Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana) was originally conceived in the late 1990s as a NASA Earth science mission that would provide a near continuous view of Earth and measure Earth’s complete albedo. The mission was canceled and the satellite was put into storage in 2001. NOAA and the USAF had DSCOVR removed from storage and tested in 2008, and the same year the Committee on Space Environmental Sensor Mitigation Options (CSESMO) determined that DSCOVR was the optimal solution for meeting NOAA and USAF space weather requirements as well as NASA’s Earth science needs.
From its L1 position, DSCOVR will typically be able to provide 15 to 60 minute warning time before the surge of particles and magnetic field, known as a coronal mass ejection (or CME), associated with a geomagnetic storm reaches Earth. DSCOVR data will also be used to improve predictions of geomagnetic storm impact locations. Our national security and economic well-being, which depend on advanced technologies, are at risk without these advanced warnings. Some NASA Earth science sensors also rely on space weather data to protect sensitive components.
The ASDC hosts the data from the two DSCOVR Earth science sensors.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR) is a cavity radiometer designed to measure the absolute spectral irradiance (power of electromagnetic radiation) reflected and emitted from the entire sunlit face of the Earth. This measurement will improve our understanding of the effects of changes to Earth's reflected and emitted radiation caused by human activities and natural phenomena. This information can be used for climate science applications.
The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) is an imager that provides global spectral images of the entire sunlit face of Earth and insight into Earth's energy balance. EPIC's observations will provide a unique angular perspective, and will be used in science applications to measure ozone amounts, aerosol amounts, cloud height and phase, vegetation properties, hotspot land properties and UV radiation estimates at Earth's surface.
The absolute calibration of the DSCOVR EPIC and NISTAR data is still on-going. Level 1A and Level 1B NISTAR and geo-located EPIC data are expected to be made public in mid-summer of 2016 after validation by the DSCOVR science team. The first Level 2 science data products, relying on completed absolute calibrations of the instruments, are expected in the spring of 2017. Interested people may sign up for the “DSCOVR News List” to receive the latest updates regarding data availability. EPIC RGB images are publicly available through http://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov.