NASA to Study Ice Clouds Using Polarized Submillimeter Radiometer

1 min read
NASA to Study Ice Clouds Using Polarized Submillimeter Radiometer
Ice Clouds

NASA is sponsoring a new mission focused on the study of high-altitude ice clouds and their potential to improve climate forecasts.

The Polarized Submillimeter Ice-cloud Radiometer program, which was granted $37 million for lifecycle costs, will be conducted using two miniature satellites orbiting three to nine hours apart, the space agency said Tuesday.

PoISIR will employ radiometers from NASA’s Earth Venture Class of missions. They will monitor ice content as well as changes in the clouds throughout the day.

The two CubeSats will be built by Blue Canyon Technologies. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will provide the project management team for their construction, while the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center will be responsible for science operations.

Ralf Bennartz, principal investigator at Vanderbilt University, is leading the study along with Dong Wu, deputy principal investigator at Goddard.

“Studying ice clouds is crucial for improving climate forecasts – and this will be the first time we can study ice clouds in this level of detail,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

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