The PACE Project has successfully completed the formulation phase of the mission and officially entered the design phase (Phase B) following a July 13th review at NASA Headquarters. This is a significant transition for the team as it turns its focus on establishing the spacecraft, instruments, and ground system preliminary designs. The project will also make key decisions on the inclusion of a polarimeter instrument and the launch vehicle selection.
Building on lessons learned from previous ocean color studies, a team of dedicated people is bringing PACE to life. Like dozens of successful NASA ventures before it, PACE will face a series of important milestones - including rigorous internal and external reviews – on the road to launch and beyond. The Development Team at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) will guide PACE through each Mission Phase as the instruments, spacecraft, and observatory are built, tested, and flown. Explore the interactive timeline below to learn more.
PACE InstrumentsThe two primary science instruments planned for PACE are the Ocean Color Instrument (OCI), which is being built at GSFC, and a multi-angle polarimeter that will be procured from an industry partner.
- Single detector, rotating telescope scanner (like SeaWiFS)
- 20-degree tilt to avoid sun glint
- Monthly lunar calibration of all science detectors
- Ground sample distance ~ 1 square kilometer at nadir
- 5 nanometer (nm) resolution from 350 to 890 nm
- Plus short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands centered on 940, 1240, 1380, 1640, 2130 & 2250 nm
- Image artifacts <0.5% at calibrated, top-of-atmosphere radiances
Why a Polarimeter?
- Atmospheric Correction is difficult to accurately perform without a polarimeter when absorbing aerosols are present
- Aerosol Science on the radiative forcing of climate that can be done with a polarimeter is complementary to ocean color objectives
- Cloud Science associated with cloud feedback is facilitated by the combined payload of an ocean color instrument & polarimeter
- Hydrosol Characterization is improved by observations of the polarization of scattered light
Earth surface spatial resolution at nadir of 1 kilometer2 (0.4 miles2) or better for all science bands.
Nominal spacecraft altitude is 676.5 kilometers (420 miles).
OCI will have 2-day global coverage at 60° instrument view angle. Polarimeter would have 3-day global coverage.
Downlink and storage of the complete 5-nanometer resolution data from spacecraft to ground.
Monthly characterization of instrument detector and optical component changes using lunar observations through the Earth-viewing port that illuminate all science detector elements.
PACE is being implemented as a NASA Class C mission with a notional launch date in the 2022-2023 timeframe and a minimum mission duration of three years, with orbit maintenance capabilities for 10 years.
PACE is designed as a design-to-cost mission, meaning that it has a fixed budget cap.
|JUL 10 - AUG 5, 2017||Ocean Optics Summer Course|
|JAN 16-18, 2018||Science Team Meeting|
|Events marked with an asterisk (*) are tentative.|
|MAY 15-18, 2017||International Ocean Colour Science Meeting 2017|
|MAR 27, 2017||Key Decision Point - B|
|JAN 24-26, 2017||Mission System Requirements Review|
|JAN 17-19, 2017||PACE Science Team Meeting|
|DEC 13, 2016||PACE Town Hall at AGU Fall Meeting|
|AUG 18, 2016||Acquisition Strategy Meeting|
|JUN 30, 2016||OCI PACE Mission Preliminary Design Webinar|
|JUN 2016||Key Decision Point - Phase A|
|MAR 2016||Mission Concept Review|
|JAN 2016||PACE Science Team Meeting|
|JAN 2015||PACE Science Team Meeting|
|MAR 2012||PACE Science Definition Team Meeting|
|NOV 2011||PACE Science Definition Team Meeting|