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

Projects Supported

ASDC Projects Supported


Projects Definition/Description Spatial Coverage Temporal Coverage


Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) was launched on April 28, 2006 to study the impact of clouds and aerosols on the Earth's radiation budget and climate. It flies in formation with five other satellites in the international "A-Train" (PDF) constellation for coincident Earth observations. The CALIPSO satellite comprises three instruments, the Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP), the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR), and the Wide Field Camera (WFC). CALIPSO is a joint satellite mission between NASA and the French Agency, CNES.

Global 06/13/2006 - Present


The Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) is a series of field research investigation sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise.

CAMEX-4 is focused on the study of tropical cyclone (hurricane) development, tracking, intensification, and landfalling impacts using NASA-funded aircraft and surface remote sensing instrumentation. These instrumented aircraft have flown over, through, and around selected hurricanes as they approached landfall in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and along the East Coast of the United States. This study yields high spatial and temporal information of hurricane structure, dynamics, and motion.

Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, East Coast United States 08/13/2001 - 09/26/2001


The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) is a lidar remote sensing instrument that will provide range-resolved profile measurements of atmospheric aerosols and clouds from the International Space Station (ISS). CATS is intended to operate on-orbit for at least six months, and up to three years.  CATS will provide vertical profiles of cloud and aerosol properties at three wavelengths (1064, 532, and 355 nanometers). Onboard the space station, CATS will orbit between 375 kilometers (~230 miles) and 435 kilometers (~270 miles) above Earth’s surface at a 51-degree inclination with nearly a three-day repeat cycle. This unique orbit path will allow the CATS instrument to observe the same spot on Earth at different times each day, providing far more comprehensive coverage of the tropics and mid-latitudes (between 51.6 degrees north and south latitude) than sun-synchronous orbiting satellites (like CALIPSO) that observe the same Earth scene at the same local time each day.
Related Projects: CALIPSO



The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is a key component of the Earth Observing System (EOS) program. The CERES instruments provide radiometric measurements of the Earth's atmosphere from three broadband channels. The CERES missions are a follow-on to the successful Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) mission. The first CERES instrument (PFM) was launched on November 27, 1997 as part of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Two CERES instruments (FM1 and FM2) were launched into polar orbit on board the EOS flagship Terra on December 18, 1999, and two additional CERES instruments (FM3 and FM4) were launched on board EOS Aqua on May 4, 2002. The newest CERES instrument (FM5) was launched on board the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite on October 28, 2011.
Related Projects: ERBE, SRB

Global 12/27/1997 - Present


The Chesapeake Lighthouse and Aircraft Measurements for Satellites (CLAMS) field campaign was conducted from NASA Wallops Flight Facility covering the middle Atlantic eastern seaboard from July 10 - August 3, 2001. CLAMS is an experiment designed to validate and improve EOS Terra satellite data products derived from three sensors: CERES, MISR, and MODIS.
Terra Related Projects: CERES, MISR, MOPITT

Middle Atlantic Eastern Seaboard 06/29/2001 - 08/03/2001


Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX) was based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and used a suite of instruments aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft to investigate convective process and circulations over tropical waters.  A main objective of CPEX was to obtain a comprehensive set of temperature, humidity and, particularly, wind observations in the vicinity of scattered and organized deep convection in all phases of the convective life cycle.

(16, 29)(-97,-69) 05/25/2017 - 06/24/2017


Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign is investigating the impact of deep, midlatitude continental convective clouds, including their dynamical, physical, and lightning processes, on upper tropospheric (UT) composition and chemistry.

varies 05/01/2012 - 06/30/2012


Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) is a four-year campaign to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health and environmental benefit. Through targeted airborne and ground-based observations, DISCOVER-AQ will enable more effective use of current and future satellites to diagnose ground level conditions influencing air quality.

varies 6/21/2011 - 11/13/2011


Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy (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. 

Global 06/08/2015 - Present


Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) measurements were collected from three satellites (ERBS, NOAA-9, NOAA-10) carrying two ERBE instrument packages (Scanner and NonScanner). The objective was to measure global albedo, fluxes, and solar incidence. The ERBE instruments on board the NOAA-9 and NOAA-10 satellites provide global spatial coverage, while the scanner instruments on board the ERBS provides coverage between 67.5 degrees north and south latitude and the nonscanner instruments on board the ERBS provide coverage between 60 degrees north and south latitude. Because ERBS is in a precessing (57-degree) orbit, the ERBE instruments on board this satellite provide diurnal sampling.

ERBS, a dedicated NASA satellite, was launched in October 1984. The NOAA-9 and NOAA-10 satellites, both operational weather satellites maintained by NOAA, were launched in December 1984 and September 1986, respectively.

Related Project: CERES

Global 11/05/1984 - 03/12/2003