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June 2015: First circular for the 3rd A-Train Symposium, which will be held April 19-21, 2017 in Pasadena CA. For more information, click here.

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January 2014: In July 2014, NASA will launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, a replacement for the OCO mission lost after a launch vehicle failure in 2009. OCO-2 will make precise, global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Observatory will carry a single instrument, consisting of three high-resolution grating spectrometers measuring the intensity of three relatively small wavelength bands from which carbon dioxide abundance can be retrieved. It will acquire data in three different measurement modes: Nadir, below the spacecraft; Glint, where sunlight is directly reflected on the Earth's surface; and Target Mode, viewing a specified surface target continuously as the satellite passes overhead. Target Mode provides the capability to collect a large number of measurements over sites where alternative ground-based and airborne-instruments also measure atmospheric CO2. Target Mode measurements will be compared with those acquired by ground-based (e.g., from the TCCON network of FTIR spectrometers closely affiliated with the NDACC network) and airborne-instruments to calibrate the OCO-2 instrument and validate mission data. More on http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/

April 2013: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is comprised of a single instrument, consisting of three high resolution grating spectrometers, that will acquire precise measurements of atmospheric CO2. The Observatory will be launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a dedicated Delta II rocket in July 2014. It will acquire data in three different measurement modes. In Nadir Mode, the instrument views the ground directly below the spacecraft. In Glint Mode, the instrument tracks near the location where sunlight is directly reflected on the Earth's surface. In Target Mode, the instrument views a specified surface target continuously as the satellite passes overhead. The Observatory has a planned operational life of 2 years. For more information, click here.

September 2012: The second Metop satellite was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, atop a Russian Soyuz launcher. Metop-B will ensure the continuity of the weather and atmospheric monitoring service provided by its predecessor Metop-A, which has been circling the globe from pole to pole, 14 times a day, since 2006 and has exceeded its design lifetime. For more information, click here.

May 2012: Just weeks after celebrating its tenth year in orbit, communication with the Envisat satellite was suddenly lost on 8 April. Following rigorous attempts to re-establish contact and the investigation of failure scenarios, the end of the mission is being declared. For more information, click here.

October 2011: Launch of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite with the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument onboard. For more information, click here.

September 2011: ESA's second EO mission "ERS-2" was launched in 1995. It carried a sensor for atmospheric ozone research. Despite several failures, in-flight adaptations have enabled the mission to be extended well beyond its design lifetime. The mission ended on 5 September 2011 with the 'passivation' and switch-off of ERS-2. For more information, click here.

January 2011: The Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) level 2 data from begin of mission (Aug. 8, 2004) to the present have been processed with new Version 3.3 algorithm and are available to the public from the NASA GSFC Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC). This data release includes important improvements over the earlier v2.2 data.  The significant biases in the v2.2 CO and HNO3 products at 215 hPa (and partly at 146 hPa) have been ameliorated.  Biases in lower stratospheric ClO have been reduced, and anomalous structure in mid-stratospheric water vapor has been eliminated.  Ozone profiles are now reported on twice as fine a vertical grid in the upper troposphere and stratosphere, and useful data for this product now extend down to 261 hPa; also, the vertical grid for H2O, Temperature, GPH and RHi now follow the same fine grid as the ozone retrievals through the upper troposphere and stratosphere.  A new product, methyl chloride (CH3Cl), was added in this release.  Users are advised to review the new 'Version 3.3 Level 2 Data Quality Description Document' for full details about each product.

November 2010: Launch of Fen-Yung-3B. For more information, click here.

May 29, 2009: JAXA releases a Research Announcement (RA) for the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES), on board of the ISS Japanese Experimental Module (ISS/JEM), which will be launched in September 2009. This RA addresses calibration and validation of the JEM/SMILES data, as well as algorithm development, data application, and scientific use. Details of the RA are provided on the RA page. For more details about the mission, please go to the SMILES Documents page. Deadline for applications is July 24, 2009.

April 7, 2009: MOPITT CO Data Products Version 4 available. The MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere) Science Team at NCAR announces the availability of the Version 4 product for tropospheric carbon monoxide. This product is currently 'provisional' and is available both from the NASA Langley Data Pool (eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/HPDOCS/datapool/) and the WIST/ECHO system. Users of the new V4 product should obtain the new V4 User's Guide available at the MOPITT website or through the Langley Data Pool. Further updates on the V4 product will be posted to the 'MOPITT News' webpage.
V4 retrievals benefit from significant advances in radiative transfer modeling, state vector representation, and a priori statistics. Differences between the V3 and V4 products are generally significant and are detailed in the V4 User's Guide. Retrieval performance has been improved in many respects, particularly in regions of very low and very high CO concentrations. Problems with long-term bias drift are also evidently weaker in V4 than in V3. The new V4 product also includes new diagnostics, including the retrieval averaging kernels.

February 24, 2009: Launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) is unsuccessful. For more information, please visit the NASA web page.

January 23, 2009: The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) "IBUKI" was launched 12:54 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2009 (Japan Standard Time). GOSAT observations aim to ascertain the global distributions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) and the geographical distribution of and seasonal and inter-annual variations in the flux (i.e., emissions and sinks) of greenhouse gases. The results of the analysis will not only contribute to a deeper scientific understanding of the behaviors of the causative agents of global warming, but will also provide fundamental information for refining climate change prediction and formulating global warming countermeasures. The GOSAT Project is a joint effort of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

September 2008: Version 004 of Aura-HIRDLS Level-2 Atmospheric Product 'HIRDLS2' is publicly available from the NASA GSFC Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC):  http://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/Aura/HIRDLS/index.shtml The Version 004 Level-2 data products (geophysical parameters along the measurement track) derived from the HIRDLS latest, improved algorithm (v2.04.19) includes temperature, ozone and nitric acid mixing ratios, cloud top heights and other cloud characteristics, plus new products CFC11, CFC12, and the 12.1 micron aerosol extinction.  The HIRDLS team is in the process of refining the algorithm for other species, which will be made available in later versions.

August 2008: Volume 8 (2008) of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, contains a special section with nine papers on the "Validation results for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE)". The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE), also known as SCISAT, was launched on 12 August 2003, with on board two instruments that measure vertical profiles of atmospheric constituents using the solar occultation technique: the ACE Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS), and ACE Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation (ACE-MAESTRO). Latest special issue paper published in August 2008.

June 2008: Volume 112, NO. D24, 2007 and Volumes 113, NO. D15/D16, 2008, of the Journal of Geophysical Research, contain a special section with over 60 papers dedicated to the "Aura Validation". EOS Aura was launched by NASA on 15 July 2004 to make stratospheric, mesospheric, and tropospheric constituent measurements from its four instruments HIRDLS, MLS, OMI, and TES. In this special section, the instrument teams and collaborators report on the validation of the released Aura data products.

May 2008: Version 2.2 reprocessing of all Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) data from the July 2004 Aura launch to the present has been completed. v2.2 data should be used in preference to the earlier v1.5 data. For more information on MLS v2.2 data, and on improvements over the earlier v1.5, please refer to the MLS 'Version 2.2 Level 2 Data Quality Document' available from the MLS home page (http://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/) under the 'Documentation' link. Dedicated validation papers for the individual products have been published in the Aura validation special issue of JGR-Atmospheres, and are linked from the 'Publications' section of the MLS home page. MLS data can be downloaded from the GSFC-DISC (http://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov , or follow the 'Order MLS Data' link on the MLS home page).

April 2008: Volumes 6-8 (2006-2008) of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, contain a special section with thirteen papers on "MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmosphere Sounding): Potential of the experiment, data processing and validation of results". Part of the atmospheric chemistry payload of Envisat, MIPAS is a mid-infrared mission spectrometer scanning across the horizon to measure atmospheric spectral radiances. This special section describes the different concepts of retrieval methods including multi-target and two-dimensional retrievals, validation results based relying on comparisons with ground-based, balloon and satellite observations, and scientific use of the data. Operationally generated data sets consist of temperature, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, HNO3, and NO2 profiles. Latest special issue paper published in April 2008.

February 2008: ISSI, Bern, Switzerland (11-14 of February 2008). Report from the 1st Workshop of the ISSI WG on Atmospheric Water Vapour.

November 2007: New Release of 'HIRDLS2' Aura-HIRDLS Level-2 Atmospheric Products (Version 003) is now publicly available from the NASA GSFC Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC). Data products (geophysical parameters along the measurement track) derived from the HIRDLS latest improved algorithm (V2.04.09) are of better quality compared to earlier version. This data version contains temperature, ozone and nitric acid mixing ratios, cloud top heights and other cloud characteristics. HIRDLS team is in the process of refining the algorithms for other species, which will be made available in later versions. HIRDLS data are processed at the HIRDLS Science Investigator-led Processing System (SIPS) in Boulder , Colorado . The standard derived products are made available from the NASA GES DISC and the British Atmospheric Data Center . The full set of Aura products are available from the NASA GES DISC.

May 2007: Volumes 4-7 (2004-2007) of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, contain a special section on "SAGE III Ozone loss and validation experiment II and the validation of international satellites and study of ozone loss (SOLVE-II/VINTERSOL)". This special issue describes among others the comprehensive measurement database acquired the SOLVE II/VINTERSOL campaign based in Kiruna, Sweden, January–February 2003, and comparison results for the SAGE-II, HALOE, GOME, TOMS, SAGE-III, POAM-III, MIPAS and SCIAMACHY satellite sensors. Latest special issue paper published in May 2007.

March 2007: Version 2.2 data from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) are now available from the NASA GES-DISC. The Aura MLS v2.2 data quality and description document is also available along with this data release. Forward processing using v2.2 started in March 2007. Reprocessing of the entire mission is underway. Major changes between v2.2 and the earlier v1.5 data include improved vertical resolution for temperature and humidity in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, a significant reduction of cloud-induced perturbations in upper tropospheric ozone and carbon monoxide data, and the correction of a previously-reported high bias in stratospheric nitric acid. MLS data users: send correspondence This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or register for updates on the MLS website.

November 2006: Volumes 5-6 (2005-2006) of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, contain a special section with twenty one papers on the "Geophysical validation of SCIAMACHY: 2002-2004".  SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CartograpHY (SCIAMACHY), is a UV/visible/NIR spectrometer operating on-board ESA’s Environmental Satellite Envisat launched on 1 March 2002 . SCIAMACHY observes earthshine radiance in limb and nadir viewing geometry and solar and lunar light transmitted through the atmosphere in occultation viewing geometry. SCIAMACHY’s level-2 products are vertical and horizontal distributions of atmospheric constituents and parameters such as trace gases (O3, NO2, BrO, OClO, SO2, CH2O, CHO-CHO, CO, CH4, CO2 and N2O), aerosols, cloud information, temperature and pressure. The primary objective of SCIAMACHY is to improve our knowledge of the chemistry and physics of the Earth’s atmosphere (troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere), including anthropogenic changes or the variability of natural phenomena. Latest special issue paper published in November 2006.

October 2006: Volume 111, NO. D11, 2006, of the Journal of Geophysical Research, contains a special section with fifteen papers dedicated to "ILAS-II: The Improved Limb Atmospheric Spectrometer II". ILAS-II was a solar-occultation satellite sensor placed on board the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite–II (ADEOS-II, “Midori-II”). It made routine measurements for about 7 months, from 2 April 2003 to 24 October 2003 . This special section contains papers on the ILAS-II characteristics, several validation papers of ILAS-II data version 1.4, and scientific analyses of polar stratospheric chemistry and dynamics using ILAS-II data.

May 2006: Volume 111, NO. D9, 2006, of the Journal of Geophysical Research, contains a special section with nineteen papers dedicated to the "Validation of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Observations".  The papers describe validation comparisons for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) experiment on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft. AIRS produces daily, high accuracy, high vertical and horizontal resolution profiles of temperature, water vapor and minor gases, along with cloud and surface properties over most the Earth’s surface. Scientific goals of AIRS, along with other Aqua instruments, are an improved understanding of the atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle, an improved understanding of climate processes and of minor gas distributions, the improvement of weather forecasts.

February 2006: The NDSC becomes the "Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change" (NDACC)