The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Mission includes a fleet of satellites tentatively scheduled for launch later this decade that will gather data for long-term climate projections. The CLARREO mission will provide an accurate climate record of the complete spectrum of energy that Earth reflects and radiates back into space, measurements that should provide a clearer understanding of the climate system.
NIST’s role will focus on the calibration of the instruments aboard CLARREO satellites, as well as on the accuracy that the sensors must meet. The measurements need to be characterized to far greater accuracy—from two to 10 times better, depending on the wavelength of light in question—and detector standards need to be developed for the far infrared region of the spectrum. NIST will also help NASA improve its own capabilities in instrument calibration. The collaboration was finalized in a Space Act Agreement on Feb. 4, 2010.
CLARREO, led by NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., is now among NASA’s top-priority missions because of its high ranking by the National Research Council, which designated CLARREO one of its four “Tier One” missions when it evaluated proposals in 2007. NASA is allocating $270,000 for NIST’s contributions to the project this year.
The mission is part of a longer-term effort to establish global long-term climate records that are of high accuracy and traceable to the international system of units (SI). The CLARREO satellites and other instruments will be calibrated against international standards based on SI, so that observations from different times and locations can be compared usefully, creating a more reliable record of long-term climate trends.
Chad Boutin, email@example.com, (301) 975-4261
Chad Boutin | Newswise Science News
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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