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California Institute of Technology
Cryospheric Sciences Program: Tools for managing a scarce resource.
Missions and Instruments
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CRYOSPHERIC SCIENCE MISSIONS

The following is an alphabetical list of NASA satellites and instruments that observe Earth's cryosphere.

Operation Ice Bridge, a six-year NASA field campaign, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. Operation Ice Bridge
Operation Ice Bridge, a six-year NASA field campaign, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. It will yield a three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.

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ICESAT
From 2003 to 2009, the ICESat (Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite) mission provided multi-year elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. It also provided topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

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ICESat-II
Will measure ice sheet height changes for climate change diagnoses.

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The Grace mission GRACE
The twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft observe and measure the gravitational field of the Earth. The findings from this mission shed light on the shape and composition of the planet and the distributions of water and ice. The mission was launched in March 2002.

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GRACE-II
Will measure Earth's gravity field in order to track large-scale water movement.

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Aqua carries six state-of-the-art instruments to observe the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, land, ice and snow covers, and vegetation, providing high measurement accuracy, spatial detail, and temporal frequency. This comprehensive approach to data collection enables scientists to study the interactions among the four spheres of the Earth system--the oceans, land, atmosphere, and biosphere. AQUA
Aqua carries six state-of-the-art instruments to observe the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, land, ice and snow covers, and vegetation, providing high measurement accuracy, spatial detail, and temporal frequency. This comprehensive approach to data collection enables scientists to study the interactions among the four spheres of the Earth system -- the oceans, land, atmosphere, and biosphere.

Instruments: AIRS * AMSU-A * AMSR-E * CERES * HSB * MODIS

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Terra (formerly EOS AM-1) is the flagship satellite of NASA's Earth observing systems. Terra is the first EOS (Earth Observing System) platform and provides global data on the state of the atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as their interactions with solar radiation and with one another. TERRA
Terra (formerly EOS AM-1) is the flagship satellite of NASA's Earth observing systems. Terra is the first EOS (Earth Observing System) platform and provides global data on the state of the atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as their interactions with solar radiation and with one another.

Instruments: ASTER * CERES * MISR * MODIS * MOPITT

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Landsat 7 concept Landsat-7
Landsat 7 systematically provides well-calibrated, multispectral, moderate resolution, substantially cloud-free, Sun-lit digital images of the Earth's continental and coastal areas with global coverage on a seasonal basis. It covers the United States every 16 days.

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Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) is an advanced land-imaging mission that will demonstrate new instruments and spacecraft systems. EO-1 will validate technologies contributing to the significant reduction in cost of follow-on Landsat missions. EARTH OBSERVING-1 (NMP)
Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) is an advanced land-imaging mission that will demonstrate new instruments and spacecraft systems. EO-1 will validate technologies contributing to the significant reduction in cost of follow-on Landsat missions.

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QUIKSCAT
Launched in June 19, 1999, QuikSCAT was designed to be a “quick recovery” EOS satellite mission to fill the gap of global ocean surface wind vector observations which resulted from the unexpected failure of NSCAT in June of 1997. The SeaWinds scatterometer on QuikSCAT began producing science quality data on July 19, 1999.

NASA mission managers are assessing options for future operations of the venerable QuikScat satellite following the age-related failure of a mechanism that spins the scatterometer antenna.

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MEaSUREs
The NASA Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) project aims to develop consistent global and continent scale data records related to Earth science, or Earth System Data Records (ESDRs). The program supports individual scientists and groups in data product generation, using proven algorithms and input data sets. In effect, MEaSURES projects function as additional processing facilities for NASA, and are subject to rigorous standards for data quality, validation, algorithm description, documentation, and delivery.

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SEARISE
Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) is a community organized effort to estimate the upper bound of ice sheet contributions to sea level in the next 100--200 years. SeaRISE objectives include
developing a set of common input data, designing and executing a set of numerical experiments employing a wide range ice sheet models, and refining details of rapidly responding areas in particular experiments with ice stream/ice-shelf or ice-shelf/ocean regional models.

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