PolSIR, a new NASA project, will research tropical and subtropical high-altitude ice clouds. Mission data will help global climate models mimic these clouds. Two identical CubeSats in orbits three to nine hours apart will monitor the clouds’ daily ice content.
Earth Venture instruments, like PolSIR, are low-cost research instruments that ride along with other missions or commercial satellites to reduce launch costs. Launch expenditures are excluded from the $37 million lifespan award.
According to Lake County News, the new NASA project PolSIR (Polarized Submillimeter Ice-cloud Radiometer) will examine high-altitude ice clouds in tropical and subtropical regions to better understand Earth’s dynamic environment. Understanding how thes
PolSIR, a new NASA project, will research tropical and subtropical high-altitude ice clouds.
Two identical CubeSats, each about a foot tall, orbit three to nine hours apart as the PolSIR sensor. These devices will track high-altitude cloud ice content daily. This mission’s lifetime costs, excluding launch, are projected at $37 million.
Earth Venture instruments, like the radiometer, travel along with other missions or commercial satellites to reduce launch costs. The Earth Venture class provides regular flying chances to fly unique research missions within five years. Missions like these provide focused study to help us comprehend Earth system change.
“Studying ice clouds is crucial for improving climate forecasts—and this will be the first time we can study them in this level of detail,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Every NASA mission is carefully selected to understand our home planet.”
Predicting the atmosphere’s future requires understanding how these ice clouds react to climate change and contribute to it. NASA is learning more about Earth’s dynamic atmosphere and high-altitude ice clouds thanks to PolSIR.
Finally, the PolSIR mission is vital to understanding Earth’s atmosphere and how high-altitude ice clouds impact it. NASA intends to enhance global climate models and properly reproduce high-altitude clouds by studying these clouds and their daily changes. PolSIR, an Earth Venture instrument, allows focused study to better understand Earth system change.