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Instrument: CATS : Cloud-Aerosol Transport System
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Associated Platforms
ISS

Spectral/Frequency Information
Wavelength Keyword: INFRARED > REFLECTED
Spectral/Frequency Coverage/Range: 1064 nm
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Related Data Sets
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Description
The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), launched on 10 January 2015, is a lidar remote sensing instrument that provides range-resolved profile measurements of atmospheric aerosols and clouds. Data from CATS is used to derive properties of cloud/aerosol layers including: layer height, layer thickness, backscatter, optical depth, extinction, and depolarization-based discrimination of particle type. The instrument is located on the Japanese Experiment Module ? Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS orbit is a 51-degree inclination orbit at an altitude of about 405 km. This orbit provides more comprehensive coverage of the tropics and mid-latitudes than sun-synchronous orbiting sensors, with nearly a three-day repeat cycle. CATS is intended to operate on-orbit for at least six months, and up to three years. The CATS payload is designed to provide a combination of long-term operational science, in-space technology demonstration, and technology risk reduction for future Earth Science missions.

Science Goals:
The measurements of atmospheric clouds and aerosols provided by the CATS payload will be used for three main science objectives:

1. Provide real-time observations of aerosol vertical distribution as inputs to global models. The vertical profile information obtained by CATS, particularly at multiple wavelengths and with depolarization information obtained in Modes 1 and 3, provides height location of cloud and aerosol layers, as well as information on particle size and shape.

2. Extend the space-based lidar record for continuity in the lidar climate observations. The CATS instrument will provide measurements of cloud and aerosol profiles similar to CALIPSO, filling in the data gap, so this information can continually be used to improve climate models and our understanding of the Earth system and climate feedback processes.
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Online Resources
http://cats.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Instrument Logistics
Instrument Start Date: 2015-01-10
Instrument Owner: NASA

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