Tuesday, 4 June 2002
TRIANA - The First Deep Space Climate Observatory
From its location in deep space, Triana will view the Earth in a different way - as an entire planet rather than a patchwork of regions of interest. It will uniquely acquire synoptic (all regions in the sunlit side seen simultaneously) sunrise to sunset, high time resolution data for most points on Earth using state of the art, highly accurate, in flight calibrated instruments. Triana will collect information on the climate system combining atmospheric dynamics, cloud physics, aerosols, radiation and surface remote sensing. For example, the continuous measurement of the infrared radiation emitted by Earth in the direction of L-1, will provide a stable, highly accurate thermal emission reference parameter, that is thought to be correlated to the temperature at the surface. These measurements will be tested as a surrogate for surface temperature measurements in monitoring "global warming" and climate variability. Ozone measurements will be used to study upper atmosphere circulation using ozone as a tracer. This is uniquely possible for Triana because it has the necessary synoptic view and temporal and spatial resolutions to allow the description and study of dynamic processes in the upper atmosphere. Surface ultraviolet exposure estimates will be enhanced by the continuous daylight view, surface remote sensing (including the oceans and vegetation canopies) will be made possible by Triana’s location at L- 1. Measurements of solar wind magnetic field and plasma (density, velocity, temperature) will provide data to study turbulence and solar corona heating and the slow solar wind. Solar wind events will be "seen" by Triana approximately 50 minutes before reaching the Earth’s magnetosphere- providing enough time to issue warnings to protect sensitive systems (satellites, etc). Another contribution of Triana will be as a synergistic link between Earth observing satellites by correlating simultaneous multi-satellite observations, by comparing calibrations, and by helping to build a unified Earth Observations network with the Moon as a calibration reference (Triana will have the Moon in plain view). The Triana views of our world will be used as a teaching tool that will inspire the quest for knowledge, a quest that we will support with public and elementary to higher education outreach, teacher training and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Triana may well be the first Deep Space "climate satellite" and has the potential to prove the unique usefulness of deep space observation points such as L-1 or L-2, for Earth Sciences. The Triana spacecraft and all instruments are built, tested and calibrated. Triana is ready to go.