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SPEXone’s Journey... Next Stop: PACE


A key instrument traveled from the Netherlands to Goddard Space Flight Center for integration onto the PACE observatory.
Click image to view movie. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
[08-July-21] Aerosols are small solid or liquid particles suspended in the air that affect climate change directly through interactions with solar radiation. Aerosols affect climate indirectly by changing the micro- and macro-physical properties of clouds. Scientists who study climate change rely on detailed data to properly characterize the amount of radiative forcing that aerosols cause.

SPEXone is a new instrument designed to pursue that data with superb accuracy. It's a polarimeter, intended to measure the intensity, Degree of Linear Polarization (DoLP) and Angle of Linear Polarization (AoLP) of sunlight reflected back from Earth's atmosphere, land surface, and ocean. Built by engineers at The Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands (Airbus DS NL), SPEXone will fly on the PACE spacecraft as one of that mission's suite of sensors.

View this movie at NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center