Once in orbit, the satellite will take up its place in a unique constellation of 6 spacecraft called the A-Train.
Calipso and the A-Train: an atmosphere observatory
Stationed in near-Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 705 km, Calipso will establish vertical profiles of the atmosphere to study the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system.
With the U.S. CloudSat satellite, it is set to join the A-Train* space observatory, a unique constellation that will ultimately have 6 satellites designed for atmospheric research.
With Calipso and CloudSat added to the constellation, 5 satellites will be acquiring measurements using different remote-sensing techniques, only minutes apart.
The A-Train thus constitutes a true space observatory that will yield significant data synergies.
Launching at last
Calipso and CloudSat will launch 21 April at 12:02 p.m. Paris time. The launch will be broadcast live on Nasa’s website.
To mark the launch, CNES is devoting a special website to space and climate giving a new perspective on climate concerns from the high ground of space.
*A-train for “afternoon train”, since the 6 satellites in the constellation will cross the equator daily one at a time, a few minutes apart, at around 1:30 pm local time.