Earth Radiation Budget Experiment

Project Description
The radiation budget represents the balance between incoming energy
from the Sun and outgoing thermal (longwave) and reflected (shortwave)
energy from the Earth. In the 1970's, NASA recognized the importance
of improving our understanding of the radiation budget and its effects
on the Earth's climate. Langley Research Center was charged with
developing a new generation of instrumentation to make accurate
regional and global measurements of the components of the radiation
budget. The Goddard Space Flight Center built the Earth Radiation
Budget Satellite (ERBS) on which the first Earth Radiation Budget
Experiment (ERBE) instruments were launched by the Space Shuttle
Challenger in 1984. ERBE instruments were also launched on two
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather monitoring
satellites, NOAA 9 and NOAA 10 in 1984 and 1986.

An international team of scientists was selected from proposals to an
Announcement of Opportunity in 1978 to participate in the design and
development of ERBE. Dr Bruce Barkstrom, of the Radiation Sciences
Branch of Langley's Atmospheric Sciences Competency, was selected as
the ERBE Principal Investigator. He led the team through 30 meetings
to guide the development of the instrumentation and the ground
processing software for analyzing the data.

The ERBE Data Management Team was formed to design and develop the
ground data processing system based on algorithms from the Science
Team. Jim Kibler, Head of the Data Management Office in Langley's
Atmospheric Sciences Competency, led the team through three iterative
releases of the system to be ready for processing at the first launch.

For more information on ERBE and ERBS, see:

For more information on Earth Science Enterprise (ESE), see: