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A-Train reconfiguration.

An important event of 2008 was the A-Train reconfiguration. Aura was left to drift forward and closer to CloudSat and CALIPSO, which was finalized in May 2008 and now has a profound impact on MLS collocation with these instruments.

The re-phasing of the Aura platform, that left the satellite drifting forward and closer to CloudSat and CALIPSO, has been finalized. Thus, as of May 2008, the MLS and CloudSat footprints are within 3-4 km in the lateral (zonal) arc distance at the Equator crossing, and 2-3 sec apart, Figure 1. The original ascending nodes of the A-Train satellites, where Aura was more than 15 minutes behind Aqua, Figure 2, are no longer. By the end of May, 2008, the new A-Train configuration is as shown in Figure 3

Equatorial separation between MLS/Aura and CloudSat

1. The equatorial separation ( at Equator-crossing) between the field of views of Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on Aura, and the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) on CloudSat, in terms of arc-distance and time lag.

Original A-Train Configuration

Figure 2. The original A-Train configuration that was in place till late November, 2007. After that time, Aura was left to drift forward. The numbers in degrees indicate Right Ascension of Ascending node for March 20, 2007.

The new A-Train configuration

Figure 3. The new A-Train configuration that was finalized in early May, 2008. Note that Aura was moved 8 minutes forward, to help the MLS field of view coinside with CPR. Also, Aura and Aqua nadir are very close now.


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Last updated: Apr 30, 2010 10:02 AM ET