Earth Observing Satellites

  • Aqua -carries six instruments to observe interactions among the four sphere's for earth's systems: oceans, land, atmosphere, and biosphere
  • AURA - studies earth's ozoneair quality, and climate though observation of composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the atmosphere
  • CALIPSO - studies thickness of clouds and aerosols for understanding of how much air pollution is present and changes in compositions in the atmosphere.
  • CloudSat - monitors the state of earth's atmosphere and weather through radar, which can be used to predict which clouds produce rain, observe snowfall, and monitor the moisture content of clouds
  • Deep Space Climate Observatory -  To study the Sun-lit side of Earth from the L1 Lagrange point
  • ECOSTRESS - The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will measure the temperature of plants and use that information to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to stress.
  • Global Precipitation Measurement - studies global precipitation
  • GRACE - observes and measures earth's gravitational field, which may help determining the shape and composition of the planet's distribution of water and ice
  • ICESAT - keeps track of size and thickness of earth's ice sheets
  • Jason - uses a radar altimeter to monitor ocean surface height
  • Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Watching the Earth breathe from space... Measuring carbon dioxide from space.
  • QUICKScatmonitors weather using bursts of microwaves which measure wind speeds
  • SEASTAR - designed to monitor the color of earth's oceans
  • SMAPMeasures soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state, which enhance understanding of processes that link water, energy, and carbon cycles to extend the capabilities of weather and climate models. 
  • SORCE - monitors total output from the sun for understanding of earth's absorption of radiation energy
  • TERRA - carries five instruments to observe the state of the atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as their interactions with solar radiation and with one another