Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

Processing, archiving and distributing Earth science data
at the NASA Langley Research Center

CALIPSO and CloudSat over Typhoon Yutu

CALIPSO and CloudSat over Typhoon Yutu

CALIPSO and CloudSat over Typhoon Yutu
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Typhoon Yutu near the coast of Japan on October 28, 2018. Data from the CALIPSO lidar and CloudSat radar appear as vertical slices in the atmosphere. CALIPSO lidar data is visualized as a bluish slice, with red and yellow colors denoting more scattering off of clouds and aerosols. CloudSat radar data is superimposed on the CALIPSO slice in brighter colors. Areas of heavier precipitation, found in each storm’s spiral bands, appear in red and pink. The eye of Yutu is clearly visible in this rendering, because of the favorable overpass directly over the typhoon. On September 13, 2018 CALIPSO re-joined formation flying with CloudSat. The new C-Train orbit is approximately 428 miles (688 kilometers) above the Earth's surface, 17 km lower than the previous A-Train orbit .

CloudSat and CALIPSO are known as "active" sensors because they direct beams of energy at the Earth (Radio wave signals in the case of CloudSat and laser light in the case of CALIPSO) and measure how these beams reflect from the clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere. Other orbiting science instruments use "passive" sensors that rely on collecting reflected sunlight or radiation emitted from the Earth or clouds to make measurements. For more information see CloudSat or to access the data see the CALIPSO Data and Information page.


Credits: CloudSat/JPL and CALIPSO/LaRC