LEO > Low Earth Orbit > Polar Sun-Synchronous
[Source: NASA Earth Science Decadal Survey Studies, http://decadal.gsfc.nasa.gov/ascends.html
* Measure the number density of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the column of air ... beneath the aircraft
* Measure length of the column using a laser altimeter
* Measure ambient air pressure and temperature.
ASCENDS will provide improved ability to predict/model long-term changes in the climate cycle based both on the understanding of the natural processes driving the variability of natural carbon sources and sinks, and on the transport of carbon through the atmosphere.