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


Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) used a laser, a telescope approximately 1 meter in diameter, and a modular design. The system was used to study clouds, tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols, characteristics of the planetary boundary layer, stratospheric density and temperature perturbations, and to some degree, surface topography.

60N to 60S Lat. to 180E to 180W Lon. 09/10/1994 - 09/19/1994


Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) data were collected during Space Shuttle flights in 1981, 1984 and 1994. The main pollutant measured was carbon monoxide (CO). The spatial coverage of the data is 70N to 70S Latitude.

(-70,70)(-180,180) Relevant to each experiment


The MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS) is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high spatial resolution imagery of cloud and surface features from its vantage point on-board a NASA ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft. The MAS data are associated with specific field experiments.

Relevant to each experiment Relevant to each experiment


The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) was successfully launched into sun-synchronous polar orbit aboard Terra, NASA's first Earth Observing System (EOS) spacecraft, on December 18, 1999. MISR measurements are designed to improve our understanding of the Earth's environment and climate. Viewing the sunlit Earth simultaneously at nine widely-spaced angles, MISR provides radiometrically and geometrically calibrated images in four spectral bands at each of the angles. Spatial sampling of 275 and 1100 meters is provided on a global basis. All MISR data products are available in HDF-EOS format, and select products are available in netCDF format.

Related Project: AirMISR

Global 03/01/2000 - Present


Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) was successfully launched into sun-synchronous polar orbit aboard Terra, NASA's first Earth Observing System spacecraft on December 18, 1999. The MOPITT instrument was constructed by a consortium of Canadian companies and funded by the Space Science Division of the Canadian Space Agency.

MOPITT measurements yield atmospheric profiles of CO volume mixing ratio and CO total column values using near-infrared radiation at 2.3 µm and thermal-infrared radiation at 4.7 µm. There are no current plans to release a MOPITT methane product.

Global 03/03/2000 - Present


Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data on Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs:
easy online access to satellite data, images, lesson plans, earth science glossary and more for K-12 education and citizen scientists.

Varies Varies


North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) - The NAAMES project was the first NASA Earth Venture – Suborbital mission focused on studying the coupled ocean ecosystem and atmosphere. NAAMES utilizes a combination of ship-based, airborne, autonomous sensor, and remote sensing measurements that directly link ocean ecosystem processes, emissions of ocean-generated aerosols and precursor gases, and subsequent atmospheric evolution and processing..

Varies Varies


NARSTO (formerly North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone) is a public/private partnership, whose membership spans government, the utilities, industry, and academe throughout Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Its primary mission is to coordinate and enhance policy-relevant scientific research and assessment of tropospheric pollution behavior; its activities provide input for science-based decision-making and determination of workable, efficient, and effective strategies for local and regional air-pollution management. Data products from local, regional, and international monitoring and research programs are available.

North America Relevant to each experiment

NASA Airborne Lidar

Data from NASA Langley Airborne Lidar flights. Please see product pages for detailed information.

(50S, 50N)(-180,180) Relevant to each field experiment


The Nimbus-7 Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) instrument began recording data on November 16, 1978 and continued through June 20, 1980. The principal products are nine years of global albedo, outgoing longwave, and net radiation plus continuing solar irradiance measurements. The presence of an associated six-year Nimbus-7 global cloud data set enhances the usefulness of the ERB products. Chief uses of the data include studies in regional energy heat budgets, the improvement of climate and weather prediction models, interannual climate variations, shortwave bidirectional reflectance from Earth atmosphere scenes, and solar physics.

The spacecraft housed eight distinct subsystems and/or experiments for monitoring different aspects of the Earth and its environment.

Global 11/16/1978 - 12/13/1993