Keywords |
  • Universe


Parasol is the second micro-satellite in the Myriade line developed by the CNES; on board it carries a wide field imaging radiometer, or Polder (Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances) designed thanks to the contribution of the Lille Atmospheric Optics Laboratory (CNRS-USTL). It measures the directional and polarisation properties of light reflected by the Earth/atmosphere, in order to improve our understanding of the radiative and micro-physical properties of clouds and aerosols.

Parasol was launched in 2004 by an Ariane 5 G+ from the Kourou space port in French Guiana; its nominal service life was two years, and it was positioned with the Aqua and Aura (NASA), Calipso (NASA/CNES), Cloudsat (NASA, Canadian Space Agency) satellites, to complete the formation known as the "A-train". A world first, this exceptional space observatory, completed in 2008 by OCO (NASA) simultaneously offered all the measuring techniques currently available for observing clouds and aerosols, from passive radiometry to active probing using lidar and radar.


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