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27 August 2010 Evolution of satellite imagers and sounders and for low Earth orbit and technology directions at NASA
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Imagers and Sounders for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) provide fundamental global daily observations of the Earth System for scientists, researchers, and operational weather agencies. The imager provides the nominal 1-2 km spatial resolution images with global coverage in multiple spectral bands for a wide range of uses including ocean color, vegetation indices, aerosol, snow and cloud properties, and sea surface temperature. The sounder provides vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, water vapor cloud properties, and trace gases including ozone, carbon monoxide, methane and carbon dioxide. Performance capabilities of these systems has evolved with the optical and sensing technologies of the decade. Individual detectors were incorporated on some of the first imagers and sounders that evolved to linear array technology in the '80's. Signal-to-noise constraints limited these systems to either broad spectral resolution as in the case of the imager, or low spatial resolution as in the case of the sounder. Today's area 2-dimensional large format array technology enables high spatial and high spectral resolution to be incorporated into a single instrument. This places new constraints on the design of these systems and enables new capabilities for scientists to examine the complex processes governing the Earth System.
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Thomas S. Pagano and Charles R. McClain "Evolution of satellite imagers and sounders and for low Earth orbit and technology directions at NASA", Proc. SPIE 7807, Earth Observing Systems XV, 78070L (27 August 2010);

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