EOS Scientists Help Shape the Next Tools for Studying Earth Systems from Space

EOS Scientists Help Shape the Next Tools for Studying Earth Systems from Space

Nov 14, 2012

Oceanographer Joe Salisbury of the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory and atmospheric scientist Carolyn Jordan of the Earth Systems Research Center are part of a large group of scientists from around the country working to define the science questions and the instrument/mission requirements for a new Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events satellite (GEO-CAPE).

GEO-CAPE, when launched, would provide detailed, continuous measurements of air quality and ocean color. Ocean color is generated by various chemicals and "critters," including chlorophyll, phytoplankton biomass, and sediments.  The measurements will contribute to our understanding of certain global processes as they relate to climate change and other important issues.

Salisbury and Jordan are just entering the third year of what could be a four-year effort for the science working group. Once their work is done, the group will be disbanded and a mission science team will be formed via a call for proposals. Then, design studies will be initiated and the science and associated costs will be pinned down. Once that is done, NASA will make a decision regarding the mission's status: "go" or "no-go." Currently, the earliest possible launch date is sometime after 2020.

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