National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Recommended Missions
Suggested Citation:"ACE, Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystems ." National Research Council. 2008. Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11952.
Page 10

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Earth Science and Applications from Space 10 ACE Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystems Launch: 2013–2016 Mission size: Large Orbit: LEO, SSO Agency: NASA Estimated cost: $800 million Areas of interest: Climate, Ecosystems, Health, Weather Instruments:  ackscatter lidar, multiangle polarimeter, Doppler radar, multiband spectrometer B Benefits: Improved climate models Prediction of local climate change Monitoring of ocean health and productivity and management of fisheries Early warning of harmful algal blooms Improved air-quality models and forecasts Aerosols (airborne particles) affect the formation of clouds and the amount of rain or snow they produce. They can make clouds brighter, which reduces the amount of sunlight reaching Earth. Aerosols remain in the air for only a few days, and they vary greatly in size and other properties. A number of studies have highlighted the need for improved data on aerosols in order to reduce uncertainty in climate prediction and generate more precise local and regional projections of climate change. Aerosols also play a major role in air quality and thus have a direct impact on human health. By deploying a variety of coordinated sensors, ACE will assess both clouds and aerosols and clarify the relationships between them. The data it gathers will help lead to improvements in the models that predict air quality. ACE is also designed to assist in assessing the health of ocean ecosystems by sensing ocean color and the amount of organic material close to the sea sur- face. Observations from ACE will help scientists provide early warning of harmful algal blooms in coastal areas. These data also will help scientists calculate the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) entering and leaving the oceans. Increases in absorbed CO2 are linked to ocean acidification, which in turn threatens the health of coral reefs and marine ecosystems. The four main instruments for ACE consist of a lidar, for measuring cloud and aerosol heights and the thickness of certain layers; a cloud radar, to detect droplet size and cloud height; a polarimeter, to measure cloud and aerosol properties; and a multiband spectrometer, to sample ocean properties. Some prelaunch development will be needed so that the lidar, radar, and polarimeter can carry out multibeam and cross-track sampling.

Next: ASCENDS, Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons »
Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade Get This Book
 Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade
Buy Paperback | $21.00 Buy Ebook | $16.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade brings the next ten years into focus for the Earth and environmental science community with a prioritized agenda of space programs, missions, and supporting activities that will best serve scientists in the next decade. These missions will address a broad range of societal needs, such as more reliable weather forecasts, early earthquake warnings, and improved pollution management, benefiting both scientific discovery and the health and well-being of society.

Based on the 2007 book, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, this book explores each of the seventeen recommended missions in detail, identifying launch dates, responsible agencies, estimated cost, scientific and public benefits, and more. Printed entirely in color, the book features rich photographs and illustrations, tables, and graphs that will keep the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike.


  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!