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Data Processing Centers (DPC)

CIRA is the home of the Data Processing Centers for NASA’s CloudSat and INCUS missions. CloudSat is a NASA ESSP satellite launched in April 2006 that completed its science mission in September 2023. CloudSat carried a 94 GHz radar measuring the vertical distribution of cloud reflectivity around the world from a low-Earth, sun-synchronous polar orbit. Working with internal and external science partners, the CloudSat Data Processing Center (DPC) processes the observed reflectivity into retrieved parameters that describe cloud microphysics, precipitation, and cloud radiative properties for weather and climate research. The DPC has produced and distributed more than 105 million data files with a total volume of more than 3.7 petabytes to users around the world.

CIRA is currently building the Science Data Processing Center (SDPC) for NASA’s INCUS mission which will put three cloud radars and one radiometer into orbit in 2026. INCUS will provide the first tropics-wide investigation of the evolution of the vertical transport of air and water by convective storms. The SDPC will receive data acquired by the instruments and run science applications to retrieve convective mass flux.