Space Sensor Measures Aerosol Impact On Climate

By Robert H. Williams
NASA will soon be receiving a space-based system that should help scientists better understand the impact of aerosols on climate change and global warming.

Under development by Raytheon Co. of El Segundo, Calif., the aerosol polarimetry sensor so far has successfully undergone integration, baseline performance characterization and vibration testing. Next up is an electromagnetic and thermal vacuum exercise to determine its performance in space.

The sensor will be used in a three-year climate monitoring mission aboard the space agency’s Glory satellite.

“With 161 optical elements, including six precision aligned telescopes, the sensor is designed to distinguish and characterize various aerosols and accurately measure their global distribution and lifetime,” says a spokesman.

It should be delivered to NASA between now and the end of March.

Topics: Energy, Climate Change, Space

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