EarthCARE—The ESA-JAXA Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer Mission. Overview and development status
The scientific objectives of EarthCARE are: - The observation of the vertical distributions of atmospheric liquid water and ice on a global scale, their transport by clouds and their radiative impact.
- The observation of cloud distribution, cloud-precipitation interactions and the characteristics of vertical motions within clouds.
- The observation of the vertical profiles of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on a global scale, their radiative properties and interaction with clouds.
- The retrieval of profiles of atmospheric radiative heating and cooling through the combination of the retrieved aerosol and cloud properties.
The required measurements will be acquired in a synergistic way by the high spectral resolution backscatter cloud/aerosol lidar (ATLID) operating at 355 nm, the 94 GHz Doppler cloud profiling radar (CPR) contributed by JAXA, the multi-channel spectral imager (MSI), and the total-wave and short-wave broad-band radiometer (BBR).
This paper presents the EarthCARE programmatic status, the current instrument design and mission performance. Furthermore, the mission end-to-end simulator and data processing up to level 2 (geophysical products) and related science activities will be discussed.