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PARASOL
Polarization & Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar
SATELLITE
Microsatellite from the CNES MYRIADE series
To improve the characterization of the clouds and aerosols microphysical and radiative properties.
Instrument derived from POLDER
Altitude 705 km
Lifetime in orbit :
minimum 1 year,
2 years wished

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The project main steps

Timeline

Parasol is the second microsatellite in the Myriade series developed by CNES. It is carrying a wide-field imaging radiometer/polarimeter called POLDER (Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances), designed in partnership with the LOA atmospheric optics laboratory in Lille (CNRS-USTL). POLDER is designed to improve our knowledge of the radiative and microphysical properties of clouds and aerosols by measuring the directionality and polarization of light reflected by the Earth-atmosphere system.

Launched by an Ariane 5 G+ from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, Parasol was positioned with regard to the other satellites of the A-Train constellation to complete it. These satellites, for the first time ever, combine a full suite of instruments for observing clouds and aerosols, from passive radiometers to active lidar and radar sounders.

Parasol, which nominal lifetime was of 2 years, covered nearly 7 years of mission.


 Press pack  

  Rita vue par Parasol
Hurricane Rita seen by PARASOL
Orbit 019070, on the 23rd of September 2005


Latest Update 18/03/2014
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STATUS
  On December 18, 2013, exactly 9 years after its launch, the CNES shut off the satellite Parasol. After turning off the payload on October 11, the satellite decommissioning operations took place nominally until PARASOL last telemetry signal, received at 15h51 TU on December 18. In 26 years from now, Parasol should reintry the Earth atmoshere almost in compliance with the space regulations LOS instructions. All the acquired data set will be reprocessed in 2014.  
NEWS
18/12/2013
Presentations of the event "End of Parasol mission"...
 
18/12/2013
End of Parasol mission...
 
11/10/2013
Definitive stop of the Payload, and therefore end of the scientific mission...
 
12/2012
Parasol 8th birthday...
 
07/2012
The Parasol project team informs the scientific community and in particular, the users of Parasol data, that the mission local time (1:30 pm at the beginning and approximately up to end of 2009) is drifting...
 
18/12/2011
PARASOL celebrated its 7 years in orbit and is still functioning perfectly.
 
14/11 & 16/11/2011
PARASOL orbit lowering and mission continuity.