NASA has announced that a solar energy-measuring instrument from Northrop Grumman will launch aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 in November.
JPSS-1 is scheduled to lift off Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 4:47 a.m. Eastern time and will carry the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System Flight Model 6, NASA said Friday.
The space agency’s Langley Research Center awarded Northrop a contract in May 2009 to build CERES FM6.
“CERES provides critical observations of how solar energy absorbed and terrestrial infrared radiative energy emitted by Earth are distributed over the planet,” said Norman Loeb, principal investigator for NASA’s Radiation Budget Science Project.
Scientists will use global data from the sensor to validate models designed to measure the cloud’s effect on planetary cooling or heating as part of efforts to increase the accuracy of seasonal climate forecasts.
NASA noted that CERES data can also help researchers study the climatic and radiative effects of natural calamities.
Five similar instruments currently function aboard three satellites in orbit, the agency added.