Data Processing Centers (DPC)
CIRA is the home of the Data Processing Center (DPC) for CloudSat, a NASA ESSP satellite launched in April 2006. CloudSat carries 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 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.
In 2018, CIRA was awarded the contract to design, build, and operate the Data Operations Center (GDOC) for NASA’s GeoCarb mission which will put an instrument on a commercial telecommunications satellite for launch in the early 2020’s. From its vantage point in geostationary orbit over the western hemisphere, GeoCarb’s high spectral resolution radiometer will observe solar radiation reflected by the Earth’s surface. The GDOC will receive data acquired by the instrument and run science applications to retrieve concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide, and measure solar induced fluorescence, an indicator of vegetation health.