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NASA's New Satellite Unveils First Data on Ocean Health and...

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NASA's PACE Data on Ocean, Atmosphere, Climate Now Available

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Smoke from Canadian wildfires drifts slowly south over the United States’ Midwest. The drifting smoke can be seen in this Terra satellite image taken in December 2017 over Lake Michigan, as well as parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team / Jeff Schmaltz

Early Adopters of NASA's PACE Data to Study Air Quality,...

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During the spring and summer in the Barents Sea, north of Norway and Russia, blue and green blooms of phytoplankton are often visible. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image in 2021. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Why This NASA Satellite is Studying Plankton

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The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem Postlaunch Airborne eXperiment (PACE-PAX) will be a field campaign to gather data for the validation of the upcoming PACE mission. PACE-PAX will be conducted in September, 2024, roughly nine months after the launch of PACE. The operational area will be Southern and Central California and nearby coastal regions. Sixty flight hours are planned each for the NASA ER-2 and the CIRPAS Twin Otter. Both will be based in their home airports at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and Marina Municipal Airport, respectively. Flights will be coordinated between the aircraft, with PACE overflights, and with surface based observations including ship-based measurements and floats. Data will be made available within six months following the conclusion of the campaign.
More details are in our white paper and website.


PACE-PAX validation objectives
1. Validate new PACE products
2. Assess spatial and temporal scale impact on validation
3. Provide sufficient data to validate in a narrow swath
4. Validate radiometric and polarimetric properties
5. Target specific geometries, season, and time of day
6. Focus on specific processes or phenomena


Mission Scientist: Kirk Knobelspiesse (NASA GSFC)
Deputy Mission Scientist: Brian Cairns (NASA GISS)
Deputy Mission Scientist: Ivona Cetinić (NASA GSFC)
Project Manager: Sommer Nicholas (NASA ARC)
Deputy Project Manager: Judy Alfter (NASA ARC)

PACE Project Scientist: Jeremy Werdell (NASA GSFC)
PACE Deputy Project Scientist: Brian Cairns (NASA GISS)
PACE Deputy Project Scientist: Antonio Mannino (NASA GSFC)
PACE Program Scientist: Laura Lorenzoni (NASA Headquarters)
PACE Deputy Program Scientist: Hal Maring (NASA Headquarters)
PACE Applications Program Lead: Woody Turner (NASA Headquarters)