Colloquium: Dr. Marshak, NASA/GSFC


Physics : 401

Date & Time

April 8, 2015, 3:30 pm4:30 pm


TITLE: DSCOVR Earth Science Observations

ABSTRACT: The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, is an Earth observation and space weather satellite launched on February 11 at 6:03 PM EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Officially, DSCOVR is a NOAA funded and Air Force launched space weather forecasting mission built on the refurbished and modified NASA Triana mission. While the primary goal of DSCOVR is to make solar wind and magnetic field measurements to enable space weather forecasting, NASA has integrated two Earth-observing instruments that will make the first continuous Earth observations from the Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L1) located 1.5 million km from Earth on the line between Earth and the sun. DSCOVR is expected to reach its orbit at L1 on June 7. In my presentation I will highlight history of DSCOVR (originally known as Triana after the lookout on Columbus’s fleet, who was reported to be the first to see the new world) and describe the two DSCOVR Earth Science Instruments. The first one is the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), which measures the radiance from the sunlit face of the Earth on a 2048 x 2048 pixel CCD in 10 narrowband channels. The other instrument is NIST Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR), which measures the absolute irradiance from the entire sunlit face of the Earth. I will discuss the key aspects of the L1 science and show some examples of the potential EPIC measurements to determine (from sunrise to sunset) the Earth ozone, SO2, aerosols, reflectivity, vegetation properties, cloud cover and height. Finally, I will discuss using the Moon for EPIC calibration.