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STAR CloudSat Satellite Data

Summary

CloudSat was selected as a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder satellite mission in 1999 to provide observations necessary to advance our understanding of cloud abundance, distribution, structure, and radiative properties. Since 2006, CloudSat has flown the first satellite-based millimeter-wavelength cloud radar—a radar that is more than 1000 times more sensitive than existing weather radars. Unlike ground-based weather radars that use centimeter wavelengths to detect raindrop-sized particles, CloudSat's radar allows us to detect the much smaller particles of liquid water and ice that constitute the large cloud masses that make our weather. (excerpt taken from the CloudSat home page: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/overview and http://www.cloudsat.cira.colostate.edu/dataHome.php )

The Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) is a 94-GHz nadir-looking radar which measures the power backscattered by clouds as a function of distance from the radar. The CPR was developed jointly by NASA/JPL and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The overall design of the CPR is simple, well understood, and has strong heritage from many cloud radars already in operation in ground-based and airborne applications.

The design of the CPR is driven by the science objectives. The original requirements on CPR were: sensitivity defined by a minimum detectable reflectivity factor of -30 dBZ, along-track sampling of 2 km, a dynamic range of 70 dB, 500 m vertical resolution and calibration accuracy of 1.5 dB. The minimum detectable reflectivity factor requirement was reduced to -26 dBZ when the mission was changed to put CloudSat into a higher orbit for formation flying.

Details on the data format can be found at: http://www.cloudsat.cira.colostate.edu/data-products

Data access

  • ORDER data for delivery by FTP

Additional information

Identifier
Data Quality final
Versions
  • 1.0 (2020-09-23)
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Related projects
Frequency continuous
Language English
Platforms
Instruments
GCMD Science Keywords Expand keywords
Documentation

Temporal coverage

Begin datetime 2007-10-01 00:00:00
End datetime 2007-12-01 00:00:00

Spatial coverage


Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 68.50, Minimum (South) Latitude: 59.00
Minimum (West) Longitude: -79.00, Maximum (East) Longitude: -59.50

Primary point of contact information

EOL Data Support <eol-datahelp@ucar.edu>

Additional contact information

Citation

Example citation following ESIP guidelines:

Hanesiak, J., et al. 2020. STAR CloudSat Satellite Data. Version 1.0. UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory. https://doi.org/10.26023/H0E2-XRA8-330F. Accessed 20 Sep 2021.

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Ancillary information

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