The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III on the International Space Station (SAGE III/ISS) mission will provide the science community with high-vertical resolution and nearly global observations of ozone, aerosols, water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, and other trace gas species in the stratosphere and upper-troposphere. SAGE III/ISS measurements will extend the long term Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement (SAM) and SAGE data record begun in the 1970s. The multi-decadal SAGE ozone and aerosol data sets have undergone intense scrutiny and are considered the international standard for accuracy and stability. SAGE data have been used to monitor the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol. Key objectives of the mission are to assess the state of the recovery in the distribution of ozone, to reestablish the aerosol measurements needed by both climate and ozone models, and to gain further insight into key processes contributing to ozone and aerosol variability. The space station mid-inclination orbit allows for a large range in latitude sampling and nearly continuous communications with payloads.
The SAGE III instrument is the fifth in a series of instruments developed for monitoring atmospheric constituents with high vertical resolution. The SAGE III instrument is a moderate resolution spectrometer covering wavelengths from 290 nm to 1550 nm. Science data is collected in solar occultation mode, lunar occultation mode, and limb scatter measurement mode.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle will provide access to space. Mounted in the unpressurized section of the Dragon trunk, SAGE III will be robotically removed from the Dragon and installed on the space station. SAGE III/ISS will be mounted to the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 4 location on the starboard side of the station. To facilitate a nadir view from this location, a Nadir Viewing Platform payload was developed which mounts between the carrier and the SAGE III Instrument Payload.