace provided observations of the eruption of the Iceland volcano, which grounded airplanes in Europe. Research scientists from LATMOS (CNRS/UPMC/UVSQ), LMD (CNRS/UPMC/ENS/Ecole polytechnique) and SIRTA laboratories have analyzed recent observations to document the ash plume development after the eruption. They study its spatial distribution (using satellite observations) and monitor the transport altitude of the particles (using ground-based and satellite observations).

Observation au LOA / Observation at LOA

Les mesures effectuées en routine par le LOA à Villeneuve dAscq, dans la région Lilloise mettent en évidence un changement des propriétés des particules présentes dans l'atmosphère à partir du 17 avril 2010.

Routine observations performed by LOA at the University of Lille show evidence of changes in atmospheric aerosol properties as of April 17, 2010.

PARASOL descend du Train / PARASOL gets off the Train


Après presque 5 ans de mesures simultanées avec les satellites de l'A-Train, le microsatellite PARASOL a quitté sa position au sein de la constellation à 12:48 TU, le 2 décembre 2009. La manoeuvre d'abaissement d'orbite réalisée par les équipes opérationnelles du CNES a permis d'atteindre une orbite à 3.9 km sous l'A-Train. PARASOL avait rejoint la constellation A-Train début février 2005. Depuis plusieurs mois déjà, la trace au sol de PARASOL dérivait lentement vers l'Est par rapport à celle des autres satellites de l'A-train car les réserves en carburant disponibles n'avaient pas permis de suivre les dernières manoeuvres d'inclinaison de la constellation A-train réalisées au printemps 2009. Cependant les mesures étaient encore en phase avec celles des autres capteurs. Sur la nouvelle orbite atteinte par PARASOL, cette quasi-simultanéité des mesures ne se reproduira désormais qu'à intervalles réguliers et pendant une durée limitée à quelques jours. Le CNES a décidé de positionner PARASOL un peu en dessous du A-train pour minimiser les risques en cas de défaillance du satellite et garantir ainsi la sécurité des autres satellites de la constellation. En effet, initialement prévu pour 2 ans, PARASOL atteindra ses 5 ans de mission nominale en mars 2010. PARASOL fêtera donc en solitaire son cinquième anniversaire en orbite le 18 décembre prochain mais poursuit néanmoins normalement sa mission d'observation des nuages et des aérosols.

After collecting observations synchronous with the other satellites from the A-Train for almost 5 years, PARASOL was moved to a lower orbit (3.9 km beneath) at 12:48 UT on December 2, 2009. The maneuver was performed by the CNES flight operations teams. The microsatellite PARASOL had joined the A-Train constellation in early February 2005. PARASOL orbit tracks have been slowly drifting eastward these past few months, due to insufficient fuel supplies that prevented PARASOL to be part of the last inclination maneuver performed by the other A-Train satellites in Spring 2009. However, observations were still in phase with the other sensors. On the new orbit, observations from PARASOL will no longer be simultaneous with the other sensors, except for only a few days at regular intervals. CNES's decision to position PARASOL to a lower orbit was motivated by safety reasons to minimize the risk of collision, should PARASOL begin to fail. While the expected duration of the PARASOL mission was 2 years, it will reach 5 years in March 2010. On December 18, 2009, PARASOL will celebrate its 5th anniversary in orbit, alone, yet pursuing its mission of observation of clouds and aerosols.

ICARE Workshop
on Atmospheric Processes and Remote Sensing
8-9 October 2009

ICARE's Users Committee and Chief Scientist organized a meeting on aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions and water cycle. The meeting took place on 8-9 October 2009 at the University Paris 6. The main objective of the meeting was to present the current status of remote sensing of atmospheric variables and processes followed by round table discussions. Four specific topics were discussed: climatic variables and trends, boundary layer, tropics, and convection in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere.

April 2009: ICARE's Wiki is now available!

ICARE's Wiki is dedicated to ICARE users for sharing any useful information related to ICARE services. Anybody can read those pages, but you will have to register and log to ICARE wiki if you want to add or modify any page (even if you are already registered to ICARE general services).

PARASOL: 4 years in orbit


In March 2009, ICARE celebrates the 4th anniversary of PARASOL successful operations. PARASOL is a microsatellite launched by CNES on December 18, 2004. It carries a wide-field imaging radiometer/polarimeter called POLDER (Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances). PARASOL is part of the A-Train constellation, and contributes to an overall strategy to observe clouds and aerosols from multiple sensors on the same orbit. Originally scheduled to last 2 years, the mission was reconducted indefinitely, in consideration of the instrument good performance and scientific value. The ICARE Data and Services Center generates derived cloud and aerosol science products routinely, usually within 24-48 hours of data acquisition. Science products have been operationally produced and distributed since March 2005, at the end of the satellite commissioning phase. Other than a few scattered incidents, PARASOL did not experience any major problem, and only very few downtimes occurred. Over 4 years's worth of PARASOL data are now available in the ICARE archive.