Lockheed Martin has launched an optical payload into space aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spacecraft to capture a single-view image of the Earth's sunlit side.
The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera instrument is designed to help scientists monitor clouds and atmospheric particles in hemispheres in order to develop models for storms, droughts, dust, pollution and climate, Lockheed said Wednesday.
“Even though EPIC will operate over a million miles away, it will deliver data about our atmosphere and vegetation that scientists have been waiting for,“ said Joe Mobilia, EPIC program manager at Lockheed.
“Climate affects every person, so better knowledge of atmospheric processes is essential to understanding what’s happening in the world around us,“ Mobilia added.
NASA supplied the instrument that sports an 11.8-inch telescope to produce an image with a resolution of between 15.5 and 21.7 miles.
The instrument will work to measure ozone amounts, aerosol particulates, cloud height, vegetation properties and ultraviolet radiation.